||[Feb. 21st, 2019|07:01 pm]
More grey, more rain, delighting me in the possibility for some good cold stratification for the wildflowers i've sprinkled around. The rapeseed i have cast around the outside of the orchard is sprouting. Rapeseed is a close turnip relative and canola is a specific variety. The plant flowers yellow like mustard plants, and i look forward to munching on the flowers with the (flavorless) native violets as salad toppings in a few months.
This gardening month looks and feels wintry, but our saucer magnolia has lipstick pink petals peeking from the fuzzy flower buds, the crocus are past bloom, and daffodils are marshaling. Our shaded north slope stays wintry a little longer than other places: Daffodils bloom on a south facing bank down the street, Bradford pears are blooming up closer to Chapel Hill along with some pink flowering tree -- a Japanese Flowering Apricot or cherry (per https://fairviewgardencenter.com/blog/pink-trees-bloom-spring/). I suppose it may not be our wintry aspect but simply the absence of such early flowering trees.
Witch hazel would be a native winter flowering tree that could brighten up my view, and after much poking at the internet, i've found a vendor with selections from the species.
There's a gap in early summer, too, that i am trying hard to fill. There are many blooming plants that begin in July and stretch on to frost, but there's a gap after the Easter-egg colors daffodils and violets and azaleas before the simmering of later summer. The poppies and borage will fill a bit of the gap this year.
Last year, i tried to make the driveway circle a home for native meadow flowers but lost to the stilt grass. This year i am planning sorghum and corn as a backdrop to a large, vining winter squash.
I am so tempted by seed catalogs, but i should just use the seed i have -- which is plenty!