Friday, after a gloomy day, the clouds cleared and a heavy Gulf coast warmth settled over the house. I mowed after work and found myself quickly exhausted.
Saturday i had tea with my sister in the mossy glade. She remembers the house as found and can marvel with me over the work we've done. She would like some of the aggressive golden rod that i need to keep from overtaking moss phlox to the north and the the slowly growing yaupon holly to the south. Hmm, maybe the left over treated lumber could work as a barrier.
I'd noticed Friday night -- the cursed stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum) has sprouted.
After lunch i tried hoeing the weeds just starting in the garden plot. Hot humid hard. I had sharpened my glorious hoe, so it sliced through the clay like a hot knife through butter. It's just REALLY HEAVY BUTTER.
I dug up violets from the garden bets and moved them to the north and east side of some of the raised beds or the small terrace of clay spoil from the footings for the steps. Later in the day i read a column by Southern Living's grumpy gardener about exterminating them all, apparently they are a suburban horror. The only thing that disappoints me so far with the native (V sororia) violets is that a determined rabbit can denude a nice carpet of them. Admittedly, i now understand why: last year i found they made a fine salad green. The leaves have been skimpy so far, but now the plants are really coming forth. I foresee violet green salads soon.
I had bought sweet violets off some permaculture site a couple years ago when buying Turkish rocket (a kind of perennial brassica that i haven't killed yet, but also it is so far from thriving -- i assume it needs to be MUCH further north). I didn't seem the violets growing last year, but this year the roots have tiny leaves and -- it seemed to me -- scentless flowers. I'm pretty sure i got more scent free V sororia, coals to Newcastle.
I do hope the Reine De Neiges V odorata seeds take. After a dance of warm then cold stratifying the seeds (tricking the seeds into thinking they've gone through a summer and winter), a few have sprouted! I imagine the powerful scent of a few white flowers and the profuse purple of the native scentless plant in spring treats some day in the future.
I also dug up some moss phlox that is in a weed overgrown spot and moved it to near the blue-eyed grass and iris section of the south orchard berm along with some green-and-gold that were lost in the aggressive goldenrod patch. Both of these are low growing flowering ground covers that i hope can thrive in the sheltered area and then be propagated back out as part of the tapestry lawn strategy. I hope one of the rescues is the purple flowered variety - the candy stripe moss phlox thrives still but isn't my favorite. Why do i think the bright pink stripe down the middle of each white petal is fussy, but i adore the spring beauties with the delicate pink veining on their white petals?
Then i found some seedling Rudbeckia laciniata -- a tall (5-7 feet), shade friendly, green centerered cone flower with edible greens called Sochan -- in the moss bed just off the deck, and trundled those to the berm of the rain garden. I noticed in filling the watering can from our rain water tank that more R laciniata seedlings had taken in that area. Yay, more edible greens! I took the three seedlings and planted them on the east side of the rain garden berm. That will also be a lovely place for an edible greens patch. Maybe i will get the mature crowns out of my garden plot as it seems the deer and rabbits are leaving the sochan alone. What i wish now was to understand how much i can pick at one time. It is yet another yellow late summer into autumn flower: so many here.
Where i was planting that, i saw day lilies and bearded iris plants coming up. I'd moved them there when we had the driveway put in, before i had the locations for planting i have now. It's a bad location, shady and on the deer buffet route. So i dug those up and put them in where i am trying to build up a border of bulbs, daylilies in the muddy spot.
Now i see why i was so spent after all that. It seemed when i came in just to be a bit of wandering around, but i guess i did do things. It was also warm and humid and i should have probably been drinking more water. I went back out after sitting and cooling off to plant the last of my Fast Lady Northern Southern Pea seeds. Since the stilt grass germinates when the soil is 55°F, and regular cowpeas are ready to go in at a soil temp of 60°F, i figured these Oregon bred cowpeas might be productive in this uncertain weather time. At this point, looks like frosts Saturday and Sunday, despite more than half the ten day forecast having highs in the 70s.
As i waited for the threatening weather, i dug more Indian strawberry out of the North berm. I remain certain i have killed my butterfly weed when i clipped the top of all the subterranean sprouts when i was shoveling off the top half inch of soil trying to do in the cursed Indian strawberry. The dogbane sprouted in the east yard this weekend, a close relative, so i will be keeping an eye on the spot. The crowns of liatris -- a purple asteraceae that grows in tall spikes -- are visibly sprouting.
Christine was in a great place during the day, good spirits. We sat on the front porch enjoying the canopy of pink flower blossoms as a storm came through for an hour.
Sunday was Quakers all morning. I was a little out of it in the afternoon (overcast, threatening, muggy): weeded the place where i will be putting in the front garden. I also sketched out where the plants will go.
Today was vaccine day, i didn't sleep so well. I feel a little out of it now. (Most of this was written on Sunday.) Our porch is just missing a few details -- almost finished ... will post photo.