Friday, May 30, 2008

Let's play "Insert Your Caption Here"....okay, here's Gizmo, and his caption is:

(I caught him at the end of a yawn...strange expression!)

Next is this redwing blackbird, and his caption is: "________________"

(Heh, I can't decide if he's acrobatic or just greedy.)

Here we have Bentley, and his caption: "___________________"

(He reminds me of Garfield, with his "power-napping" :)

Submitted to Friday Ark.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My friends, I give you Purple Haze! This is pretty much near peak bloom, though there is one tall tulip yet to open. I can barely feel the stiff muscles I got planting this last fall, and what a gorgeous mass of bloom! This is like 30 feet of tulips, and I think the "random" way I planted them turned out okay.
Some of the cast members... ...funny how the shading varies...
....I like these "peony-flowered" tulips...
.....fringes are cool too... ...even this one that's certainly more pink than purple (oops!)....
....I like this white........hey beetle, don't eat anything, ok?I love these...
....this is nice too. Similar but different.Elsewhere my previous fixation with yellow is evident...
...these came with the house...
...and this new pink area planted last fall is coming along. Still a few more to open, but I'm very happy with it already...
....I mean, what's not to like?
My favorite part of bulbs is the way they can survive frost after frost and look great. This has been crucial this spring, because they were blabbing about frost just this week...still! Now my fervent "bulb-mania" seems perfectly sensible...look out this fall, here it comes again! ;-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fourth plant order...and it's another excellent experience! This stuff is from Shooting Star Nursery in Kentucky...look how well it's packed!The tall stuff was all together in a nice tall box, and wrapped like mummies.......there! Not only safe and sound, but barely a wrinkled leaf!This is dwarf red buckeye, and when I opened up the plastic bag to see if it was dry, I found this cool mesh planter.......interesting! I've never seen anything shipped in one of these before, but I like it! Lighter to keep costs down, but very sturdy.
Bentley is impressed with the sheets of paper...
..."Mmmm, tasty!" Gizmo was cuckoo for the shredded paper, so I guess all three of us are happy with this nursery.
This is a bald cypress, and look what a nice-sized whip they sent me....
.....I think the bark is really cool.
This shade-loving climbing fern is pretty small, but I'm hoping it's just emerging and will show more progress soon enough.

Guess what's in this box? Oh yea, more ladyslippers!

These are babies, called "pips", and are grown from tissue culture and not wild collected. I got Kentucky ladyslipper, and the all-white version of the Showy ladyslipper . These are small bags... ....huh! Looks like worms...this should be interesting.
Luckily they enclosed detailed cultural information, because I've never grown baby ladyslippers before.
The smaller plants were packed nicely too...

....this is eastern sand cherry, and I think it will grow nicely near my nanking cherry bushes. (Plus more fruit for the birds to enjoy.)
This is swamp dewberry, rubus hispidus and it grows low with prickly stems, producing "sour berries".
I ordered a few grasses too, this is prairie switchgrass 'Shenandoah'. I've wanted this for some time, because japanese blood grass doesn't survive my winter. (And any self-respecting grass collector needs a red one! ;-) This grass is hella cool too, it's 'Blue Satin' sedge, carex platyphylla and it's for shade!
"Whatever. As far as I'm concerned this paper is the best part!" Enjoy it while you can Bentley, cuz' that mess will be gone soon!
Another nice tall specimen, apple serviceberry (amelanchier grandiflora)....
....from the "forest floor" look of the soil, I think this will acclimate nicely!

I decided to plant the ladyslippers right away, and this tiny thing kinda scares me...
....yes, definately intimidating... ....but the obvious signs of growth are reassuring. I was tempted to pot them up and baby them for a few months, but I'd read that these resent transplanting... I just planted them in the ground near my other happy ladyslippers.As for the rest, they'll have to relax until the holiday weekend to be assigned their permanant homes. Check out the red on these stems! Okay, if they can tolerate my cold night temps we may have some content newcomers.
Hang in there, kids!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ooooh! Lookit! While putting around the yard last weekend lookie what I found...morel mushrooms!!! I never really paid that much attention to the different varieties (aside from being sure they aren't the false kind), but I think this one is a black morel. And the more I looked, the more I found! See the mushroom in this picture?Here it is, by this bit of dead bark.And I found more woodland beauties while shroomin'...anybody know what this is?I tried a lookup, and I'm not sure but it may be fringed polygala before the flowers fully open, but I'm not certain.UPDATE: When I went back later to look at these flowers, I found these. This would appear to be a violet........but it's spurred in the back of the flower, which is different from my other violets. Update #2: Okay, so when I finally realized the exact spot the first picture was actually taken in, this WAS fringed polygala unopened. Sorry!And look at this funky fungus! After staring at pictures until my eyeballs hurt, I think it's either gyromitra leucoxantha or disciotis venosa , but I'm not 100%.They just keep appearing before my eyes, so I can't stop looking (for about two hours), and I need to get other stuff done. But I love these things so much, I must keep I'm pretty sure this is wintergreen , and it's all over in my wooded yard. I've tried to containerize it before, but it seems to resist taming. I'll give it a go again sometime, though. As you can see from the overhead shot, these are pretty easy to miss, and after awhile I had to quit. But I ended up with seven of these babies, sauteed in butter...mmmmm!
The very next day, I stopped by a dear friends' house because she said there were some mushrooms for the taking...awesome!! This time, they appear to be greys , and they're bigger!

Another one...'s a little easier to spot these...see them?
Here they are, cute little group right out in the open, next to the driveway! How convenient! :) Oooh! Big one here in the sand...
....and here they are! My friends are the best!! So I soak them for a little while to flush out any tiny bugs that may be hiding in the crevices, but save the water. It contains spore, so I take it and pour it out where I think they'll grow in my yard to encourage more for next year.
Yummy stuff folks!