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by stone

An exception to not tidying the garden

06/05/2012 in gardening, religion/philosophy

Heresy! Regular readers of this blog know that I condemn reckless tidying of the garden as worse than wasted effort, but as something that harms the garden…

For instance, I’ve posted a number of seedpod pictures.
Winter interest is a very fine thing, The seed-eating birds are able to enjoy the garden, the plants are able to replace themselves, I see where the plants are, and don’t attempt to plant new stuff into perceived empty spots, and leaving that stuff in situ means the nutrients remain in place for the next generation.

There are exceptions to every rule…

I cut down a patch of datura wrightii after the frost last winter, even though the datura seed-pods made spectacular winter photos…


I top-dressed the bed with some composted barn scrapings (manure) and over-seeded it with poppy seed.
The poppies came up and bloomed…


See additional pictures of the poppies or just click the picture…

I had to compete with the gold finches for the seed…

goldfinch, poppy seed pod

The datura started blooming again…

There’s something about succession gardening… In my Jeffersonville garden, I alternated the poppies with the zinnias, that worked well also.

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by stone

Winter Seedpods

01/29/2012 in winter gardening, xeriscape garden

It feels like time for another winter interest post.

I used to talk to people about the antics of the songbirds in the flower garden. They would claim to have never noticed the birds in the winter garden… These were people that were very interested in the birds, put up birdhouses everywhere, put out bird seed, kept shrubs that the birds used, even when the shrubs looked bad…

Eventually it dawned on me that they didn’t see the songbirds in the winter garden, because there was nothing there for the birds! The garden had been mutilated by felco!

Agalinis purpurea
is a very interesting native plant.
Agalinis occurrs naturally in most flower beds (in this area), serving as a host plant for the buckeye butterfly… and is usually pulled for a weed, long before the autumn bloom.

Mullein is another interesting plant… with an undeserved bad reputation. Seeing mullein growing in reckless abandon on the roadside leaves most people concerned that it could take over the garden.
Not so… mullein is actually kind of difficult to keep around.
A biennial, typically holds the poor soil as part of a succession, giving up it’s place to the next plant in a natural progression towards a climax forest.

Datura wrightii also has an undeserved reputation.
As an extremely drought tolerant native perennial with monster blooms, Datura deserves a prominent place in the unwatered southern garden.
For those people concerned about it’s reputation as being a dangerous drug… There are many plants grown in the traditional flower border that are dangerous drugs, this is just one more.

Sedum hardly needs an introduction, lots of people grow sedum, and I’ve seen some very nice snow pics of sedum this winter… Thankfully, there’s no snow in this pic… Hate the cold stuff….

I’ve been posting a lot of pictures of dalea pinnata this year. Summer’s Farewell is a new plant to me, it showed up a couple of years ago on my freshly scraped yard. Not being a turf person, my yard was permitted to demonstrate what potential cool plants were there as seed, merely waiting for a chance to shine.
This has to be one of my favourite methods of wildflower acquisition… Not planting anything!

I’ve grown Monarda punctata for years, and it never fails to satisfy. Another extremely drought tolerant native, monarda punctata doesn’t have the invasive qualities of the wetland monardas, and is a perennial, unlike the annual lemon mint that it closely resembles.

evening primrose is another attractive native biennial, which I added to my menu last winter…

Chenopodium is a non-native edible that I introduced to the vegetable garden to ensure that my diet included green-leafy veggies.
Magenta spreen is an attractive plant that doesn’t look out of place in the flower border. By leaving some plants to produce seed, I ensure that I get plants in the coming years.

Finally, Some pine-cones to brighten the post.

With a big blue bowl of a sky (typical of a Montana summer day), to serve as a backdrop, I think the seedpods showed up pretty well.

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by stone

more winter seedpods

02/07/2011 in gardening, native plants, winter gardening

It is my hope that these seedpods serve as a reminder that even during the bleakest winter months, there should always be something of interest in the garden…

sometimes, it’s simply a matter of recognizing the interesting stuff that is out there.

datura wrightii seedpod

datura seed pod
Plenty of seeds there… While the tobacco horn worm eats datura leaves, There isn’t too many critters that are brave enough to eat the seeds…

evening primrose seed pod

evening primrose seed pod
This complex seedpod belongs to the evening primrose… The seeds are often listed among the herbal medicinals… For that matter, so are the above seeds…

monarda punctata seedpods

monarda punctata seedpods
another medicinal…

Do you like winter seedpods as much as I do? Be sure to visit my other seed pod posts, Deadheading and More winter seedpods 1

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