Monday, July 6, 2015

Understated Elegance

Back when we were innocent novices at the mail order plant game, we assumed that the illustration would be reflected in the delivered product.  An assortment of Oriental lilies pictured Lovely Girl as one of the items offered for sale.  As it turned out this hardy bright stunner was a real find but it is neither Oriental nor a Lovely Girl.  The number of flower producing stalks increase each year.  Dividing the bulb cluster results in vigorous growth as what is pictured began with just two bulbs several years ago.

The reddish darker flower is just opening today.  Some time in the sun will tone it down to orange and white.  If these flowers were scented, they would be a popular named variety rather than undesirables thrown in the assorted bin.  We feel lucky to have them.  They are one of the few lilies to have come through the late freeze frost unmarked.

Our roadside bed is presently a riot of colors that do not complement each other. The colors are brilliant and the occupants of cars that whiz by at high speed can't miss the flash of color.  The left upper corner of the picture shows grass clippings spread under sumac trees.  If we can kill off the pasture grasses that grow here, we will try for a shaded woodland garden.  A bench will be placed in the shade to give us a cooler place to sit and admire our work in this area.

Destined to See is the name of this daylily.  The post title refers to this flower.  This was the first exotic variety that we purchased.  It has been with us many years and this plant was separated from the original last year.  Never having tried dividing a daylily, it required a great deal of courage to pierce the clump with two tined spades.  Both plants survived and flowers are opening on each plant.  That is a good thing since several other plants need division.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Hole In The Forest Canopy

On a recent trip to the back woods near the edge of our property, the increased amount of daylight present was the first sensation to register with me.  Then I noticed maple leaves overhanging the small clearing where the truck is turned.  Bad news quickly followed when the remains of the giant red maple tree came into view.  A storm of some significance had felled two of the remaining central trunks.

When we first began walking this land, this giant red maple impressed us.  Most of the trees here were comparatively young, growing where attempts to farm poor land were abandoned.  Why this tree was never cut remained a mystery.  It stood out in sharp contrast to its neighbors because of its unusual size .  Six massive side trunks grew from the central vertical trunk.  These were huge and I could never understand how the tree was able to support so much mass that grew so far away from the main trunk.

The grown over hole marks the former location of the first side trunk to fall.  The main trunk has an indentation there that allowed me to back into the tree under the side trunk.  Energy transfer between tree and man is likely fiction but I spent time on every walk up against the tree.  My mood was calmer when I left the tree.  I felt invisible and a part of nature since I was so far into the tree.

There must have been a thunderous crash when these parts of the tree fell.  A sudden snap when the first section separated would have made a terrible sound.  The larger upper section fell first.  Crashing onto the lower piece, it fell also.  It appears that current weather events feature localized storms of unusual intensity.  My tree would speak in  support of that point of view since it had been here for many generations suffering no harm.

Two of the smaller trunks are all that remain of this former giant.  We have no idea of what to do with the fallen parts.  There is a great deal of wood near the ground but red maple grows in a twisting manner making its firewood difficult to split.  Working among three sections that have yet to find the ground would entail considerable risk.  Nature will be allowed to follow its course here and these tree sections will become part of the forest floor.  We will watch with interest to see what grows in the former shade of a true giant.