Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Upright Autumn Joy Sedums

Each year in the past, these plants have been beaten to the ground by a combination of the weight of the flower masses and rain.  This year an intervention was attempted.  Since there has been no significant rainfall on these flowers, it would be presumptuous to assume that my meddling was completely successful.  Still, there are eight huge plants supporting impressive masses of flowers in an upright position.

When this was an active dairy farm several decades ago, the cows were brought from pasture and held in the area of my garden until they were ready to cross the road to the barn at milking time.  This is the most fertile ground that we own.  Decades of manure was worked into the ground and allowed to decompose naturally.  Actually, this ground is excessively rich in nutrients as is shown by the size of these plants.  Our more common poor dirt should have been mixed in to thin this ground before the plants were placed.

These plants are not old since I frequently dig and divide to obtain enough sedums to complete the row.  We started here with only three plants.  If we are able to prepare new ground next season, this monster will be split in half.  One piece will be replanted here.  The other division will add to the length of the line.  Our plan is to have sedums and iris fill the area between the stone wall and the trees.  No new plants of either variety will be purchased.  Divisions will supply needed plants.

This picture was taken on June 16, 2015.  A 2" X 4" welded wire cage has been placed tightly around the quickly expanding plant.  The cage would make future weeding impossible so a final weeding was part of the process.  The cage needed to be surrounded by future growth so that its existence would remain secret.  Perhaps the cages need to be a bit larger.  We will try these again next year but do allow for the possibility that heavy rain could break the stems where they contact the cage.

Last evening we enjoyed the lunar show.  Since we live near the base of a rather narrow valley, celestial observations require some creativity.  By definition, a full moon rises as the sun sets.  We had to drive up out of our valley to see both an amazing sunset and a rising super moon.  Forty-five minutes later the moon finally appeared above our ridge.  The first moon rise that we witnessed happened in the bright light of sunset.  The second moon rise for us happened in darkness.

As is so often the case here, clouds rolled in and blocked out the sky.  We are persistent and kept checking for an opening in the cloud cover.  The clouds cleared in time for us to watch the orange moon go dark surrounded by a sea of stars.  These are the kind of experiences that will live in our memories if it ever becomes necessary for us to leave this special place.