Garden Diary 5/29/11

It was a rough week with storms, torrential rains and high winds. We dodged the tornadoes and hail that were nearby.

The lightning this past week. Photo by Cassie Helms

It was a rough week for blooms to survive the storms. But here is what we have.  85° hot, humid and partly cloudy.

Peony. This one has a pretty pink edge around a creamy white.

Okay, so it is really an iris that showed up in a most unexpected place

The arborvitae in bloom.

A rose. Anyone know what kind?

My first strawberry of the season. The plant is loaded so hope to have many more!

The Weeds:

I didn’t have many blooms to show off so I thought I would catalog some of the plants I battle on a regular basis and in some cases lose to mightily!

Bindweed or Wild Morning Glory. This stuff is ALL over our property and grows many inches per day. I don't even know if it is possible to irradicate, but at least it is easy to pull. Here it is growing in my Grape vines.

This is wild grape and wild honeysuckle taking over a rose bush (the rose garden is abandoned and scheduled for demolition so is excessively weed-ridden.)

Run-of-the-mill Poison Ivy. We have this everywhere, too. To the left of the pic is witch grass--a real enemy in the pasture.

Wild raspberry. I thought I would let a few plants fruit and see if it is edible. Maybe a useful weed?

Milkweed. I have a friend who cultivates this in a garden. It is to encourage Monarch Butterflies; apparently this is the only plant their caterpillars will eat. Unfortunately it is poisonous to farm animals so out it goes.

Well, there you have it- the good, the bad and the ugly!

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9 Responses to Garden Diary 5/29/11

  1. Glory Lennon says:

    Cassie’s lightning picture is wonderful! Omigosh, I love your flowering arboritea! I thought I was the only one with odd goings-on in the garden. That peony is lovely but I can’t exactly tell you what that rose might be. Probably a shrub rose, but hard to tell without seeing it live. I envy your strawberry. I used to have a huge strawberry patch but it went to weeds, gosh-darn-it! Should never have let that happen.
    EEK! Poison ivy makes me itch even from here.
    I pick tons of wild raspberries from a patch growing down the road. Very useful weed indeed! I also try to keep milkweed around for the Monarchs, but I haven’t seen any this year. I hope I didn’t eradicate them all! I would think farm animals would know not to eat them. For whatever reason, wild animals know what not to eat. Are farm animals not as smart? I hope not!

    • Julie Helms says:

      The rose is definitely growing like a bush and is 6 or 7 feet tall. If you want it while you are here I will give you a shovel. 🙂 It is part of our demo project. I only grow strawberries in a container because I think weeding them is impossible. I can handle the weeds in the pot! Farm animals will stay away from milk weed if they have enough food. We don’t actively poison it out or anything, we just mow early enough that it can’t go to seed. If left alone it can take over a pasture (along with a host of other weeds).

  2. Glory Lennon says:

    6 feet tall huh? If you cut the branches down I’ll dig up the roots and take them home. otherwise it’s yours forever, Baby! 😉

  3. Dan says:

    With all those pictures of weeds I swear you came on my property and took a picture of my lawn.

  4. Laura says:

    Great photo by Cassie – I’ll bet that was before sunset despite the darkness. It was as black as night when they said the clouds were “rotating” over us around 7:30, almost an hour before sunset.

    I’m thinking the rose may be a wild sport – perhaps from a self seeded cultivar. Most cultivated roses are grafted, but this one seems to be on it’s own roots (thus keeps popping up).

    You prolly know that the monarch butterfly uses the poisons of the milkweed to become poison themselves, thus giving some protection from predation despite their flaunting of their beautiful colors. Not that I think this is something they do consciously. ( a good editor would surely change that paragraph!)

    Beware the yummy red raspberrys. Every bird who gets one before you (or after you tire of picking them) will spread their wealth. They spread by seed and root, and their prickles keep them from being easy to root out.

    Do you want any japanese iris – I have several clumps that have gone quite wild, spreading widely. Two different colors – blue & sort of raspberry red with paler stripes in the middle of the petals.

  5. Trish says:

    So neat to see life a month ahead of us! Our Lilacs are just starting to fade in this heat and I have buds on the iris.
    The pink rose looks like what we call Cinnamon Rose, very fragrant and we bring them in and put them in float vases. Eva’s favorites! It is a very old, small rose that is often only single. All the old colonial homes around here have or had them. A must for the country garden.
    We eat milkweed. I prefer dandelions, but milkweed is good too. Just dump the water it is cooked in. And it is the main plant the Monarch butterflies eat and form their crysalis on!
    http://www.countrysidemag.com/issues/87/87-2/Sam_Thayer.html

    Raspberry Siberian iris!!!!!!!! SAVE ME SOME PLEASE, LAURA!!!!!

  6. Julie Helms says:

    Very interesting reading about Milkweed, Trish. I knew none of that. The article says it grow 6-7 feet if left alone, so it still isn’t going to work in my garden, but maybe I will leave it alone along the edges of the property! I need a little more time before I actually eat it. 🙂

  7. Lisa says:

    Awesome picture, Cassie!

  8. Laura says:

    @ Trish – you EAT milkweed? I thought it was poison – that milky sap. Go figure.

    I stand corrected, they aren’t really formal iris – really more blue flag offsets that have turned dark pinky – you know the kind with a pale stripe down the middle.. You are welcome to a bunch. I’ll take a photo tomorrow of them to show you. It’s fading but I think there will be some you can see. Very hardy and spread around the pond (outside, not in it).

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