A little out of the ordinary

Years ago, the developer of our small subdivision harvested tulip poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera) for lumber from the forest that borders the garden. A few that are close enough to fall onto the house were left, and one has a lowest branch that hangs prominently over the side garden. Following a rain, the long branch hangs low enough to see the poplar’s unusual flowers that typically break loose in storms after they mature and the seed is ripe. With enough recent rainfall that I’ve stopped counting the inches, several freshly fallen flowers (below) were rescued and brought into the kitchen to view for the few days they last.

Flowers of tulip poplars are splendid, though I would never plant one and the only flowers to be seen on the huge trees are ones that break loose in storms.

The strawberry bush (Euonymus americanus, below) is hardly showy, and if this root filled, part shade spot in the side garden was not so difficult to grow nearly anything, I likely would not have bothered. It started small and after a few years it’s just starting to show up, though I expect very little from it in dry shade rather than its preferred damper soil. In any case, the flowers that appear to be growing at mid leaf are interesting, if tiny, and I felt compelled to give a try to this native after seeing so many invasive burning bushes (Euonymus alatus) in local forests.

Undoubtedly, this garden will never be weed free, though I keep up well enough. The small area of the garden just above the greenhouse is somewhat of a weedy mess (below), though these are not exactly weeds but Verbena bonariensis. This tall verbena grows anywhere, I think, and while individual plants are short lived, each plant throws out hundreds of seeds. So, there is no shortage of replacements, and soon I’ll have to grub out most of the thousands of seedlings, leaving the tallest and strongest. Most of the perennials in this area are knee high or taller, so the tall verbena works perfectly to rise above, but it requires the support of its neighbors. In any case, I encourage it, and instead of a dozen or more a year ago I’m likely to keep triple that number this summer, but not hundreds or thousands.

Several dozen of the hundreds of verbena seedlings.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lucy says:

    That strawberry euonymus has the most charming fruit. I love mine, at least what the deer leave for me. It will never be a bushy plant. Mine also is in a dryish shady area with root competition from a huge silver maple, but it soldiers on.

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