May Notes 2017

Sometimes you have to stop whatever it is you’re doing and look at something pretty like blue eyed grass, one of the only things blooming in my garden at the moment which makes them all the more beautiful. Other things blooming are white false indigo and sage. I’ll be trying to propagate more of these things by dividing the blue eyed grass in the fall and collecting seed pods from the false indigo and planting them in late summer.

I read an article in the New York Times that inspired me to focus my attention on design. Even though I majored in art, design is one of those things that’s hard for me. I guess I’ve got so many other things to focus on like weeding and making rain gardens and a swale and then stabilizing them and just getting things to grow. Oh yeah, and that thing of supporting myself and other more specialized life forms. Anyhow the article made me realize that good design might work even better for achieving these goals. So maybe someday when I get the time, I’ll think more about design.

I was just about to give up on the columbine when I spotted these tiny seedlings amongst clover and violets. They will get the royal treatment for sure.

I’m doing my best to ignore ground ivy as it seems to distract me from other priorities like getting a bed ready for these sweet potato slips I grew myself from a Southern Exposure Seed Exchange’s All Purple, saved from last year and Jewel sweet potato I bought from the grocery store.

Ignoring ground ivy is making me philosophize about invasive species and what we as humans and gardeners should and can do about them. It’s amazing how gardening opens up so many heavy and philosophical questions.

Still no sign of New England asters, goldenrod or Gray’s sedge from the seeds I planted in my swale in the fall but there’s no shortage of the common milkweed, swamp rose and volunteer white snakeroot.

I was so excited to get some shots of the swale in action after a strange hailstorm. See all that ground cover? 90% ground ivy.

I’m obsessing about what to do with these overgrown asparagus beds (I guess I was a little too friendly with the violets). Anyway, should I plant a new batch of asparagus? Or maybe perennial onions? Or a mix of the two? Or blueberries mixed with grasses that I won’t ever have to dig up again and will look beautiful in the fall and the birds will get all the berries anyway? For now, I think I’ll do some more thinking while I enjoy the blue eyed grass.

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