June Notes 2018

The sweet scent of sweet bay magnolia fills the air.

Somehow I find this rusty old fence adds mysterious allure to this garden.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a sucker for what some might call an unkempt garden. The kind without too much edging, some ivy gone amuck, a dead tree, a rusty fence.

But this is not what I’d had in mind.

My front yard / suppose to be meadow, is looking more like a fresh cut cornfield. I think planting winter rye as a nurse crop for my not so native meadow seeds may have been a mistake. In another area where I just planted meadow seeds, I’ve got a thick stand of black eyed Susan and foxglove beardtongue seedlings. But here. Well, there’s a little black eyed Susan, some lettuce and violets…

I’m very tempted to run out and plant some baby’s breath seeds. Maybe I should cut down that lonely looking milkweed and fleabane. At this point, I’ve been running some scenarios through my head. On the one hand it would be better for the seeds and soil to wait until the winter rye decomposes and some of the not so native seeds I planted might grow. I’ve been thinking about ordering a mint or grass that doesn’t require stratification and planting that now and then maybe adding other things later. I’m also thinking about buying some plants and sticking them in the ground.

Or I could and probably should wait. I’ve found when it comes to gardening, acting in haste is usually not a good idea. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep a low profile.

On the other hand, the back garden or as I like to call it, the swamp garden, is doing ok. The rabbit fence worked even though I almost stepped on a baby rabbit who somehow got in.

And we got rain. Lots of it. There is more lettuce than we can eat but believe me we are trying. I gave a few bags to neighbors and a few more to the local food bank. It is terribly hard knowing how much to pick, when to pick it and how much to give away before the plants start turning into bitter lettuce trees.

The swale is doing what it should, catching run-off. While weeding it, I discovered a song sparrow nest with some eggs snuggled neatly in a mound of switchgrass. I went and got my camera but when I returned the mother was in it. She just looked at me and didn’t make a sound. So I left her alone. I’ve checked it a few times since but I’m always a little scared something bad may have happened.

The deer have discovered my garden. They’ve been doing a good job of trimming back the asters, violets and unfortunately my tomatoes and a pepper plant. I put tomato cages around them and I’ll hope for the best.

Redbud seedling

I discovered another redbud seedling. It’s in a pretty good spot too so I’ll leave it.

The plants of the month are Virginia creeper that’s threatening to over take our house, and fleabane.

Whoever said fleabane has low pollinator value.

I’ve decided I’m probably going to try and give away some of my hollies and a cedar. I think they’re going to get too big and go all into the neighbor’s yard or something. Or maybe not. It will be hard to part with them.

But I won’t give away this southern magnolia which will someday hopefully tower over my garden.

One day, I went out with my super lens and stood right in front of the field of milkweed. Here is what I saw from that spot.



This well fed baby grackle is pretty cute.

And the mosquitoes are biting. Summer is here.