Friday, April 30, 2010

Wildflower Walk at Fort Campbell & Green Thumb

From In the Garden

As a companion post to my Wildflower Wednesday post I thought I'd share some wildflowers growing at my favorite spot to walk on Fort Campbell. Prior to beginning blogging a few years ago I had always enjoyed this walk and all the flowers along the way, but never knew what they were. I now try to identify each of the flowers and have a greater appreciation for the diversity on Fort Campbell simply because I know a little bit about the flowers. Does that make sense? Anyhow, let's take a walk today. I warn you there are two teenagers and Mr. Fix-it along for the walk. I probably should've warned them that I'd be snapping wildflower pictures. They were good sports though and didn't mind mom lagging behind a bit.

The above picture is taken from a bridge along a creek where many folks stop to fish, picnic or just to hang out. We always like to pause in this area, kick off our shoes and wade in the water.

Under the very same bridge where I took the picture there is a colony of what I believe to be cliff swallows. I so enjoy these guys swooping and diving after all the bugs in this area. Their nests are pretty cool too. When I worked up top at Clarksville Base we had a family of these swallows build their nest just above the front door to our building; which was not a smart thing to do. It's much safer under the bridge for nests and nestlings.

There are a few bridges crossing this stream. The view to the other bridges is quite scenic and tranquil.

Under the second bridge is a series of columns that seems to go on forever in both directions. It's quite a cool spot to look at the underpinnings of a bridge.
Look closely at this picture. I include it for Jimmy. He is into free running and enjoyed jumping, running, and climbing on this walk. See him on the left? I was fortunate to capture him off the ground. There is nothing I love better than teenagers when they are out exercising. Think happy endorphins that stay with said teenagers for several hours; which makes for pleasant relations between teens and parents. I tried to walk my kids a lot when the older ones were teens. 'Nuff said.
Okay, back to wildflowers. The woodland phlox was in full bloom. It's probably hard to see in this picture but it is the light purple on top of these rocks. The phlox grows everywhere in these woods and smells so good.
I believe this is a bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) but I could be wrong. Please let me know the correct identification if you know it. It grows wild all along the road. I also have it in my garden but it is too small to bloom. I know it is a buckeye but not sure of the cultivar or type.
Now here is an interesting combination. I know these umbrella plants are mayapples (Podaphyllum peltatum). I also have these in my garden and they are in bloom right now. The round leaved plant next to them is perhaps ginger? I'm not sure. There is also a cut leaf plant to the top of the picture which I have no idea what it can be.
I think this is some kind of toothwort and trout lilies (Erythronium americanum). There was a whole hill of these lilies and it was simply splendid! I chose to post the close up but do have a picture of the hill. Unfortunately, on our walk the trout lilies had already bloomed out. The seed capsules were very visible just waiting to spread themselves around.
And of course I think everyone knows these pretties, Virginia bluebells. There are whole glades full of shining blue flowers. Simply stunning is the only way to describe the beauty.

There are more wildflowers on Clarksville Base as well as native trees. This area is fairly untouched by invasives but I did notice some multiflora, Japanese honeysuckle, and perilla. I'll post on the trees perhaps another day. If only they could talk I can imagine the stories they would tell us.

Finally, here are the two teenagers who honored Mr. Fix-it and I with their presence. Both boys had a great time walking the long trail on Clarksville Base. These two boys are trying to start a band and are very into guitars and singing. I'm always in awe of musically inclined people since I could never carry a tune to save my life, can't read music, and could never get the rhythm right with breathing or anything else, let's not even talk dancing. And believe me, I tried when I was a teen as my mother will attest. Music is not in my genes but Jimmy (left) and Clint (right) enjoy it enough for all of us. They were good sports to come along on our wildflower walk....

in the garden....

I need to let my local readers know about the Green Thumb Festival scheduled from 8 am-4 pm tomorrow, May 1st at the Habitat Re-Store on Madison Street in Clarksville. This festival is for all things gardening. Guess you know I'll be there-all day. This is the first annual Green Thumb Festival. Its purpose is to bring awareness to the Habitat Re-Store and to celebrate gardening season with local vendors and gardening enthusiasts. There will be lots of classes on diverse subjects such as landscaping and rain barrels, vendors and plenty of plants-just in time for gardening season. Come on out and enjoy the company of fellow gardeners!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where are the Bushes?

By Skeeter
As you know, we left our Georgia Garden during Easter to partake in the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC. While visiting with the Saints family, his mother told us a horrifying story. She awoke one morning to find a stick where the Plum Tree we gave her once stood! As you can see, it has survived the jaws of death and is making a comeback.
She also found a bush missing in her landscaped yard! I cannot recall what this bush was but it was standing next to an Maple Leaf Hydrangea which was intact. Thank goodness.
This Pussy-willow was caught in the jaws of death as well. What remains of the willow is now securely behind wire.

What should be a bush full of fluff, is skimpy this year.
Who or what destroyed these plants?

She looked across the yard and into the neighbors lawn to find missing bushes there as well.
Bushes with no bush!
Mere sticks were large healthy bushes once stood tall.
What is going on here?
An entire row of hedge now gone. Figure this one out yet? Hint, the Saints parents live on a lake. Where there is water, there are beavers! And here I complain about the pesky squirrels when a pair of beaver destroyed many plants in one night. The beavers were caught by a professional and are now living elsewhere. Hopefully not near any gardeners.

I am so happy I don't have to deal with Beavers. No waking up and asking WHERE ARE THE BUSHES, In the Garden...

Note: I am still out and about but will pop in when time allows. Have a great weekend!

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday

From In the Garden

Instead of highlighting just one wildflower in my garden, I thought I'd try to get snapshots of several of the natives/wildflowers in my garden as they bloom during this month. Spring seems to be the best time for wildflowers so here goes with some wildflowers growing in Tiger Gardens. The first picture highlights Two Winged Silverbell (Halesia diptera 'Magniflora'). It is a new addition just this past fall. I purchased it from GroWild in Fairview and really did not expect it to bloom this spring. I am overjoyed it is blooming and doing well. Note the striped bark, an interesting feature of these trees. In addition to the two winged silverbell and bloodroot I showcased last month here are a few other natives/wildflowers blooming in my gardens...Phlox divaricata 'May Breeze', aka Woodland Phlox, also blooming is a purple variety. I love these more than any other wildflower in my garden! The fragrance, ease of growth and big show they put on more than earn their keep.

Waterleaf (
Hydrophyllum virginianum). I had an awful hard time identifying this wildflower. The rosettes of leaves are somewhat variegated when the plant is young. These leaves completely change when the plant is ready to bloom. It was not until it bloomed that I could figure it out. I enjoy this plant as it is a survivor. It grows well with the bloodroot and trout lilies.

Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus)

Crested Iris 'Tennessee White' (Iris cristata 'Tennessee White')

Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Leucothoe 'Rainbow' (Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow')

Green and Gold (Chrsyogonum virginianum)

Mayapples (Podophylum peltatum)

Variegated Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum odoratum var. thunbergii)

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Native Columbine (Columbine canadense)

Pussytoes (Antennaria ?)

Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Trillium (Trillium sessile?)

Please join Gail at Clay and Limestone for more Wildflower Wednesday posts.

I will also be posting wildflowers this Friday to showcase some wildflowers located at Clarksville Base, Fort Campbell, Kentucky....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Freebies are the Best!

By Skeeter One day the Saint drove past our house as we were headed back home. We live on a dead-end street and I was wondering where he was going. He told me to just hush and I would soon know. He took me to a neighbor's house to see if I was interested in some freebies for my Georgia Garden. Well, yes, you know Free is my Friend!

This neighbor and my hubby car pool together as they work near each other. He purchased a house on our street about 2 years ago and has been slowly renovating it on the inside. Now they are ready to start working on the yard. The previous homeowner was a gardener and added many dogwoods, azaleas, evergreens, lilies amongst other pretty things to their landscaping over the many years they called this house home. The new homeowner, which I shall refer to as Dee, and his wife are not into gardening. They want to simplify the landscaping and keep things which will attracts bees away from the house. They have two young girls which do not need to be stung by bees. The lilies attract bees and they had to go. Dee was going to toss them all into a ditch but the Saint told him I may be interested in them. Ah, what a Saint I have to think of me in such a time of need. We came home with two truck loads of lilies for free! I have no idea what kind of lilies I now call my very own but I do know there are two different types. Dee says they are orange in color but that's all he knows about them.
Just look at those healthy Freebies!
When the Saint asked if I wanted the lilies, I rushed to the shed and grabbed all the empty pots I could find. I used the pots from the failed Container Vegetable Garden. Thank goodness I still had them in them in the shed. Dee had dug them all out a few days prior to me taking them but they were moist from recent rains. I knew they would not stay moist for long so I jumped into action quickly. I picked up each grouping he had dug out and placed them in the pots while Dee and the Saint loaded them in the bed of the truck for me. Then once home, I put them on the ground near where I had planned to plant some of them.
I chose the front of the Semi-Formal Garden on each side of the new arbor we created. I would love to extend them all the way to the end of the garden (on the left side in the above picture) but this area was still too soggy on planting day. That area is much lower then the remainder of the garden. I have yet to decided what will work with soggy winter conditions and also dry summer conditions during heatwave and drought times. I had to extend the garden outward by digging into the grass about 2 feet along the entire front of the Semi-Formal Garden. Digging out sod made a second chore for me. I was taking the sod and adding it to bare spots in the lawn.
I thought I could knock out that job in a few hours but it took me an entire day to get the sod out and in its new place and the lilies in their new place. It was a hot day and in the full sun so I had to take several water breaks to keep me hydrated.
I still ended up with a headache as I lost more water then I was putting into my body. But I am happy with the results of my hard work. Well, really play as I was having a ball digging in the dirt!
I ended up with 4 clumps on each side with plenty of room for them to spread. Each container had at least 6 if not more plants in them. I really needed to divide them but I had so many that needed to get into the ground that I did not take time to divide them. We can do that another day like say once they get established in a year or so. I think the total container count was 35 or there about. Yes, For Free!
My first lilies were little Dwarf's the Saint brought home to me while on a mission to replace my broken hand shovel. He was standing in line at the Garden Center and picked up two of the cuties. That was 2 years ago and I have been hooked on them! I added several new lilies to the half circle planter on the right last year. So decided to add some of the smaller Free ones to the left planter.
Here they are mingling with Balloon Flower and Lambs ear. Some things will be moved as they grow larger but will be fine for now.
Here is a close up of the round planter for this spring. I hope she fills in soon as I really like a full planter. Voluntary Black-eyed Susan, Dusty Miller, Salvia and Marigold from small slips from 6-packs and Dianthus. St Francis watches over them.
If you were wondering what is behind the new lilies, (to the right of the birdbath) here is that close-up, being Lavender. The bees are buzzing up a storm on this plant as they love it.

I had to extend an old bed and create a new bed for more of the lilies. I also received a statue and birdbath from Dee as he did not want them! You will see those at another time. Gee, FREEBIES ARE THE BEST, In the Garden...

Note: I have plans to depart my Georgia Garden for a few days so I will be MIA for a bit. I will pop in to say hey when I get a chance. I will be around to visit as soon as I am able. Everyone enjoy these beautiful mild temps while we have them...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden

Monday, April 26, 2010

Plant ID and an Update

Posted by: Dawn

Remember we commented about being someplace and spying a unusual plant or annual in a public place, and feeling as though you had to have it? Yes, every gardener has clipped a few, pulled a few and I have even known a gardener who's dug a few! I would never go that far because I'd be so nervous!

Anyway, for me, this is that plant. Last fall, my Mother in Law went to the hospital for a inpatient procedure, when my husband and I picked her up late that night we both were in awe over the 50 yards of garden that was next to the walkway and four feet wide. The only thing growing in it was Riegers begonia and this plant pictured above provided the height in the background.

Well, considering both plants would die once the frost got to them (right?) I pinched a top of one and came home with a teeny, weeny sample. It stayed short (not even 3 inches) for quite sometime until I moved it to a brighter place. Does anyone know what it is? I'm fairly sure it's a annual, the leaves are veined and leathery feeling and it's purple underneath. It needs bright light, will bounce back from lack of water. I'm guessing it's maximum height is about 15 inches. I'd like to purchase more of it for an area outside so I can enjoy it in the garden. Any help would be appreciated.

I wanted to mention our bird feeder from my last post, these photos were taken April 12th, by the 19th, the Styrofoam was bare and had to be removed for fear my woodpecker would injure himself. He is not the smartest bird and I'm faintly aware there is a nest close by. My female has given me a swoop with a displeased warning when I've walked around the yard. If I were braver I'd purchase something for them to munch on, although I'm not quite sure what that would be.

My chick-a-dees have had a ball, pun intended. In the Garden

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden