the elves

It’s already been a weird week of elfish triumph, freakish nature and things that nightmares are made of.

First the triumphs:Deadheads planting the Cutting Garden 5-29-07 our garden elves and selves yesterday planted the cutting garden and spread leaf mulch (every one of us was eyeing it jealously – why can’t we all have arboretum leaves for our own gardens?!) and the Rockettes Rockettes in the North Garden 5-30-07changed venue to attend to post-planting details in the North Garden. A fresh layer of buckwheat hull mulch makes that garden look extra fancypants!

The leaf pile gave us this little treasure yesterday — qu’est-ce que c’est??garden art

And I noticed this little sporty thing in a North Garden Clematis integrifolia today Clematis integrifolia freakish flower— it’s hard to tell but it seems to be one of the petals choosing a different path in life. (“I always felt like a leaf in a petals body…”) Anyone else notice this sort of thing ever?

As for nightmares – I was too bereft to take pictures: we lost a bunch of dahlias to rot. I was feeling so smug for packing them so diligently and – I thought – so successfully in sawdust last fall. As a matter of fact, I unpacked some and potted them up on the 18th and they were fine! Less than a week later Gail went to unpack more and noticed the wildlife (gnats… a family of mice…) and rot… What happened???!!

and I had to take a picture of this because if anything causes me to question my calling in life, it’s a tangle of garden hose…snarl

Phyllostachys aureosulcata (Yellow groove bamboo)But miracles bring me back from the brink — the bamboo shoots are up! We’re often asked if we sell it — we don’t. It’s the kind of thing that makes neighbors angry when it runs to their side of the fence and under foundations! (say it with me — “it’s invasive!”) There are nurseries that stock it though if you’ve got the space to let it run. We (I mean, the guys) mow the edges of our grove to keep it in bounds.

4 thoughts on “the elves

  1. Kris: Interesting clematis transformation! That tangle of hose reminds me of my own! Hope you sorted it out!

  2. ugh. yes it’s sorted. I had to go to my happy place while we worked on it! I’m waiting for someone to design one that is self-winding and non-snarling and light as a feather… Too much to ask?

  3. Hi – My friend and I enjoyed talking to you in your new garden bed last Friday, and I decided to join Blithewold, partly just because your garden is so gorgeous, and partly to learn from you and your volunteers. We have just moved here from Virginia, (near Mt. Vernon – I have probably seen the mother plantings of your Chestnut Rose!) and now live on the windy, windy coast of the Providence River, so I need to learn a lot about coastal gardening in zone 6. I was amazed, and heartened, to see the pictures of your rock garden inundated – by seawater? – in the big April storm, and to see how great it looked last Friday. The bottom of our yard was also under about 8 inches of bay for about half a day. Despite that, daylilies, solomon’s seal and some kind of harsh green grass are carrying on vigorously, and a hydrangea I had recently transplanted there is leafing out. Do you think upright yews and Japanese pine can survive (hopefully) occasional inundations of salt water? I need to plant to hold the soil in an area that is probably 4-5 feet above mean high tide. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Re your “bizzaro” question, the white papery contraption appears to be part of a paper wasp nest. Good thing you found it with no inhabitants! They probably got disturbed before they completed the nest.

    Regards –


  4. Welcome to Blithewold, Susan!! I’m so glad you decided to become a member!
    Finding plants that don’t just hate seawater is a challenge but lucky for you, there are plenty of resources. In “Gardening by the Sea from Coast to Coast”, Daniel Foley writes that yews are not as salt tolerant as pines and also need protection in windy sites. “Trees for American Gardens” and “Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens” both by Donald Wyman, have lists of plants suitable for seaside planting. And now that you are discovering beautiful RI, take your cues from fellow gardeners with similar conditions!
    Funny thing about the wasps’ nest is that we found 2 at the same stage of completion in the same pile of leaf mulch! Poor buggers must have been so frustrated!

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