Learning something new everyday

Toad lily (Tricyrtis hirta)I can’t imagine being the kind of person who already knows it all. I spend almost every moment trying to catch up – if I’m not finding something new to know, I’m quizzing myself on what I thought I knew and being schooled again on what I’ve already forgotten. I opened my eyes in the Rock Garden this morning and saw Toad lilies (Tricyrtis hirta) that I don’t ever remember noticing there before. As a matter of fact, I read a post about them recently (can’t remember where … whoever wrote it, please send a comment and I’ll plant a link! -click here and here) and I thought (or maybe even said in a comment?) “I wonder why we don’t we have those? – Gotta put them on the list…” A new (old?) path has opened up in my brain!Tricyrtis hirta (Toad lily) in the Rock GardenTricyrtis hirta (Toad lily)

And how could I forget Thistle (Onopordum acanthium) – an outstanding biennial - in the Idea Beds? (oops! Gail took one look and said “but it’s not a thistle! – It’s an artichoke.” duh. !) It took a monarch to remind me.Monarch on the Thistle (Onopordum acanthium)

Speaking of biennials (plants which grow leafy the first season then bloom, set seed and die in their second season)Gail plants the foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) seedlings, I’ve learned a good trick for more-blooms-no-waiting. We appropriated some foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) seedlings to flower in the North Garden and Cutting Garden next year: In July we sowed seeds from the Dry Shade Bed foxglove and dug seedlings from around other mother plants by the Summer House. We grew the babies on in the greenhouse and planted most of them out in the Cutting Garden yesterday. Gail chose Cutting Garden beds with good winter drainage and we’ll move any survivors from there into new locations next spring. We’ll also plant some in the North Garden in a few weeks when we remove and divide some of the Phlox. With any luck we’ll have flowers and new biennial banks to draw from next year.

Diane, one of the Florabundas, is learning something new today too. DJ Garrity, Mt. Rushmore artist in residence, is teaching Diane and a few others how to carve stone. Over the next couple of days Diane will release the person she sees inside her block of marble (Move over Rodin!).

Diane sculpts - day oneemergence - day 2

And what did you learn today? (By any chance, have you learned what this vining weed is??) Mystery vine on the compost fence - help!

9 thoughts on “Learning something new everyday

  1. Kris: I have forgotten more than I have learned…wait a minute, that would be tabula rasa wouldn’t it? LOL I have to over learn things these days! I heard DJ Garrity on the GG this past weekend and subsequently looked at his web site which is unbelievable! I can’t wait to see who emerges from Diane’s block! Wish I had signed up for that… I did not learn that vining weed and my tricyrtis do not look nearly as fine as yours!

  2. I’ve learned that I don’ t know what that vining weed is. Not sure if I ever knew or forgot, but I don’t know now. Every day there is something new to learn!

  3. the viney weed looks like a wild sweet pea that shook hands with a bindweed. could not find anything that looked like it, but did find some great weed/vine names – fetid passionflower, love in a puff and hotentot fig – why are people not naming their children after these plants?

  4. Layanee, I’ll bet Diane can’t wait to see who emerges from her block either! It looks like a painstakingly slow process – stone carving is delayed gratification gardener style!

    Carol, I learned something new this very moment – May’s comment led me to look up bindweed which led me directly to a picture of our weed – it’s Wild buckwheat (Polygonum convolvulus) – and now we know!

    Thank you, May! And there are those of us (just me?) who might name our children love in a puff, hotentot or my new favorite Fallopia (Fallopia convolvulus is the synonym for the new weed). A child would never forgive me but a dog wouldn’t mind a fig!…

  5. Hi Angie – Could have been! I’ve added a link to your post up above – thank you!

  6. someone else already id’ed your wild buckwheat, (which I fight with each summer) but I’ll just echo your and other thoughts–that learning something new every day is a very good thing. Especially about plants, which are such a delightful bounty of neverending things to learn about. (awkward sentence, but you get the sentiment.)

    I’ve got my first toad lilies in bloom and will post a bit about them next time.

  7. I think you left that comment on my Bloom Day Post. I am glad to see that you have some after all. Now you can start to collect some of the species and cultivars ;-)

  8. Jodi – I just noticed wild buckwheat in my own yard — eeeu!

    Chris – aha! and I left a comment and everything! I’ve added a link to your September archives up above – folks should scroll down to the 15th (Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day). It looks like we have at least 3 different Tricyrtis – a white, a pale splotchy and a dark splotchy – probably they have more official names than that…! (I’ll be looking them up later)

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