Friday, May 30, 2008

Pregnancy is Distracting

It finally happened: my urge to nest switched from gardening to acquiring baby goods and setting up the nursery. My last big effort in the garden was planting the strawberries. After that, the heat, and bending over, and the threat of ticks turned it into a chore. So instead I have been lavishing in the joys of yard sales, Craig’s List, and Babies R Us, while watching new leaves and flowers emerge, and teasing Chris about his ugly garden fence and cute bunnies.

Various invasives have finally identified themselves in the yard. The two young maples with deep purple-red leaves are a cultivar of Norway Maple called “Crimson King”. While taking them out may be a hollow gesture with them in so many yards here, their removal will mean space for fruit trees. But anyway, that’s a project for another year. Aside from that, the beautiful purple flowers that the rabbits haven’t eaten are Dame’s Rocket, and will have to go. There are also several bush honeysuckles, including a giant one with pink blossoms. Up in the front of my raspberry row is what turns out to be a glossy buckthorn; now I have an excuse to replace it with some sort of evergreen. And I’m fairly certain that the many little rosebushes that popped up in the woods are multiflora rose. But now that the poison ivy is out, I’ll have to wait until the late fall or next spring to tackle those.

It really is a lovely tree. Too bad.

More interesting natives have turned up. In our pitiful excuse for a lawn there is blue toadflax and barren strawberry. A cottonwood tree in the back showered us with fuzzy seeds. The humble groundcover in the woods revealed itself to be Canada mayflower.

I’m afraid I have been too busy being pregnant to get recent photos of most of these things! Here is the Canada mayflower a few weeks ago, with blooms ready to open.

I also spotted Soloman’s seal in the woods, almost ready to bloom, just in time for it to be eaten.

Also eaten: much of my New England aster (I watched the bunny do it), most of my Swiss chard, the winter squash that we had been growing indoors since February, and few nasturtiums. But I have been lucky: the plants I have invested most of my time in have flourished: the raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus. The lupines that I transplanted have been real troopers, despite the aphids, and I have had much luck potting up jack-in-the-pulpit, lupines, and ground cherry for an upcoming plant-swap. And the bleeding heart that I transplanted from its previous home under the deck has grown to embarrassing proportions, getting in the way of my frog-pond path. It will have to be moved next spring, and perhaps divided into several smaller plants.

It turns out that jack-in-the-pulpit isn’t just present in the yard, it’s ubiquitous, springing up in droves along the path, and even in the flowerbed by the porch. The seeds for these volunteers must have been waiting in the soil for years, because I harvested last fall's crop and dumped them all into one location.

No comments: