Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tragedy by the garden shed door

Under the eaves by the front door of the Garden Shed, I've been watching a robin build a messy nest.

Whoops! What happened? Was she a klutzy mom? Did a predator get into the nest? But then why wasn't the egg consumed? Someone suggested maybe a cowbird replaced one of her eggs. I'm going to have to keep watching.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wildflowers in Bed 1

Bed 1 in the formal garden (northeast corner) has a collection of wildflowers so visitors can examine them up close. This is a cutleaf toothwort. I resisted the urge to increase the saturation so the violet edges would pop, but this shows their delicate coloring. In the woods they appear to be white.

Another favorite spring flower is bloodroot. This patch is in the garden but they are scattered throughout the woods. The name comes from the red "dye" exuded by the roots.

Can you identify this plant? It's just starting to emerge.
Yes, it is a Jack-in-the-pulpit. I'll try to post picture when it blooms.

More wildflowers blooming

The trout lilies are one of my favorite spring flowers, yellow and dark red with their trout-like foliage. Gene called them adders tongue lilies. I'd rather have a trout than an adder under foot though.

And they carpet large areas of the forest each spring and then disappear.

Sometimes the trout lilies hang out with mayapples.

The previous post showed some wildflowers by the spring. Here's another picture from the same area...a large patch of skunk cabbage.

On the way to the spring is a Virginia bluebell just starting to bloom. There is also a large patch of these flowers on the east side of the entry drive.

What's Blooming Now

This is a woodland anemone, Anemonequinquefolia.
There is a large patch of the wood anemone on the east side of the cabin.

I had not seen marsh marigolds until I started working at the site.

Here is the reason they are called MARSH marigolds. The boardwalk was built over the winter and now it is easier to see the wildflowers growing in the seep near the spring.

The hepatica just started to bloom.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

43,560 and I need your help!

The formal garden at Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site is one acre. When someone today asked me how many square feet of garden I tended, I told them one acre, having never calculated the square feet. Well, it's 43,560 square feet. That's a lot of garden for one part-time seasonal employee, especially with this spring challenge. I am so grateful for all who volunteer.

We are having a garden work day on Saturday May 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. Lunch is provided, but you need to RSVP. Volunteers will also be given a tour of the Cabin if requested. So grab your gloves and your favorite hand tools and join us for a fun, productive day.

If you would like to help, but aren't up to the heavy labor part of gardening, we have seeds that need to be put in envelopes and labeled. If you would rather spend time in the woods than in the garden, there will be some grounds projects also.

And a lot of the spring ephemeral flowers will be in full bloom!!

Am I stopping just short of begging? Good.