Carol at May Dreams Gardens
has once again been an inspiration with her post on watching for the crocus as a sign of spring. While some of the large flowering crocus vernus bloom later, with the daffodils here in Tennessee, we have planted some of the baby ones, Crocus chrysanth
, shown above and in the following photos. A good number were planted the first year of the knot garden, 2000. Squirrels have plundered their numbers ruthlessly. Because they are shallow planted bulbs, the frost/thaw cycle pushes them right up out of the ground. The rodents don’t even have to do any digging to munch until their rotten bellies swell. Miraculously, there are still a few of the crocus left to give that first color boost of spring. The flowers are fleeting, opening on a warm day with a little sunshine to coax the petals to unclasp, a sodden brown mess with the next cold snap. Yellow crocus were also planted around the edge of the brick lined beds, but they must be the more tasty morsels to the squirrels, for they are now gone.
Somebody took a bite out of this one but left enough to give a cheering bloom when the sun comes over the shed. These crocus are so small, see how it is dwarfed by the moss growing on the old brick.
Walking around with camera at the ready one’s gaze turns to the Loblolly pines, Pinus taeda along the street. We had a fierce wind last night that accompanied a good drenching rain. Nothing like Lisa at Greenbow, however. These trees are notorious for their limb drop in conditions such as that. Let’s look for any branches that need tidied up.
Uh oh. Here is a pine branch right next to the young redbud, Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’.
Look at that terrible wound on the trunk at the far right of the photo.
This is not good, not good at all. This is the third, and final, attempt to grow this tree successfully. The first and second redbuds of this variety died their first season, reason unknown. Something is iffy about this particular cultivar. The native redbuds grow like weeds, literally, in this same bed. Several large ones have been cut down as they produce too much shade for anything else to grow underneath the spreading canopy of their heart shaped leaves. Their babies are still sprouting from seed dropped years ago. Planted in 2003, this Forest Pansy even bloomed last year despite the last killing freeze and subsequent drought. And now this. Bad luck.
This will be his memorial, leafed out in purple splendor in his final healthy year. Does anyone think the wound left by the falling pine branch is not fatal? Could there be hope of survival? Some tree wrapping paper was purchased for the damaged pyrachantha, would that help if used on the redbud? In the meantime, get out the catalogs. Let’s look at what could possibly take the place of Forest Pansy. Best to plan ahead is the motto at Faire Garden.
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