Archive for the ‘native vines’ Category

OUR SPRING GARDEN 2013 RETROSPECTIVE, PART TWO: THE END OF SPRING HAS ARRIVED

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Spring 2013 has reached its final hours as of this writing. It seems as if the transition from Spring into Summer gets lost in the lush green world.  The violent storms that rage across the Midwest, and grass and trees growing with the utmost vigor are all the  makings of a late spring. This season of Spring offers such a wide variety of weather conditions, colors and skies that it leads to confusion about it still being winter or all of a sudden summertime. This one season most notably has no on-off switch. It can be totally winter on its early days and totally summer in its later days, but this season is still Spring and we would be cheating ourselves out of that Spring feeling if we fail to get it into perspective through it all.

After the Equinox of late June, is when Spring officially ends, and on both sides of this moment are the transitional signs.

Spring is over when the Mayapples flop over leaving their ripe fruit on the ground to be consumed by Box Turtles. Spring is over when the last degree of bright green freshness in the leaves of trees is turned over into a deeper green maturity…The fruits of Jack-in-The Pulpit begin to mature into bright red clusters….. The last flowers of the Columbine finally wither away….  The last of the Bloodroot seeds has been dispersed by the ants, and some of the leaves begin to show signs of age, some with holes and yellowed edges.

The  invasive Garlic Mustard begins to turn purple and the seedpods harden and become brittle.

Spring being over has so many signs, surely everyone can think of something that changes, often a plant in the yard, or an insect or bird sighting. In this period, knowing that Spring is over for you becomes your own personal ending and the beginning of the transition into Summer.

For us it was the flopped-over, yellowed Mayapples in the Core forests of Morris Park that signaled the end of Spring, ones we saw as we busied ourselves trying to pull out and bag as much Garlic Mustard as possible, before it is too late. (When the seeds mature, they ‘pop’ out and spread if we touch the plant, making this invasive problem worsen)

For you, dear readers, please let us know what your End-Of-Spring moment is!

And now, please do ooh and awe at the bountiful plants and flowers in our Spring Garden! Here they are:

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

This mid to late Spring scene in our garden, pictured above is blooming Columbine, Coral Honeysuckle and Wild Geranium with Christmas fern and Wild Ginger.

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

Above, the Heuchera americana has beautiful red leaves and creates a nice contrast to the very green backdrop.

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

This Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) is a favorite Mid to Late Spring garden plant. Enjoy these amazing purple blooms. This specific plant is just growing on its own, having reseeded itself naturally, being that it grows naturally in the adjacent Morris Park. The specimens in Morris Park almost never bloom or go to seed because of excessive deer browsing. The seeds from this plant are saved and dispersed into the park in an effort to maintain the local population of this species and stave off extirpation, which is the extinction of a local population.

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

Above, the Wild Geranium blooming away in that distinctive Spring sun.

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

Above, the Coral Honeysuckle, the Lonicera sempervirens, blooming away.  This is an indigenous vine which is very useful for attracting Hummingbirds. It will cover your fence or arbor and bloom away for months on end, transcending the seasonal changes. This plant is our main Hummingbird attraction. We do not have a Hummingbird feeder, so we rely on a variety of other plants as well, especially as Spring transitions into Summer.

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

From left to right: Ostrich fern, Blooming Columbine (also a hummingbird plant), Jack -in-the-Pulpit, Maidenhair Fern and Mayapples on the right hand foreground.

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

Above, The Maidenhair fern grows very well in the rowhouse urban garden. It likes the protection of cliffs. This watering can got very little use this Spring 2013, except for whatever plants were transplanted or nursery purchased, such as a bunch of Cardinal Flower we bought for the Hummingbirds.

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The native Irises, we proudly display for you.

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

So, there you have it, Spring is now over with, at least for the most part. Perhaps we will see more bits of Spring-like behavior in the upcoming weather or plant and wildlife behavior as the days proceed beyond the Equinox.

Enjoy the transition!

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

The Spring Garden of The Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, 2013, www.thesanguineroot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIVE HONEYSUCKLE BLOOMS IN MORRIS PARK

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Amidst a sea of the invasive Japanese honeysuckle is found a jewel in the park. Growing in an area that has lost much of its tall trees, where there is more sun, the coral honeysuckle climbs up just a few trees.

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

The fused leaf just below the flower is a distinctive quality of the vine.

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

A great garden specimen, this plant is available in at plant nurseries. It can flower all summer long if it is planted in a good location.

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

This vine also attracts hummingbirds.

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

They do not have the aroma of the Japanese Honeysuckle, however its many other qualities more than make up for that. We had the Japanese honeysuckle in our yard growing up the fence. After ripping it out and planting the native one, we got more flowering and the hummingbirds. Somewhere there is a family of them now planning the 1000 + mile trip up to Philly this spring so they can live near our vine.

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

Lonicera sempervirens, the native Coral Honeysuckle blooms in Morris Park, Philadelphia

Choose a sunny spot for your contribution to the hummingbird ecosystem.

 

GARDENING WITH THE SANGUINE ROOT

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Sanguinaria canadensis

Gardening season has begun! The last leaves of bloodroot  turning yellow and wilting in late Fall signals the beginning of gardening season for the Sanguine Root horticultural staff. We begin by ceremoniously digging up a bloodroot root and breaking it into pieces. The new root segments are then replanted in new suitable locations on the grounds.

 

Bloodroot,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bloodroot, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A bloodroot leaf still holds on to the root mass.  Each white bud will send up a leaf and a flower in March 2012.  The embryonic form of the leaf and flower are waiting inside the structure of the bud.

Bloodroot,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bloodroot, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Above is the root, below is the Flower.

Bloodroot,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bloodroot, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The gardening fun in November gets better. Time to thin the Mayapple Patch.  Mayapple is a beautiful plant that makes a great garden addition.  This year we had so many flowers they were  crowding each other out.  We found a new spot to create a Mayapple patch in the backyard. This spot was nothing but a mess of weeds, notably Japanese stiltgrass, a noxious invasive exotic.

Podophyllum peltatum

Mayapple,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mayapple, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gardening in the fall has few risks and is less labor-intensive.  It is also better for learning about the basics of each plant gardened.  The root of the matter, so to speak.    Dig it up, wash it, check it out and learn about the amazing beauty of roots.  Share it with a neighbor and let them experience the joy of root gardening. The washed root will insure that your neighbor will not get your weeds.  Don’t have to worry about your transplant wilting and dying!  It has all winter to adjust to its new digs.  In fact the root mass will grab onto the soil and settle in. By January it will be connected into the new earth, ready to roll for Spring.

Mayapple,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mayapple, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This Mayapple Patch, above, was planted from bare root a few seasons before.   Below is Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum commutatum), another woodland perennial that likes to be dug up, broken into pieces and replanted.  It’s as if these plants are designed for gardeners to fuss over!  This specimen still has its leaves.

Polygonatum commutatum

Solomon's Seal,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Solomon's Seal, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Those healthy white buds are a reminder of the vitality of this plant. It must have had a good season in our yard. We did find some Bloodroot that had a bit of rot around the edges of its roots this year.  Bloodroot is not tolerant of poorly drained soils, and we have had a lot of rain this year.

Below is the Solomon’s Seal broken up into healthy segments ready to take over a patch of Japanese stiltgrass and to help provide some shade to its new Bloodroot neighbor. (Bloodroot does not like too much sun either.)

Solomon's Seal,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Solomon's Seal, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Below is the Solomon’s Seal plant in its full flowering glory.  This plant was also planted from a root mass that was cut apart with a shovel, divided by breaking apart by hand and plopped into the tilled dirt in the Fall.

Solomon's Seal,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Solomon's Seal, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gardening in the Fall makes sense yet it is also unconventional. You must have a vision and be able to wait a few months for the results.  Its not as glamorous as gardening in the spring, but it eliminates the risk of losing plants to the hot sun and the time spent on watering and worrying about your new transplants.  A rugged root will be a delicate flower next Spring.  Stick the root in the ground and wait, and all of a sudden, there will be a beautiful flower!  Good things come to those who can wait, as the saying goes.  Gardening in the Fall  is like building the foundation of a house.  It’s in the dirt, and its a rocky start. The beautiful white gables, dormers and porch balustrades come only after the stones have been set into the earth.

Gardening in the fall has one more important component: Leaf mulch creation.  This is the time to grind up your leaves with a leaf blower/composter available at the garden center and/or the lawnmower.  Rather than bagging them up and worrying if the city or township will take them or not, how about making them work for you?  Ground up they make an attractive mulch and by next spring they will be compost, all for free.  The native perennial flowers love leaf mulch more than any other, perhaps because they have spent the past millions of years growing under and within leaf mulch.

Coral honeysuckle,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Coral honeysuckle, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Lonicera sempervirens

Above is our native honeysuckle, blooming away.  The hummingbirds would not leave this vine alone and hummed along all summer providing the Sanguine Root with hours of entertainment.  The Hummingbirds have all migrated south, thanks in part to our providing them with the native plants required for their nourishment. Now, as of November 28th, the vine is still blooming.

 

Coral honeysuckle,  Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Coral honeysuckle, Garden of the Sanguine Root, Morris Park Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It is neat to think that this vine has provided a food source for a family of  birds that were able to fly over 1000 miles when the time required!  The rewards of native plant gardening!