Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Miscellaneous Spring Garden Stuff

This marvelous red spring foliage is only one of the reasons why I allow Geranium robertianum -- Herb Robert -- to stay around (and, having allowed it to stay around for a few years I am sure it will insist for many more if ever I decide I don't want it anymore). Originally brought over by settlers for its herbal quality, the foliage of this biennial is quite excellent, and the flowers, though small, are bright. Unfortunately like all Geraniums, throws its seeds a fearsome distance. When the weather warms, the leafs will change to a mid- to dark shiny green. Note there are a few green ones in the photo, these are the result of me picking a few trapped tree leafs off the clump to tidy it up for the photo; those few leafs had been protecting the plant leafs from the weather. Herb Robert shows up in a few of the potted plants which are sold from my nursery here, although I usually try to pluck them out ...

A few more crocuses open and in bud; these are in a sand bed and multiplying there quite excellently. Formerly I had tried crocus corms (bulbs) in all sorts of "good" locations, but found that they mostly died out over a few years or at best languished without increasing -- except under shrubs. Eventually decided this was due to too much clay in the local idea of what made a good "topsoil", parked a large number of corms in a sand bed I was building, and haven't looked back.

The sand bed is about 4-6 inches of sand over clay-rich soil over a thick layer of leaf compost (well, at least it was thick back then)

Hiding below a deep litter of dried maple and beech leafs are a number of Helleborus orientalis -- Christmas Rose. Today I noticed a few bits of white peaking out and since the snow is temporarily gone
I assumed flowers. And was right. One open, a few others in bud. Christmas Rose, not quite around here: that common
name comes from its flowering habit in warmer climates (it's native to countries along the north of the Mediterranean Sea, and some ways north of there). These are actually flowering somewhat earlier than any wood in my woods or elsewhere around the yard, as they are up against the foundation of my house, specifically the "fire room" where the wood stove crackles the winter away, so the soil around them is warmer than in most places here.

1 comment:

Henry Walloon said...

A pleasure to meet a fellow Herb Robert appreciator!

I too have been blogging about the presence of this pretty little weed in my garden.