| "Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,|
Starlight and Joe Pye are waiting for thee."
Here is a worse version of Foster's song.
I met our neighbors from Scott at Walmart. They said, "Sassy's owner!" Their son retired as a Colonel in the Army, after serving in Afghanistan. I tried to tell our neighbors about Joe Pye Weed soaking at home.
I was energized from getting the plants before doing some erands, and I could picture them soaking up the rainwater in the rainbuckets. Normally I use the rain-filled wheelbarrow for that, but it was drained for the Mountain Mint transplanting.
We are now getting summer heat and spring rain, so everything is bursting from the soil - and roses galore are budding, some blooming.
The Growers' Exchange is my source for herbs, and that is all they sell. The Joe Pye plants arrive in perfect shape, carefully arranged in the box and kept in place by the packing.
Whenever plants arrive, I think, "I should have ordered more." When I am half-way done, I say to myself, "Why so many?"
The plan is to use tall plants - Joe Pye - to serve as air bases for beneficial insects and butterflies. Like Hostas, the JPWs can be divided later - and may seed themselves (horrors! free plants). The two I raised last year showed an ability to bloom well the first year and come back strong after a tough winter for Arkansan plants.
The stirring of Creation in the spring is fun to watch. The moles begin their digging and mixing of the soil. The robins decided to take over the Crepe Myrtle. Today Mrs. Robin gave me the dickens for being near her home. I thought, "My entire front yard is your food dish, espeically when I water."
All the Myrtles greened up and began growing early.
Ministers garden - I believe - because they see the results from past labor as reason to keep going. Luther wrote his stupendous Gospel of John sermons when he was supposedly retired and wanted to spend time doing what old men do - tend the garden.
So I was planning puny Joe Pye starts and admiring the roses and Hostas already developed so well. In fact, I used the rose cones stored in the Town Car trunk for protecting the Joe Pye.
| Butterfly Weed is a Monarch favorite,|
so I have a few in the rose garden.
Easy Planting with Good Results
Here are ways to get things planted for successful growrh:
- Whatever the source, Walmart or the Net, Lowe's or a gardening center, soak the plant in rainwater for several hours. Overnight can be too much or yield a mucky mess.
- Think in advance about places to plant, so the objectionable top layer is reduced to compost with cardboard, newspapers, or wood mulch.
- Once the hole is dug and the plant in place, surround the little one with newspapers or cardboard around the stem.
- Place a layer of wood mulch on the cardboard or newspaper layer, to keep it in place and add wood decomposing to the soil.
- Use something like a rose collar to keep people from trampling the newbie.
|Collars snap and unsnap easily, protecting plants against winter kill, weed-eater kill, pedestrian kill, and rabbit kill.|
Coordination on a Global Scale
Everything in the yard is triggered by weather conditions, so the gradual unfolding of spring came rapidly this year. Birds do not nest in a bush devoid of leaves, but they claim their home when the leaves give them cover.
Rain and warm weather build the mold and bacteria which serve as the bread of life. A specialist in infectious diseases pointed out to us how antibiotics kill the beneficial bacterial that protect us against painful and irritating rashes from fungus. When he was done, I asked, "So I should eat the toast that falls on the floor?" He tried not to smile.
The microbes feed everything living on a higher scale, so spring weather may come slowly but the results are exponential. Lest we stop with Creation itself, we should always consider how coordinated all the plants and animals are - as if by Design. The early weeds and mints flower to feed the bees and beneficial insects we need. The birds manage the growth of insects by feeding on them and delivering them to their young, just when the insect population explodes.
When earthworms are plucked from the soil, they make room for more of the same. As one retailer explained, "We get customers out the door fast so we have room for more to come in."
The more we learn about this management system in the garden, the more we appreciate the infinite complications and dependencies.
| Elderberries grow easily and also have medicinal properties.|
Mine bracket the tool shed brought over by Ranger Bob.