My home garden is in Monroe, Ohio. Officially in USDA hardiness zone 6a, we still, however briefly, have hit zone 5a lows in winters not to distantly past. The soil in my immediate vicinity is Eden silty clay. In many local developments, the good stuff has been scraped away and sold off as topsoil to some other poor schmuck who also had THEIR upper soil horizons scraped away. Whatever we had upon our arrival has been amended with horse manure, coir, and compost. There is no bed in my yard that couldn’t have been amended some more.

24 April 2013

A Cercis sampler.

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)
Profuse cauliflory on redbud.
Closeup of one cluster of flowers.
In some years the fruit set (flat pea-like pods) can be very heavy. I find them attractive. The subsequent seedlings can, in a garden setting, be annoyingly numerous.
Seed pods on Cercis 'Oklahoma'
This one looks pretty much like your average C. canadensis. But when the leaves emerge:
C. 'Forest Pansy' has purple foliage at emergence and for a little while after that. Mileage varies... Some newer cultivars are better at retaining their color through summer.
C. 'Silver Cloud', an early variegated selection
Also 'Silver Cloud'; again, mileage varies.
Brr! But here's a good look at the form of C. 'Covey' (commonly marketed as Lavender Twist). Aside from the weeping habit, the leaves and flowers are much like plain old redbud. One can now get this form with either variegated or purple foliage ('Whitewater' and 'Ruby Falls', respectively).
A redder redbud: C. canadensis 'Appalachian Red', fenced against deer rub.
C. canadensis 'Alba', the white redbud (whitebud???).
C. chinensis 'Don Egolf' is compact and floriferous.

06 April 2013

Late, but here.

Warm April day. Gotta be outside. Things still to cut back (little bluestem, your days are numbered), Weeds already need pulling (fewer dandelions will be blooming around here this year). I love getting out in the garden. But, I really look forward to working in the garden on the early warm days.

I love fragrant plants (have I mentioned this yet?). Sometimes a thing does not need to be visually enticing to be appreciated (consider bacon).

Hyacinth gives us olfactory and visual stimulation, though. I could weed and cut back stuff and, and,... maybe lounge in the hammock all day by the hyacinths. Mmm, hammock. Doze off a couple yards downwind (some find the fragrance overwhelming when close by). Take a little nap. Awaken to the gentle hum of honeybees making their way from one bloom to the next.


Hyacinthus orientalis 'Woodstock' with honeybee. H. o. 'Peter Stuyvesant' in background