Friday, April 16, 2010
The Many Plants of Chateaus de Lop-her
A while back I mentioned that one of my goals this year was to turn my black thumb into a green one. Since then, I've cultivated a 10'x20' section of my yard into a raised-bed vegetable garden, I've started some seedlings, and perhaps most pertinent to this post, for the first time in the 6+ years I've lived in my house I'm finally appreciating the vast array of plants and flowers that a previous owner so dedicatedly planted years and years ago.
I've always said my house sits on fertile soil - we almost can't keep up with the removal of tree seedlings from our flowerbeds. I pulled 9 Japanese Maple seedlings out two weeks ago, and last night I found 4 more. We also get seedlings of cypress fir, maple, and holly, to name the others I recognize. My yard is off the hook. The land my house sits on used to be an orchard. Our neighbors tell us that our house was the first on the block, and it was built for the eldest daughter of the man who owned the farm. Consequently, we have both a pear tree and a cherry tree (both of which still bear fruit) in our back yard, which is not big by any stretch of the imagination. The entire lot is 50'x150'.
For years I complained that I wish we had bought a condo in a high-rise instead, but luckily I had enough foresight (laziness) to leave well enough alone, because this spring I'm in heaven tending to my yard and flowerbeds. I'm currently trying to cultivate the old plants and flowers so that they replace the weeds in the flowerbeds. The main problem now is that I don't know what half the shit growing on our property actually IS, so I thought I'd post some pics of the foliage and see if y'all can help me identify some of it:
The North Lawn:
Bush with red berries in early spring.
Unknown climbing vine #1.
Unknown climbing vine #2 (it's not weed).
Close-up of unknown young climbing vine #2.
Plant or weed? Some kind of clover maybe?
I don't think this flowers. It's cool looking, but I don't know what it is.
Purple flowers on tall stems come out of this thing in the summer.
Some kind of clover ground cover that us underneath a ginormous pine tree?
Tiny purple flowering semi-ground cover that's on one edge of what I think might be clover?
The last of the teeny tiny white flower brigade that are up and down sinewy stalks of what might be a bush, also under the pine tree - near the tiny purple flowering semi ground cover (confused yet?)
The West Lawn:
This crimson flowering bush is new - it was growing in the bushes lining our yard. Cool flowers!
Close-up of a crimson flower from the new unknown bush.
Finally, one I know! This was a Japanese Maple seedling that took root and I deemed the "proper" size to try and cultivate into a bush. I hope it works.
A small azalea (don't know exact kind) amongst a plethora of tallish (8") unknown ground cover.
Close-up of the tallish (8") unknown ground cover.
Unknown climbing vine #1 or a 3rd unknown climbing vine?
The East Lawn:
This looks exactly like the plant on the N that the purple flowers grow out of, but I don't think purple flowers (or any flowers) grow out of this. It's a mystery...
I call these the Cabbage Patch Kids, because they remind me of them for some reason. They stay low like this and don't flower.
Classic case of "plant or weed?" - I have no idea what this is. At all.
Larger "plant or weed?" (in the back, I know the ones in the very front and to the left are weeds...)
Elderly tulip growing amongst unknown plant or weed - possibly some kind of clover (bottom center)?
The South Lawn:
The cherry tree! Someone asked me the other day what kind it was. I don't know. It has white flowers and bears fruit (and could use a pruning - it's kind of like a mangy dog).
This is the pear tree (another mangy dog). I don't know what type of pears it bears, but they're about the size of a tennis ball, mature, and they're all green.
Cool close-up of the pear tree. What's that? You want to be pruned? I know, hang in there, buddy...
Climbing vine #1 or #3 on a stump!
Some sort of moss??? This area is damp and dark - no real sunlight during the day.
Crazy-ass ground covering. There's like three different things going on here that are more visible in the next photo, which is a close up. I like the little purple flowered bits that are very visible here...
Perhaps vine #1 or #3, some sort of clover, and the purple flowering lovelies - all ground covering.
I couldn't let you go without seeing my veggie garden! It will be fully populated by the end of May. Right now you can see collards and lettuce in the bed to the left (beets are also there, but you can't see them), tomatoes that were an impulse purchase and planted too early in the center, and onions in the back. There's also a prematurely-planted eggplant planted to the far right. The red round thing is a spice planter.
The spice planter has (starting clockwise at the top) lavender, rosemary, Italian parsley, and dill. I have a second planter I want to grow mint in, but my mint seeds are the only seeds that didn't germinate. I don't know what's wrong. I'm thinking of just planting some right in the planter and seeing if they take that way...
The babies!!! Don't leave us with the babies!!! Just kidding. these are my seedlings - they're a month old. The tall one in the back is a black-eyed pea bush that I swear to you popped out of the soil and grew to that size in three days - it was one of the last to germinate! I'm hoping I can keep some of these alive, so I can plant them in my garden. I've been watering them and petting them and keeping them at the right temperature, so we'll see...
I'll post updates!
Please comment if you know what any of these little buggers are - I'd love to know what I have growing so I can research it and give it the care it needs :)