summer 2013

Sunday, September 4, 2011

More native plants

Welcome Brazil and Croatia!  Up to 23 countries now.

Well, my daughter brought attention to my recent absence in the garden to all our friends on Facebook.  She comes by the guilt gene on both sides.  An Irish Catholic mother and a Jewish father. Double whammy!

I have been unavailable for a few weekends. And there was an earthquake and then a hurricane.  Still, no mercy.   The good thing is, I am taking a solid 2 weeks off later this month.  I will be at the Frederick County Fair for a few hours volunteering at the UME (University of Maryland Extension)   Master Gardener booth.  Then, I plan to get my gardens in shape for the fall crops, and probably plant more native plants.

Hurricane damage

We were very lucky. Only a few inches of rain, no flooding and no power loss.  Most of our power lines are underground.  Now the earthquake - our plan of action was to stare stupidly at our coworkers for the 30 seconds or so the building was shaking.  We followed the plan perfectly!!!

Washington Monument Damage

I just have to tell you a short story.  I am a DC native, so is my Dad.  When I was a child, I asked him why the stones were different colors.  With a straight face, he told me there was a big flood when he was a kid.  Nothing like striking fear in a young child!

I decided to tackle the native plant area first, as this is what is seen from the road.  Luckily, the ground is soft enough that the weeds came out rather easily.  I think though that I am going to add bermuda grass to my short list of things to kill with Roundup.  If you leave one little rhizome, it will come back.


I took a break and walked around the marshy part of our farm.  Now that I can identify some plants, I wanted to see what is on our property.


stream with very slippery rocks

jewelweed - believed to counteract poison ivy

no idea, thought it was pretty

Lots of jewelweed

A surprising flat, quiet, private  area.  Would make a great "secret garden"

Swamp Milkweed.  A monarch butterfly host plant

pods getting ready to reseed

teasel weed - a weed


Some late season bloomers.  The idea is to have a variety of plants so something is always blooming.
Obedient Plant is just starting to bloom  (Physostegia)

Ironweed just starting also   (Vernonia lettermanii ' Iron Butterfly')

Much better

Lots more vegetables coming

During my walk around the farm,  I was busy watching for snakes, groundhog holes, and trying really hard not to touch the electric fencing.  All this while I was swatting mosquitoes and gnats.  And thinking I have to do a serious tick check.  I crossed the stream without slipping on the rocks and dropping my camera.  On top of all of this, since the president is on the mountain, there are lots of helicopters and fighter jets in the sky making lots of noise and making the houses shake. This feels a little more busy than other visits to the area.  Maybe the anniversary coming up?

Also on the farm,  Mike, Wes, Ben and friends are busy picking up the largest stones that came up the last time they plowed.  They want to plant hay and want to lessen the chance of damage to equipment when it is time to cut and bale.

Mike is in the driver's seat

On the home front, I planted some Winterberry bushes.  They are native and deciduous.  When the leaves drop, red berries are available for the birds during the winter.

I added compost from our kitchen waste

Slowly reducing my lawn size

Now that things are starting to cool off, I have lots of stuff to do.  I will be trimming trees, fertilizing the lawn, planting and mulching more perennials and possibly a tree or two.  I have my eye on a Paw Paw........

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