This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: guerinw@gmail.com

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Bee and Flower in February

This is probably not a first, but certainly the first I've seen: a fully open flower (winter aconite) being pollinated by a honeybee in February. In my own yard. In Chelsea, Michigan. Yep, February 28 still qualifies as February. I had hundreds of aconites in full flower on this date.

And a more current picture: Helleborus thibetanus. This is as good as mine gets, the flowers never spread their petals, but it's a nice attraction for so early in the season. I searched for images on the google. Nursery catalogues show off a much nicer-looking plant. I never believe those pictures.

What Happens When Norway Maple Roots Are Confined

THIS

Ann Arbor Gardener Rises Again from It's Leaf-Moldy Grave

Can't believe it's been two years since my last post. So much has happened. I grew my first beard. I sold my business. I was elected governor but was subsequently impeached. So now it's just me and my beard and some extra time on my hands . . .  and hopefully enough spirit to keep this going again for a good while. It sure would be gratifying if YOU would help by submitting posts. This project was never intended to be a solo endeavor. Even if you are just selling divisions at a yard sale or want to show off pictures of your vegetable garden, jump in. I am now at guerinw@gmail.com.
-- Guerin

New(:) Annuals for 2018

Amaranth "Dreadlocks"
I don't think less of the firefly than the raccoon. So why does it take a person (i.e., me) half a life-time to  accept that annual plants can be just as much fun, as exciting, and as worthy as perennials. You get a new world of plants to work with. And you get to re-create something new every year. Well, that's the theory. Ask me next year how this project went.

What I did NOT want to do is grow the same bedding plants that are commonly offered commercially. Instead I ordered seed of the following taxa from Select Seeds (good website with a broad selection and useful advice on germination). I am clearing out a patch of lawn that gets, well maybe not FULL sun all day, but hopefully enough to allow me to get satisfaction from my new 'sandbox.' Let me know if you have any particular experience with the following, good or bad . .

Linara maroccana "Rhythm & Blues"
Viscaria oculata (German catchfly?) "Blue Angel"
Agrostemma githago "Ocean Pears"
Linaria maroccana "Northern Lights"
Persicaria orientalis "Cerise Pearls" -- Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate?!
Mina lobata (Spanish flag)
Anagallis monellii (Pimpernel) "Gentian Blue"
Ammi majus "Graceland"
Cynoglossum amabile "Mystery Rose"
Zaluzianskya capensis (Night phlox) "Midnight Candy"
Orlaya grandilora "White Lace"
Salpiglossis sinuata (Painted Tongue) "Kew Blue"
Echium plantagineum "Blue Bedder"

And some choices that are not uncommon or that I have grown before:
Verbena bonariensis
Amaranth "Dreadlocks"
Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)
Ricinus communis (Castor oil bean)