Saturday, April 18, 2015

April Wildflowers in an Upper Middle Tennessee Forest Part I


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This spring has been such an awesome spring! The trees are leafing out, butterflies are a flying, frogs are a croakin, bluebirds nesting and no late freezes! Who can complain? Plus, this is our first spring in our new home in the country. Country living is not for everyone but for Mr. Fix-it and I who are both nature lovers-it is the only way. To fully appreciate country living I think you have to live with nature and enjoy it. There is no better way than to take a walk around the woods and check out the wildflowers. I did just that for several hours, and I thought you all might like to see them too-tho virtually. Last year I also posted on spring wildflowers at Tiger Way Gardens but as I look at that post I see most of them are ones I transplanted to the farm. Most of the ones you see today will be wild grown wildflowers with the exception of two shrubs that I transplanted.

We have over sixty acres of rolling terrain that has wet springs, a natural pond, and is mostly all wooded with the exception of our homesite and Wildflower Hill. The soil is acidic having a pH in the range of 5.5. Wild blueberries, columbo,  and a multitude of flora live here along with the local fauna. We start with trilliums. It is ironic I transplanted several of these out here (which are doing well and have bloomed this year) but then found quite a few communities of trilliums. I believe this is perhaps a Sweet Betsy trillium (Trillium cuneatum).
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This plant was hard for me to identify. It grows in the woods alongside a hill. Do you all recognize it? It is chickweed! Star chickweed (Stellaria pubera) is a native chickweed and NOT that pesky common chickweed found growing in lawns all across America in the winter. This chickweed has a very large and pronounced flower. My wildflower book, Wildflowers of Tennessee the Ohio Valle and the Southern Appalacians says common chickweed is a delicacy in Europe and "is a source of vitamins A and C". My chickens love the common chickweed but I am not going to be pulling the star chickweed to see if they like it too. This lovely diminutive wildflower grows right along with Spring Beauty and other wildflowers in the shaded areas of the farm.
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This is the easiest wildflower to identify for me. It is Wild Bee Balm or Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). It grows wild in most areas of Middle Tennessee judging by all I see in the summer when it blooms. Here it grows on Wildflower Hill. It is quite happy on Wildflower Hill because Mr. Fix-it and I bush hog the hill and cleared the saplings which enabled more sun to reach the ground. Wild Bergamot blooms with Rose Gentian in the summer and is a gorgeous combination. My new hives of honeybees will love it!
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Wild phlox (Phlox divaricataI) blooms all over Wildflower Hill and also in the woods.
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This sweet little wildflower is Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans) and blooms in the woods and on the edges of the woods. I was planning to move some out here but no longer since it is already here and growing well. It is right next to some beggar ticks (Bidens) which grow with abandon out here. No late summer walk in the woods is complete without a bunch of beggar ticks sticking to your clothes.
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I believe this to be a native Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum). It was a lucky catch for me because I was deep in a gorge with a wet spring when I happened upon it.
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This mystery plant was also in the gorge next to the wet spring. I have no idea what it might be but I am leaning towards a wood lily. Does anyone know?
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Fiddleheads also grow in the wet area of the gorge.
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Coming up the hill the forest floor is absolutely covered with American Columbo. Wowser! This wildflower is stunning in person. I recently had some visitors and one of them asked me right away what it was and she liked it a lot. It is not a real common wildflower in my experience so Mr. Fix-it and I simply adore it on our land. 

The rest of the week will see more wildflowers and some bees....

in the garden.....


Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Another Photo Shoot

BY SKEETER
 My friends from McCorkles Nursery visited my GEORGIA GARDENS once again! They represent the "Gardeners Confidence Collection" for the nursery.
 
Here they are snapping photos of one of the many azalea's they left with me after their first visit.
 I was so happy the recent rains did not knock over the Phlox as it accented the Snowball Azalea well.
 Need to get that perfect view.
 I peeked over their shoulders and got my own shot.
Love the Gardeners Confidence Collection!
 Over to the Semi-Formal garden to snap some shots. I missed this action as I had an important phone call to tend.
 Peachy Keen did not do too well in this spot. The height was wrong with the green background. I liked it, so I snapped this shot.
 Peachy Keen made its way to the old stump of the oak tree. Yep, that is dead fountain grass in the background. I have yet to clean out this garden. It is next on my list. I am way behind schedule with way too much going on lately. I so wish issues would not pop up during my Spring Garden play time but life does give us challenges at times.
 Yep, the height shows much better in this spot.
 Sprinkles of rain started to fall so to the porch we went. Don't want to mess up that new camera.
 Love-U-Lots was pampered and tucked into place.

These poor guys have to get into some really strange positions for the perfect photo. I enjoyed their visit and they should return soon for yet ANOTHER PHOTO SHOOT, In the Garden...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden