Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bone Tired

Bottlebrush Grass
For the past two days I've been dreaming of the the Bottlebrush Grass I passed up at the plant rescue Thursday night.  So I high tailed it back over there today to fill my bags.  A beautiful sunny day with the sound of children playing in the neighboring backyard mingled with the sounds of chickadees and titmouse flitting around in the trees. 

On the way, I stopped at several stores to find a replacement trowel.  None had one with the features I now have to have.  I couldn't believe it.  Not a single trowel with WI-FI, GPS, or location tracking.  Go figure.  (see the posting about the traumatic trowel incident).  I guess I'll just have to tie a helium balloon to my next one.

I was successful at bagging quite a few Bottlebrush Grass and a few more Wild Ginger.  I then set out to gain a few more Jack in the Pulpits.  Alas - my eyes just aren't trained well enough to see these lurking amongst all the other growth.  Had my patient native plant mentor, Jan been with me, she probably would probably have asked me to quit trampling all over them.  Nonetheless, I proceeded to the front of the lot to organize my collection and WHAM....

Plant Rescue Lot
The next door neighbor, who was gathering his family into a car, turned and looked at me and .....COMPLAINED.   Huh?  He said a lot of us had been decimating the plants from that lot, marching around where we shouldn't, and taking plants from areas where we shouldn't.  I assured him I had permission and was working well within the boundaries permissioned by the landowner.  He then said he pitied the new homeowner who wouldn't have these plants.  OUCH!  He then left with his family and I continued gathering my things.  As I put things into my truck, I looked at this neighbor's home.  It was a beautiful home with a carefully manicured lawn and landscape.  Not a single native plant was visible.  Then my mind jumped to how this wooded lot I just left would look once the bulldozer was done and the new home built there.   It will probably be much the same as the neighbors.  There's a reason they call our activity a "plant rescue".  The truth is these plants would be gone and no one would have them to enjoy if we hadn't rescued them.  Oh well.  I guess the importance of saving and using our native plants isn't obvious to everyone.  It's taken me an awfully long time to get here.  [Jan Hunter:  I too, doubt that the new landowner is going to retain any native areas: most is Poison Ivy infested; and the neighbor that approached you, with his sterile landscape, may have seen too many cars/people in the past week or two and is fed up with that. I have spoken with him before, and he’s really very nice, so he must have been having a bad day or something. I am sure that if the neighbor does try to save some natives that there are MANY that will come up in the spring: trillium, jacks, doll’s eyes, turk’s cap lily, spicebush, bloodroot, etc; they are just not visible now.]

Arriving home, I first started to plant the rescues from Thursday night, and miracle of miracles.    There in the bottom of the trash bag containing the first digs, was....THE TROWEL.  Hallelujah!  My beloved one piece cast aluminum, red rubber handled trowel.  I guess I've got to somehow make up for wasting so much of my mentor's time the other night.  Weeding?  [Jan Hunter:  Not sure if that is grounds for murder...]

Six hours of planting today.   One of the Eastern Wahoo replaced a dead Viburnum in the front yard.  But the Wahoo isn't looking so good.  If it doesn't make it, I'll replace it with one of the others that I planted out in the back woods.  Some of the False Solomon's Seal, Virginia Wild Rye, and Wild Ginger is helping to fill in a lot of the empty place still in the new front yard native bed.  The rest of the plants went into various areas of the backyard.   

Under cover of darkness, some unknown creature loves to dig up my new plantings.  I've had to replant some 5 times before the creature leaves the new plant alone.  This time I cut up some small pieces of hardware cloth and pinned these to the soft ground immediately surrounding the new plants.  We'll see if that works.

Tomorrow - finish planting and rest.  That dang critter better not dig everything up.

1 comment:

TanyaM said...

What an amazing eye that you're developing (with Jan's help) to look at a wooded lot and be able to find such an abundant amount of native plants. Glad you found your trowel!