Sunday, February 27, 2011

It Was a Slightly Misty, February Evening...

It was a slightly misty, February evening.
One of those murky times you might know,
When things in the woods seem to happen...
Warning: Watch the activity out in the snow!

There was a light that was brightly burning.
Was it a beacon or navigational key?
What shall we do - shall we decide to be turning,
or shall we keep forging? What might we see?

Aha! It is Leaf Woman! She's definitely not a mirage.
She complacently stood, not glancing our way...
We'd walked past the neighbor's, around their garage.
But look! Does it seem she's got something to say?

There was a slight movement, my heart- yes, it leapt
The birds in the bushes were watching...
We sneaked 'round the bush, as closer we crept.
We saw food - to the birds - she was offering.

Now, this is the odd one. What can I say here?
I followed my footprints, while trudging back home,
Thinking of Leaf Woman and her satisfied birds,
When I spotted a fellow, in my yard, all alone.

"Glad to meet you," said he, as he stood there quite still.
"I came out with Leaf Woman to help feed your birds.
I brought my own feeder and an extra bird-perch.
Do you mind if I stay?" (and I? I searched for the words!)

To be quite honest, he seemed harmless enough.
Drawing closer, I looked at his head.
Good-looking food for my birds, I did think.
"Of course you may say, and thank you," I said.

And you? What's your theory? What would you do?
Would you invite them to stay for awhile?
If they offered to feed the birds in YOUR yard?
Would you let them... and offer a smile?

Shady? Maybe. ;-)
Happy Monday.
(Poetry and photos written and taken by Shady Gardener,

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday... a little late

My Wildflower Wednesday posts will be late.
But that's okay, isn't it?

Trillium Recurvatum Beck
'Bloody Butcher' or 'Red Trillium'
(clicking on the botanical name will take you to a USDA informational site)

This is a true wildflower - and this particular plant has an interesting history.

This map and information were provided by the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.

The plant is an erect perennial from 8 - 16" tall with an unpleasant odor. The flower is 3-part, purple, and approximately 1" wide. The petals are slightly longer than the green sepals, blooming in April - May. The leaves are one whorl of three and usually mottled at the top of the stem. The plants thrive with moderate moisture - here seemingly primarily in woodlands.

In 2007, this little plant was sporting five spotted leaves and five flower petals. I couldn't resist planting it in my woodland garden to see what would happen! In 2008, it had 4 leaves and 4 petals. In 2009, it had the 3 leaves and three petals (as it should). However, in April 2010, it reverted to four leaves and petals. I wonder... will it revert to FIVE again this year??

For more Wildflower Wednesday posts, visit Gail at Clay and Limestone by clicking her link.

Nothing too "shady" about this shade-lover... just intrigue. :-)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ABC Wednesday - F is Finesse


Maybe... maybe not.
You be the judge.

The story actually begins with a few overcrowded Forsythia,one of which was moved from here last Spring (2010).

The story also has to do with a backyard Fence;
the planning of which began several years ago.

This Fairly Fancy Fence, of my own design, began
as a Few Fence Fragments
Fit together.

See below.

Far be it For me to Feign Faint of heart...
but Fancy that - a Fine Fencepost hole begun!


Fphew! Fairly a lot of work
and the planting of the little Forsythia bush later...

I may have Fitted the First, but

Fabulously Fine help From Mr. Shady Framed the Future Fence Fragments

Fairly Fancily into place! (See the little Forsythia at right?)

Fence progresses - Fun for Feathered Friends?

Another Favored view.

Fairly shady . . .

Finely Finished...
For now.

You can't see it here, but we did turn one corner. Another section must be built this Spring and set in place! Then we shall truly say,

Finally! Fa La!


For YOUR viewing pleasure, check out ABC Wednesday Posts for yourself! Click on this link to enjoy other peoples' posts.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ABC Wednesday - E

ABC Wednesday participants are many. If you would like to peruse the current postings, click on the logo for the link.

This week's letter is E. Enjoy!

Epimedium Grandiflorum 'Lilafee'

This is a new plant for me. I'd seen several garden bloggers with this little item and it, among other varieties, was highly touted.

I ordered the plant online, in 2009, receiving it in good time for planting. It was shipped bare root, and I potted it indoors immediately and set it in a warm, sunny window. There were to have been three plants, but I placed the Epimedium babies in the same pot and planted them in the very same way: together.

Epimedium, or Barrenwort, is a perennial that thrives in USDA zones 5 - 9. The plant is about 12" tall and is described as "clumping" as well as "ground cover." From all I've read, the plants "spread" about 2 to 3 inches per year. This is certainly tolerable! :-)

Epimedium enjoys the partial to full-shade conditions. This is a big plus for gardeners with shade gardens. As you can see, my shade is limited to large areas under deciduous trees. This means, in early Spring, we enjoy a lot of sunlight! :-)

Flowers appear in mid- to late-Spring. The 2010 growing season began very early last year. In fact, it was around three weeks earlier than normal. The photo above was taken April 17, 2010, and shows the Epimedium blooming quite profusely.

I also happened upon this photo of other . . .

Early Spring Bloomers!

Dicentra - Bleeding Heart 'Gold Heart' (left foreground), Virginia Bluebell (right foreground),
Pulmonaria - Lungwort - 'Milky Way' and an assortment of Spring Beauties and more Virginia Bluebells in the background. This photo was also taken April 17, 2010.

Something for which to look forward!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine for Me!



(Valentine) Flowers!


Roses are red,
(Prairie Smoke)

Violets are blue,

(Blue-eyed grass)

Flowers are rainbows of colors, It's true!

Bright yellow sunflowers,
(Rudbekia 'Goldsturm')

Orange touch-me-nots,
(Blackberry Lily)

Pretty pink peonies Planted in pots.

Lavender lilacs,
(Pasque flower)
(water hyacinth)

Zinnias bright green,
(purple cone flower readying to flower)

White garden lilies Like you've never seen!
(trumpet lilies)
Goldenrods gold, Bluebells so blue,

Rainbows of flowers For me and for you!

Happy Valentine's Day to you from me!

(Heartleaf Brunnera leaf)

Nothing "shady"
Just best wishes!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Sky in the Morning

6:45 A.M.
Forecast of 45 degrees F today.
Heat Wave!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ABC Wednesday - D is for Diana Clare

ABC Wednesday is a fun meme. Check out the most recent posts by clicking on the logo.

'Diana Clare' is one of many Pulmonaria hybrids.
She belongs to the Pulmonaria longifolia species.

(This past year's growing season began very very early.
Diana looked like this by mid-April, 2010.
Do you agree she's Darling?
She's one of my favorite early flowering herbaceous perennials!

Pronounced pul-muh-NAIR-ee-uh, the common name is Lungwort.
This plant is suited for zones 3 - 8 and enjoys part to full shade.
It loves humus-rich, moist but well-drained, woodland settings.

Pulmonaria grows and blooms in the early Spring

(Here you see Diana in early-April 2009. She's not very big, yet.)

(April 28, 2008)
Early on, many of her leaves are spotted, but several are not.
As time goes on, she loses those early spotted leaves and the plain ones
grow much longer. This is indicative of those plants belonging to the species P. longifolia.

This photo was taken in October 25, 2009 (forgive the blurriness).
Delightful in the Dappled Shade Garden, 'Diana Clare' is not only Dependable, but she is Deer resistant! Do check out 'Diana' as well as her many Diverse relatives within the Pulmonaria family.

Have a great Day!
---Shady Gardener

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sore Thumb Sunday

A sweet gardening friend invited members of our Gabby Garden Gals club to tea yesterday. She had set the most lovely tables. We enjoyed lively conversation and liberal treats! ;-) She even gave "door prizes." We wore hats. That was fun.

The special table settings - #1

and #2

Could we have a garden party without Myrtle Underkirker?
(Whew! Was my friend Gladys mad when she found I'd gone without her...
and that Myrtle had been there!)

After our teaparty, we were invited to the basement/garage/workshop where
her Very Patient hubby waited.

Click on the little video to catch a glimpse of what kept us busy!

Yes, we put our "carpentry skills" to work.

The finished product! Something we can use
and our birds can enjoy!

Who was the unlucky fellow that hurt his thumb?
Frank the Patient Hubby should have quite a blood blister by now!

We're sorry... but we're Grateful for the (Blooming) fun time!