Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Decorating with Tumble Weeds

I had an idea.  I felt like it was one of those lightning strike ideas that I would put into play, and it would create a spark of interest in all who view my wildflower garden.  See the tuft of stems sticking up from the clay pot (chimney liner) in the center of my wildflower garden?  Those didn't grow there.   I put them there.  Are you impressed?  

Puck was more impressed with the number of dogwood flowers on my little shrubs, but at least he noticed what I was doing.  So far, I've had to point to my brilliant garden design idea before anyone even noticed what I'd done!

This is what the wildflower garden looked like before I had my idea.  I left last years stems standing through the winter, and I enjoyed the rough texture and bird habitat that it created, but now that spring gardening fever has taken over my brain, I decided to tidy up the bed by removing the haphazard stems and weeds.  

I use the clay pot as a planter, but I didn't have any flowers to plant in it yet, so I decided to treat it like a vase, and use some of the stems I harvested to make a tuft of stems in the vase.  Okay, so maybe it wasn't a revolutionary idea, but I think it looks good enough to take photos of.  

Much better.  Still a bit weedy looking, but at least it gives the impression that it's intentional, and not just a spot we forgot to mow for a few years.  

Can you believe the irises are already blooming?  I'm in no hurry for summer to arrive.  

I still have pink tulips blooming, so I know spring isn't over yet.  I had to do some serious weeding, since there were dozens of baby bush honeysuckles that sprouted in this bed.  I think the birds eat the bush honeysuckle fruits and deposit seeds everywhere.  No wonder that stuff is taking over central Kentucky.

It's still early enough in the season that I welcome the sun light.  I recently watched a Ted Talk by a dermatologist who explained how the rays of the sun hitting our skin releases chemicals that reduce blood pressure and do other good things for the body.  Not just vitamin D, but something called nitric oxide.  So, it's not just a warm brain feeling that makes me like laying in the spring sunlight, it's actually doing good stuff to my body.  Cool.  

I wonder if animals get the same benefit of the sun's rays, even though they are covered in hair? 

The wild columbine is beginning to fade, but I took the time to break off all the old stems of the wild bergamot that were crowding them.  

Wild bergamot stems make for lovely clay pot filler too.  At least I think so.  When I drag people over to see my flowers and force them to admire my bundle of sticks, they agree too, so it must be true.  

While I was working, the wind was so strong that it blew my pile of stems away, making a giant tumble weed that scared the chickens.  This summer, when the sun is so hot it burns, and the air is so stagnant the mosquitoes can feast without trouble, I want to remember this windy day when the sun was welcome and all I had to do was decorate with wildflower stems.  

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