Two Bur Oaks and a Crawdad

A group of swamp white oaks Healthy soil is important, but for whom?  In the Garden  The young bur oak would not be kept down. Yet again it revealed itself among the standing dead stalks of a large patch of purple bee balm, a good three feet tall and leafing out. In spring, a bur oak’s leaves look like sharp-edged, glossy cutouts. They are not green, but shade delicately among soft corals, tans and pinks. The green comes a bit later, like a slow-motion wave gently pervading each leathery leaf. The question, as it had been for several years, was what to do with this young newcomer to the garden.  About ten feet away and across the walk from house to garage stands a second bur oak that I’d started from an acorn some twelve years ago. I’ve enjoyed watching it grow its first sets of true leaves, become large enough to attract birds and then mature enough to bear acorns. This winter I limbed it up three feet from the ground, mainly to give the sedges and wild geraniums growing underneath a

I've Been Away

What have I been doing? What gardeners do in June: working outside, away from all things electronic.

At my college, the native plants we propagated this winter and spring had to go in the prairie garden. At home the bee balm overwhelmed the hybrid day lilies and had to be restrained; a thunderstorm demolished the peony blooms, which then needed cutting back; the window boxes needed planting; bees and butterflies needed watching and identifying; and the serviceberries got ripe enough that I had to pick some ahead of the birds (hard to do) in order to clean and plant the seeds. They apparently need warm and cold moist stratification. Hopefully they'll germinate next spring.  It's a long time to wait, and germination is only about 50%, but thus gardeners demonstrate faith in the future.
Photo from "How to Identify Serviceberries in the Wild."

Comments

Benjamin Vogt said…
My servieberries were ripe for about 6 hours--I have the pics to prove it--then they were gone. EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM! I guess that's good. Wonder how long the viburnum berries will last.

I saw my first oriole today ever. I'd like to think as a direct result of my maturing garden. Is that hubris?
My viburnum got stripped before the berries were ripe. I think the oriole found a good place at your house.