Archive for September, 2010

The wilderness garden

Posted by: Heidi

September 26th, 2010 >> Photos, The wilderness

Walking along wilderness trails I often feel like I have entered an extensive, rambling garden filled with a captivating array of plant life, some impressive and grand, others tiny or almost hidden.The trees are the grandest occupants of these wilderness gardens from their aging roots, gnarled and twisted and slowly exposed over time, to the fresh young leaves in the highest branches glittering in the sunlight. These naturally occurring gardens have sprouted unbidden from the soil, and have grown and thrived often unnoticed and untouched by humans for many years.

According to most definitions of the word ‘garden’, these inspiring and lovely wilderness areas I happen upon are not gardens at all. They have not been planned or planted and tended and perhaps this spontaneity and lack of planning is what makes them so appealing.

I like the company of trees. Their presence seems so solid and enduring and oddly reassuring to me. And yet, many forests are threatened. Perhaps we are all meant to be the ‘gardeners’ for these forest gardens. I wonder how I can best help to protect them?

Joe Pye’s Weed

Posted by: Heidi

September 1st, 2010 >> my garden, Photos

When I was given a small Joe Pye Weed seedling a couple of years ago I wondered how such a pretty and delicate looking little plant could have the word “weed” in it’s name. I planted it in a new garden bed, watered it regularly and watched it anxiously, hoping that it would survive. This is how it looked when it bloomed the first year:

The following year I noticed in late spring that my delicate little Joe Pye had sent out runners and instead of one stem, I had multiple stems sprouting from the ground. As the summer progressed these stems grew taller and taller until they towered over the rest of the garden bed.

This year even more stems sprouted up from the ground and have all grown quite tall. The Joe Pye Weeds have reminded me that looks can sometimes be deceiving and what appears tender and delicate may have more strength than expected and an unseen ability to thrive. When given the right conditions even the smallest and most fragile looking of things can flourish.