Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Tree Canopy, Wild Trumpet Vine, Mojo waters the Poke Salet

Every day the woods and garden are greener here,and most days I discover some new plant coming up. I didn't live here last spring, we were coming out here to work on the house but I missed much of what I can now see since I'm here every morning.

This morning I noticed that the odd vine that grows up the tree my green roofed birdhouse is attached to has flowered! It has bright orange trumpet flowers with yellow just inside the trumpet. I love trumpet vine, in fact I had just started some seeds for that this week. I didn't know what the vine on that tree was, I'd never seen it flower before. There is just a small row of flowers and they seem smaller than the domesticated ones I've seen in the past.

While I was out investigating the trumpet vine, I paused to get a photo of a dogwood flowering in the woods and also of the little poke sallet plant which is coming up. Those who have followed this blog know that Poke is my favorite Carolina plant. Last year this same plant grew to a little tree about 9 feet tall and wide with branches full of clusters of tiny white flowers giving way to beautiful green to ripening purple berries. The birds love the poke berries. They are poisonous to people, though I know there are some who know of ways to use them medicinally and the tender baby leaves in early spring, are edible as a cooked green if you follow the directions to wash and boil, change water and wash and boil again before cooking like one would collards or crissy greens. Being a yankee by birth, I'm not really much of a fan of greens cooked in bacon fat, so I have never tried it, but maybe I will some day.

I just love to watch the plant grow to a red trunked tree with all those pretty berries and birds all over it.

Mojo took the opportunity of my standing there musing and looking at the poke plant to lift his leg and claim it as part of the Mojo Pack.

I've got another batch of moss soaking in glycerin water and I moved the rest of my treated moss out to the porch to finish drying. It has a weird little odor, and Hubby is always one to find give an opinion about strange smells in the house.

I filled two Walmart bags with moss the other day while in my woods and I guess I need to do something with it. Some I will preserve and use in the wedding, some I will possibly use to mulch baby shrubs in pots, or my flower pots. Some I may patch together and use to enlarge my mossy path in my shady spot by the garden. I like to sit there when I've been working a while sometimes. I started to grow moss there last year in bits, and I will probably continue. I've also put some in a terrarium near my cold frames that I made of some clear plastic containers. I'm trying to propagate more of it. I love moss as a ground cover in shady places surrounded by ferns and ivy and woodland plants.

I'm so glad our tree canopy is back now that the leaves are growing up there. It does a wonderful job of keeping the heat out of many of my window in the afternoon.

Well we've got the shed mostly empty now for our guests to convert it to a cabin. Hubby needs to run some new pipe beneath it for water. Over the winter the pipe broke in several places. The plan is to open up the wall inside the shed and convert it some because the toilet is right in the area where folks would presumably sleep--and it has no door! EEK! Anyhow we hope to make this a 2 room guest cabin--but I'll keep tools in it when nobody is visiting. It will have a sink and shower and toilet on one part and a little dorm fridge and microwave and coffee maker. This will make it easier for folks to visit us and enjoy a rustic experience.

The cabin is not really a priority in our house renovations for us--but since it is for Mom-in-law, my brother-in-law is going to work on it when he comes for the wedding and give it a good updating for her. They will arrive probably on Mother's Day evening a week before the wedding. I'm not sure how long they will stay, but with their own place they may want to visit longer than usual. We shall see... Have a good Pokeberry Day!

1 comment:

  1. There are so many of us online that like to walk our grounds in the morning -- kind of a mobile kaffeklatch! Good morning...