June has ended AKA time to look for signs of fall
By this time every year we have felt the intense, heavy heat of summer in central North Carolina. We know we have almost 3 more months of this weather and so we look for signs of fall. One of the most delightful small fall-named bulbs, Prospero autumnale, blooms near the deodara cedar. We met this plant first as Scilla autumnalis, and began with one bulb, planted in the rock garden. Year after year that one bulb appeared as a beacon of hope at the beginning of summer and one year I looked more closely and saw a stem containing lots of seeds. From that year until this, we have collected and planted at least one pot full of seeds. The first generation of seedlings went under the deodara cedar where they grew and spread until now we have a mass with seedlings coming up and blooming in the lawn nearby. On my evening walk last week I found a Cyclamen hederifolium with two flowers along the cyclamen path in the woods. We settled into the work of early summer and began clearing off the sunny gardens. We removed more bananas, and Saponaria officinalis, an attractive nuisance throughout the May Garden. We took loads of debris to the compost pile and the brush piles. “Good” debris, i.e. that without seeds or invasive roots go to the compost bins and “bad” debris, that with seeds, woody stalks, or bulbous roots go to the brush piles. Our final challenge this year is the presence of a doe and her fawn, so later this week we will have a deer drive in the hope that she will realize the grass really is greener on the other side. Wish us luck!