Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In the woods

A few weeks ago I took some photos in the woods behind my mother's property. I've experimented with planting things there and have had mixed results. This year hasn't been bad because we have had plenty of rain. I finally gave up on trying to keep plants watered. It is an impossible task! So, they are on their own.

This is actually a wildflower and grows in pastures and open, sunny areas. It is called Ironweed (Veronica gigantea). Isn't it pretty?

 
The Black Tupelpo tree (Nyssa sylvatica) is doing well.

Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) - I've planted several of these and they seem to do well, with minimal care.
Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) - I planted this right next to the creek-bed and it is doing great. I see these growing down by the Tennessee River, just a few blocks from our house, but I don't see them growing around my home place.
Sourwood (Oxydendrum) is another tree that I've had good success with. This is a native tree but again, I don't see them growing in the woods near my homeplace.
A mystery - anyone know what this is?
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) - My nemesis! I usually end up getting a poison ivy shot every year, sometimes more than once. In fact, I just got on this past weekend. I am extremely allergic to the stuff and spreads all over me.

 
Poison Ivy in the trees - an older and mature vine like this would send me to the hospital!

Something else I'm not fond of. I've seen this guy several times at the creek. I know he is probably benefit and eats lots of undesirable insects but he gives me the creeps.
 
Goldenrod blooming behind the barn.


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

10 comments:

  1. It's nice that the things you planted on your mother's property are doing well. Supposedly there is poison ivy in the pacific northwest but I've never seen any myself, no do we have snakes other than tiny garter snakes and those don't hang out much in town. You'll love it here!

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  2. Not only does that snake eat insects it will eat small rodents. You should respect him for that. It is a little creepy coming upon them unannounced though. Love seeing how you are incorporating new things into your Mom's property. One of these days you willl be glad you did. I think Bald Cypress is such an elegant tree. It has so much going for it. Lovely foliage, wonderful bark for winter, knees when they get older and the little balls on them in fall. Wonderful.

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  3. Lisa, do you know what kind of snake it is?

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  4. I'm pretty sure that is a black rat snake, definitely a beneficial. That one is beautiful! I'm a big fan of snakes.

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  5. We have great respect and love for any black snake Phillip. There are those that will hunt down and eat Rattlesnakes. In my book, he's worth keeping close by!

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  6. Could your mystery plant be a bottlebrush buckeye? I planted one last year and it produced a seed pod very similar to this.

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  7. It looks suspiciously like the cousin of the PEAR. Here in India it's a popular fruit commonly known as "Naashpati "or in other parts of the country ,"Sabarjal".
    I am not sure though as there are no leaves on your plant.

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  8. A Bald Cypress...that's so cool...they are such distinctive trees! I have a few Vernonia...one very tall one that flops horribly...and a newer, shorter one that looks practically like an Amsonia until it blooms...love them :-)

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  9. Phillip,
    Sorry about the poison ivy - it can be devilish! I love veronica - but hate the name "ironweed". How big are the pear-like fruit? And even in a less than spectacular autumn color year, the sourwood appears to be performing beautifully! I wonder if bald cypress would develop knees if it got less water (we are on high ground)? It sure is pretty! Anyway, thanks for the great photos!

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  10. Not sure about bottlebrush buckeye but I will investigate.

    The fruit is the size of a small pear.

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