Monday, July 10, 2006

Cimicifuga racemosa

Just down Federal Twist Road is a community of Cimicifuga racemosa . I first saw it last summer, but this year it appears to have grown to over 20 well sized plants. They're at the front of a property someone is building on, but construction has been stopped for almost a year, and the new house is several hundred feet back. I'm hoping the plants will remain undisturbed.

Compared to the yellow green of the blackberry foliage in the picture below, the cimicifuga appears quite dark. Is this a natural genetic variation?

(I know it's been renamed Actea, but I haven't made that adjustment yet.)

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Speaking of solving the problems my site presents (see posting below), I have succeeded in opening the space and reclaiming some sky. After felling several more trees this spring, I had them cut into logs and stacked to make a naturalistic wall. But a huge amount of debris, mostly branches, was left. Here is one of the burns needed to finish the job.

Am I giving up?

When I started making a garden on Federal Twist Road I understood the limits of the site: wet, heavy clay, thick juniper cover, no view, no space, no sky. And deer.

I'm working through these constraints and, I'm sure, if I continued to search out and test deer-proof plants I could eventually develop a satisfying garden. Ornamental grasses are safe. And 18 months of experience tells me two plants - Asclepias incarnata and Rudbeckia maxima - are keepers. I think Verbena hastata and Pycnanthemum muticum will pass the test. But almost everything else I have tried - including several new willows - have been damaged to various degrees.

I'm ready to give up on living with the deer. I want to grow plants deer eat, and I finally realize the compromises are too dear (sorry!).

I've discussed a deer exclusion with Phil, and he agrees. We probably need over 1,000 linear feet of fencing, and it must be as unobtrusive as possible. And affordable. Now to get some estimates.


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