Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I found my thrill....

...on blueberry hill.

You may have been following along with my blueberry saga. If so, you may be amused by the shelter we built - we being Molly and me.

The resident FAT groundhog has been eyeing up my berries, and there are legions of birds in the trees, so it was starting to keep me awake at night, worrying about those berries and the tiny plants that won't bear til next year.

I should allow that I am a thrifty person. Ok, ok, I'm cheap. We had some bamboo poles from the bamboo that grows down on the farm, and there was some old bird netting around, so gradually this plan formed in my overactive imagination. The main problem (up until the storm today that brought high winds and hail, that is) was that the bird netting was used before, and was in several pieces. It needed to be "sewn together in places - note the white string. It still needs to have bricks placed around the perimeter, but so far the ground hog has not ventured a try. I did see a bird trying to take some of the netting for a nest. Guess that's where the term "bird-brain" comes from.

Here is one of the plants in fruit. Some of the others won't be ripe for another month or more. Next year....

But alas, the storm came.

A couple of the poles decided that it might be easier to become a lean-to. We went out between storms and took the mallet to them. It is standing once more, but I need to think about this for a bit. Obviously this requires more planning. Or maybe an actual outlay of money.

Let's not talk about this anymore.



They'll be fine until tomorrow, and then I can devote more attention to a bigger and better plan.


Instead, let's move on to some of the plants that look like marijuana here on the property.


The first one is a plant that my mother planted. I don't have a clue what it is. At first, I thought it was a variety of elderberry. There is one with leaves that are cut like this, but as the summer wore on last year, there were no frothy blooms. In late July or August, it started to put out beautiful hibiscus-like flowers in the deepest of reds. There were only a few flowers and only one bloomed at a time, each for just a day or two. In winter, it dies back completely, leaving only a single tawny stalk. The new growth ignores that stalk, and sends out new ones.

Next we have the lovely little vitex tree-to-be. There is a second, larger vitex in the front yard, but neither is large enough to blossom this year. The leaves of these also made my daughter giggle, because they too resemble Marijuana leaves. This little beauty took forever to leaf out this spring, and I was just about to give up on it, thinking it had died. It went into the ground in late October last year, and had been an indoor potted plant that outgrew it's welcome at a friend's house. It has such a lush, beautiful growth habit, I'm happy it made it through its first winter. That bodes well for future winters.


Although this doesn't look like anything illicit I snapped a shot of the pink larkspur. There is deep purple right beside it, but that isn't blooming at the moment. Larkspur is one of my favorite flowers. It doesn't really have a scent that I can discern, and it doesn't "do" anything, but it is such a happy little flower with the lacy foliage, and the stalks of cheerful flowers.

Last but certainly not least, a report on the Mountain Mint that came back on the plane from Baton Rouge in my stuffed suitcase. For several weeks, it looked pretty raggedy. Can't blame it really, being smooshed in there for a whole day, with just a wet paper towel in a baggie. But to my great delight, it has rebounded and is making itself right at home by the railing next to the thyme and tarragon. It is the strongest mint I've ever smelled. Here's hoping there's enough next year to try a distillation! Maggie at Prairieland does a mountain mint distillate, and gets so many raves on it. Either way, it's a beautiful little plant, and very brave to travel so far from home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have 12 blueberry plants that look just like yours. We planted them 3 years ago in March from Miller Nursuries mail order. The 1st year the deer got to them and that was a setback I'm sure. The next year my neighbor told me about something that works great: fishing line to keep the deer out. I set 4 corner posts (4' rebar) & tied the fishing line to that. No more deer problems, it really works. I'm told that they bump into it but cannot see it so it spooks them away. That won't help you with your ground hog or birds but I thought you might enjoy my story. As for a study & inexpensive frame for your bird netting, use pvc pipe. It is about 10 cents a foot, easy to cut & very sturdy. The corner connectors are a bit more expensive but still relatively cheap.

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