Leslie led a tour of the garden to a lively, lovely group of ladies, “The Garden Gals”. The visitors are from all around Northern Virginia and two of the ladies came back the next day to attend the Saturday in the Garden.
Looking perfectly happy and healthy in the Natives Garden is a Maple Leaf Hydrangea. Keeping this large specimen in such good shape took dedication from the bed’s leader, Ruth, from the very beginning of the season when she had fencing installed even before you could see the bush emerge from its slumber, just to keep the deer from eating it.
Observed in the Herb Garden is a very interesting plant not often seen; walking onions. Also known as Tree onions, topsetting onions or Egyptian onions, Allium ×proliferum, are similar to common onions (A. cepa), but with a cluster of bulblets where a normal onion would have flowers. Walking onion bulblets will sprout and grow while still on the original stalk, which may bend down under the weight of the new growth and take root some distance from the parent plant, giving rise to the name “walking onion”.
Hard-to-miss is the Giant Coneflower or Smooth Leaf Rudbeckia (cradling Threadleaf Coreopsis) in the Childrens Garden because it stands over 7 feet tall! Reports were that goldfinches were visiting the flowers before they even opened.
Leslie noticed a pest visiting the redtwig Redbud…a Redbud leaf roller; Fascista cercerisella. The characteristic injury is folding the edge of the leaf onto the upper surface and fastening it down with strands of silk. In the folded areas the larvae feed on the upper surface layer of the leaf. This brings about the drying out of the leaf and it turns brown. The larvae seem to be able to jump away quickly!
Noticed for its unusual scent and round flower is Santolina, Lavendar Cotton. Ruth kindly explained that this plant was historically used for “strewing” in homes as a room deodorizer and possibly as a pest mitigator.
So much going on in the Cooks Garden! Amye was caught busily harvesting beets and admiring the squash (top left) with its ripening flowers. Tomatoes are coming along, so is the buckwheat which is starting to flower. There is a broccoli head nearing maturity!
Joe and Larry work tirelessly to modernize and simplify use of the Compost Corral. New signs are being installed while in the background the bins are checked for adequate temperatures and turned when appropriate.
Enjoy the upcoming long holiday weekend!