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Friday, March 30, 2012

Shrubs and potatoes...

It is supposed to start raining this weekend, so tonight would be a great time to get your potatoes in the ground (and shortly it will be time to harvest your garlic if you planted it last fall.)  We planted potatoes at our house two nights ago.  I use the term "we" quite loosely, I was not actually involved in the potato planting, I was trying to encourage my Bee Balm to grown in different places from where it was sprouting, and I finally cut down all of the seed heads on the plants from last winter.  I figure that the birds have quite enough food sources now!!

I do not know if you have noticed but the mild and early spring has done wonders for the blooming shrubs.  One of the native gems of our woodlands, Lindera benzoin (Spicebush) really has had a banner year in the bloom department.  I can not recall the last time that spicebush was so noticeable.  I call it a gem because it  is practically deer resistant, fairly hardy, and is a great staple of our woodland understory.  It was also one of the first shrubs I was able to identify with confidence. It has a few tell tale markings that make it easy to identify in all seasons.  The bark is greyish with pale lenticels (or dots in technical terms), the leaves are elliptical shape, and the leaves are very aromatic when crushed.  You will also smell the "spice" when you break  branch.  The photo above is a great snapshot of the wonderful spring bloom, and if you look closely you can see the lenticels on the bark.

I caught a glimpse of a great shrub blooming while I was driving down the road.  If traffic conditions allow, I'll have some photographs to share of a great shrub with great historical significance in the very near future.

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