We had a 5¼-inch rain deficit from September–December 2022. It turned out to be the third-driest year of this century for us.
I was thinking that we started spring relatively well hydrated until I checked the local precipitation data through the National Weather Service. January–March had a rainfall surfeit of over 2½ inches, but that didn’t completely make up for last fall. It was enough rain at the right time to make the early spring plants happy, including the ginger.
“Your garden looks like an estate!” That comment really surprised me, but I realized that there is one thing this little yard has that most yards do not: beds with clearly defined edges and swaths of plants that are the same variety. Edges and swaths lead the eye around, and can make your yard seem both larger and calmer.
Fall is a great time to think about what changes you would like to make to your yard; many plants can be divided and moved around now that the temperatures are cooler. Summer’s damage can be appraised, and gardening mistakes can go discreetly into the compost pile.Continue reading “Edge Effects in Shade”
I was weeding—the Oxalis seed bank in my yard seems endless—so I was poking around under edges. When I got to the wild ginger, I felt something a little gooey, so I peeked. Not slugs. Whew. It was a ruptured seedpod, complete with some seeds. I am surprised to see that there are still flowers as well, as these plants start blooming in early May.
According to the US Forest Service, wild ginger seeds “have a little oily food gift attached to the seed; this appendage is called an elaiosome. The elaiosomes attract ants that carry the seeds off to their underground home where they consume the tasty food and leave the seed to germinate.” That probably accounts for the gooey feeling.