Tag Archives: shade and drought tolerant

Conquering Daphne

It’s a fabulous season for finding my inner guerilla.  On my morning walk I noticed a bunch of healthy daphne / spurge-laurel beside a wooded trail.

I have a paradoxical relationship with daphne.
I like it because its evergreen, drought tolerant, and deer resistant…
BUT the Coastal Invasive Species Committee call it invasive.
AND daphne has poisonous berries & wicked toxic sap that irritates eyes & skin.
BESIDES that – – there are less offensive options to replace daphne.

daphne beside trail
photo by SVSeekins

The rainy season & my mood convinced me that today I didn’t like it.  So I decided to pull some daphne closest to the trail edge & my gloved hands.

I braced my feet,
bent my knees,
gripped the main stalk,
and PULLED.

Lo & behold the daphne slipped out of the ground easily!  Roots and all!  Woo hoo!

I felt like pounding my chest & letting out a guerilla roar!

I moved to another… and another.   🙂

tap root of a young daphne ws
photo by SVSeekins
developed root of an older daphne
photo by SVSeekins

A young daphne has one primary root, so in winter’s wet soil it pulls out readily.  If it’s a couple of years older, it has more developed roots securing it in the ground .  Even so, it comes out without much trouble at all!

In about 10 minutes I pulled 86 daphne!
(Seriously!!  I counted.)

daphne pulled in about 10 minutes
photo by SVSeekins

There were more still standing beside the trail but I had places to go…
so I left those behind for another day.

This is certainly the best time of year to conquer daphne.

I reckon I’ll add a little daphne pulling to my morning walk.

How’s this for an exercise regimen:

  • get fit
  • roar like a guerilla
  • AND conquer an invasive!

Why not?

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2014

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Winter’s Joy – Snowdrops

snowdrops blooming 2013 12 27
photo by SVSeekins

The solstice passed & each day is just a little brighter than the last.  With optimism I step outside searching for signs of the new year…

JOY !!  Snowdrops in bloom  🙂

If these little bulbs can thrive during the cold, cloudy winter, then so can we.

Happy New Year!

P.S. Ok, to be honest:  these blooms are not from my yard.  I searched & searched but found no signs of them yet. BUT  – –  Just 6 houses down the street, there they are!  Talk about micro-climates.    🙂    All the more reason to go for a walk, eh?

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013

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Meadow Blooms 4 – Fawn Lily

How could I have missed this?   For years I lived right across from Beacon Hill Park!  I celebrated their fabulous meadows every spring.  Daffodils & tulips in March & April; later the camas meadows in May…. But somehow this Fawn Lily meadow had eluded me – until now!

Fawn Lily meadow at Beacon Hill Park
photo by SVSeekins

I first became aware of native fawn lily when a naturalist pointed them out during a spring wild flower walk around Elk Lake.  The fawn lilies grow along the forest edges of the walking paths there.  I was particularly charmed by the leaf pattern: dappled spots just like the back of a fawn.   (Aw…  Bambi flowers…)

Fawn Lily bloom & leaf CU
photo by SVSeekins

Since then I’ve noticed fawn lilies along the trail around Cedar Hill Golf Course, too.  Later, I was delighted to discover them growing wild in the backyard at the Cedar Hill Road house.

Of course when we planned our move to the Richmond house, it was IMPORTANT to bring some of those fawn lilies with me to the next yard.

They had such long taps (6 inches or more) that led down to thin, elongated bulbs.  They were really tricky.  Most broke off & stayed rooted where they grew, but I did get a few.

Only a couple survived the transplant trauma.  The 2 successful specimens are in the border near the driveway.  For the first 3 years they just produced leaves.  Last year one bloomed!  I’m coddling them (go figure).

3 x fawn lily at Beacon Hill Park
photo by SVSeekins

I’ve also been buying seeds from the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary & scattering those willy-nilly.  So far, no luck, but I have dreams.

One gardener from the Native Plant Study Group tells me that she seeds them into trays & lets them sit outside for a couple of years.  That way they’re easier to identify when they come up, & she doesn’t weed out the tiny babies by mistake.  She’ll eventually be able to move them into her beds to naturalize.

I might just have to do that myself – – if I can muster the patience.  I have lots of dreams, but little patience.    🙂

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013

P.S.  Here’s some other meadow faves: