An unplanted roadside garden right beneath our feet at the bottom of the front steps caught our eye this afternoon with blue-green Doorweed -- AKA Prostrate Knotweed -- (Polygonum aviculare) spreading its knotted stems over the warm gray-and-peach New England granite curb and reaching out over the cool gray of the asphalt pavement below. A sudden summer shower had created an unplanned reflecting pool, where lacy gray-green Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) leaves offset a single spring green leaf from a volunteer apple tree in the lot next door. A shocking pink rose petal (in the crack, lower left) had blown across the street from Eastern Salt's rosebeds, adding a striking color note to the low-key grays and greens of the overall composition. We're entering our picture in Fred's aggregate gallery of "America's Roadside Bloomery," described below.
"It would be neat for contributors from all over the country to offer their images to an aggregate gallery called Unplanted Gardens: America's Roadside Bloomery," writes naturalist, photographer and writer Fred of Fragments from Floyd, Virginia, whose stunning images and entertaining, informative writing style we discovered in last week's Circus of the Spineless. We couldn't agree more about the charm of nature's volunteer gardens and were inspired to run right out and start shooting along Marginal Street, the thoroughfare that runs between our house and the Chelsea Creek. Fred pictures a friendly competition with prizes:
All images would include in their composition a road of some kind, just to place it, and then the wildflowers that grow there unplanted. Hiway department wildflower beds don't count.
Each image should be 72 dpi, max size of 800 pixels on the largest side. Information should minimally include the location, if possible some ID on the flowers, and any other pertinent or interesting information . . . I will upload them to a public gallery on Smugmug.
Click on over to Fred's for full details re submitting your own favorite unplanted garden images. As for ourselves, besides the curbside Doorweed garden above, we're thinking about a volunteer espalier of Hedge Bindweed growing on an old chain link fence we saw down the pike the other day, not to mention dozens of other examples of our signature "beauty in unexpected places" that always crop up on daily walks around town. If you're so inclined, please join in. The more the berrier.
When plants decide to garden, they don't yell "timber!" In the high winds of a brewing thunderstorm this afternoon, the Silver Maple that dominates our side yard decided it was time to prune one of the large upper branches. Note Baby, top center, trotting out to inspect the damage. Tiny was off to his right in the little house, adopting a wait-and-see attitude. Speaking intimately to the pussycats, who were out on their tethers, we didn't even notice anything was amiss until Tuck happened outside and declared how lucky we were that the heavy branch hadn't crashed down on the animals or any of the garden plants. Instead it had fallen onto the lawn just beyond the parterre garden, taking only a few petunia petals with it.
In the manner of cats, Baby commandeered the box Tuck's new pole chain saw came in the other day and made it his own. As we wrote a couple of years back, quoting Winston Furchill, "There is no bag or box that a cat cannot conquer."
You don't suppose the Silver Maple knew that Tuck had just purchased a new Remington Electric Pole Chain Saw from Home Depot and was planning to go after some of those high branches himself? Are plants -- like cats -- always in control?