By the calendar it's not yet late winter, but the weather is pure spring. Today we evicted the weeds from the Heritage Center beds and cut back the remainder of last year's perennial stems. The columbines are emerging In the Rain Garden some of the invading grasses and winter weeds are pushing up through the leaf mulch, so those were also evicted. The bee balm is showing signs of life. At the Native Plant Garden, we began cutting back the broomsedge and again evicted the invading winter weeds. Our one elderberry shrub is beginning to leaf out.
I forgot to get a photo of our progress in the gardens, but I will share one of a woodland scene from a few days ago. This moss-covered boulder speaks of many seasons of undisturbed tranquility off the beaten path, pleasant to contemplate after several hours of garden chores.
Pocahontas has so many trees, we tend to take them for granted. A tree is a tree is a tree. You've seen one, you've seen them all. Well, maybe not. Our newest hiking trail feature's an imposing tuliptree, the Big Poplar. We've recently found an oak that's even larger in trunk girth. The tree pictured here is certainly unique, the stuff of monster stories, perhaps, or of forest gnomes.
The weather has been on the warm side lately, with a record high of 74 yesterday. The winter weeds are responding to the stronger sun and warmth: dandelions, common chickweed and hairy bittercress are blooming. At the District Office, I spent about an hour micro-weeding, mostly small vetches. The ground is moist but not soggy, and most perennials are still dormant, so it's a good time to transplant. I brought a clump of Blue Wild Indigo from home and spent another hour adding it to the Heritage Center garden. It probably won't grow enough this year, but by next year my hope is that it will provide some shade for the Wild Ginger on either side of it, which is in a too-sunny location at the east end of the building.
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.