Monday, May 14, 2012

Who Is Knocking Over My Shrubs??

This past weekend after doing some other yard work I walked around the yard to see what was blooming and how everything was growing.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this---

Not sure what you are looking at?  It is a Gardenia 'Frostproof' shrub, about 3 feet tall and wide.....falling out of the ground.  There are no broken stems, the soil around the rootball is not loose, it is a total mystery.
Here is a closer view--
The Gardenia up the hill from it has a parting of the center of the bush, but this one is over on its side.



These are almost two years old shrubs and have been very happy in this spot in the garden.  You may remember when  I had to replace another one closer to the front door.  The comparison from newly planted to first year's growth is here.
I am not sure about how to go about fixing this planting.   I am hoping to try on Wednesday to dig around it and settle the shrub back into the ground.   After I saw the falling over shrub we have had a couple days of rain, so  I don't want to get into the mud.  I will let it dry out a little.  My first thought is to dig up the one side and see if I can straighten it without displacing all of the root ball.  If that doesn't work, I will have to dig up the whole  shrub, make a good hole, and replant it.  Since this is on the hillside it will be tricky doing this.  Just standing in the bed behind the gardenias to see if I could figure out how to go about correcting it, I had anole jump on me while trying to get away from me.  I stepped right into his leap.  auggh.  Stay tuned for updates.

 Near one of my newer azalea plantings in the front woods is one of my little native finds.  Striped wintergreen or Striped Pipsissewa, Chimaphila maculata is blooming.  Such a cute little bloom.
When this was first discovered in my yard, I posted it, asking for help with an ID.  Daricia from A Charlotte Garden, was quick with an answer.   This week is the Garden Blogger's Spring Fling.  I will not only get to meet Daricia face to face, we will be roommates!  It is going to be a great weekend.


I do want to update you all on the septic field wildflowers....some are finally coming up and showing their pretty colors.   The Gaillardia is in the front part of our property and the septic field is across the street.

Blue cornflower Centaurea cyanus
 A close up of the few Blue cornflowers in the 'meadow'
 And the true view....we are having lots of rain, so hopefully more will pop in the coming weeks.

And my newest addition to the garden is blooming-- my Yorktown Onion.

For those who will be in Asheville, see you there!  

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

20 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to meeting you too! I'll be getting in Wednesday but not staying in the hotel of record but will be at the meet and greet Thursday I should think. The wildflower meadow is coming along nicely. I wish I had a spot for a meadow as they look like fun. Did you stamp the soil all around the shrub? The only thing I can think is voles. They will fell a shrub pretty quickly and you never know it until it either falls over or turns brown.

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    1. Tina,
      See you this afternoon!! Wish my meadow had a few more blooms in it. Slow progress I guess.
      No voles, the soil is solid.

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  2. You are going to have so much fun at the Fling! I hope you manage to post lots about it.

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    1. Alison, thanks, I am really looking forward to it.

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  3. Voles came to mind first, Janet, but it could be other critters. I would replant it and place large rocks around the stem to hold it in place until the roots can get established better. It could be years. I have had rabbits and squirrels dig around the roots of shrubs because the ground is softer there, then the shrub falls over or suffers. I have been using compost around them, then a layer of sharp gravel to deter the digging. See you soon, and thanks for the Prince Charles pic!

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    1. Frances, Voles came to my mind first too, but the soil is solid all around the shrub. I did replant and place some heavy rocks on the rootball. It was a good thing I did the rocks as we had another rain storm last night.

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  4. Sometimes cats and other animals do this to our plants and shrubs by sleeping in or under them at night...not sure that's what is wrong with yours. Love the wildflowers...

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    1. Darla, my initial thought (after checking for voles) was that a deer ran over it. Who knows what goes on at night!

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  5. As Frances mentioned, voles come to mind. That happened to my pieris japonica and a number of heucheras, pulmonarias and tiarellas. I managed to save the perennials, but not the shrubs.

    We've also had buddleia uproot after days of rain and then a heavy wind. We managed to put those upright and use stakes and string to keep them in the ground until roots took hold. We did have to trim them back to reduce the weight. It could be the soil in that spot was too soft after your rain.

    I hope you figure it out. No bears, right?

    Have fun at your fling. Sorry that I can't be there.

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    1. Freda, the roots were all intact, no vole activity. It is replanted and my fingers are crossed.

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  6. We have taken to making wire mesh cages for each new thing we put in the ground. A six-year-old hawthorne had its roots chewed off completely and other things got pulled down into the pesky critters' tunnels before our very eyes.

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    1. Ricki, Yes, I have been known to use wire mesh cages around plants. Underground critters are a pain.

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  7. Hi Janet, How curious about the knocked over shrub! The wildflowers are pretty and I really like your onion shot. Have a great time at the fling! I look forward to seeing all the faces behind the blogs I have come to know and love.

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    1. Jennifer, still a mystery to me. I am enjoying my onion. Maybe you will get to do a fling in the near future.

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  8. Lovely flowers Janet...cute wildflower especially...have funa t the Fling.

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    1. Donna, thanks! I love that little Striped Wintergreen.

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  9. Love the wildflowers. Hope the weather is great and that you have a great time in Asheville!

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    1. NCMountainwoman, thanks! Have been watching the weather, seems like perfect spring weather for our fling.

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  10. Hope you can figure out a solution to your gardenia Janet (and what caused it in the first place!) Living with Mother Nature always gives us challenges, doesn't it? I try to co-exist the best I can when it happens here.
    Jealous I can't be at the fling ~ I'd love to see Asheville, tour the Biltmore & meet some bloggers in person. Some year... Will watch for your photos instead. :-)

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    1. Kathleen, I think the gardenia got top heavy. Too much growth for the root structure to hold in the ground. Mother Nature is a crazy woman for sure!

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