Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘transplanting trillium

Chicks Moved

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We left the lake place yesterday morning with the weather doing everything possible to make our departure as conflicting as possible. Alas, tasks at home beckoned, energizing us to focus on hitting the road before lunchtime.

Upon greeting our animals, we immediately turned our attention to planting the trillium we brought home with us. Instead of planting in spread-out sets of three, this time we are experimenting with planting them all together in a closer bunch.

They were pretty droopy by the time we got home, but most stems appeared to stand back up after we got them in the ground and watered. Time will tell whether they accept what we’ve done to them and go on to establish themselves 125 miles south of their previous location.

Next order of business was to complete the dividing of the coop space and then move the chicks from each of their separate brooder locations.

The Buffalo Gals went first and acted rather unwilling about getting picked up for the transfer.

We decided to move both sets of chicks to the coop on the same day, combining the shock of a new location and the first exposure to other birds to happen all at once.

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It was hard to tell which troubled each batch more, the new digs or the strange other chirping birds suddenly appearing in close proximity.

By nightfall, they all seemed to be doing just fine with their abrupt change in housing.

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Written by johnwhays

June 1, 2021 at 6:00 am

Survey Results

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We walked around in search of trillium yesterday and found mixed results. I think in my next transplant effort I will keep them closer to each other upon replant. Here is a view of three I planted:

No flowers, but the two at the top each have new sets of three leaves appearing beneath them. Is this the expansion underway that I seek? Better than finding none at all. In other locations, we struggled to find all three points of a triangle where I would have planted them. Sometimes two, sometimes only one.

At the same time, we did find several isolated trilliums with flowers located in places where neither of us remembers having transplanted any.

New growth on the ground in the forest is rather sparse this spring, maybe in a reflection of the uncharacteristic dry conditions we are experiencing.

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The photo on the left above is an example of new shoots appearing beneath the one with the flower, which excites us with hope that more could result in the future. The image on the right is an example of a lone trillium with little else of any variety seeming to flourish much.

It just might be a slim year of growth. Yesterday’s passing clouds never spit enough sprinkles out to simply wet the ground surface. We are forced to try to do some watering outselves.

I turned on the water to the labyrinth and we transplanted one more vine from where it was trying to strangle a tree to one of the legs of the gazebo. This will be the first year of an attempt to grow a canopy of leaves as the cover of the gazebo instead of the old canvas that was getting threadbare.

Nothing like trying to inspire new growth during a time of drought.

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Written by johnwhays

May 15, 2021 at 8:51 am

New Trillium

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This time of year the ground in our forests comes alive in response to the sunlight available before the leaves open fully to block much of it out. We have tried transplanting Trillium from the lake place in Hayward with hopes of establishing a thicket of self-expanding sprouts in the groves of trees closer to the house.

In the eight years we have dabbled with the project, the results have been a little anemic. Some seasons there have been encouraging numbers of flowers blossoming on the plants we relocated, but other years there haven’t been very many. During the first few years after transplanting, I was satisfied just to see the leaves show up in proof the plants were still alive.

Now I am more interested in finding some natural expansion of plants to offer some promise of achieving our goals. Just yesterday, Cyndie made an exciting find. Can you see it?

The interesting fact about that single flowering plant is that it showed up somewhere that we didn’t plant a batch.

Today we plan to audit the areas where we planted sets of three individual plants in little triangles to see how those are coming along. If they are flowering, it is easy to spot them. If not, the leaves can be easily overlooked among the variety of other ground cover thriving under all the sunshine temporarily available.

In a surprisingly short span of time, the forest floor will be predominantly shaded under the canopy of tree leaves that will be fluttering overhead.

Speaking of shade from trees, Cyndie also recently captured this image of a great shadow pattern of leafless branches from this young maple tree by the barn.

That view will be morphing very soon to a much less defined depiction of the branches.

The springing of spring is well underway. It makes the brief appearance of trillium blossoms all the more precious. Once the heat of summer arrives, the trillium tends to disappear from sight. At that point, hopefully, the colonies of rhizomes will be busy at work expanding under the leaf cover of the forest floor.

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Written by johnwhays

May 14, 2021 at 6:00 am

Similar Theme

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My visit yesterday to the Previous Somethings archive fed an urge to explore my media library from the earliest days of this blog. I found some images from eleven years ago which interestingly correlate with our life in the present.

Back in May of 2009, we were still living in Eden Prairie, MN, on a fraction-of-an-acre corner lot. At that time, we had no inkling we might be selling that house and moving within a few years. Back then, we were…

…building the frames for a raised garden!

This week, while I have been occupied with the day-job, Cyndie has decided to go a little further than the initial terrace we worked on together in the last few weeks. She framed in a few more spots for select plantings she’s decided to add which will need more space.

Another old photo I found was taken up at the lake place in Hayward. The month of May brings out a carpet of trillium in the woods up there that we totally adore.

Last night, Cyndie brought me a picture she took of one that just showed up in our woods at Wintervale.

We have been trying to bring a few trillium back with us from annual visits to the lake in May and have been transplanting them into various locations in our woods. I don’t know if we’ll live long enough to see them flourish and spread like they do at Wildwood, but each time I spot one here brings me great joy.

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Written by johnwhays

May 13, 2020 at 6:00 am

Various Snippets

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There are days –I bet you have them, too— when there isn’t one main story of the moment to tell. Just random tidbits that may, or may not, be related. Snippets.

Starting Thursday after work last week, Cyndie and I had a goal to get a lot done in preparation for World Labyrinth Day the following Saturday. I had it in mind to relocate a cold compost pile to a low spot we are building up. I told Cyndie it would just be 4-6 wheelbarrow loads. It turned out to be double that.

While huffing the loaded wheelbarrow up to the dump spot, I saw the stack of 15 pallets waiting to be stowed. By the end of Friday, we had built the fenced courtyard for the chicken coop, raked the round pen with the ATV, put the cover on the gazebo, raked, pruned, hung hammocks and a dozen other small simultaneous tasks.

It occurred to me that the number of spring chores we accomplished felt equivalent to annual Work weekend at Wildwood, except instead of a full community of six families, it was just Cyndie and me.

During one of my passes by the paddock that Friday, I stopped to take a picture of Hunter taking a serious full-sleep nap. I thought it was funny that in his complete unconsciousness, his relaxed lips produced a pearly white smile.

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As soon as I set down my tools and pulled out my camera at the fence, Cayenne walked up to meet me. Dezirea was quick to follow suit.

Yesterday, I was walking Delilah past the chicken coop when she reacted with unwanted interest in the chicks milling around inside their fence. I decided to try an exercise of getting her to lay down right next to their enclosure in calm submission.

The plan was to get her to engage directly with me, and disregard the (incredibly enticing) chicks. It was comical watching her struggle against her insatiable predator urge. This exercise will take a LOT of repetition if we have any hope of ever lulling her into a state of being able to regard the chickens as “friends, not food.”

Back to thinking about Wildwood again, while walking Delilah through the woods near the house, I paused to search for signs of our transplanted trillium blooming.

For the last several years, while up at the lake place for Memorial work weekend, we have collected samples of the trillium that carpet the forest floor around the property and brought them home to plant as ‘starters’ in hopes of replicating a similar display here.

We always plant them in sets of three in a triangle shape to help keep track of our success ratio. The results have been pretty good.

If you look closely at the image, there is a non-flowering trillium just behind and to the right of the lone blossom commanding all the attention.

It will be a thrilling sight when we finally find evidence of new sprouts from spreading rhizomes showing up among our original groups of three.

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Nascent Blossom

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It looks like we have some mixed success with our transplanting of last year. The maple sapling we hoped would be our 3rd-time’s-a-charm in the center of the labyrinth is not showing signs of life. For comparison, I check the trees of similar size back in the area from which we moved him, to see progress of buds and leaves. They already have a lot of buds.

Sad.

The good news is with our trillium. I’m not sure we have 100% success, but any is better than none, and we definitely have a couple groups of blossoms.

DSCN4727eIt’s a long way from the carpet of flowers we get in the woods up at the lake place, but it’s a great start! The next excitement to celebrate will be the day we see them spreading naturally and bringing up new shoots nearby. That’s what we are hoping for anyway.

Since we have success transplanting small plants, I am tempted to just transplant a little seedling of a maple tree to the labyrinth to increase my odds of success. If I would have done that a few years ago, we’d probably now have one about the size of what I keep trying to move.

It is just so tempting to see a nice crown of leaves overhead in that spot. I’ll probably try again next fall. First, we’ll find one that looks like a good candidate when it is fully leafed out this summer, and we’ll mark it. Then when it drops its leaves and goes dormant, we’ll dig it up and move it.

Hoping the 4th time will be the charm.

Place your bets on which we will achieve first: a naturally spreading carpet of trillium blossoms in our woods, or a surviving transplanted maple tree in the labyrinth garden.

I’m going to keep trying to accomplish both. Practice makes perfect.

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Written by johnwhays

May 5, 2016 at 6:00 am