Native orchid bumper crop

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Taking up NativeVA's challenge to jump-start this forum...

We have embarked this summer on some home improvements around the 10 acres of the Valley - mostly to the house with an addition, but also with some circulation improvements to access the rear of the house, some grading, etc. So, that required mowing an area that I've pretty much left to regenerate for 6-8 years - on land that used to be grazed-to-the-nub cattle pasture when we moved here.

This area adjoins a corridor that I make one pass through to mow out a walking path, and where 2 years ago I first noticed a narrow white flower spike on a couple plants in July. Lo and behold, I had found my first Spiranthes sp. on my property!

Fast forward to this summer, and this area that I just mowed a month ago suddenly reveals more than a dozen more blooming spikes. You never saw anyone move to install CAUTION tape so fast, to forbid construction movement in this zone. Like a proud papa, I made sure each worker got a good look at what I was protecting - and made appropriate cooing noises at these babies.

Sometimes, just leaving things alone reaps many rewards.

Thumbnail by ViburnumValley
Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Two years ago I cleared the leaves off of a band of wooded ground adjoining the perimeter of our moss lawn, I intended to add more woodland garden but other demands resulted in the cleared ground laying unattended. Spring of last year I was delighted to find a volunteer of Scutellaria integrifolia, so I left the area alone. This year I now have a drift of several dozen plants. Unfortunately I neglected to get a photo this year. ViburnumValley makes a good point that just letting nature take its course can bring nice surprises.

Edit: Sorry for the fuzzy photo, its all I have to show .

This message was edited Jul 26, 2011 10:13 PM

Thumbnail by greenthumb99
Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Let that be a lesson to you!

Of course, we'll expect you to mark your digital calendars as a reminder, and get fresh photos next year when these wee ones bloom...

Craig Co., VA(Zone 7a)

We found some Lady's Tresses last year and transplanted some to our "Nature Trail". I should check on them, last time I looked they hadn't sent up a flower stalk. Maybe they flower every other year or still settleing in from the transplant.

I found some Scull Cap this year and transplanted it. It seemed to tolerate it well. Mine was blue and it was blooming in May. I will post a picture when I get home (if I remember).

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