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Saturday, June 29, 2013






Saturday,  7:00 AM.  59 degrees, wind calm.  It i mostly cloudy  with a high overcast.  The humidity is very high at 92%, and the barometer is up slightly at 29.83".  I hope the weather holds, as we are planting the wildflowers and grasses at the new east trailhead to the Brownstone Trail.  The site is prepared for planting, the plants are waiting and we have secured permission to use water so we are all set.  I don't know how many volunteers will show up so I don't know how long it will take.  My role now is to lay out and supervise the planting,  since I did the plan.  I am hoping all goes well.
   High bush cranberry is not a cranberry at all, but a native Viburnum, Viburnum trilobum (AKA Americanum) with three-lobed, red maple-like leaves.  It has very interesting and decorative panicles of white flowers followed by red, edible fruit that stays on the bush well into winter, making it a good wild life plant as well. The fruit has long been used to make preserves. It is a shrub but can grow quite large or even tree-like.  It grows on woods edges and in wet places and is readily adaptable to the home landscape.
   The garden  Weigelas are all derivatives of the Weigela rosea, which is native to northern China and was introduced to England in 1845 and later to America.  I used to consider it an "old fashioned" plant but there are many newer hybrids.  It is beautiful in bloom but does not have much other seasonal interest.  It is very hardy and can be a good addition to the shrub border.
   The mountain maple, Acer spicatum, is a northern native woods understory shrub or small tree (use the blog search engine for more information and photos).  It bears interesting spikes of yellow flowers, blooming now, which are followed by rather attractive red, winged maple seeds.  It has outstanding blaze-orange (almost) fall leaf color.  I wish it were more available in the nursery trade, but it is hard to impossible to find.  I have never transplanted one myself so I don't know how easy or difficult it may be to move.
   Watching witness testimony before congress I am dismayed that the standard "I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," has somehow morphed into, "I refuse to tell the truth, any truth, even a little truth, but I promise to tell the smallest lies possible."  
  A democratic republic can survive wars, fires, tornadoes, floods and pestilence, but I fear it cannot survive institutionalized lying. 

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