Monthly Archives: March 2014

Bogue Chitto State Park, LA: plants in bloom March 2014

TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_BogueChittoStatePark_RStafne-023_WEB

TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_BogueChittoStatePark_RStafne-023_WEB

Bogue Chitto State Park is located in Franklinton, Louisiana (about 35 minutes north of Abita Springs, LA). I recently traveled there for a hike with my husband and two dogs. What a wonderful surprise! I am only sorry we did not know about this state park sooner. As pictured above, there was tremendous spring color to be found, including Gelsemium sempervirens, Prunus serotina, and native maple (Acer species).

Below are many images I captured during our hike, which wasn’t the ideal time for photography, but photography wasn’t the reason for our visit. I would love to elaborate more on each plant, but working with the images, researching the plants, and putting it all together has maxed out my daily limit. Where in doubt of the species, I have only indicated the Genus.

 

TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Malus species in flower. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

The image above is likely a crabapple. Note the pale pink blossoms, indicative of the Malus genus. Below is what looks like a wild apple. Its a rather old, shaded tree, but the flowers were all white and very beautiful in the afternoon sun.

Malus species. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Malus species. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Parsley hawthorn. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Parsley hawthorn. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

The images here (above and below) are small trees/large shrubs in the Crataegus genus. My first thought was definitely parsley hawthorn, an outstanding native. In the first image, the flowers seem to be more white, whereas in the lower image, the tree seemed to have very dominate pink anthers (pollen part). It could have been lighting I suppose, but it gave off a different feel. (don’t forget, you can double click each image to see the larger size as these are “medium”)

TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Below is a Trillium! One of spring’s sweet surprises. Keep your eyes peeled on the ground for this low growing and somewhat shy native.

Trillium. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Trillium. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

The Illicium at this state park were incredible. Hurry and get up there now to see the glorious blooms. I had never seen so many Illicium floridanum in one area, and certainly not blooming!  While quite showy, their smell was somewhat along the lines of a dirty fish aquarium.  But you did have to get close to smell it. I had a variegated variety of this native growing in my yard, but it did not survive the year after planting.  I would like to try again.

Illicium floridanum. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Illicium floridanum. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

In a recent post about what’s blooming in my yard, I included a note about Vaccinium elliottii, Elliott’s blueberry. There were several plants still blooming along the trails at Bogue Chitto.

Vaccinium elliottii. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Vaccinium elliottii. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

I could not have been more surprised to find a flowering dogwood along the trails. Some of the trails lead you up hills with overlooks of the ravines below. This higher level of well-drained soil provided the perfect niche for a dogwood. This tree was relatively old and the flowers were about twenty feet high into the canopy. They were not white, but a creamy light yellow.

Cornus florida. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Cornus florida. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

I spotted a couple of little violets, some that were white tinged with purple and this lovely lavender colored specimen below.

Viola. TheGardenMaiden_copyright

Viola. TheGardenMaiden_copyright-2014

Often seen popping up in lawns, species of the genus Hedyotis could be found along the trails in sunnier locations.

Hedyotis. TheGardenMaiden_copyright

Hedyotis. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Last week I photographed Nothoscordum in my own yard and have since found huge swaths of it blooming in unmowed roadsides. The image below was a specimen along the trails we hiked.

Nothoscordum bivalve. False garlic. TheGardenMaiden_copyright

Nothoscordum bivalve. False garlic. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Certainly I was impressed with all the native blooming plants at Bogue Chitto, including several Halesia, I believe H. diptera. Similar to the flowers of Elliott’s blueberry, Halesia diptera have cute little bell-like flowers that hang daintily from their slender stems.

Halesia diptera. Silverbell.  TheGardenMaiden_copyright

Halesia diptera. Silverbell. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Its always fun to identify a plant that you never remember seeing or learning before. Such was the case with the small tree below: Symplocos tinctoria (common sweet leaf)! Getting up close and personal with the flowers was a special treat.

Symplocos tinctoria. TheGardenMaiden_copyright

Symplocos tinctoria. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

The genus Senecio is large and at the moment I don’t have time to key out the two yellow-orange spring wildflowers. They are members of the family Asteraceae and as best as I can tell, are both in the genus Senecio. They were blooming side by side along the shadier areas of the trail, particularly the lower, wetter areas.

Asteraceae family. Either Senecio a.k.a. Packera genus. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Asteraceae family. Either Senecio a.k.a. Packera genus. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Asteraceae family. Either Senecio a.k.a. Packera genus. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

Asteraceae family. Either Senecio a.k.a. Packera genus. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

 

You can find a great resource from Louisiana State University Ag Center in their Native Tree Guide.

The bathrooms were clean, stocked, and plentiful. Our dogs had a great time hiking the trails with us and we can’t wait to go back. There were hills to climb, streams, lakes and a river to to explore. Many folks were camping, running trails, hiking, biking, fishing  and walking with families and friends.  It was a very safe and well-maintained park. Kudos to LA State Parks!

 

Exit sign at Bogue Chitto State Park. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_BogueChittoStatePark_RStafne-360_WEB

Exit sign at Bogue Chitto State Park. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014

We recommend ending a day of hiking with some tasty, fresh, local microbrews and grub at the Abita Brew Pub in Abita Springs. Their patio is also leashed-dog friendly!

Keep on Growin’
The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden

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Categories: National & State Parks, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blooming in My Yard: March 15-21, 2014

What's Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

What’s Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

This week I have seven flowers to share with you from what is blooming in my Mississippi yard.  The first is the image above of the iris growing at the base of an oak tree. I was so excited to see them open on Thursday. They have a very soft fragrance and really thrive at the base of the tree.  These iris were already growing there when I moved to the house. I have no idea which variety, but to me it doesn’t matter as much as just having them here as I left about seven different varieties of iris at my previous home in Oklahoma, most of which it seems were destroyed by the new homeowners, I was sad to see.

What's Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

What’s Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

The second image  is a very old apple tree, with just a small bit of life left in its tired old bones.  I cannot bring myself to cut it down, but I have planted a fig near the base with the hopes that it will be able to take over and replace the apple tree when it finally gives up the ghost. Its always good to plant for the future.

What's Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

What’s Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

A member of the Rosaceae family just like the apple tree above, these dewberries are flowering prolifically around my yard (sometimes to my dismay) and along roadsides throughout the region.  One can often find members of the same plant family blooming at the same time.  Dewberries produce edible fruit if you can get them before the birds or other animals. Growing along the ground, they make for easy pickens. Dewberries, Rubus trivialis, are native plants. Read more about dewberries on Wildflower.org.

What's Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

What’s Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

Dianthus, pinks, are beginning to flower. This winter they only rested from flowering for about six weeks, though the past two winters, they produced a bloom or two all winter. Growing in a half-whiskey barrel, these hardy gems are easy to grow and trouble-free. I deadhead them throughout the year to keep them flowering. The only trouble I have had with this planting were fireants that made their home in the pot. I have treated them successfully with fireant powder once per year. Fireants and poison ivy…two garden pests I despise and treat.

What's Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

What’s Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

The following three plants are natives that you may be missing in your lawn or garden if you apply herbicides and/or grow a monocultured lawn. The image above is known as lyreleaf sage or cancer weed, a member of the Lamiaceae family (mint, henbit and dead nettle family), one of my favorites for spring. Grab your hand lens and observe the tiny flowers closely. The family for these plants is also referred to sometimes as labiate due to the flower structure (2-lipped). They are magnificent and typical of the family. A native perennial, Salvia lyrata, makes a nice groundcover! Are you familiar with the groundcover called ajuga? Well, this has a very similar growth habit because they are in the same family! Wildflower.org reports this to be a good plant for butterflies and hummingbirds. As with most members of the mint family, there are many herbal medicinal references for Salvia lyrata if you search the web.

What's Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

What’s Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

Why I am nearly positive the plant above is Erigeron quercifolius (oakleaf fleabane), I can tell you for certain it is a member of the Asteraceae family. The leaf shape is distinctive which is why I believe it to be E. quercifiolius, and not one of the other Mississippi native Erigeron species. This plant grows in partial shade near the plant above, close to a sidewalk. After flowering I will go ahead and mow them down. Wildflower.org reports this plant to be a host for beneficial insects.  Another good reason NOT to spray herbicides on your lawn to create some fakey “perfect” portrait of what someone has told you a lawn should look like.

What's Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

What’s Blooming in My Yard. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2014_RStafne-109_WEB

My final flower for the week is a member of the Liliaceae family (a monocot).  Pictured above, Nothoscordum bivalve (as known as Allium bivalve) is commonly known as false garlic or crow poison. This dainty, perennial bulb can be found popping up in lawns or along roadsides. It is a native plant for Mississippi. I mow around these little guys until they are finished flowering.

When keying out plants, having a great resource is invaluable. Although I have not yet found a printed key for Mississippi, I can usually get to the “family” using my KEYS TO THE FLORA OF ARKANSAS. This book was written by one of my professors at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Edwin B. Smith. Additional resources for Mississippi native or wildflower identification can be found on USWildflowers.com (or your state).

If you happen to find an error in plant identification, let me know. I do try to verify all plants and plant names with at least three sources, but mistakes happen.  I love to learn if you know something I’ve missed.

Another day of planting awaits! I put together a few more raised beds yesterday and need to get them planted today. Rain comin’ on Sunday! Happy SPRING ya’ll!

Keep on Growin’
The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden

Categories: What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture Field Day TODAY: high tunnel, irrigation, mulching, fruit crops

I wanted to submit a post about an event taking place today near Goodman, MS.  Although it will be too late for most to attend if you are just learning of this event, there are many more excellent events put on by this organization throughout the year. Please read below! Professors from Mississippi State University will be some of the invited guest speakers today. This will include Drs. Eric Stafne, Rick Snyder and Bill Evans.  I have copied the information from their flyer. Contact information for this event and this organization are listed below. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn and grow. Like and follow the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production on FB

Like me too! 🙂

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–  Field Day

 

High Tunnel, Mulching, and Irrigation Demonstrations; Fruit Crops: Site Selection and Varieties

March 21, 2014

10:00 – 2:30 P.M.

At the

Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm

Near Goodman, Mississippi in HolmesCounty

Plastic Mulch Laying and Irrigation                    High Tunnel

Mulching machine: lays black plastic, lays drip      Construction and production

tape, and makes raised bed – at the same time!

DIRECTIONS TO DEMONSTRATION FARM

The demonstration farm is located in Holmes County, Mississippi – off Hwy 51 between Goodman and Durant.  Visitors may exit I-55 at exit 146/Hwy 14 and travel 3 miles east to Goodman and Holmes Community College.  From Goodman, travel north 3 miles on Hwy 51 to Coleman Road on the left.  Visitors may also exit I-55 at exit 150/State Park Road and travel east through the park toward Hwy 51.  From the park, travel 1 mile south on Hwy 51 to Coleman Road on the right.  The farm is 1 mile southwest of Hwy 51 at 1184 Coleman Road.  (LOOK FOR NEW SIGNS ON HWY 51 AND AT COLEMAN ROAD)Contact Keith Benson, Farm Director, for more information: 601-988-4999 or keithmdp@yahoo.com

 

Sponsors and Partners

 Mississippi State University Extension Service

Alcorn State University Extension

University of Mississippi Transactional Law Clinic

Funds for this project were provided through the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, USDA Specialty Crop Grant Program

If you cannot attend the event today, March 21, here is a list of events for the remainder of the 2014 year.  Mark your calendar:

Friday, March 21st                                        Registration: 10:00AM                 High Tunnel, Mulching and Irrigation Demonstrations

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     Fruit Crops: Site Selection and Varieties

Legal Assistance to Farmers

Friday, April 18th                             Registration: 10:00AM                 Growing Warm Season Crops: Vegetables, Fruits,

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     Herbs, Spices and Flowers

“Muscadine Clonal Propagation (Hands-on Session)

Friday, May 16th                               Registration: 10:00AM                 Marketing: Specialty Food Stores *

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     Networking and On-Line Presence *

Friday, June 20th                                             Registration: 10:00AM                          Crop Scouting and Integrated Pest, Disease and

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     Weed Management; and Vendor Opportunities

Friday, July 18th                                               Registration: 10:00AM                          Certification Options and Assistance:

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     USDA GHP/GAP Program *

Farm and Food Safety and Post Harvest Handling

Friday, August 15th                                     Registration: 10:00AM                 Risk Management and Insurance

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     Legal Assistance to Farmers

Friday, September 19th                          Registration: 10:00AM                 Growing Fall Crops and Vendor Opportunities

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM

Friday, October 17th                       Registration: 10:00AM                 How to Plan a Profit and Produce It:

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     Recordkeeping, Farm Labor, Equipment and Inputs

Friday, November 21st                            Registration: 10:00AM                 Preparation for Spring Planting: Crop Nutrient

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     Management; Pest, Disease and Weed Control; Irrigation; Crop Rotation; Cover Crops and Soil Testing

Friday, December 12th                  Registration: 10:00AM                 Crop Selection/Seed Acquisition for Spring Planting,

Program: 10:15AM – 2:30PM     Equipment Maintenance, Selection and Acquisition

LOCATION: Alliance Demonstration Farm, 1184 Coleman Road, Goodman, MS.  RSVP: Keith Benson, 601-988-4999, keithmdp@yahoo.com  Pre-registration is required, so that we can plan for training materials and lunch.

SPONSORS AND PARTNERS: Funds for this project were provided through the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, USDA Specialty Crop Grant Program; Mississippi State University Extension Service, Alcorn State University Extension, and University of Mississippi Transactional Legal Clinic.  * Follow-on meetings/workshops will be conducted to work with farmers/producers who have a strong interest in these topics!            

Keep on growin’

The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden

Categories: Plant Related Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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