Tag Archives: loblolly pine

In A Vase On Monday – Pine And Flora

In A Vase On Monday – Pine And Flora

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

January has been mild in temperature but wet, making the garden soggy. Carefully stepping into squishy soil yesterday morning I retrieved a small pine branch that had dropped into the border from the neighbor’s towering tree. The branch is the starting point for today’s vase.

To support the pine branch I reached into a treasure trove of florist pins donated to me by a friend and former coworker. She had inherited the collection from relatives and was kind to pass them on to me. There are various sizes and shapes, mostly metal pins, but a few made of glass.  The one I reached for is metal, an extra-heavy 3.5 by 4.5-inch rectangular one whose pins are sharp and nicely spaced. It gripped the branch easily in place.

Florist Pin 3.5 By 4.5 Inches

In A Vase On Monday – Pine And Flora

This arrangement is a bit like a sketch or prototype. I like it much more in person than in the photographs. With more time I would have trimmed and shaped the pine branch more and would returned to the garden for some taller materials to support the design. Perhaps too I would bind some of the needles in green wire. Possibilities are endless.

In A Vase On Monday – Pine And Flora

The hellebore bud used last week opened after a day inside. It is included in today’s vase along with one other, cut Sunday, that opened the same way.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

It is still possible to find a few camellias, so Yuletide is included again today. Daphne buds are reluctant to commit, but there are several stems with open flowers here and there.  I caught the fragrance as I cut the daphne and now am longing for it.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ and Daphne

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Daphne odora (Winter daphne)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Arum italicum
Pinus taeda (loblolly pine)
Black square plastic dish

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

Unseen Gusts and Rain

Today there are overflowing puddles and bird baths and even the grass has lost its crispy texture, but the garden is changed.  In our absence yesterday a heavy wind and rain storm passed through. Neighbors said it was fierce and significant, but everyone was surprised to see the trees down.

Crape Myrtle at Front Walk

Returning to the neighborhood, first I saw a next-door neighbor’s small oak tree had almost broken in half, the top had just folded over toward the ground. Just beyond at our house, an almost-blooming Crape Myrtle had snapped at the base and was lying in the street.  Its twin stood sturdy and strong, but missing its partner at the front walk.

One of a pair of Crape Mytles snapped at the base during a storm.

Not having seen the storm ourselves it was difficult to imagine what in the world had happened. The house seemed fine and was.

Of course I was curious how the garden had fared.

Ahh, a pine tree! We do not own any, having learned our lesson many years ago about living under pine trees. They fall.  They lose their tops. I did not need the reminder, but here it was and sure enough pine trees do still lose their tops! And even if a pine tree belongs to the back yard neighbors, a pine tree’s broken top can suddenly become one’s own problem.

Top of Loblolly Pine Landed Inside The Garden

Amazingly the pine fell inside our fence, rather than crashing down onto it, so the fence is not damaged. The meditation circle was filled with pine cones and a few small branches, but is otherwise unscathed. Early morning cleanup revealed a broken ‘Chuck Hayes’ Gardenia, a crushed Buddleja, a flattened Gaura and a few missing perennials, but mostly the garden was spared. It still looks a bit bruised though and will take some time to recover it dignity.

It is too soon to see this as an opportunity to redesign, but eventually it will work that way.

After Cleanup From The Storm

Longleaf Pine

I turned my back on pines and never looked back.  Living among loblolly pines for twenty-three years indeed was an experience. They were nice for the azaleas, but the deep scent of pines fallen in an ice storm and lying across the roof of the house is imprinted in my memory.  The cracking sound they make when they break off is easy to conjure as well.

But during Darwin Day at the Botanical Gardens today the garden walk highlighted for a few minutes a different pine, the longleaf pine. Our tour guide today, Johnny Randall, Assistant Director for Natural Areas and Conservation Programs, led a large group into the Sandhills habitat and discussed how longleaf pines had adapted to withstand seasonal fires. The garden now does a controlled burn in this small educational area to approximate the natural fire regime.  The smoke awakens the seeds. The bark can withstand fires up to about 120 degrees.

It is unlikely there will be pines in my current garden, but against the Carolina blue sky today the longleaf pines, the state tree of North Carolina, cast remarkable spherical shadows that were irresistible.

Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)