Sunday, March 22, 2009

Okay, so it's been a bit since my last post.... I'll try to do better, I promise. Seriously, I have been working on another online project recently that I wanted to mention. I've created a full website for the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants that has pages for all the major thematic areas of the garden with links and photos. You can check it out at
One of my favorite parts of the site is the "Sneak Peek" page, that has a number of Blomquist garden photos as well as a link to the entire Blomquist photo collection on the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center photo database. Not only can you view every photo I've taken from the Blomquist garden, but I've made the images available for free for any non-profit use.

Lots of bird activity in the Blomquist these days... The most fun has been watching a nesting pair of Red-Shouldered hawks. They have a nest high in a pine tree not far from the pond with the millstone crossing. The best way to find them is to listen- they call to each other constantly, and one or the other is often busy bringing food back to the bird minding the nest. So far it seems that snakes are the food of choice. Also, Pine Siskins are recent arrivals at the feeders. Cedar Waxwings have been spotted finishing off the Winterberry Hollies as well.

Spring wildlfowers are really getting going. It looks as if the beginning of April will be prime time for the largest variety of blooms. Join us on the first Thursday in April for the monthly Blomquist guided tour. The April tour will be all about Spring Wildflowers in the Blomquist Garden.

The bridges in the Wildlife Garden will be going in this weekend (3/28). The planting in the garden is basically all done. Next step will be finding a few choice mossy logs and stumps to give it that "lived in" feel. Pine straw comes next, and then once the bridges are in place over the stream, the path is the last thing to be built. We're hoping to have it open for business by the middle of April. Come by!

Finally, I wanted to say thank you to all the Dirt Gardeners at the recent gardening symposium at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines. I gave a speech there about native spring wildflowers, and enjoyed myself immensely. A generous, attentive group who made me feel right at home. Thanks again! Till next time...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Holy Frijoles! It's March already?! A rainy, cold Sunday by the fireplace with a cat at my elbow soaking up the warmth. I am officially obsessed. No, not with the cat, with my job. The construction of the latest addition to the Blomquist garden has taken on a life of it's own inside my head. I wake up thinking about it. I dream about it. When I get home I want to eat dinner and go back to work with a flashlight. I've always enjoyed my work here, but this project has taken it to a new level. I think it's all about confluence. All the different hats I wear on a daily basis have come together in this endeavor to the degree that it's a bit scary. The Blomquist Wildlife Garden has brought the ecologist, gardener, writer, contractor and latent workaholic in me all into focus at once. I really feel that gardens like this, that focus on tying together issues like global warming, development, botany and wildlife ecology, are a huge source of hope for our future. I don't mean to imply that I think I can save the world with this garden. I do feel that I can influence and inspire others to possibly emulate elements of it's construction, and in doing so, spread the word about integrating nature back into our everyday lives, rural, suburban or otherwise. Truth to tell, it most likely looks like a pile of mud at the moment, after this weekends rain. It's a small space, really. You might come by and wonder what all the fuss I'm making is all about. Give me another month or so and check back. I'll be doing a tour of the garden once we have all the plants and interpretive signs in place- check this blog for dates (most likely the first Thursday in May). When it's completed, and it makes a contiguous tour route with the Endangered Species and Carnivorous Plant Collections to the south, visitors who might otherwise not take the time to appreciate this garden in the woods that is the Blomquist will follow the signs through these projects and leave a bit closer in spirit with the world out of doors. Who knows. Maybe I just need to believe I'm making a difference or I'll just fall on my spade. That would be messy. Let's save my fellow gardeners a nasty chore and save the planet, shall we?