The shrubs in front of the sunroom look pretty nice -- I ended up moving the junipers farther away from the middle rhododendron, and put Autumn Joy sedums in between for fillers; eventually the shrubs will get big enough that the sedums will have to be moved out, but in the meantime I think it looks a little better this way!
Corallorhiza striata / Coral Root -- a native North American orchid.
I came across this plant yesterday sheerly by chance, when the dogs were barking at something in the woods and I went to see what their problem was. Fortunately the plant is outside their invisible fence boundary where they won't trample it. I don't remember ever seeing one of these before, and this clump is growing in quite a barren looking spot in the woods to the south of our house. Coral root is a "saprophytic" plant that does not make chlorophyll but lives off rotting vegetation, similar to mushrooms. I've been searching around and have found a couple of other single stalks, but no other clumps like this. I'm quite curious to see how long it will live.
A closer look at the Coral Root flowers. We had rain most of yesterday, otherwise the spring has been very dry; I'm wondering if the new moisture will cause more of these to pop up out in the woods. The mosquitoes in the cedar swamp are a little overbearing this time of year, but I really want to go scouting to see what else I can find -- I can't believe we've lived here for 20 years and I've never come across these before!
For more information about the species of Coral Root that grow in Wisconsin --
We had a record low temp yesterday morning, 34 degrees (F). Everything is covered with Reemay anyway, to keep the cats from digging until things get big enough to fend for themselves. I had closed the greenhouse and hoophouses up for the night and didn't open them until the sun was pretty well up -- pretty steamy inside them by that time, having watered everything the previous evening! I still have way too many tomatoes and peppers, will have to search for some more people to give them to.
Rain, rain and more rain lately; I thought today was going to be dry and I could take care of some weeding out in the garden, but no such luck. So, looks like it will be some house cleaning first, and then I'm going to go work on cleaning out the greenhouse. I still want to pot up a few hanging baskets to put outside the sun room, and a couple of bigger containers to put out in back -- in the dog yard, they can't trample them when they are in containers -- and then want to get everything else cleaned out and give the greenhouse a much-needed cleaning inside and out. Supposed to be sunny all this coming week, so should be able to get things back in order. Grass needs mowing again, so that should give me enough mulch for the corn area. The pole beans are starting to climb the trellis and the garlic scapes are starting to stand up, and we're still picking a fair amount of asparagus. Life is good this time of year!