Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Foraging for Mountain Laurel

Hello and Good Thursday!
Here in Stuart, Virginia we are enjoying an absolutely glorious day. Yesterday, was much the same and I have to say I am ready for these warmer temperatures. 
The past week was filled with a good bit of sunshine but between the high winds and the deep drop in temperature during the night it was basically chilly. It didn't make me desire to do much outside or gardening. I'm glad today is another story.

What I've had on my mind today was Mountain Laurel. If you travel here in the mountainous south you will see it hanging over a rock wall or peeking out the side of an old country road. It's especially glorious on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 
It strikes a genuine heart-note for me. I love it! I love to see it. As a child many days was spent in it; making playhouses or playing hide-and-seek. For quite sometime, I have been wanting some of it here at the house;
mainly here, at this patch of ground between 
our driveway and the neighbors driveway.
I got a little stand of hostas started from some when my sister split hers a couple of years ago.
I was a bit stingy with it. I spread it a little thin as I put it all the way along the whole side of the driveway but it's starting to make a pretty good show of itself. 

I really want this to take on a look as if it just came along on it's on anyway. There's some rambling rose and some forsythia that blooms here as well. As it probably shows I don't really do much in the way of maintaining. At least not like a bona fide flower bed. The mountain laurel should work real nicely to help and a little more privacy and backdrop. 

Once Jack was on the bus, I finished my cup of coffee and gathered my tools to take to the woods to dig up a stash I found a few days ago.
My short(broke) handled shovel, limb snips, and my trusty maddox .
The maddox is my go to tool!

I will remind you to be sure not to gather your plants off the side of the public road or out of any of the parks.
You would stand a good chance of being fined.

Here a nice pic of Rhododendron which also grows wild here in the mountains and foothills. I wish I had found a good patch of it 
I had to go with what was here. 

It can be somewhat mistaken for each other but side-by-side pictures you can see how much smaller the leaves are.
I will say they both grow quite towering and full.
This is a small little bunch and a little scraggly
but I think it will come along.

I start my easily raking the leaves and sticks away to start to determine where the root is running. It's not really as much digging as it is pulling away the dirt. 
You wouldn't want to take a big swing or plunge right into you root and cut or break it off. 

Looks at my little find as I pulled the leaves away.
That leads me to another caution.
Do be mindful of other reptiles such as snakes before just reaching in to grab.
They really don't want any part of me and I don't want any part of them either but these are the kinds of places they like to be.

Pulling the dirt away deep enough you can see 
I've found a good strong piece of the main root. 

When I went to plant back at the house, I  dug up this old license plate from 1955.
I thought that was kind of neat so I wiped the dirt off and scrooched it in here with one of the plantings.

I do hope the next year or to I can share some pictures of my  little bank filled with blooms of roses and mountain laurel.

I also want to thank you for stopping by for a look at my cheap and come along gardening style.

Be Blessed!


  1. A good reminder about fines. I once was going to dig up bluebells, but didn't for that very reason! The license plate and log photo is so pretty. Perfect.

    1. I have been so tempted to pick or pull up something on the side of the road, too.I feel like a kid wanting to snitch some dessert before supper.I fend it off though. Thank you for the visit.

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