[gardeners] Rescue from the ditch

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Thu, 01 Apr 1999 18:29:39 -0600

Miz Anne and I took the old Dodge in for repairs yesterday (turns out it
needs a valve job - not bad for 106,000 miles) and on the way back noted
a RED iris growing in a road ditch at Hazel Street and Hwy 90, sorta
semi-rural, well, at least lots of woods on one side. Since we always
carry a bucket or two and a small shovel in the trunk of each car we
stopped and took half of the clump. No houses within a half-mile so
wonder where it came from. It's what Miz Anne calls mauve and I call
red. At any rate we have no iris of that color but do now. While she was
digging the clump I wandered up the ditch and found a clump of cardinal
flowers, right where the city mows. We moved them to the edge of the
woods where they won't get mowed, we hope. Also found another red
honeysuckle/coral vine/woodbine, take your choice as it's called all
three around here. Dug it up to bring home to join the one that 12 feet
up an oak tree now. Planted this one at the base of the oak tree in the
front yard. Also found a clump of amaryllis in the same ditch and dug it
up, hope it survives as it was putting out a bloom stalk that wasn't far
enough along to determine color. Probably one of the big red African
amaryllis as there are lots of them around here.

When we got home the iris in the front bed that we couldn't determine
color on is blooming, it's a pale lavender. Another unknown iris we
rescued and planted has a bloom about to open and we think it's going to
be the really dark purple on top with the white lip (I hope, I hope). We
rescued this one out of a cemetary in Arkansas where many of my
ancestors are buried and this will be the first time it has bloomed in
the six years since we rescued it.

I'm really getting into this plant rescue stuff, saw an abandoned
homesite near one of the industrial sites I work in and got permission
to go on the property. Unfenced but belongs to a major refinery. Hope to
visit there tomorrow, know it has azaleas as I saw them blooming a week
ago, think it may have some old roses there as I vaguely remember a
splash of color in one corner. I'm getting excited about going there.

George, waiting for the grandkids to show up tomorrow