Lately I’ve been enjoying some of the humble plants that came with my land.
We bought most of our 6 acres, a parcel at a time from our neighbors, Eddie and Margurite Chestnut.
Margurite was (and still hopefully is) quite the gardener. She planted her own yard to the nines but we also notice remnants of Margurite’s landscaping through the woods and along the creek.
I’m not sure if these plants were deliberately planted or if she just dumped out yard waste and it took root.
At any rate some of the plants like English ivy are quite annoying.
Others are not too invasive and are mildly entertaining – like the occasional clump of cast iron plant.
And then there are those that we are quite fond of like the spider lilies which recently blossomed profusely.
This was a good year for spider lilies. I had never noticed them along the creek bank but in late winter we initiated a massive privet clearing effort that allowed the sun to come in. The results were spectacular.
I do love wildflowers and even though the spider lily (Lycoris radiata) is not native, it does not seem to displace indigenous plants. Hopefully it is helping to hold the creek bank.
Maybe spider lilies are less offensive to me because they stay below ground for a great part of the year. When the leafless blooms burst from the ground in early autumn they are like beautiful party girls popping up out of a cake.
I’ve also been admiring our most common aster. Years ago Sidney McDaniel identified it as Aster dumosus. It has since had a name change to Symphyotrichum dumosum. On the internet I recently learned that it is called bushy aster or rice button aster. We just always thought of it as “our” aster.
It is a white frothy little thing that appears any where there is a little sun and lack of mowing. It glows in the late afternoon light.
Last Sunday we had some very enjoyable company – our friends Danny and Rebecca Brantley. We were all sitting out along the creek burning a small stick fire for amusement. We talked about life and laughed at each other’s stories.
The spider lilies were waning. And the bumblebees were foraging on a bushy aster nearby. Their gentle buzz almost put me to sleep
That’s reason enough to love a bushy aster.
It reminded me of a line from an Ian Campbell song that Kate Wolf recorded “In the park, the dreamy bees are droning in the flowers among the trees…”
Spider lilies for days and dreamy asters – that’s a lot of free entertainment.