Six on Saturday – 09/05/2020 – frost and other surprises

It’s been a sunny but chilly week. So chilly, in fact, that we woke yesterday to a touch of frost, while areas not too far north of here had snow – deep enough to shovel! This isn’t surprising given our normal last frost date is closer to the last week of May than the first week. Nothing was harmed in the garden, and the frost made for some quite lovely photos. It features, for example, in this first of today’s Six things in my garden. (Feel free to visit The Propagator‘s site to see other Sixes from all over the place.)

1 – Frost dipped Vinca minor
2 – These are emerging Canada Mayapple – Podophyllum peltatum. When fully open this is a large, low leaf that looks like an umbrella, sort of. Very cool to see them come out of the ground like this.
3 – Apparently ‘stump gardens’ are the latest garden design rage. Take a hollowed out tree stump, fill it with dirt and plant something in it. OK. Here’s a stump from a large basswood that was cut last year along our street front; it was cut because it was rotting so the hollow was there. I dug up some Christmas Ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides, an evergreen native fern I had growing in the back woodland garden area) and plunked them in the stump hollow. I hope they’ll live through the summer (with watering, I imagine) and I’m curious to see if they’ll survive the winter.
Chipmunks are EVERYWHERE this spring! They seem to be getting used to me working from home, popping out into the garden at all hours of the day. This was not taken with a telephoto lens – I just happened to be walking through the side garden and heard a rustling. This little one looked at me for a long while while I snapped away, before it scurried into its burrow in the stone wall.

I hope all the mothers reading this have a lovely Mother’s Day tomorrow. Stay safe everyone.


  1. Stump gardening?! Seriously?! I have always grown Cymbidiums in stumps, primarily oak stumps that I wanted to get rid of without burning. The Cymbidiums like the rotten oak, but also accelerate decay. Of course, the Cymbidiums that do all the work need to be relocated as the stumps rot, but it is effective.

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      1. The stumps were barely visible as the Cymbidiums grew. It worked well enough that, without stumps, I would do the same with sections of dead Ponderosa pine set on end in the garden.

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  2. Chipmunks are an unknown variety here (fortunately considering the damage they do even if they look very cute).
    Apparently the cold is back for you … Nevertheless, very nice photos as usual !

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  3. Beautiful shots as always, I especially love the fritillery. The mayapples look like little people with cloaks on, does anyone else see it? Very cute chipmunk, are they popular or a nuisance? Enjoy your week Chris, hope it warms up a little for you.

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  4. Uh-oh, that chipmunk looks pregnant to me– more coming! 😉
    I’ve never seen a white trout lily – it’s lovely. Brilliant photo of the Fritillaria – it does look like stained glass!
    Thanks for the Mother’s Day wishes. Let’s hope my kids remember – ha!

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  5. The chipmunk is very cute indeed! Lovely markings on its coat. I also saw the little people in cloaks….I don’t know the Mayapple at all and would love to see what it looks like once it has emerged. Such lovely photos. Thanks too for the Mother’s Day wishes.

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  6. Loved the photo of may apple – never noticed them at that stage, only when they were fully out. Just a few days ago, I was lamenting the numerous squirrel varieties we had in Appalachia when I lived there as opposed to what’s in the UK. I don’t remember chipmunks being particularly destructive to the garden but perhaps that’s nostalgia. Keep us updated on the fern in the stump. Looks really nice.

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  7. we’re having a last couple of nights of light frost here, then that’s it now till end of October. i’m impatient to get the tender stuff planted out. your resident chipmunk is cute. do they eat your plants?

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