Monday, July 28, 2014

Re-location, re-location, re-location!

Summer construction is underway across campus: parking lots are being torn up, buildings knocked down, and new foundations dug.  Yes, here we're partying like it's early 2008! In the midst of all of this activity, a few weeks ago I noticed a mournful clump of Variegated Solomon's Seal wedged between an asphalt roadbed and a chain-link fence. I asked folks working in the area if I could help myself to these orphans. "No problem" was the response. 
On site: Variegated Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum falcatum "Variegatum")  
Last week, I pulled up a half dozen stems of Solomon's Seal. The leaves were tattered, yellowed, and coated with construction debris.   
Leaves coated with construction debris
Although the rhizomes attached at the end of the stalks were firm and well-colored, the roots were desperately dessicated--they looked like old twine. So I stuck the rhizomes in a big bowl of water for a day, hoping to rehydrate all those parched parts.
Soaking the rhizomes

I'm not sure what effect, if any, that bath might have had, as the plants appeared the same after their spa treatment as they had before.  But at least they didn't look any worse.

Under water

I had been looking for some shade-loving plants to join a jumble of hostas under a spreading yew, so I knew just the bed for these Solomon Seals. After digging in forty pounds of composted cow manure, the rhizomes were planted to three inches depth and watered in.

Right now they look pretty scrappy and not at all like the elegant cultivar they're touted to be.  I'm hoping that spring will bring a crop of fresh foliage and dangling flowers. Just imagine those white bordered leaves waving hello from this shadowy spot.

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