Spotted Wintergreen – Plant of the Week

This is spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata), also called striped prince’s pine, and spotted pipsissewa.  It’s a very small plant, usually only 6 inches tall when flowering.  It is an exciting little plant because its leaves are evergreen so it can be easily found through the winter.  Like many of our forest plants it enjoys acidic…

Rhododendron – Plant of the Week

Rhdodendron is one of our most pervasive forest plants, so much so that in my mind it fades into the background landscape much like the ground around it.  I admittedly have thought so little of it that when I went to look up the scientific name I did not expect to find more than one…

Mountain Stewartia – Plant of the Week

My favorite book is Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier.  That probably shouldn’t be a woman’s favorite book, but it is mine.  I’ve actually never read it visually, but I listen to it several times a year as I fold laundry or work the garden.  The first time I listened to it I was working a…

7 Unusual Ways to Combat Summer Gnats That Actually Work a Little

Happy gnat season!  After mud season, and immediately following my least favorite season (blackberry winter), comes gnat season.  It’s horrible, they swarm your face, and though they rarely bite, just their presence can quickly lead to insanity.  When we first opened the bluegill pond we thought we should get rid of the gnats because, for…

Road Lily – Plant of the Week

The Road Lily is so common a flower that it’s largely ignored and like other wildflowers is frequently overlooked in gardens.  But actually, it’s not a wild flower, and it’s not a lily.  Road Lily, or Orange Day Lily, is originally from Asia and was brought over with some of the first European settlers.  It’s…

Bigleaf Magnolia – Plant of the Week

Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) is one of our more beautiful flowering trees, though at times difficult to see as the flowers are typically so far above us.  So to find some flowers at more or less eye level I walked to one of our cliffs where from the edge you can see out across the…

Mountain Laurel – Plant of the Week

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is a common plant, but so rarely appreciated for just how ridiculous it is.  Its flowers, straight and intricately geometric, could have been drawn with a ruler and protractor; It’s branches and stems, by our three year old.  Its an extremely amusing plant. Mountain laurel grows throughout the forests here, both…

Pink Lady’s Slipper – Plant of the Week

This week we have a very special plant, Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium Acaule)!  This was the first time I have actually found this plant in the wild.  Now that I have found it flowering I realize of course that I have passed by it many times and wondered what those strange leaves were.   Pink…

Indian Cucumber – Plant of the Week

This week we will explore Indian Cucumber (Medeola Virginiana).  Indian Cucumber grows in the forest usually on slopes or near creeks in small colonies.  When mature it has two levels of circularly arranged leaves, and stands about 12 inches at most, often flowering when only 6 inches tall During some times of the year you…

Plant of the Week – Wild Iris

Southeast Kentucky has some of the most diversified forests in the country.  We have been blessed with an extensive variety of habits just on our farm.  So we’re going to try each week featuring one of our favorite plants.   This week we have the Wild Iris.  It grows a short walk, or longer 4-wheeler…