Sunday, September 13, 2009


Last weekend I brought the turtleheads (Chelone lyonii) from my yard in Missouri to that other "yard" of mine in Kansas. I wanted to finally plant them since I have not bothered to plant them in the ground for years. Years. Why? Because it's a plant I love and it is the second plant to be taken down every year by the turtles. Once the peonies are completely stomped on, the turtles search out the turtleheads.

Several years ago I had the turtleheads planted in different areas in the backyard, thinking the turtles were only trying to stomp on a favorite spot where the turtleheads just happened to be planted...but that did not turn out to be the case. The turtles would find every one of the turtleheads and then flatten them. That's why my latest turtleheads have been in their plastic pots for years. If they stay in their pots, turtle feet cannot crush turtleheads.

Yes, there is a resemblance but one of these turtleheads is always good and the other one is consistently baaaaad.

Aussie helped me plant the turtleheads in an area where some blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) was growing in spots along the creek.

It really is that gorgeous blue.

Turtleheads like it when the soil is kind of damp so I planted them in the same area as the lobelia. And this should be a story of turtleheads living happily ever after because they have finally been returned to their native environment. That should be the end of the story but my garden helper was Aussie Mueller.

Apparently, when you do things with a dog, they have to get right in there with you to help, understand and supervise. The turtleheads were a bit stomped on by the time we were finished. Hopefully when I check on them next time I'm out there, they will have set themselves upright and have been able to get on with their plant lives, hopefully never to be stomped on by a four-footed something ever again.


Country Girl said...

They really do look like turtle's heads!!

Maureen said...

The more I look at Michael Ray, the more I see that pre-historic resemblance to Stella.

Leenie said...

You have such wonderful, and unique companions. I hope you continue to update us on blogland with your adventures in the new place. All that dirt and botany must be a little daunting, challenging and exciting.

Maria said...

Kate-They really do. They even have a little "tooth" inside them which makes them look even more Ollie of Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

Maureen-Ha ha HA. I DO live with a lot of dinosaurs.

Leenie-Acreage of dirt is very daunting but still it will be fun to research what I can do. After seeing the lobelia and some other moisture loving plants out there, I am looking forward to starting a big bog-style garden with native plants. Oh....I'll keep you updated, for sure...until you're bored to tears or it snows, whichever comes first. :-)