susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Wildflower Show

For over 50 years the tiny community of Glide, Oregon, has hosted an annual wildflower show.  Presented by a committee of volunteers I was amazed when I first saw it.
I have been fortunate to help collect specimens for 3 years, and my knowledge of the wildflowers has grown exponentially.  I’m starting to recognize and remember some of the Latin and many common names, also!

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Plants are arranged in families on the tables, in order of evolutionary development of the plant’s reproductive structures.  Who’da thought of such an organizational system?
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Such a large and unusual flower, I wanted to share it.
From the map, I can tell that it is found in the higher mountains.
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We found these pinks in a small meadow, off the beaten track at a county park.
My collecting partner knew where to look.
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These azaleas smelled heavenly.
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Such pretty little flowers.  The name would make a cool title for a book, wouldn’t it?
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I’ve been pulling this out of my flower garden for a long time.  Now that I know its name, and that it is an official wildflower, I can no longer treat it so rudely.
Notwithstanding the strange common name, it is not unattractive and does not seem to be invasive, so some can stay.
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Isn’t this one of the strangest ‘flowers’ you have ever seen?
A friend had emailed me a photo of this ground cone, they had seen while bird-watching in Northern California.  She asked me to find its name.  I joked to her that it might just be an odd looking mushroom.  But now, we have both learned it is a real plant.
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These leaves (which come in different sizes) have little flowers growing up on the leaf, opposite side of the stem.  Now, I notice this on my property.
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I know equisetum because of its use on pots when high-firing.  It is high in silica & calcium, which are common glaze ingredients.
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For those who stuck with me through this longer than usual post, thank you.
You can feel my enthusiasm.

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Changeable Weather

We had a few days of record heat, then rain, and cooler.  The plants are dealing with this variable weather better than I am.  At least I don’t have to water anything myself!

New flowers are blooming nearly every day.
So much to do, and only so many hours of agreeable weather.

Not a lot of blossoms on this tree peony, so I savor every one.
These photos are of the same flower, on the same day.   They open fast in the sunshine.
I did cut a couple of these flowers, just as they began to open.
They are hanging in a closet, clothes-pinned upside-down from a hanger.
If my experiment works, I’ll have some peonies all summer – or maybe even longer!
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Lots of white Dutch iris, I like these a lot.
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Rhododendron flowers open in the same order every year.
These are some earlier bloomers.* * * * *
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Weigela is an old-time shrub, and new to my garden.
This particular spot can get very wet during rainy season, and I’ve lost a few plants here.
Upon investigation, I determined that this is a prime candidate to like this location.
It sure looks good now, I do hope it stays around.


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Porcelain Lilies

I shared a photo of porcelain lilies before they were fired in my kiln.
Here are some ‘after’ pics.

Water lilies made of colored porcelain, ‘floating’ in a ceramic rock of four clay bodies including porcelain and three stonewares of different shades of brown.

Calla lilies of colored porcelain in a ceramic  rock ‘grotto’, also of four clays.


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Springing Spring ?!

We have had glorious weather:  some rain, some clouds and some sun.
Rain alleviates any thoughts of irrigation, clouds encourage the flowers to stay around much longer than usual, and the sun,
well the sun encourages everything to bloom and grow!

The first rhodies are blooming, and my one azalea is so covered with flowers
that is all you can see of it.

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Even though I cut rhubarb flowers, it keeps putting out more of them.
At least, they are unusual looking.
Blueberry and strawberry plants are booming with flowers.  We can only hope the weather stays favorable, and the bird nets keep the pilfering in check.
Last photo above is rosemary, which I see in flower around town.
Such a sturdy and aromatic plant, how can one not love it?

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This has been one of the best tulip years I can remember.  I like to think it is because I separated some of the larger ones and planted them all around the house.  We have enjoyed tulips out of most every window.
White lilacs open their blossoms before the lavender or purple ones do.
These are my favorites, I love the sweet scent and only wish they lasted longer indoors.


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Some Local Wildflowers

Maybe it is because we have had such a mild winter and wet spring, there is an abundance of wildflowers.  You just get lucky sometimes!

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Ox-eye daisies line the driveway.  I wonder if they grow so prolific along the edge because that is the area that gets mowed all summer long?

We have hillsides of these cute little flowers, specially under the oak trees.
Baby blue eyes is the common name.

While they closely resemble each other, to me, these are different flowers.
Look at the leaves and on the right, the petal tips are split.

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These are commonly called ‘shooting stars’.
Do you see the black tip at the opposite end of the petals?

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A friend in town had a hillside of these white ‘trout lilies’,
while I could find only three specimens on my property.

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Buttercups are about done on our land, but on a hike at an adjacent property,
we found many still in bloom.

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In the borage family.  With its large leaves, it is a distinctive plant.
I have no recollection of ever seeing this plant here before,
but found a number of them this year.
Mostly in places recently cleared of poison oak and hawthorns
(our local scourges!).