garden ponderings


Great Basin National Park

In this dead of winter, while the flowering plants in my area are dormant,
I am sharing photos from a cross-country drive last fall.
We visited as many National Parks as we could fit into our time-line.

Great Basin National Park is in Nevada, on the Utah border.
It is a very desolate area, desert flora and an amazing cave system.
We did not have to escape oppressive heat to enjoy touring the caves; they were cool in both senses of the word.

One of the few remaining flowering plants in this desert, up close and at a distance.
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Outside the cave entrance, was a walking trail with signs at some of the plants.
This one caught my interest.
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There were groves of aspen trees nearby.
We were amazed to see them growing out of the rocks.
Aspen trees are especially beautiful when their leaves change colors.
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As we drove into Utah, the roadsides and open fields
were adorned with these wildflowers.
Rudbeckia are native to the North American continent.


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Snow as a Novelty

Walked around with my camera looking for something interesting.
In the fir woods, wet snow turned icy had settled on mushrooms.
Under the house eaves,
dry morning snow sits on the dead flowers of Autumn Sedum.

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In the garden, some plants huddled under the snow.

It is not as though Bok Choy, Salad Burnet, Swiss Chard or Artichokes
were excited about the snow, but they did not roll over and die.
I’ll see how well they really survive come spring.

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We walked by the creek and looked at some leafless Oak Trees.
Ferns grow on the damp lower branches,
and Lichen hangs from branches.
Poison Oak and Hawthorns are dormant now,
so we could walk safely under the oaks.

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New Year Snow, It is Beautiful

We awoke to snow falling, what a way to start the new year!
I measured 4″ (10 cm).The violets are always such a pleasant surprise to me.

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The snow looked especially pretty on this Contorted Filbert bush (aka:  Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick or Corkscrew Hazel) and the bricks.
The snow shows up the deer fence, including the fence behind on the ground,
which protects plants growing on the embankment behind.
Under the behind fences are thriving California poppies and struggling daylilies.

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The snow was quite wet and many plants were drooping from the weight of the snow.
I got a broom and walked around the house, knocking snow off branches.
Here are before and after photos of my Rosemary bush,
she is much happier after snow removal.

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There are two rhododendron bushes in this photo.
I keep pruning the one on the left, as it grows prolifically.
The specimen on the right has its growth eternally challenged.
Many years ago, our dog’s favorite place to lay was under this particular bush,
but that dog has been gone over 10 years, and the plant has not really bounced back.
I made sure to brush snow from its branches to give it every chance I can.