susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Colorful Asters

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The original plant is this color, but the camera captures a different color than my eye sees.  I looked at a number of photos I took, and kept seeing the same hue.  In person, these flowers look more purple / blue.  I suppose there is a perfectly logical camera explanation for the color difference :-)* * * * *
Copy of DSCN4056
I do like this light pink color, perhaps because there are so few plants with flowers this color.  Can you see the purple asters on the far left of the photo?  The camera was fooled into showing those flowers their true color!

I am inundated with aster seedlings in the garden, since it is extremely time-consuming to dead head these plants.  New blossoms open and others die everyday, from the top of branches going down.

My latest plan is to mark the bottom of the plants with pink blooms, so I will know them after the tops have been cut off.
When they are dug up in winter, I can say decisively, what color flower comes from which plant.
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The one plant with white flowers was the last to bloom.


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Chionodoxa or Glory of the Snow

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This is one of our favorite reliable bulbs here.  The leaves emerge in November or so, and give some needed greenery along the front of many flower beds until the flowers bloom in spring.  Then we get rows of beautiful light blue blossoms.
These bulbs have multiplied profusely, they have been shared and divided many times.  I love the aroma they emit when I pull weeds that try to live amongst these small plants.
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Chionodoxa are lush in front of these bricks, they will be ready to divide in another year.  As these bulbs grow too thick through the years, they get divided to edge another bed.
I have read that deer and animals are supposed to ignore these plants, probably because of their scent.  The local animals have not read the same gardening book, as I always find some nibbles on the greenery.
Remembering the name of these cute little flowers, has always been a challenge for me.  A search in a catalog of spring bulbs brings it back to mind.


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Wildflowers from Death Valley to Big Pine, CA

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What a drive we took from Death Valley over the mountains to Big Pine in California.  Not a direct path, as there are no roads “as the crow flies”.  A very circuitous route:  northeast, north, west, then southwest.  Over 3 mountain passes that were higher than one mile in elevation.  We saw so many wildflowers on this drive, I was amazed.  It is a function of sun exposure, moisture, elevation and just plain luck.  Try as one may to plan ahead, I have learned that wildflowers will bloom in a certain order, but the date is entirely dependent on the weather.

I do not know the names of all of the flowers, but I do recognize some.  The white flower here is a thistle, as I know those leaves.  Such a pretty flower on such an obnoxious plant.  Sorry to be so judgmental!

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These blue flowers are lupines.  They will bloom all summer in various colors, at home, but this must be a wild, mountain cultivar.


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Baby’s Breath

Baby's Breath in Mini-Vase Copy of Baby's Breath

What I don’t know about photography could fill volumes.  My trying to take a picture of the teeny-tiny flowers of baby’s breath is a prime example.  Perhaps a small tripod and learning how to leave the lens open long enough would help get many more of the flowers in focus.

These flowers are often used as fillers in a bouquet, but my vase is holding only baby’s breath.  It is a 3-inch high mini-vase, made of porcelain.  The upper part of the vase has a transparent blue glaze, and the lower part of it shows a light brown toasty color from the wood fueling my kiln.

Balloon Flower

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Balloon Flower

I planted this a number of years ago, and was sure it disappeared soon after. Surprisingly, it has survived and lives in the shade and moisture under a Camellia bush. The blue-violet flowers grow on stalks that emanate away from the balloon plant, thus they appear to be growing in the leaves of nearby winter-blooming violets.

Violets grow profusely under the camellia bush, making it hard to see any other plants that might also be growing there.  Besides the balloon flower, I am now discovering various other plants popping up under the camellia including a bergenia and bluebells.  I know I have not planted the latter two in that area, so I am thinking the mice (or voles) have been moving bulbs and parts of plants around in the winter time.  I had heard that this could happen, and now I am observing plants in places that I have no other explanation for their location.

Hebe

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Hebe

I learned from one of my favorite nurseries, Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery in Talent, OR, that this is a more unusual specimen of a large family of perennial plants.  There was a full-grown example of this plant at the nursery that sold me on it.

More often one will see small leaves on more compact plants, and this shrub is an exception in that it has larger leaves growing on loose stems of 2′ – 3′ long. About the size of a silver dollar, these roundish leaves remind me more of eucalyptus than a Hebe.

The flowers are not significant, and are fleeting. At the end of the stems, grow a 6″ to 10″ length of small, pretty blue-violet flowers.

Rosemary

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Rosemary

It took a few tries to get a photo of these small flowers when the wind wasn’t moving them around. Most herbs wait until later in the season to flower, rosemary is the earliest that I know of.

Deer stay away from this plant, as they do most all aromatics. I love that feature in a plant while I am living here.

I’ve seen rosemary plants growing in all sorts of climates. My biggest surprise was when I saw a row of upright rosemary plants growing on a commercial side street in Las Vegas. These are very drought-resistant, and grow in various sizes from sprawling to a good-size shrub. A woman told me how she trained her rosemary plant in a round, not circle, shape using metal wire as a guide. I haven’t figured that out – yet. Give me a little more time.