susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Oregon Coast

We drove along the Oregon Coast recently.
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I stood on the overlook at
Devil’s Punch Bowl and saw
these alyssum flowers on a ledge.
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It is pretty amazing to me
that any plant can survive,
much less thrive, living in the sand.
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I noticed a number of wildflowers
on the highway along the beach.
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This yellow blossom was my favorite.
It grew in clumps along the road.
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Queen Anne’s Lace is a prolific grower.
Can you see some of the blossoms have gone to seed?
The seed burrs are most annoying;
I have picked them out of too many socks.
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Everlasting Sweet Peas grow along many roadsides.
I accidentally planted them in my own flower garden.
They are near impossible to eliminate.
But they sure look pretty along the highway.
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Dandelions grow everywhere!


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Very South Germany

We drove into Germany from Switzerland and found a field of tulips.

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People stopped their car to pick a few blooms.
There were indications that the flowers had been for sale,
but no more, as these were past their prime.
Nevertheless it was still a beautiful sight.

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Next day we visited Rhein Falls between Germany and Switzerland.
A short walk upstream is a bridge to the other side of the river.
There is lots to see, and the waterfalls were really cool.
Here are some beautiful May flowers we saw near the castle on the Swiss side.

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Our last morning in Germany, I found Botanical Gardens in the university town of Frieburg.  Unable to read German, it was not until we were leaving that I learned I could not visit the greenhouses inside, because it was a holiday.
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But there was much to see outside, including giant potted plants that would not live outdoors year-round.

 

There were a number of ponds of waterlilies – exquisite!

 

The azaleas were about finished blooming, and not photogenic,
but the peonies were still at their prime.
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Flowers in the Vegetable Garden

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Strawberry plants are looking great.  I pick a couple of pints every morning.  My favorite ways to eat these summer gems is on a bowl of granola for breakfast, and on a dinner salad.  M-m-m, tasty!
Any extras get frozen on a cookie sheet and put away to be enjoyed in winter.
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Copy of DSCN3527 Copy of DSCN3535Summer squash is just getting going, I like mine small, young & tender.
A friend was surprised with a few zucchini at her front door the other morning.
The zuke elves are starting their rounds, watch out!
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Copy of DSCN3528 Copy of DSCN3536I’ve picked only a very few cherry-size tomatoes, and not one green bean – yet.
The best is yet to come in these departments.
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Copy of DSCN3530 Copy of DSCN3548Baby, red leaf, butter lettuce gone to seed is not necessarily glamorous.
The dandelion-looking fuzz balls are their flowers gone-to-seed.
Close-up the flowers are kind of cute.
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Copy of DSCN3538I try to keep flowers pinched from all my basil plants, as it is the leaves that are used.  Thai basil has the prettiest purple flower buds, and a few blossoms opened before they were pruned.
These leaves get dried to add flavor to curry dinners all winter long.
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Copy of DSCN3531Amaranth is new to me, and I’m not sure how much larger the flower will grow.  There are around a dozen plants, each about a yard (a meter) tall.
I keep checking this one, there is much for me to learn here.
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Copy of DSCN3526 DSCN3549Melons are such a gamble to harvest here.  Will the heat continue through August and September?  Since it is still July, it looks like this could be a good year.  Cantaloupe or rockmelon are the size of a large orange, so far.  Smooth-skin melons usually take longer to mature, but this one is on its way, also.
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And last, but hardly least, are a couple of my own garden nemeses:
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Someone was just here extolling the beauty of Queen Anne’s lace in the fields, and I objected.  The flowers are not evil themselves, but when they go to seed, the trouble starts.  It is a test of my patience to pick the burrs out of kids and my own socks.
The yellow flowers are not dandelions, but I would not be surprised to learn they are close cousins, as the flowers turn to fuzz-balls when they go to seed.