susansflowers

garden ponderings


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A Different Bloomer

I have driven past this tree many times through the years, and finally  bothered to stop and take a photo.  Have seen many more shoes on this tree at various times in the past.
I suppose a big wind or snowstorm could decimate the decorations, as it would with any tree in bloom.  Or maybe someone just saw a pair they could not live without!

Do you notice that all the shoes are paired?
I’ll bet that makes it easier to get them to hang on the tree.
I believe I’ve seen similar trees on other desolate roads – though this particular one gets plenty of traffic for a two-lane road.


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Death Valley National Park Flowers

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There is plenty of life in Death Valley, you just have to know where and when to look for it.  Plants in many places on earth have a dormant season in the cold of winter.  In Death Valley, as with other desert areas, the dormant season is the extreme heat of summer.  If there is enough rain in the spring, the wildflowers do emerge.

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Last May, we were fortunate to be driving by the area and stopped by to see what what the flora looked like.  It was late spring, so we saw only a few wildflowers in the north of the Park and of course, took some photos.  We found an ancient crater to walk around.  It was a challenge to keep our footing, especially when hiking uphill in the soft rocks.

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White Flowers in Red Rock Canyon

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The flowers in these photos look to be the same, and the plants look similar.
In the first photo, I wish I knew if the pretty pink parts are pre- or post- flower.
Desert flowers are so fascinating to me.  They grow and thrive, not just exist, in such extreme climate conditions.   Leaves and flowers have adapted in interesting shapes and colors.

Weather was conducive this spring to a beautiful show of flowers.  Our timing was fortunate to see a variety of blooms.  The amount of moisture over a period of months or weeks determines which flowers will blossom in a particular year.


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Russian Sage

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This is one of the newest additions to my garden, a Russian Sage.  I have seen examples of these plants living in high-desert areas, and admired their growth and beauty in very low-moisture climates.   For as wet a reputation that Southern Oregon has, the summers tend to be quite dry.  Plants survive in my gardens on irrigation alone, so I always notice those that appear to thrive in what would normally be considered less-than-optimal conditions.

It was planted in the middle of summer, a death knell to many plants is to be moved in the hottest time of the year.  But this specimen showed its strength and grew just fine.  The piece of fence around protected the Sage from rabbits and deer as it gets established.  I think it is in a good, permanent location, and could grow to be even three feet in all directions.

The flowers appear to stay on the plant for quite awhile, another feature I like in a plant.  I will need to remember to prune this shrub severely in the spring, I believe that will keep it from looking straggled.


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Aunt Ann’s Hydrangea

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This small plant has but one flower, and it looks magnificent.  For a plant that probably was not intended to be planted, much less survive for any length of time, that is a feat.

A few years ago, when my Aunt Ann passed away, someone gave a couple of hydrangea plants as decorations at her wake.  They are not native to, nor can I remotely believe they would live outdoors in a hot desert climate where her home was.  Therefore, I brought one home with me on the airplane (does this fact make her death prior to 9/11?).  I planted it, and it took a few years for any new growth to appear.  Now it flowers, and I get to be reminded of good times with my Aunt Ann.

There is much I can say regarding things I’ve learned about growing hydrangeas.  And so much more I can say about Aunt Ann, where I spent many summers playing with my cousins, and tidbits I learned from my Aunt.  My mind is remembering so many good times, this is all for today.