susansflowers

garden ponderings


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A Daffodil Story

A personal story here:
My daughter’s birthday is at the end of March.  We have lived on this same property for over 30 years and always had fresh daffodils for her birthday.
In 1994, Daddy brought a bouquet of daffodils from our property to our daughter, when he flew into another state to see her on her birthday.
The last few years the daffodils have been blooming earlier than usual.
Now, I do understand that 30 years in the spectrum of time is quite small, even the Mississippi River has changed course in the last 30 years.
We have had milder winters these last few years, I wonder that global warming is a reality.
Today is February 21, we have had 2 or 3 daffodils bloom on our 55 acres already.
This is how I note the sunniest spots at this time of year.
There are hundreds of daffodils planted on our land.  They naturalize so well, I keep dividing and replanting on any sunny spot I can find.
Closer to the house, near a main flowerbed, here is the progress of daffodils.
Just beginning to open their petals.

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I took this photo when the sun peeked through the clouds for a bit today.
No rain is in the forecast this next week.  When sunny days are predicted, we often have foggy mornings.  Depending on the amount of sun, all the daffodils may bloom this week.

I see daffodils blooming along the interstate freeway (6 miles to the west), and in the nearby towns to the south.  We live in the hills north of town where I have observed our flowers bloom 10 – 14 days later .


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Daffodil

Copy of DSCN2033

They’re on!  I love when the daffodils come into bloom.
Such a wondrous sign of spring.

Years ago, the daffodils would all bloom at the same time, now it is different.  As the seedlings we planted thirty years ago have grown into tall trees, there is shade in places there was not shade previously.  If you look at the photo carefully, there are a couple of flower buds not yet open at the far right.  They are partially shaded by an evergreen tree.  I now have clumps of daffodils at different stage of bloom all over my yard.  On the up-side, the bloom-time should be extended, as the bulbs in the shade will flower a bit later than the ones living in more direct sunlight.


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Hellebore – Pink & White

Hellebore Pink near

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These two hellebores are neighbors near the edge of an east-facing deck. Pink flower is a bit north of east, and the white one is a touch south of due east.

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My white hellebore had a baby!  Over to the left, a seed germinated and a new plant was born.  The baby is a minimum of 2 years old, because I noticed it growing there at least that long ago.  Behind the white blossoms, the ferns under the edge of the deck, are naturalized.

At a friend’s house recently, I saw a multi-flowered pink hellebore in a pot.  It was beautiful.  She lives and gardens in the shadow of some very tall evergreen trees.
I had ‘plant envy’.  How did she get her hellebore to bloom so prolifically?


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Verbena Bonariensis

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While this photo was taken July 1 this year, this plant is flowering again.  These flower stems are very long – about 3 feet tall (1 meter), yet the flower heads themselves are quite small.  The one in the picture is 3 inches across, at most.  And each flower head is really many teeny-tiny florets.

I’ve only seen this flower in a public planting here in the Northwest US, one time, and it was more sparse than lush.  One reason might be that it grows as an annual here in Oregon, but can naturalize in tropical climes, as Hawaii.  But then you have to watch out, because it has become invasive some places.  I try not to plant anything that can become invasive in my area.  We are doing battle with enough unwanted plants, for example Himalayan blackberries (planted to control erosion) and English hawthorn (brought by early settlers for fence rows).


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Horehound

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I assumed that horehound would be deer-resistant because of the fuzzy leaves.  But the resident deer here did not read the same manual as I, and they nibbled away.  So this plant lives in a cage, for now.  Maybe it will get large enough someday to not need protection,

The flowers were a pleasant surprise, but they are so tiny as to be almost non-existent.  I had the camera so low to the ground, I could barely see what I was photographing.

I purchased this as a small plant start, thinking I would add to my collection of herbs, but I knew very little to nothing about it.  I have heard of old-time horehound candy, but never tasted it.  A google search was in order.  I did not find a photo with leaves as gray as my plant, so I am unsure which particular sort of horehound this is.  But I did learn it is a member of the mint family and can naturalize, so I have been forewarned.

Wild Alliums

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Wild Alliums

These are wild alliums, and they pop up on their own, when and where they feel like it. Of course, they have decided to set up residence in the fenced areas, where the deer can not get to them. But they are deer-resisitant – don’t they know that?

I see these in the fields along with the wild daisies. Now that we are noticing areas that do not get mowed, and can be naturalized as flower meadows, I’m looking to expand the alliums as well as California poppies. Gotta get collecting seeds now.

If I was more computer adept, I could figure out how to post more than one photo at a time. I know it is possible, as I have seen it on other people’s blogs.

Columbine

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Columbine

I can’t remember where I got my first one from, but this plant sure does multiply. Okay, I have given it lots of help, by scattering its seeds under trees and it areas that I wanted filled in. It is interesting which places the seeds took well, and other places not at all. The flat beds have been better receptacles for these seeds than the inclined areas. For all the seeds I have scattered, I do not see that many plants. Although, I now have columbine in many areas around the land. It is also a native plant, but I believe this is a cultivated variety.

While these flowers may not look like much, you get a better view of the blossoms and buds than a photo packed with many flowers.

Purple Camas

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Purple Camas

This is a native wildflower that grows along stream banks and other wet areas. On my property, it can be found during wet spring times along seasonal waterways. I’ve been hiking around looking for these flowers and have found them in two separate locations. Both areas will dry up once the weather warms enough, and are shaded by trees.

The flower bulbs were eaten by the native Americans, but only from the purple flower, the white flower bulbs are poisonous. I’ve even seen these in a nursery catalog (Territorial Seed Company, Cottage Grove, OR). Like most wildflowers, they only seem to grow where they really like the environment. Or so it seems to me.