susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Wildflower Show

For over 50 years the tiny community of Glide, Oregon, has hosted an annual wildflower show.  Presented by a committee of volunteers I was amazed when I first saw it.
I have been fortunate to help collect specimens for 3 years, and my knowledge of the wildflowers has grown exponentially.  I’m starting to recognize and remember some of the Latin and many common names, also!

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Plants are arranged in families on the tables, in order of evolutionary development of the plant’s reproductive structures.  Who’da thought of such an organizational system?
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Such a large and unusual flower, I wanted to share it.
From the map, I can tell that it is found in the higher mountains.
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We found these pinks in a small meadow, off the beaten track at a county park.
My collecting partner knew where to look.
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These azaleas smelled heavenly.
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Such pretty little flowers.  The name would make a cool title for a book, wouldn’t it?
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I’ve been pulling this out of my flower garden for a long time.  Now that I know its name, and that it is an official wildflower, I can no longer treat it so rudely.
Notwithstanding the strange common name, it is not unattractive and does not seem to be invasive, so some can stay.
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Isn’t this one of the strangest ‘flowers’ you have ever seen?
A friend had emailed me a photo of this ground cone, they had seen while bird-watching in Northern California.  She asked me to find its name.  I joked to her that it might just be an odd looking mushroom.  But now, we have both learned it is a real plant.
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These leaves (which come in different sizes) have little flowers growing up on the leaf, opposite side of the stem.  Now, I notice this on my property.
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I know equisetum because of its use on pots when high-firing.  It is high in silica & calcium, which are common glaze ingredients.
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For those who stuck with me through this longer than usual post, thank you.
You can feel my enthusiasm.


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St Emilion, France

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A parting shot when leaving this ancient village.  Our last day in the Bordeaux area on the Dordogne River, and our B&B host insisted we stop by the town of St. Emilion and visit the old town.  While it is famous for the merlot wines made in the area, the town itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  We drove around in circles before coming to the lower level and parking area.  What is the first thing I see a large sign for?  A Poterie Musee – right up my alley!  I was the first visitor of the day, and the elderly homme who ran the museum almost talked my ear off.  It is in a limestone cave/quarry where building blocks were dug from the ground to build the town above, hundreds of years ago.  So much history, in such a small area.  Wandering around the cave was fun, as was walking up the steep cobblestone alleys and looking in the shops.
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Above photo is from outside of town, from one of the many vineyards that carpet the area.  The small blip in the upper left corner is the large tower in the photo on lower right.  So much for perspective!
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Looking down, then looking up, the town is really quite small.  Renovations were a constant as we drove the countryside and viewed old limestone buildings.  What was interesting to me, was the effort put into making new buildings look old-style.
I took a foray away from strictly flowers here, and will return to them.  But could not resist sharing this town.


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Camellia

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The camellia is full of blossoms, and this is about the prettiest it has ever looked.   With a little luck, rain will hold off until all the buds have fully opened, but that never happens 😦
This must truly be a zen plant.  I need to enjoy the flowers while they are here today, because no one really knows what the future holds.

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Almost two weeks ago, a friend emailed this photo of a camellia from her yard in a pottery vase I had made.  While she lives only about twenty miles from me, her garden is in a significantly warmer climate than my garden.  The river-bottom land she cultivates is very fertile and sunny, in contrast to the small valley in the hills I call home.


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Shasta Daisies

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Shasta Daisies ring half of the flower garden area around my house.  Because the deer do not bother these flowers.  Usually deer-resistant plants are fuzzy, aromatic or gray-leaved, and Shasta Daisies have none of these features, so I have not figured out why the deer avoid them.  Another benefit to growing these daisies is they are drought-resistant.  Not quite like a cactus, but definitely do not need pampering.

I am including a photo of an arrangement of Shasta Daisies with accents of sprigs of lavender.  As the daisy flowers are coming into full bloom, the lavenders are starting to fade.  Thus a natural bouquet is so much a matter of timing. 

The flowers are standing in a Goddess Vase that I made.  Do you see the female figure in the pottery vase?  They are modeled on archaeological figurines that have been found throughout Southern and Eastern Europe, around Iberia to Scotland, and dated 20,000 to 30,000 years ago.  The original sculptures were usually small, with no head, just a torso.  They are often full-figured.  It is speculated the pregnant female body was being honored, as that ensured the future of humans.  This was long before the advent of agriculture, which emerged around 10,000 years ago.

Yellow Succulent Flowers

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Yellow Succulent Flowers

I have a half dozen succulent plants along the front border of a long bed next to the driveway. Sure do wish I knew their names, but I believe that most are probably in the sedum family.

About five years ago, I visited a local art festival on the last day near closing time and saw an older woman selling succulent plants. While chatting with her, I learned that she had sold plants at art festivals for many years, but now she was retiring and this was her last show. She assured me the particular plants I was looking at would grow year-round out-of-doors, as they flourished in her very Northern California yard. Did I get lucky that day!? I would give a number of plants a new home, and start learning about growing succulents.

This is the first one to bloom. The spikes of yellow flowers are about three inches high, and are a beautiful cut flower in a very small, or mini, vase.  There is a photo of these flowers in a wood-fired mini-vase posted on www.facebook.com/SusanRodenPottery