garden ponderings

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Banana Slug

Copy of DSCN1924This slimy gastropod was outside my kitchen window this afternoon.  It did not eat the parsley plant below it;  a deer nibbled the leaves off a few days ago.

We see these beauties around here only when the air is heavy with moisture, as it was today.  They have grossed me out from the first time I set eyes on one.  Out of curiosity, I googled banana slug, and learned that some really are yellow, like the fruit.  All the banana slugs I have ever seen look like the one pictured.  In fact, this one is not even particularly large.  To give an idea of scale, the brick it is climbing is just over 4 inches high (about 11 cm).

On a side note, Eugene, Oregon is my nearest city, and they have a slug queen who came from the weirdness of the populace.  It is entertaining to read about, and I will vouch that this has been going on for many years!

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Autumn Gladiolus – Maybe

Copy of DSCN1192

I’m sure I found the starts for this flower early this spring.  They tempted me with their beautiful photos.  After planting the bulbs, I forgot about them all summer long, and never noticed the gladiolus-type leaves growing.  I definitely like this sort of surprises in the garden.  Wouldn’t it be nice if they came back next year?  We’ll just have to wait and see.  If they really like where they are planted they may multiply.  That is Lemon Queen Helianthus peeking in on the right.  Hollyhock leaves are on the left.

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Queen Anne’s Lace – weed or not?


We have too many of this plant living on our land.  It is a weed as far as I am concerned.  Those pretty white flowers close up as they ripen their seed heads (in the upper middle of the photo is a spent flower with seeds developing).  Then the seeds are dispersed – I think by clamping onto socks, shoelaces or anything fibrous.  I have picked so many of these seeds out of footwear, it can make me scream!  Honestly, I seriously consider the value of the socks or whatever the clothes item is, when I decide whether to throw it out or start the tedious de-seeding process.

The leaves of Queen Anne’s Lace do resemble carrot leaves, and the scent or both is very similar when digging the roots out.  They must be botanical cousins of some sort.

I wonder what people were thinking when the name of this flower evolved?  It seems like they did not like their Queen Anne at all!