susansflowers

garden ponderings


2 Comments

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!

DSCN5104
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?
* * * * *

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.
* * * * *
DSCN5100
We found these pinks in a small meadow, off the beaten track at a county park.
My collecting partner knew where to look.
* * * * *
DSCN5110
These azaleas smelled heavenly.
* * * * *

DSCN5112

Such pretty little flowers.  The name would make a cool title for a book, wouldn’t it?
* * * * *

DSCN5115
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.
* * * * *

DSCN5116
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.
* * * * *

DSCN5123

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.
* * * * *

DSCN5124

I know equisetum because of its use on pots when high-firing.  It is high in silica & calcium, which are common glaze ingredients.
* * * * *

For those who stuck with me through this longer than usual post, thank you.
You can feel my enthusiasm.


Leave a comment

Garlic Chives

??????????

These look and grow almost identical to onion chives.  There are a couple of differences, though.  For one, the garlic chives are blooming now, and the onion chives bloomed over a month ago.  Another difference that can be seen year round, is that garlic chive spears are flat, where the onion chives are tubular or round. 

And then there is the taste.  Ah, now there they do differ.  The taste and smell of garlic chives is distinct and will never be confused with onion chives.

These are a nice addition to the kitchen garden.  I also plant them around my roses to help deter aphids.

Honeysuckle

Leave a comment

Honeysuckle

This photo shows three stages of honeysuckle flowers: the bud, full flower and spent flower. These blossoms are on a good-sized vine along a fence near my vegetable garden. Sometimes, when the breeze is just right, the scent will waft for a distance – such a beautiful aroma. I don’t think anyone could say the smell of honeysuckle is offensive. Quite the opposite is true and I think this plant can even stir olfactory memories.

Many years ago, I would admire the garden of an older woman (thank you, Leta). She dug a honeysuckle start from next to her own established plant. For all the gift plants I have killed by mis-timing their replanting in my own garden, I am very happy that this one survived.

What a surprise when I learned that honeysuckle blooms are edible. I grew up in a more temperate climate, where these splendid vines did not exist, and only discovered them as an adult. Nasturtiums move over – you are not near as tasty as honeysuckle.