susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Oregon Coast

We drove along the Oregon Coast recently.
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I stood on the overlook at
Devil’s Punch Bowl and saw
these alyssum flowers on a ledge.
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It is pretty amazing to me
that any plant can survive,
much less thrive, living in the sand.
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I noticed a number of wildflowers
on the highway along the beach.
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This yellow blossom was my favorite.
It grew in clumps along the road.
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Queen Anne’s Lace is a prolific grower.
Can you see some of the blossoms have gone to seed?
The seed burrs are most annoying;
I have picked them out of too many socks.
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Everlasting Sweet Peas grow along many roadsides.
I accidentally planted them in my own flower garden.
They are near impossible to eliminate.
But they sure look pretty along the highway.
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Dandelions grow everywhere!


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Obsessed – Compulsed

Gardening can be an addiction.
There is immediate gratification in a freshly weeded bed.
Waiting for seedlings to emerge, then watching them grow can be an exercise in patience.
The expectation of seeing flowers bloom in a regular succession satisfies a need for order in the universe.

I have been caught up in bringing order to my gardens.  It brings peace and contentment to my life.  In the meantime, the colorful show of spring flowers is slipping by.  The blossoms have encouraged my madness, as I try to whip the yard into shape before the rains end and weeds are cemented into the hard ground.

Gardening is also a learning process, not an end product.  I have sympathy for those who feel they must purchase a finished garden, and do not get to endure the trials and tribulations of the learn-by-the-seat-of-their-pants, passionate dirt person.

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Foxglove can be found in the wilds, but I brought it to my gardens on purpose.
They are so easy to care for and flower prolifically.  But … they can be invasive.  Darn 🙂
I actually transplanted many (over 100) to the not-irrigated, outlying areas.  Not realizing how many little ones I left behind in the more carefully tended beds.
Yesterday, I noticed a few stalks that deer had carefully de-flowered.  Although the wildlife will clear-cut tulips and roses as though they were chocolate, they merely prune a few foxglove.  Unfortunately, I will have to dead-head soon, and again, and again to curtail millions more unwanted seedlings.

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I finally found the dirt in the foreground of these beds, while the weeds still proliferate in the back.  Perhaps people who ready-order landscaping are not so stupid after all.  Maybe it is me who insists on doing things the slow way.  Lucky for me, rainy days are still here, and the ground is still soft enough to pull unwanted plants.


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Last Gasps & Late Bloomers

The sun is much lower in the sky, the hours of daylight are significantly less and the nights have cooled off.  It is still early autumn.

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Iceland Poppies keep putting out buds.  This is the third or fourth flush of flowers, I can hardly wait until this plant gets bigger. As I document my flowers in this blog, I am aware of the bloom times of so many flowers.  I feel that I am not taking them for granted so much anymore.

On the right, is a particularly late foxglove stalk of blooms.  These plants start blooming in early summer, and some have kept on blooming, while others are totally spent.  It is still a mystery to me why some of these plants are so different from others that are the same.

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The Hollyhocks are coming on strong, in spite of all efforts by the deer to nibble as much as they can.  I find long branches of hollyhocks broken and bare, as there is so much less fresh green growth for the deer to eat.

The right side photo shows California poppies and dandelions still blooming.  The poppies will continue until they are frozen out.  There are many baby poppy plants just starting to bloom, from early season plants putting out seeds.  As much as dandelions are disparaged as weeds, I think it is good if we can pretend we are children again, and savor their beauty as flowers sometimes.

Broccoli Flowers

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Broccoli Flowers

These flowers are growing from a crop of winter broccoli. Perhaps it was the fickle spring weather this year that contributed to the short window of time edible broccoli buds were available and the proliferation of weeds in the gardens.

This year, I observed the strong resemblance among the flowers of broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts and probably all other cruciferous plant flowers. When I checked my dictionary for the spelling of cruciferous, I learned these plants are all in the mustard family. The last few years, I’ve been trying to purchase organic, non-hybrid broccoli plants, that might come true to seed. Time will tell if the seed will produce plants that will grow over the winter and produce broccoli florets next spring.