susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Mt. St. Helens National Monument

On May 18, 1980 Mt. St. Helens,
in Washington State, blew its top,
and a classic upside-down V-shaped peak
turned into to an open caldera.

While flora and fauna have returned after 35 years,
there is still much evidence of the violent explosion.
That was the history part of this blog entry.
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We visited September 1, and found
end-of-summer wildflowers on our hike.

Most of these pink flowers had gone to seed.
The seed pods are most unusual looking.
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The down side of a beautiful, sunny day
is that the glare makes photography a challenge.

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Wildflower Hike

We went for a hike up the mountains yesterday to see waterfalls,
and I found some cool wildflowers.

I have never seen this ‘flower’ before.
The first photo is to show its location in a very wet location.

Wild iris are popping up all over – it is their time.
Trillium is not the state flower of Oregon, but many think so.
It is against the law to pick any specimens!
There are a number of wild orchids that can be found in the woods,
I feel I was lucky to spot this one.

Rhododendron grow tall and leggy in the forest,
this is a baby with one stem.
I believe the ground cover is Oregon Grape leaves around it.
Right photo is one of many wild berry flowers.

Here are some waterfalls we visited:

Tokatee Falls and Watson Falls up the North Umpqua River in Oregon.


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Some Local Wildflowers (not lo-cal:-)

This very wet winter and spring have been great for the flora.
Wildflowers are blooming (yeah), so are the weeds (boo)!

Wish I knew all their names…
The yellow ones are buttercups, which look very pretty en masse.

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The little blue flowers are very teeny, about 1/8″ across.
We have hillsides of the white blossoms.

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And now, the weeds:

The purple leaves have very small pink flowers.
This plant has infiltrated a flower bed.
It is not unattractive, but I cannot let it take over a tulip bed.

And I am including a dandelion flower just opening up.
They’re ba-a-ack!


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Great Basin National Park

In this dead of winter, while the flowering plants in my area are dormant,
I am sharing photos from a cross-country drive last fall.
We visited as many National Parks as we could fit into our time-line.

Great Basin National Park is in Nevada, on the Utah border.
It is a very desolate area, desert flora and an amazing cave system.
We did not have to escape oppressive heat to enjoy touring the caves; they were cool in both senses of the word.

One of the few remaining flowering plants in this desert, up close and at a distance.
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Outside the cave entrance, was a walking trail with signs at some of the plants.
This one caught my interest.
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There were groves of aspen trees nearby.
We were amazed to see them growing out of the rocks.
Aspen trees are especially beautiful when their leaves change colors.
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As we drove into Utah, the roadsides and open fields
were adorned with these wildflowers.
Rudbeckia are native to the North American continent.


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Passionate Purple & Pink

Both of these wildflowers found my garden.
They are seasonal and have multiplied.
Sometimes you just get lucky!
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Here are eggplant and potato flowers
from the vegetable garden.
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Lupine and Foxglove reseed freely.
I never know where they will appear year-to-year.
They are always welcome additions.
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Years ago, I planted Garlic in my flower beds to fight bugs,
I think it will come up forever.
Agastache, or Giant Hyssop, is supposed to be deer resistant,
but I don’t trust those animals.  Some of the plants are fenced,
some are not, so far all are surviving.
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Short and tall exemplars.
Bellflower is peeking out between Bergenia leaves.
Its own leaves are the serrated ones in the back of the photo.
These Hollyhock blossoms are ‘doubles’ with extra petals.
A neighbor gave me these plants a number of years ago,
and they are finally blooming.


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Alpine Flowers in Switzerland

Early May last year we drove from Lake Como, Italy to Tashe, Switzerland.
As the crow flies, these areas were so close on a map,
but of course the roads did not go that way.  Tashe is the town you can drive to,
then one takes a train to Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn.

The first flowers I saw to photograph were in a cemetery!

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It was quite beautiful to see that people cared about those who had passed away.

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Later in the afternoon, we took a hike on the mountain above the town of Zermatt,
and saw fields of wild crocus.
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The next day we drove up an alpine valley, saw many wondrous waterfalls and
some other wildflowers whose name I did not know.
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