susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Last April in Spain

From our hotel window in Barcelona, we could see a park.
This is what was blooming in early spring.
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We drove north from Barcelona, along the Costa Brava towards France.
The rugged coastline was mostly cliffs down to a sometimes sandy beach.
The cliffs were often strewn with beautiful wildflowers and succulents.

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A Yammering of Yellow

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I’ve been watching these St. John’s Wort buds the last couple of days, and this morning the flowers burst open.  I’ve never noticed the orange-tipped stamen before, so pretty.
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These wildflowers appeared a year ago at the back of a bed.  Since they were in a good location, I let them stay.  So far, they have stayed put, and not invaded the cultivated flowerbed.
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The first succulent of mine to bloom.  Tiny flowers on stems about 3″ (8cm).
Last year, I cut a small bouquet of these blossoms and kept them through the winter, in my kitchen windowsill, as dried flowers in a mini-vase.
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Earlier this spring, I was sure this Lady’s Mantle had died.  It may have outgrown its location, so I shoveled part of the plant out.  The interesting shape of its leaves and hardiness make this a keeper in my garden.
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Alliums are known to be robust members of any garden, and these yellow-flowered ones do not fail.  Mine have been neglected, separated and moved around by me and who-knows-what critters.
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The first bud of a prolific mini-flower rose bush.
You can see additional buds surrounding this blossom.
I am able to cut flowers from this plant all summer long.


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Spring Wild Flowers

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In the left hand photo is a delicate flower referred to as rabbit ears or bunny ears.  I have seen hundreds of these blooming under our scrub oak trees.

The light pink bloom in the next photo, has a tall stem, and I have seen them sporadically for a few weeks now.  They don’t seem to like too much sun, and there is lots of moss at the base of this one.

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On the right is a deer trail, with the same pink wildflower in the upper left corner of the photo.  Deer tend to follow the same paths when wandering their “home area”, and the above photo is a worn path they use when climbing an embankment above a driveway.

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Here are buttercups, that surprised me one morning.  They were above the hill where I dump my weed buckets and flower prunings.

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I’m not sure if these ox-eye daisies ever died out over the winter.  They are everywhere, and I am constantly digging them out of my flowerbeds.

In the morning, it is not unusual to see spider webs in the grass.  When they are wet with dew, they are easy to spot.

I thought they were cool looking, so wanted to share the pictures.

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Wildflowers from Death Valley to Big Pine, CA, part 3

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This is my last post from this leg of my trip last May.  And there were  more wildflowers along the road than these I have shared.  Not all the photos turned out as I had hoped 😦

The second picture is of columbines, which grow wild at home in Oregon, but in a different color.  I know they reseed freely, and did see them growing in larger groups.

The pom-pom flowers in the top photo were a challenge to keep in focus.  Do you see they are growing in gravel?  That is so amazing to me, the way I baby  my plants at home, and they are so sturdy in the wild.


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Wildflowers from Death Valley to Big Pine, CA

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What a drive we took from Death Valley over the mountains to Big Pine in California.  Not a direct path, as there are no roads “as the crow flies”.  A very circuitous route:  northeast, north, west, then southwest.  Over 3 mountain passes that were higher than one mile in elevation.  We saw so many wildflowers on this drive, I was amazed.  It is a function of sun exposure, moisture, elevation and just plain luck.  Try as one may to plan ahead, I have learned that wildflowers will bloom in a certain order, but the date is entirely dependent on the weather.

I do not know the names of all of the flowers, but I do recognize some.  The white flower here is a thistle, as I know those leaves.  Such a pretty flower on such an obnoxious plant.  Sorry to be so judgmental!

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These blue flowers are lupines.  They will bloom all summer in various colors, at home, but this must be a wild, mountain cultivar.


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Death Valley National Park Flowers

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There is plenty of life in Death Valley, you just have to know where and when to look for it.  Plants in many places on earth have a dormant season in the cold of winter.  In Death Valley, as with other desert areas, the dormant season is the extreme heat of summer.  If there is enough rain in the spring, the wildflowers do emerge.

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Last May, we were fortunate to be driving by the area and stopped by to see what what the flora looked like.  It was late spring, so we saw only a few wildflowers in the north of the Park and of course, took some photos.  We found an ancient crater to walk around.  It was a challenge to keep our footing, especially when hiking uphill in the soft rocks.

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