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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wildflower Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Welcome to my Wildflower Wednesday post, to see what wildflowers are blooming elsewhere, join hostess Gail at Clay and Limestone.

The awesome native Fringecups are blooming, Tellima grandiflora, relatives of Heucheras, except they seed themselves around and require no care or watering-

I'm excited by a new wildflower blooming in my garden, Monarda punctata, Spotted Bee Balm.  It is quite gawdy-

Some other plants I grew from seed last year that are blooming are some Lupines, there are some that come up in stands of purple flowers here and there in vacant fields.   

California native shrub Ceanothus 'Victoria', which experienced severe die-back this last winter-
But part survived to bloom again-

Most successful in self-sowing of some California annuals I tried growing last year, is Limnanthes douglasii, Poached Egg Plant or Meadowfoam, which covers the hills in California-

The dependable PNW native fruiting shrub Salal is blooming, I love the little bell-shaped flowers-

Thimbleberries are also blooming-

Stinging Nettle is also blooming, which has many health benefits as a tea or other preparation, believed by some to benefit hair loss, or some brave souls deliberately hit themselves with the plant to reap benefits from the serotonin and acetylcholine, I can't understand this because getting stung is quite uncomfortable and takes hours to wear off-

Thanks for joining me, I enjoy the native flowers that take care of themselves.   Hannah

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Continuing Bloom: Roses, Irises, & Critters May 25, 2014

As the bloom season continues, the roses dominate, along with the Rhododendrons.  Today I am linking with-

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Mandarin Orange Monday hosted by Lorik

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma Wiseman

Monday Mellow Yellows hosted by Gemma Wishman

Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally

There seemed to be an abundance of critters in the garden this week.    I find that by giving snakes cover with cardboard or newspaper borders in the vegetable garden (to supress weed grasses), I encourage their numbers.   I have garter snakes, and when I see one I call them a fruit name based on the color of their main stripe, so I present Mandarin Orange the snake, perhaps the first orange snake I have found, most are yellow or red-
I am a biologist and enjoy non-poisonous snakes, lizards, frogs, toads (which don't live up here), salamanders (which do).   They are great carnivores and help keep the destructive rodents and insects in check.   I once saw a garter snake swallowing a slug, that put a smile on my face.

Then I pulled up more cardboard and discovered a "centipede"-CORRECTION- Evan Bean suggested this was really a millipede, so I looked at Bug Net and it resembles some Flat-backed Millipedes, which eat decaying vegetable and speed its return to soil; this one was only a little over an inch, 2-3cm, and harmless to humans-

I felt it could use a little enhancement, so I took it perhaps to an extreme, with Color/Hue adjustments and Cartoon filter, then I noticed it brought out the little hearts on the bottom left side of its body-

A small volunteer pansy, Hue adjusted for Happy Blue Monday later-

Blooming now from a trade last year, is the wild and fantastic Monarda punctata, Spotted Bee Balm, looking like it is decked out for Mardi Gras-

World Premier iris, also shown here, from a different view-

An original NOID iris, meaning an unidentified iris that was here when I moved in-

More Rhododendrons are blooming-

Putting on a grand show for a short while in spring are the once-blooming Old Garden Roses, OGR's, here Gallica Belle de Crecy, she also smells divine-

A real trouper I discovered in the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, Excellenz von Schubert, and was able to purchase, is a Polyantha, so has small blooms and blooms a lot and frequently, and smells wonderful-
Full size-

I cut one to put in a cut glass vase, here on my windowsill tiles I glazed myself with several glazes.   As a gardener and also a dabbler in ceramics, I prefer that windowsills are impervious to water since they are great places for houseplants-

Since we are indoors, how about a few more houseplants.   I tend to forget to put my Amaryllis away in the dark to form blooms, so it was late, then I got it out late, so it is just now blooming, 4 blooms total-

I recently found a houseplant I had been looking for a long time, a Streptocarpus that stays small, Texas  Hot Chili, it surprised me with a bloom and some buds coming on-

Thanks for visiting, I hope spring is fulfilling your wildest floral dreams.   Hannah

                                                       or cameras are macro

Monday, May 19, 2014

Continuing Bloom: Irises and Roses May 19, 2014

Welcome to my Monday post.  This week I am linking with-

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2, hosted by Gemma Wiseman

Mandarin Orange Monday hosted by Lorik

Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally

A lucky capture of a bumblebee in a Rhododendrum bloom-

Hue adjusted, cartoon filter in Gimp-

This week the Irises are really starting to bloom,

Rosalie Figge iris-


The very exuberant Siberian irises-

And a wonderful surprise, roses are blooming a couple of weeks earlier than usual.  First to bloom this year (other than Rugosas) as usual is Zephirine Drouhin, my personal Queen of the Garden, keeps blooming all summer and until frost, and is fragrant as well-

Monsieur Tillier rose buds-

Hybid Musk Penelope-

Double and fragrant Rugosa rose 'Hansa', Rugosas are the only roses that are thorny enough that deer won't eat them so I don't have to grow them behind fences-

I finally got a Saxifrage I had been wanting, 'Strawberry', and it surprised me with a small bloom, the petals are very unequal in size and the lower ones look like rabbit ears?   I used a cartoon filter from Gimp-

I can't believe spring is almost 2/3 over, but it has been glorious.   Hannah

                                                              or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Foliage Follow-Up, May 16, 2014

Presenting some of that foliage that is the backbone of the garden and sets off all those lovely blooms.  To see more Foliage Follow-Up posts, join hostess Pam at Digging and look at the comments.

An overly robust shrub that I coppiced, cutting it back severely as an alternative to removing it, is Elaeagnus ebbingei, Silverberry. It blooms with delightful wafting fragrance in fall-

And leafing out for some color, my tiny Cotinus-

My son's red Japanese Maple that keeps it's wonderful color all summer then is even redder in fall-

Red Dragon-

Green Dragon-

A new fern with wavy fronds, Blechnum penna-marina-

Cyrtomium fortunei var. Clevicola fern in one of my new shade gardens-

And finally the mysteriously reappearing silvery leaves of Cyclamen hederifolium, I love it when it makes little pink corkscrews-

I enjoy creating shade gardens, it seems they have fewer weeds.   -Hannah

˙©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.