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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Native Flower Carpets Wildflower Wednesday April 28, 2016

Today I am joining in with Gail's Wildflower Wednesday posts, featuring especially some that like to make carpets that bloom.  Native plants occur in pockets of my 2 acre garden, especially in the southern woods, where sheets of Hydrophyllum capitatum come up in spring after becoming ephemeral the previous dry season-

The little ball-shaped flowers are just beginning to form-

I've seen a similar appearing more ornamental purple-flowered eastern USA native,  Phacelia tanacetifolia, that looks interesting, as well as Phacelia bipinnatifida on Gail's blog that is quite pretty.

Another Borage family native perennial that grows by itself in sun is Phacelia hastata.  It can get quite large and furnishes food for the native bees in the summer with its very long bloom season-

Another ephemeral plant that carpets the woods is Circaea alpina, Enchanter's Nightshade, with smaller bright green smooth leaves and eventually tiny flowers, from the Onagraceae family.  It is separate here from the Hydrophyllum in the upper right.   I was amused once at the fair to see this in the weed display labeled as "garlic mustard".  Perhaps it seemed invasive.;-). Minute white flower will show up soon-

False Solomon's Seal is starting to bloom, the deer will nibble it so I have to protect it.  The ones growing here have an exquisite fragrance I can't get enough of-

The native Mahonia (now Berberis) nervosa,  is blooming and will have edible berries, it slowly forms colonies of plants, either alone or mixed with Salal, which I enjoy, especially in the few beds without weed competition-

Spring Beauty, Claytonia sibirica, can carpet some areas with it tiny candy-like flowers and edible bulbs-

The related  Miner's lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata, is one of the most recognized of the wild edibles, eaten by miners to prevent scurvy-

A miniature vining plant with cute little incised leaves also makes an appearance, Nemophila parviflora also in the Borage family-

I once read an article about a study where a residential lawn that had been grass for 40 or 60 years was killed then watered and weeded to see what wildflowers would appear, and grew some amazing plants from dormant seeds.  What native plants grow for you without intervention?   Hannah

Monday, April 25, 2016

More Flower Carpets, Vases April 25, 2016

Today I am linking with-

Today's flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

In a Vase on Monday hosted by Cathy

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

Continuing with more plants that make flowering carpets in the spring, one that is really popping up everywhere this spring is Ajuga, I have bought several varieties over the years which have possibly hybridized with each other, varying from green leaves to dark burgundy, and flowers that are a blue purple or pink, here coming up in the grass.  Mowing would remove the flower spikes but leave the thick low-growing runners that carpet the ground after the flowers are gone-

For those who like a very drought-tolerant ground cover that dies back in the fall then starts growing and filling in rapidly in the spring, Euphorbia cyparissias has very fine foliage and is soon covered in yellow flowers and bracts-

Another choice that is one of those perfectly adapted PNW plants, growing in shade in the late winter to early spring to make a dense carpet of arrowhead-shaped leaves, is the Mouse plant, Arisarum proboscideum, so cute it always makes me smile to see the little "mice"-

The flowers are not readily visible but hide under the leaves, they are a Jack-in-the-Pulpit relative and the flowers look whimsically like a mouse with its tail in the air and head in the ground-

After the spring rains are over and the summer gets hotter and dried, the plants are ephemeral and disappear underground until the next rainy season, like the Anemone nemorosas and others.

I actually found a critter this week, it is a very abundant spider that doesn't spin a web, but is camouflaged to blend in with flowers, either white or yellow, and has its front legs bent like a crab's, hence the name crab spider, bees are often their victims-

She is hiding out on a yellow tree peony, here is the flower-

Blooming next to it is the exquisitely shaded Peony -

It's time for In a Vase on Monday, so I couldn't resist using some peonies.  Here is a white tree peony, and the wonderful P. suffruticosa 'Kamata Nishiki', so full in the vase I couldn't figure out how to add more flowers-

And the cute little bloom of the Peony delavayi 'lutea'with a few Geum 'Totally Tangerine', Primula elatior 'Black Lace', Euphorbia cypariassis, Euphorbia amygdaloides, Wojo's Gem variegated Vinca, and some tall wild very weedy buttercups with their amazing shiny petals-

Top view-

What flowers are surprising you now?   

Easter is just past, and I wish the Jewish readers a Happy Pesach.   Here is a photo of the kids in my family dressed for Easter, a 5th girl was born around that time.  I am the oldest girl.  In our Easter bonnets....


©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy reading your comments, and will visit your blog and leave comments there if possible, but I am not able to do so if google + is the only option.  I would like to return your visit so leave an URL to your blog or email address.

Monday, April 18, 2016

In a Vase on Monday, Spikes! April 18, 2016

My vase this Monday features some spiky plants, and a few softer drapers.   There are so many things blooming it is easy to just grab a few.  I'm accepting hostess Cathy's challenge to find something to plonk In a Vase on Monday-

There are a lot of choices now, but the purple and pink spikes of Ajuga have been popping up everywhere and attracted my attention.  I added some blue Pulmonaria to match the vase, and some of the cute yellow hoods of the irascible Archangel, an invasive weed that got a foothold in my garden, and also some blue bells of Scilla with their blue stripes on the bells, and actually have a nice fragrance.  The plate is an Blue Onion pattern I inherited from my mother-in-law.

I was admiring my little clump of the species tulip batalini 'Bright Gem', one of the few tulips that apparently don't appeal to the voles and squirrels, I wasn't going to cut any but accidentally cut a couple trying to weed too close-

The tulip could sense the middle of the day and would open, then would close again as the afternoon wore on-

Today I am also linking with-

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

I hope you are enjoying your spring flowers now, and find some to cut and enjoy in a vase.   Hannah

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Foliage Follow-Up, April 17, 2016

This is my Foliage Follow-up post, following my April GBBD post, thanks to hostess Pam at Digging.  Foliage is the backbone of the garden, and by April there is a lot of nice fresh spring foliage.  Some I most admire are the Japanese Maples, purchased as 4"potted trees.   The largest is Amber Ghost-

Purple Ghost, being trained to a more upright position, it doesn't retain the red foliage in summer but has glorious red fall foliage, more than Amber Ghost-

The newest little Sister Ghost with lovely variegation, it at least lives up to its name-

Then there are 2 cutleaf weeping Japanese maples, this one is more orange-

I have tried to shape the interior-

New foliage on the Huckleberry has bronzy tones-

Hellebores turn into great foliage plants after blooming-

A vigorous shiny-leaved bright green shrub with foliage great in a vase yearround, and that spreads by suckering, very tough, Lonicera nitida, also available in a variegated form that is not as vigorous-

My latest Manzanita aquisition from Hortlandia, still small and not as hardy as the other 4 so planted on the east side of my house hoping for protection there from cold-

Arctostaphylos pajaroensis 'Myrtle Wolf'

What foliage do you find particularly inviting now?    Hannah

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy reading your comments, and will visit your blog and leave comments there if possible, but I am not able to do so if google + is the only option.  I would like to return your visit so leave an URL to your blog or email address.