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Wildflower Safari!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's that time of year again. Wildflowers are coming out. Everything's about two weeks late. It's kind of disorienting. Red-eyed vireos singing in leafless trees. But the wildflowers are coming along nicely.

I love, love, love taking friends out on wildflower safaris. 

From left: Sara, Kelly, Murr and moi. Cackling. 

Murr, holding a chickadee nest. For her take on chickadee sex, go to her fabulous blog. 

Bluets. Honesty. Quaker Ladies. Call them what you will, I love them. There is a man who lives down our county road who weedwhacks the bluets that grow on a bare bank in front of his house. He will get his just reward in Purgatory, for bluets hurt no one. Neither does honesty, properly and kindly administered. 

There is blue, and then there is BLUE. Blue-eyed Mary is BLUE. Oh, what a blue, the kind of blue that home gardeners lust after but almost never achieve. Only delphiniums approach this blue, and those are hard to grow in Ohio. I know, because I've probably bought two dozen delphiniums over the years, only to have them rot in our rainy winters. 

Blue-eyed Mary is an annual that grows in misty blue drifts down rich slopes, spilling like smoke into pastures.

I never tire of oohing over it.

Blue phlox blooms at the same time. But there's blue, and then there's blue, and I'm sorry, Phlox, but you're only almost blue.

Blue larkspur, same deal. You're royal purple. Chet Baker for scale. 

The Bacon loves a good wildflower safari as much as the next guy. He just likes to come along and sniff out new places, harass new squirtles and chiptymunks. 

Jacob's Ladder.

Another kingly larkspur. There was more of it this year than ever. We were thrilled to see it had spread so widely.

I couldn't resist shooting this gorgeous bank of Trillium grandiflorum, with some idiot's old mattress flumped down on it. Around these parts, a steep slope is just an invitation to pitch the big stuff you're too lazy to take to the dump.

If I could have hauled it away I would have, but rain-soaked mattresses are more than I can handle. I tried not to think of the trillium trying to come up beneath it. Dang it!!

 Back home, my zygocactus is going absolutely bu-freakin'-onkers. After an initial winter bud drop, it has decided it loves, loves, loves the greenhouse. I brought it up to the kitchen table for a little house vacation, because I didn't want to miss a minute of its fuchsia perfection. Just FYI it is in a great big pot with dense moist soil. Seemed like what it wanted.

 I like this dreamy off-kilter shot of the wildflowers of Newell's Run.

Yes, it is a fine thing to meet them when and where they're blooming. I recommend it. Get out there, now!


Thank you so much for introducing me to Murr! Her blog post on chickadee sex was hilarious! I've bookmarked her blog right under your own for my daily morning blog-checks.

Love those Blue-eyed Marys, wish we had some here. We're even later than you with our wildflowers... still some hepatica in bloom, red trillium and dog-tooth violet just starting. I favor the name Quaker Ladies (grew up near Philly in an ole Quaker family, so of course!) Love those, too! I can't believe anyone would chop them off! Thanks for the link for Murr's blog - I'm already a fan!

I miss "home" the most when I know the wildflowers are blooming along the bike path between Athens and Nelsonville. Your photos were almost like being there. What a great time you must have had with your friends... what fun!

Love how you threw that Christmas cactus on your kitchen counter right into the middle of your wildflower walk :) We all, like you, needed that splash of fuschia among all that BLUE!!

Funny how, practically next-door here in No. Virginia, we don't have Blue-eyed Mary, and I've never even seen it anywhere, in all my botanical wanderings. Must be a southern belle.

Posted by Mary Ann May 1, 2014 at 5:37 AM

It's amazing how plants behave depending on where they grow. I've had a Christmas cactus for at least a decade and he lives on a stand in the lanai. Blooms right on time for Christmas every single year and is absolutely gorgeous. We almost completely ignore him. He's barely watered. He does not get much sunlight. He's in a corner. Dog has knocked him down numerous times. We set him back up and go back to ignoring him. His soil is loose and he's fed maybe once a year if I think of it. I have transplanted him once as he needed a bigger pot. I panicked until he bloomed because I was worried I fussed too much and might break his cycle. But, no worries, he stayed right on track!

I must admit, I do miss seeing all the spring blooms that I grew up with in Ohio. It's very different this time of year in Florida.

Murr's hubby, Dave, had he been along, might have moved the mattress for you. He's a hero in that regard. Moved a couch from the forest. Total hero!

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