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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Where the wild things are.

Aquilegia sp.
Kings Canyon area, Sierra Nevada 6000'
Seed collection by Jevra Brown.

Beautiful columbine from southern California. My friend Jevra hikes a different area of the county every year and in 2013 she brought me this collection.

Its very floriferous and I noticed some have a tendency toward reflexing the outer...petals? Or are those tepals? Immediately upon opening. Got a whole flat and spread some around some of the rock garden projects I've been working on in Salem. We will see how it fares. And if anyone knows what species it is please do let me know....seems a bit north for A. flavescens and not hairy enough for A. pubescens?

Iris tenax
Always been one of my favorite wildflowers, this one population is growing a few miles from my childhood home. I have the sometimes unfortunate job of getting to review the proposed development in plans for the city.

The site of this population will be a cineplex come this time next year. Yes, I am planning a rescue mission, no matter how much anybody might hate the idea of digging up a wildflower. The thought of it getting bulldozed and laid under 4 lifts of asphalt is a far worse fate. A tomb if you will for something that died before its time.

Fritillaria affinis
This one is in the backyard, but it made me think how great would a stand of this offset by the lovely wild iris look? They are both peaking into bloom now.

It was 80 degrees on Monday, its 66 amid raining well now.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Casualties of war

Erythronium sketch
By Mark Akimoff

Probably the biggest thing I miss from simpler days was being able to sit down and sketch out flowers. It gives one such a great opportunity to really study a flower completely.

Lilium bolanderi

I was dabbling with some color a few.years ago, but it just seems there isn't a spare moment left for it these days.

What inspired me to think of this, well, I had to illustrate a revision to a local landscape architects rather bland planting design for a really great garden historical garden here in town.

So I had to go buy a bunch of colored pencils and it really reminded me how much I love sitting at a drawing board.

Someday I'll find the time again.

Been lots of thunder and lightning lately in between rain showers and sun breaks. 55 degrees with a plunging barometer tonight.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Social Media

Iris 'Peresh'

I failed to mention a few lovely ladies in yesterdays ramblings, Karen, Betty, Janice, Gail.....the more I think back the deeper the list gets. Thank you all for setting me on " the path". I'm sure I will add more here as time goes on.

Iris 'Theseus'

Why social media for the title? I was thinking about the loads of information available to us now and how its made the plantsmans life so much easier. I'm not that old, but when I started, you still had to find esoteric books on alpines and rock gardening, remember card catalogs? The best way to do it was find a knowledgeable old timer and glean them for tips and tricks. Nowadays, you Google around and you find anything so easy, I verify names in my greenhouse, get pictures and cultural information beamed into a phone smaller then a cassette tape, remember those?

Anyway, this could ramble on forever, as I sit in my greenhouse typing this onto the flat screen of this cassette tape size computer that calls itself a telephone.

The point I'm getting at is that I think I was lucky to come up before the days of social media and the internet, where you had to learn the art of asking questions. I did glean so much knowledge as a neophyte from the older generations willing to share it, nowadays sharing is something that mostly happens on a Facebook page.

Thanks again to all those willing to share, knowledge, plants, and locations. I'll be sure to pass it on to the next, if they don't come asking, then they will hopefully find some traces of it here.

Primula involucrata ssp. yargonensis

Speaking of sharing, that little primrose is from a share of the 2014 North American Rock Garden Society's seed exchange. You wouldn't believe the heavenly perfume that puts out, and I have a dozen of them thanks the seed ex. Another example of passing the torch. Share hour seeds, I know I can do better at that.

Thunderstorms and hail, heavy rain and sun..high of 60, low of 39..yes, its April in Oregon now.