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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Closest Botanist to Home

Camassia cusickii

I have featured this plant before and I think I referenced at the time how it has been maligned in some bulb reference books as coarse leaved and small flowered. I for one am a huge fan, I think it can look stately on it's own, and while the color may be a bit of white-washed pale purple tending towards nothing to write home about, I rather like the upright form. 

One of the funner aspects of the plant is who it was named for, William Conklin Cusick, the deaf botanist who explored so much of the wonderful Elkorn, Blue and Wallowa mts in Oregon. The part I like best is how he grew up right smack dab in the country that Illahe now occupies. He lived on kingston praire (now a nature preserve and close to where I used to do some mitigated riparian restoration work). He attended Willamette University in 1864-65, (My sister works for the University that occupies much of downtown Salem). He also lived for a time in Dallas, OR (the drummer in the band I was in in High School lived in Dallas). So many aspects that hit so close to home!

Anyway, I won't do the great man justice with these little snippets, but he also has one of my favorite Monkeyflowers named for him and you can read about it and his life in the great NPSO publication: http://www.npsoregon.org/kalmiopsis/kalmiopsis14/love.pdf

The weather has been spotty, rain mixed with some sun. Supposedly headed for temps in the 80's this weekend. 

Cheers and happy friday, 


Friday, April 22, 2016

What's that song by Bob Seeger?

"Up there in the spotlight your a million miles away, every ounce of energy you try to give away"
That feels like it sums up this week on a few different levels. Genuine care about Middle schoolers being introduced to Botany on a collectors level or putting on a dog and pony show for the brass.
There is something so rewarding and simple about walking around the garden on a Friday between the thunderstorms.
The rock garden starting into bloom.

Also, I really like to be able to walk a few hundred yards and enjoy the difference between cultivation and nature. My native meadow is filling in with Camas and Checkermallow, it's fun to see the slow development of a seeded parcel compared to the instant gratification of popping containers in the ground. One is so moldable and the other defined more by the laws of nature.

I think it's called "Turn the Page" and it's about time to do it.

Thunderstorms, torrential rain, whipping winds, calm and sunny, hail, rain, overcast and clear all in the span of an hour today.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Not all who wander are lost.

The chocolate lily wandering its way through a rhododendron on the corner of the old farmhouse.

Headed for some grand weather this weekend and excited to host the David Douglas Society and the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Native Plant Society for a garden tour this weekend.


Monday, April 11, 2016

They Called It Paradise

Back from a wonderful adventure to visit family on the Kauai, spectacular trip and seeing the Uncle and Cousins farms after so many years away was great. 

Sunset over Bali Hai

Neomarica in bloom

The Uncles Palm Tree plantation

Anya and the landscaping at Pepperwood.

So back to the grind, work and gardening, the weather warmed up while we were away so spring is in full swing the Cherries are in full bloom now and I'll post up some bulb pics again soon.