I’ll start with one that I am hoping someone will identify, as it grows profusely around here.
Mostly, the cast of characters changes dramatically from month to month, but the dainty little candy flower sticks around long enough to pair with the emerging ferns.
I pull these out of my borders, but along the roadside the masses of wild geraniums are a delight.
Judging by leaf shape and flower form, I’m guessing that this is a wild heuchera. One has taken up residence in a border and chose its placement so well that it will stay.
In the wild, the Solomon’s seal stays low to the ground, unlike the one in my woodland garden, which is 3′ tall.
False Solomon’s Seal shares the same leaf shape, but instead of dangling bells, the flower is a white pouf similar to goatsbeard at the end of the stem.
Here’s a closer look at that flower form.
The banks along the road are covered with wild strawberry plants. I must remember to keep checking to see if any fruit escapes the notice of the critters to be plucked by me.
Coming out of the woods, where the dominant color scheme is green and white, things get more colorful. Scotch Broom was introduced to the US in the late 1800’s for use in stabilizing mine tailings and other types of erosion control. With its deep root system and tough persistence, people came to like it for easy-care landscaping. Uh oh…those qualities also mean that it is tough to eradicate as it makes its way onto the ‘noxious weed’ lists of many states. It is just beginning to gain a foothold along this bank, but there are many hillsides that are bright yellow (the color of highway warning signs) as far as the eye can see.
We always seem to be walking the line between trying to find plants that will thrive effortlessly and those that will overrun us with too much of a good thing. One plant like this can produce 15,000 seeds in a year. Digging them up is not a good idea, because disturbing the soil will just bring more of those seeds to the surface where they can germinate. While the plant is toxic to most animals and humans, goats can be pressed into service. Brooms hate shade, so providing a canopy of shade can be a long-range solution. Cutting off and painting the stump with glyphosate might be one of the rare instances where chemical warfare could be justified.
Enough with the ranting. I am going to take you back into our cool woods, where one of our neighbors is building a wattle fence. When I stopped to chat with her about it, she was thrilled that I knew what it was (apparently it is a foreign concept to folks in our neck of the woods). I volunteered the prunings from our fruit trees, but I think what is really needed here is a helper. Wattle building is mighty slow going.
Wildflower Wednesdays are the brainchild of Gail at Clay and Limestone, so hop on over there if you want to get in on the fun.