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sprig to twig » Blog Archive » wildflower wednesday

wildflower wednesday

anonymous wildflower

I’ll start with one that I am hoping someone will identify, as it grows profusely around here.

candy flower and ferns

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.

wild geranium

I pull these out of my borders, but along the roadside the masses of wild geraniums are a delight.

wild heuchera

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.

wild solomon’s seal

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

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.

close-up of false solomon’s seal

Here’s a closer look at that flower form.

wild strawberry

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.

scotch broom

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.

Scotch Broom close-up

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.

Susie’s wattle fence

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.

9 Responses to “wildflower wednesday”

  1. Grace Says:

    What a cool wattle fence. I love your wildflowers, especially the wild Solomon’s Seal. I hope you get what we call “Fairy berries” before the critters. :)

  2. Gail Says:

    You have a beautiful array of natives~Some of my favorites. Ricki, I joke with a neighbor that Nashville needs to change its name from Music City USA to Invasives Are US! Happy WW. gail

  3. Alison Says:

    That Scotch Broom is such a nightmare! I am so sick of seeing it all over the sides of the roads and highways.

    You found some pretty wildflowers, but I think the plant you identified as a Heuchera is actually Tellima grandiflora (Fringecups, a PNW native). I pull up those stinky wild geraniums too.

  4. ricki Says:

    Grace~I thought the wattle fence would be right at home in your garden.

    Gail~Talk about the cure being worse than the disease: we are all battling plants that were brought in to solve a problem at one time.

    Alison~Thanks for stopping by…and for the plant ID.

  5. jo Says:

    Know what?
    If you went to the RHS Chelsea Flower show in London this week, you would have seen that this infamous little Herb Robert was the choice plant for their show gardens.
    That, and another totally unobtrusive plant, the brown fennel, were the mainstay for most of the gardens. At least those that had any flowers at all.
    Bizarre.
    I have to say that my garden is cutting edge, as these two have galoped around and coverd about 50% between them :-)

    As far as the wattle fence is concerned: if you cover it with a mixture of cow dung and lime, you can build yourself a 17th century english cottage. Or it can have s thatched roof over the top, after putting the gloop on, and then it would be a much treasured ‘cob wall’.

    Our ancient wattle is almost exclusively hazel, but these days willow is seen as another choice. Unfortunately willow has a very strong will to live and can sprout even when you are sure it is dead.

    When we lived in anold 17th century cottage, we had some of those cob panels fall out and we fhad to reweave and plaster them. I drew the line at cowdung however.

  6. ricki Says:

    Jo~You have done me a favor by ranting on the Chelsea show. Now I needn’t feel deprived by never getting to see it.

    …And I thought just weaving the wattle itself was over-the-top.

  7. Wendy Says:

    love your wildflowers - and the pretty fence too!

  8. ricki Says:

    Wendy~I love that fence too…wish it were not so time-consuming to construct. Oh, to have unlimited time to devote to garden projects.

  9. Hanan Bhalla Says:

    You made a number of fine points there. I did a search on the subject and found most persons will agree with your blog.

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