I was doing my weekly shopping yesterday which involves a drive on a major highway to a nearby town. It's a nice drive, with slopes on either side where native plants grow. At different times of the year, the hills turn bright with wildflowers, blue with Ceanothus (our Mountain Lilac), etc.
Yesterday I realized the Eriogonum (buckwheat) was in full bloom. I have a thing about buckwheat - it's an underrated plant in my opinion. And to see it covering the roadside as I did yesterday, I wished I was a writer so I could describe it. Hence the title of this thread.
We have buckwheat growing naturally on our property that thankfully disguises some ugly (to me) cactus each spring. Also, we have a St Catherine's lace (Eriogonum giganteum http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/59548/) that is one of my favorite plants. When it blooms I will post a picture - right now she is sneaking up on us, getting ready to knock our eyes out.
What do you see in your neighborhood or on the highways and byways that make you sigh or want to jump for joy or grab someone and say, "Isn't that beautiful?"
Glad you like it, Sharon. The first time I saw the full cycle of St Catherine's lace, I thought someone had switched plants on us, really. There are lots of buckwheats - are you sure none will grow in your little spot of heaven? What rocks your world?
I am looking frantically to see if anything like it grows here. No luck so far. Right now the old fashioned wild ditch lilies are in full bloom, so it's an orange world along many country roads. Along the interstates red poppies spring up as if overnight, beautiful, but not native. (Well designed though, by the KDOT landscapers, :) )
I think we always take great delight in what we can't have.
Wild honeysuckle is everywhere, too, and some in reds and oranges are wonderful, with a few yellows and whites mixed in. Not many people like their choking vines, but their scent and beauty is lovely to me.
The older I get the more I find myself obsessed with illusive things...things I can't possibly get to grow here. But I try, then feel like I murdered them when they meet their demise.
I need to quit thinking I'm magic.
But here after 2 years is a crazy success story. It is very hot, very dry, for about 4 months of the year here. Things might get started, but never last long even with babying. These hollyhocks were started from seed in April 07. Didn't do a thing that year. The second year they came up for the first time in April, had one bloom about 2 inches above ground, and I thought they were miniatures, died back in May with only the one bloom. This year there are about 8 stalks, white, 2 shades of pink, 2 shades of rose and a lovely lavender. They are much taller than I am, so over 5 feet. And I thought I had lost them after that first year.
It's always a surprise around here.
Much closer to zone 7, and in fact 10 miles down the road it is zoned 7, where Melody lives. We are very close to Nashville, just a little farther west, and slightly north.
And of course our weather patterns are changing, as are those in a lot of places.