I realize I have several flowers that I refer to as my favorite flower. When I reflected on that fact today, it occurred to me that my favorite flower changes with the season. In the spring, my favorite flowers are the blooms on my magnolia tree; in summer, I am intrigued by the echinacea flowers; and at this time of the year, my favorite flowers are the ones on my aster shrub. I think I have taken more beautiful shots of those flowers than any other.
One of my favorite Greenbelt flowers is the bleeding heart flower; they are so small and delicate. On June 9, I took what I think is an amazing photo of one of those plants.
To me it looks like a bleeding heart flower birthing a seed pod. I look forward to learning how and when to harvest and spread the seeds. Even more, I look forward to seeing a lot more bleeding heart flowers in our Greenbelt restoration site next spring!
This spring has been very exciting for me. We planted our first trees, shrubs and ground covers in November of 2017. This year most of those plants had a tremendous growth spurt. Several species bloomed for the first time. One of those was this bald hip rose shrub.
The beginning of the path between the Mt. Baker light rail station and the Hanford Stairs is lined with bald hip rose shrubs.
One day in late May, this is what I saw as I was walking home from the Mt. Baker station.
I realized I was getting a glimpse of what our Greenbelt site is going to look like in a few years. WOW!
In April of 2017, I took a live stake workshop. The participants cut branches from a variety of shrubs, took them home and planted them in containers. The stakes rooted throughout the summer and early fall. In November of 2017, I planted the ones that had in our forest restoration site.
Three of the Pacific Ninebark stakes not only survived, they thrived. When I was walking through the restoration site today, I noticed that there were many buds on the shrub. One of the flowers had partially bloomed. I think it is SO beautiful.
There are many flowers like this one on the shrub. The photo below shows about a third of the plant’s flowers-to-be.
This shrub will be so beautiful when all of these buds open. At this point, it is still a fairly small plant. I can only imagine what it will look like years from now when it is fully grown.
I love watching plants change from winter twigs to beautiful shrubs. One day last week this red huckleberry branch caught my eye.
Within a day’s time the branch had changed significantly.
And four days later this is what it looked like:
This is a photo of the red huckleberry shrub taken on March 30.
And on April 5 it looked like this:
The exquisite intricacy of Nature is amazing.
[Note: I’ve been getting frustrated because I haven’t been able to get clear close up photos. I discovered it was because the iPhone camera was focusing on the background. When I hold my hand behind the item I want to photograph the item becomes clear immediately. So expect to see my hand a lot!]
We have so many Oregon Grape shrubs on the restoration site. Some of them north of the Hanford stairs were planted by Earth Corps 10-15 years ago. Some of the ones south of the stairs were planted by a neighborhood group 6-10 years ago. All of shrubs had been crushed by blackberry vines but thrived once they were freed from those invasive plants. We have also planted new Oregon Grape shrubs throughout the site.
In the days after our January 21 forest restoration work party, some peculiar events occurred. I wrote about them in Mystery in the Greenbelt.
I don’t know where the mystery shovel or the mystery plant came from. The only clue was the blue and white checkered flagging tape that was hanging from one of the branches of the plant. We had put that tape on all of the trees, shrubs and ground covers we planted during the 2017-18 planting season. But I still haven’t found a hole or a missing plant.
At the time, I decided that since there was no rationale explanation for the mystery, I would accept a non-rational one. I concluded that the plant was sitting on the side of The Rack Zone because it was “supposed” to be the first plant we planted in that area.
[The Rack Zone is located in the foundation of a house that we believe burned down in the 50’s. We have put all the blackberry, ivy and bindweed vines plus all of the weed we have removed since early in 2017 on drying racks in that area. During the January 21 work party, we took apart all but three of the drying racks and spread the contents over the concrete foundation. Our plan has been to eventually use that space as a planting area. The first photo below shows The Rack Zone after we had spread most of the dried debris on January 21. We have continued to add dried debris to that area since then. The second photo shows one of those work parties.]
So I planted the mystery shrub in The Rack Zone. I didn’t know what kind of plant it was and I didn’t know if it was alive.
When most of the plants on the site began to bud this year and that one didn’t, I thought it was probably dead. Then on March 18th some tiny buds appeared!
When I looked at the shrub again on March 21, there were leaves.
It was beginning to look like the shrub was an Oceanspray plant. In the days that followed, leaves emerged from all over the plant.
We now have a plant in The Rack Zone and it IS Oceanspray. I am eager to discover how it reacts to being in that environment. I hope one day it looks like this Oceanspray shrub I saw last summer.