Catching Up

I’ve been too busy to write on my blog even though I’ve had numerous ideas. This will be the first of my “catching up” posts!

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My yard used to be covered with grass. I removed the grass from my front yard years ago. Over the last few years I’ve removed it from the back yard as well.

Several years ago, I noticed some white flowers emerging from the ground next to a planter box. I had no idea what it was but knew I had never planted it.

I don’t know when the flowers came up this year; I think it was during August. On September 4th they looked like this:

This time I used a plant identification app to find out what kind of flowers they were. They are called ivy-leaved cyclamen, sowbread, baby cyclamen and cyclamen hederifolium.

I continued to watch and photograph the plant. When I took a photo on October 5 there was much more foliage.

And on October 23 the foliage remained the same, but there were only a couple of flowers.

As I look at this close up now, I’m noticing the spirals. I wonder what they are. Could there be more flowers coming? It doesn’t seem likely but I will find out!

I have enjoyed watching this plant evolve as it goes through its life cycle. Since I don’t know exactly when the flowers were “born”, I will pay even more attention to it next year.

Flower of the Day

FOTD: September 4, 2019

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.

This is the photo I just took.

I love it.

Flower of the day

Beauty in the Greenbelt: Oceanspray

We’ve planted more than a dozen oceanspray shrubs in our forest restoration site. Some of them may have had a few blossoms last year, but many more have them this year.

This week I saw oceanspray shrubs in other Seattle parks that were 13 feet high and nearly as wide. It will be interesting to see how big the ones in our restored forest grow.

FOTD

Beauty in the Greenbelt: Bleeding Heart

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!

FOTD

Beauty in the Greenbelt: Bald Hip Rose

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.

April 2019

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!

FOTD

Beauty in the Greenbelt: Pacific Ninebark

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.

Cee’s Flower of the Day Photography Challenge

Red Huckleberry Shrub Awakening

I love watching plants change from winter twigs to beautiful shrubs. One day last week this red huckleberry branch caught my eye.

March 29

Within a day’s time the branch had changed significantly.

March 30

And four days later this is what it looked like:

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April 5

This is a photo of the red huckleberry shrub taken on March 30.

March 30

And on April 5 it looked like this:

April 5
April 5

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!]

FOTD

Oregon Grape Shrubs Awakening

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.

Buds
Buds begin to open
Flowering
More and more flowers
More and more beauty

FOTD