Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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My First Bloom Day

On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers everywhere participate in "Bloom Day" by posting photographs of whatever is blooming in their yard that day, and then they all link to their posts from a central location in the May Dreams Gardens blog. I've never been able to participate in Bloom Day before, because I've never had anything blooming. This time I do, although it's still no comparison to anybody else's. I have two intentionally planted plants blooming, and two . . . well . . . weeds. But the kind of weeds I'm not going to pull out.

The golden currant (Ribes aureum) that bloomed first has now fully opened its four flower clusters. Not bad for a one-gallon plant I just bought last November.

Across the back yard from it, my native wood strawberry (Fragaria vesca 'Golden Alexandra') has been blooming ever since I bought it last November. I'm impressed by how well this plant has survived being planted in what turned out to be a seasonal swamp. Its lower leaves were underwater for months, but it's emerged not much the worse for wear at all.

Directly below the currant, there's a weed that hitchhiked into the yard in the currant's pot, from the native plant nursery. It started blooming (with very tiny white flowers - too small for my camera to capture good images of, hence the blurriness in the photograph below) about one day after the currant did. I've now identified it as a bittercress, probably Cardamine oligosperma. If I'm right about which bittercress it is, then it's native. There are some non-native bittercresses that grow in other nearby counties, but if is to be trusted, there are no non-native bittercresses here or in the county where the native plant nursery I went to is located. Bittercresses are still weedy, no matter whether they're native or not, but I've decided to let it live and hope its weedy tendencies help it to kill off some of the non-native weeds.

Also in the back yard, a volunteer that I had thought was clover, and intentionally allowed to live in hopes it would improve the soil, has suddenly bloomed with bright yellow flowers this week. They're not clover-like flowers at all, but clusters of tiny pea-shaped flowers. I've now identified it as a medic (Medicago orbicularis) - a non-native cousin of clover, which still might improve the soil. I'll probably let it grow, because if I removed it, the non-native annual bluegrass would fill in the spot in no time. The medic has been much less of a pest than the bluegrass.

I'm disappointed that my redbud tree doesn't seem to be planning to bloom this year - it's developing tiny leaves, but no flower buds, so maybe it's still too young to flower this year. I'm also disappointed that my California golden poppies still haven't flowered. Half my poppies have turned yellow and died from the various stresses they were subjected to this winter - being flooded and choked out by annual bluegrass, mostly - but the other half are alive and quite large, just not flowering. Other people's poppies have been flowering all over town since late January. Why not mine?

I do hope to be able to participate in future Bloom Days without having weeds comprise half of my blooms. But for a first try, this will do.
Tags: native plants, photographs
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