wildflower walks


Walking our road is especially pleasant (between downpours) this time of year because the wildflowers are out in full force. The clumps of Trilliums seem to increase with each passing year. They are about three weeks ahead of the single plant that blooms in our woodland garden. They seem to be the same variety, but the roadway lets in more sunshine.

Oregon grape

Same story for the Oregon grape, our state flower. In fact, the governor’s mansion in the state capitol is called ‘Mahonia Hall’. I thought that planting a clump of these in a garden bed would be a surefire low maintenance, high impact strategy, but not so. Mine get leggy and scruffy before blooming, while those that chose their own sites bloom profusely on shrubs with shiny, undamaged leaves. This took the wind out of my early intentions to rely heavily on natives at home.


This is the first year that I have noticed little clumps of miners’ lettuce Claytonia growing along the road. I sought out seed and grew some one year, but it is so much more fun to find it in the “wild”. It makes a wonderful, tender little addition to salads.

candy flower

Much of what is blooming now is so diminutive that only an extreme close-up will do. This dainty beauty is, I think, what is called a ‘candy flower’. Anybody know of a good source of information on Willamette Valley wildflowers?

yellow violets

Here’s another tiny dancer that would escape notice if we never left our car. I’m sure it has a name, but ‘yellow violet’ will have to do until a better-informed wildflower watcher comes along to set me straight.

snake grass

These snaky grasses are so attractive that I have tried more than once to incorporate them into arrangements. They refuse to cooperate, so I guess I will have to be satisfied with enjoying them in situ.

Living in the country, it is best to stay on the good side of neighbors. One irritated neighbor cleared all the brush that screened his place from his neighbor across the road and installed a family of pigs. We tend to breathe through our mouths while navigating this stretch of road.

leyland cypress hedge

Mostly, though, our neighbors couldn’t be nicer. This poor fellow was working on taming the Leyland cypress hedge he inherited from his predecessor. He is obviously going to need to borrow a taller ladder. We fell into conversation and he invited us to see what he has been up to behind that hedge.


These cute little greenhouses are giving things a great head start, especially with the reflected heat from the house and the driveway.

raised beds

While around back these raised beds are surrounded by trellises for climbers. This is going to be a kitchen garden that qualifies for being called a “parterre”, if ever I saw one.

Well, I strayed quite a bit from the subject of wildflowers, but over at Clay and Limestone this is Wildflower Week, with links to other blogging gardeners sharing wild discoveries.

6 thoughts on “wildflower walks

  1. Fun post Ricki with lots of great pictures. It’s wonderful that you’ve got so many Trillium just naturally growing near you…and I too have tried many a time to pick that horsetail and put it in a vase or also with a few roots attached plant it in a container. Nope. Dies every time.

    The image of the guy on the ladder looks like it should be on one of those inspirational cards…”never give up…no matter how bad it looks”….

  2. We had a monster hedge like that. After twenty years of living with our predecessor’s mistake, we finally had it cut down. Mixed blessing of losing some privacy but gaining lots of light.
    What a tidy garden behind there.
    What can you do about the porkies? Maybe toss in the odd stinkbomb 🙂
    Liked your trilliums. Are there any Wake Robins, with their deep red petals?

  3. I keep thinking about grabbing a handful of rooted horsetail and growing it in a container. Maybe it’s a lot harder to get rooted than it looks. Love the little greenhouses.

  4. Loree~Isn’t it funny how some things can be almost invasive on their own, but refuse our attempts to tame them? Maybe that is a good thing.

    We can always rely on you for a witty take on things: “never give up…” you can have my photo when you start your card business.

    Jo~No Wake Robins occurring naturally, but they grow well here if introduced.

    Grace~See Loree’s comment above, and join me in leaving them in their roadside abodes.

  5. Lucky you, having all that country side at your door step. We lived in Suffolk UK for two years, I loved walking through all the wild common land. I miss the pigs…

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