floral interruption

Meandering around the backyard, it struck me how fine the California poppies were looking…

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I planted some from the nursery and they came in assorted colors. For more than a few years, the native orange color was the only one to reseed. And then this year the blossoms showed up in various shades again. I’m certainly not complaining. Note: the pink one in front is losing its little nightcap.

The Columbines seem to be taking over and morphing, too

The first time seed pods have appeared on the Japanese Maple.

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Queen of Night is as close to black as a flower gets, though in fact it is a dark and glossy maroonish purple. Its hue is so dark, however, that it appears to draw more light into itself than it reflects, a kind of floral black hole. In the garden, depending on the the angle of the sun, the blossoms of a Queen of Night may read as positive or negative space, as flowers or shadows of a flower. 
Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World

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26 thoughts on “floral interruption

  1. It must be all the recessive genes coming out? I don’t know, but I know you enjoy it, and that’s the good thing. This Spring has been crazy with bloom here as well – just the other day the Seattle paper had an article about how the early hot spell brought a lot of flowers up, then it cooled off for a long time, but the march goes on with new flowers coming up. The result is that the early flowers are mixing with later ones in a way that usually doesn’t happen, since the earlier ones have held on die to the cool weather.
    Sorry that was a bit incoherent! 😉

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    • This has definitely been the year of the flowers going nuts… ain’t it wonderful. The Rhododendrons were simply covered in blossoms. A neighbors bush had grown clear up to her roof. What a wonderful sight it’s all been. Not at all incoherent. I followed along just fine. Or perhaps great minds thing alike? 😀

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    • The golden-orange ‘California’ poppies grow wild out here. They reseed themselves given the right circumstances and seem to prefer hillsides and along highways. Though they also seem content in my yard. They even come up in the cracks in the concrete patio. They are certainly lovely. I hope you have success with them in your location.

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  2. Beautiful images, Gunta…I am rather fond of those poppies…and am quite enamored with the columbine. I’ve not seen it in this color in the wild, but find it wonderful, just the same.

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    • Thanks, Scott. I’m quite fond of the poppies, too. The columbines… I’m not so sure. I wasn’t enamored of the dark, dark purple ones that the previous owner planted. They seem more acceptable now with the lighter shades coming on, but they spread like crazy. I guess it could be worse. Like dandelions or something. And I have plenty of those.

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  3. Oh what a treat to see all the California poppies and columbines here, Gunta. Your photos capture the poppies’ delicate petals and vibrant colors so well. I love seeing the splitting nightcap, and elegant columbine. And I really like the quote too, interesting about the floral black hole. A spring delight here today, thank you Gunta.

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    • Your comment is a delight as always. Pollan’s words reminded me so much of the way the columbines started out. Such a deep, dark purple that they were almost black or a floral black hole. Funny how they seem to revert to other colors.

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  4. I love California Poppies and I am trying to get them established here. The orange ones are actually my favorite, although all are welcome on our farm. Purple Columbines I have also have now. They came in on a load of rabbit manure and decided they like the place. Beautiful photos. Gunta, as always.

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    • Oddly enough, it seems that the CA poppies like poor soil. They reseed nicely, too. I’ve even taken seed pods and scattered them in other spots where I want them to grow. They’re pretty easy going as long as you don’t let other weeds choke them out. I do love the idea of them arriving with the rabbit manure. Only thing I ever got from a load of manure was morning glory (AKA bindweed)! Never succeeded in getting rid of the nasty stuff since then. 😦

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  5. I’ve seen the pink poppies along the freeways down here in Southern California, and I was surprised — hadn’t seen pink ones before. Now I’ve seen it twice!
    And I’ve seen the columbines around here, but didn’t know what they’re called.
    Nice post. Thanks.

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    • Well, when I bought the poppy plants from the nursery, they weren’t in bloom and I thought I was getting California Poppies -which, to me, indicates the golden orange variety. Once they started blooming, I discovered the other colors. Then they disappeared. Some 3 or 4 years later they’ve decided to reappear. Go figure.

      Same weird thing with the Columbines. When I moved here some six years ago, they were a dark, dark purple… almost black. Then occasionally a slightly lighter version popped up. You notice those light pink ones? That’s this year! I don’t know if it has anything to do with color variations, but I sure do notice that things are blooming like CRAZY this year. Must have been the ideal spring weather we had. Perhaps?

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      • Last spring I was up to my eyeballs in moving boxes, and just 30 miles east of my previous home it’s very different plants. This spring it’s glorious here, but I can’t really compare to last spring. What I really love is the wildflowers in the National Forests nearby.

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