The Westering Hills

Call me morbid, call me pale. . .

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Mystery solved!

I've spent many a year living here in the Pacific Northwest wondering what the name of this flower (pictured at left) was. It grows EVERYWHERE around here; it's practically a weed. You see it popping up in lawns, flourishing in sidewalk-to-street grass strips, and growing in the cracks of those Jersey barriers on the freeways. I adore them but nobody I've asked has known its name. And I couldn't find out myself because, well, how do you look up the name of "a purple flower on a long stalk?" It's akin to trying to find the correct spelling of a word you can't spell in the dictionary! In today's paper, a local garden was featured and this beautiful flower, the Rose Campion, was named. Big sigh of relief! (and yes, Anne, I realize that you could've told me the name of this flower but again, there was no way to show you a photo without knowing the name!)

Here's my other favorite Seattle "weed,"the California Poppy. Same rules of growing just about anywhere apply. I discovered early on that if you pick these and put them in water, they wilt immediately, so I now just enjoy them wherever I spot them. I've always envisioned having a big bed of nothing but California Poppies and Rose Campions. Maybe I will someday! Goodness knows I'd be hardpressed to kill them, as I do with most other plants.

To anyone reading this, what "weeds" are your favorites where you live?

8 Comments:

  • At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Schnozz said…

    In a related vein, I just read this whole thing on the trend toward greenhouses recommending "noxious weeds" (not my term) to hapless gardeners who can grow nothing else. The article went on to say that this is BAD, because the weeds are tough to contain will spread everywhere in your locale (on the soles of your shoes and such), thus presenting a danger to the flora of the community in general.

    And then I felt annoyed because I am tired of reading about all of the morally reprehensible things I shouldn't be doing. I already can't buy Shell oil or wear diamonds or go to Wal-Mart. JUST LET ME PLANT THE WEEDS! Sigh.

     
  • At 3:30 PM, Blogger Scalpels & Scotch said…

    I think the local version of weeds is just street lights and 'no parking' signs and mailboxes, unfortunately... Oh, and mold and other unidentifiable slimes.

    How much longer do we have to wait until weeds become carnivorous? I want big Venus Flytraps everywhere!

     
  • At 4:11 PM, Anonymous sher said…

    I love California poppies. There are several parks where they have naturalized onto large areas of land and bloom each year, creating a huge carpet of orange/gold color as far as the eye can see. It's dazzling.

     
  • At 12:49 AM, Blogger pbrchicken said…

    evening nightshade...

    Howard, I think you should start a band called Unidentifiable Slimes, and have a song called Big Venus Flytraps Everywhere!!

     
  • At 5:27 AM, Blogger annelynn said…

    HA! Even before your parenthetical aside, I was thinking - "I could have told her what that is!" You know me all too well.

    My favorite weeds... hmmm. I pretty much love all flowers. Guilty admission - right now I am enjoying the multiflora rose that is all over the place (very aggressive, and definitely a noxious weed) because it fills the air with such a sweet scent.

    I like that band name, PBR - and the song title as well!

     
  • At 5:32 AM, Blogger Kristi said…

    Ohhh... pretty flowers. We have these flowers that look like bluebells (but aren't) and they seem to grow everywhere, including my garden. Technically, they're weeds, I believe, but I can't bear to pull them out.

     
  • At 9:05 AM, Blogger pbrchicken said…

    oh yeah, speaking of plants taking over (the yard, not the world Howard).. Jen was saying last night that the rugosa rose will send out lotsa underground runners and the shrub will start spreading like crazy! So, we gotta keep an eye on that, or the rosemary will be choked out.

     
  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger Binulatti said…

    SO funny - I just took out two of those California Poppies from my newly exposed rock wall adjacent to my driveway. BUT! They didn't have to be sacrificed. I gave them to the neighbors, who have a lovely landscaped home for them. It's funny how context can change how you perceive something. In a pavement crack, those things are weeds. But in a nicely planned-out "wild" landscape - they look totally intentional and pretty.

     

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