Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sweet Memories

Today (which is actually the 26th) it is unseasonably warm, and the snow cover is gone. This gets my inner gardener all revved up, just in time, I'm sure, for a nor'easter. Since I am feeling hungry to grow things, I'll take this opportunity to look back on some photos that I snapped over the Autumn that I was too seasonally bummed to write about at the time.*

This is one of my new favorite plants: "sweet everlasting", a.k.a. the awful mouthful "Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium". It is an understated little white annual or biennial - meaning sometimes it will flower and die in its first year, and sometimes in its second - and it is native to my area.

I'm not sure that I have seen this flower growing anywhere except as a weed in neglected places. This surprises me, because it blooms at the tail end of Autumn when most everything else is slumping from frost damage or looking like a ragged seedy mess. And when these guys go to seed, they don't look any different from the flower: they remain covered in little white buds up until the wind blows them apart in loose dry bits. They would be excellent for dried flower arrangements, if I cared for such things.

Not only was this a bright spot on the cold slide into winter, but this one volunteered itself in a part of my lawn that I am experimentally trying to turn into meadow. And here I didn't think there would be anything to report in the meadow department until next season!

*I find that the stress generated by Christmas buildup and the lack of sunlight is best countered by a reduction in extra-curricular projects this time of year.

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