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March 2011

Tales of Three Weeds

The weeds are Cardamine Oligosperma; Vicia Americana; Epilobium Angustifolium:


Little Western Buttercress- cardamine oligosperma

The proliferation of this undesireable in our neighborhood has left this journalist stunned and eager to expound. But I thought how can I do an entire post about this silly weed? The answer, "Go for it with the buttercress, but feature two more weeds from a different viewpoint."

How innocent the LWB seedlings look, almost cute.

In fresh flower- yes- they are graceful, but before you can blink teensy fleurs become

dreadful popping canisters of barely visible seeds.

I continue to try and pull them before seeds pop and fly, only to discover a few days later that previously debris-hidden plants have emerged and matured!

Over the years, I've watched the progress of this impossible-to-control plant's germination in the beds of weed-blind neighbors near and far. I just do my part in the scheme of things, knowing that my own shoe soles might be spreading the joy of Little Western Buttercress.


Purple Vetch- vicia americana

I'd welcome a pitcher of this vibrant wild flower displayed on my kitchen table. But when hundreds of seedlings sprouted in more than 1000 square feet of new topsoil, I had second thoughts. No, purple vetch now had weed status, and would not be welcome in my garden. Unlike the buttercess, daily pulls eventually took care of the vetch invasion.

All these vicia images were taken outside the fence of Pamela Temple's rose garden, in Northern CA..

I don't know if Pamela has made some kind of pact whith this plant, because I don't recall seeing much of it amongst the thousand and more roses in her remarkable garden.

At Pamela's it's possible to enjoy both worlds.


Fireweed- epilobium angustifolium

Have you ever found yourself in someone's garden in shock that a certain weed (weeds) has been allowed to form seeds etc . . . ?

Well, I try to contain myself in such situations, but my eyes bugged out when I saw the curvaceous froth above. And please note that this stalk of fireweed is staked.

Where you ask might this plant be so featured? Inside the gate, and down the path about five-feet, amongst a melange of other tall beauties, stands epilobium angustifolium. I wasn't afraid to ask my darling friend Barbara Worl what it was doing there. Her simple answer, "I love it."

Back at my homestead, I pull up fireweed seedlings each spring never to see a mature plant. Barbara got me thinking though– maybe I should let one flower.

These two seedlings are still awaiting my decision. If you click this link, you'll probably intuit my plan, and I just read that firewweed leaves, gathereed before blooming, make a relaxing calmimg drink.


What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Miltonia Orchid

I made a new acquaintence over the weekend- Miltonia Rene Komoda

'Pacific Clouds'.
What a pretty plant and ripe with buds.

The mossy pot would probably like regular spritzing.

Orchids are a staple at our house- this one had such a lovely instruction sheet from Florali- I thought I'd pass it on for those of you who might not know orchid care tips.


Thank you Judy!


Rose Revival

While cycling through images in a desktop folder, I thought I heard chattering and unrest.

The Prince, red rose at lower left, was talking to Irene, "Did you know that she only displayed one image of us all together from this session?"


"What? We did all that work for nothing? Surely people would like to see how gorgeous we looked that day."


"After all, we were the last big harvest of the year. Maybe she'll hear us. What do you think?"




I knew the exuberance of playing before an admiring audience and hearing my secret voice.

~ Elia Kazan