All the Species in My Yard

yup-all of them, great AND small

Douglas iris August 11, 2014

Filed under: Herbs — anythingbutr @ 11:23 am
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We have these in our parking strip!

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

They are very pretty when you look at them.

 

I don’t get no respect: crabgrass August 5, 2009

Filed under: Herbs — Martin John Brown @ 1:55 pm
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You really need to give crabgrass (Digitaria sp.) some props. It comes up out of the cracks in my (permeable, pavers-in-sand) driveway in the middle of the absolutely dry Oregon summer, in the midst of a weeklong 100+F heatwave.  It’s green, pliable, even moist underneath, like nothing unusual is going on.

photo: flickr user pollyalida (Creative Commons)

photo: flickr user pollyalida (Creative Commons)

Why not just convert the whole lawn to this and be done?  Or, alternatively, convert the driveway to a giant Scrabble board.

lawn-scrabble-450x300

There will be plenty of time to pull weeds while your opponent agonizes over what to do with EEQAGIE.

 

Easy glory: fireweed July 23, 2009

Filed under: Herbs — Martin John Brown @ 2:16 pm
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Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is one of the classic wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest — you see these gorgeous splays of pink and purple, like botanical advertisements for cherry coke, all over the mountains in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.   The tall stalks sprout and wave, busting the blankness out of clearcuts, road shoulders, and even volcanic ashfields.  It’s also the pollen source for fireweed honey.

photo by flickr user code_poet, used under Creative Commons

photo by flickr user code_poet, used under Creative Commons

But unlike a lot of wildflowers, fireweed works really well in urban yards.  Once established from seed or rootstock, the 3-10 foot tall stalks tend to spread in lines (via runners) which makes them a kind of natural fence or border.  The flowers bring bees and birds and make amazing (if short-lived) cut flowers.  As the summer ends those flowers turn into silky seedpods which decay in a spectacular fashion:

photo by flickr user Zixii, used under Creative Commons

photo by flickr user Zixii, used under Creative Commons

Then when they’re too decayed, you just rip out the stalks. The roots remain underground, and will build you another fence next summer.