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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Luxurious Abundance

It has been the season of irrational exuberance up here at Cascade Bluff. We've had an abundance of...well, everything! 

All I know about this cute little wildflower is that it is called "Butter and Eggs"
...with good reason...
 ...massive numbers of daisies...
 Pretty primroses...

 Not many of the north's wildflowers are really, truly purple... which is probably why we all love lupines so much! These bloomed later than most, and were hiding in the middle of our septic field. I think they must be blooms from our first year's scattering of lupine pods, 'cause the ones we tossed around this spring only grew to miniature little plants... maybe next year?
 I've been curious to see how many different kinds of wild grasses grow up here... This is hops grass (I think)... kinda cute...
 We've got lots of this... tall, wavy fronds that Rosie loves to sneak through, like a tiger! 
 Some native yellow clover...

...and the ever popular Black-Eyed Susan...

Even the woodland mushrooms are amazing! This colony is sprouting off a downed yellow birch in our woods. I'm taking a mushroom identification class in September, maybe I'll learn if I can eat it! 
 And WOW were there raspberries this year! As one visitor said, it was like the raspberries were trying to jump through the car window! 
 This big bowl was the result of picking extravaganza #2, with the help of some friends... Sorry, no jam this year... they're all gone already! 
Some of my perennials really seemed to thrive this summer. Here are some shots of the rock wall. This is called Candytuft... nice scent...
 Purple catmint... loves lousy soil, blazing sun and dry conditions...and we've got plenty of it..
 The rock garden sedum collection, growing like wildfire...


 Not just a pretty face... the butterflies like the gold sedum flowers too...
...and to my surprise, the sedum that look like little jade plants have these gorgeous pink flowers! 
The first of a future mixed wildflower garden, this cultivar of yarrow is called "Strawberry Fields" and it seems to be blooming forever... 
 We added some shrubs at the base of the rocks...some dwarf juniper...
 ...and yellow potentilla...

This is a local native called a nannyberry... planted in May, and doing great...
... some red-bronze ninebark...more native shrubs that apparently are pretty much indestructable... just what the doctor ordered...

...and some wild plums... 

...and my big judgment error, a field of crown vetch. It's pretty, and did its job of smothering all the thorny weeds that were in this spot the first summer... but now I'd really like to get rid of it, and oh, brother... It doesn't want to leave!! 

And let'snot forget the vegetables! Here is the big harvest from early August... green beans, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, snap peas...
 ...red and yellow onions... lots more of these to come...
 ...and yippee, the winter squash are starting to show up! 

 The tomatoes are just starting to look great, and only a few of the little cherry toms are ripe so far... looks like its going to be a great year for salsa! 

Unfortunately all the exuberant growth isn't all good. I've been at war with the Monster Thistles. This one was three feet taller than me... 
 Leather gloves are useless against these thorns! 

I yanked out a bunch and each one got a gallon of this poured on their roots. Take that, Mean Green Mama From Outer Space! 


More to come soon about the status of the new trees, some recent adventures and of course, what new projects and toys are amusing us up at Kathy and Val's New World...