Friday, May 16, 2008

What A Nice Vivid Spring!

I think the cooler temperatures have not only preserved some early season blooms, but have helped create some vivid images. This close-up of Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) by Santos McGill really shows the transition of pink buds opening to sky blue blossoms. Bluebells will go dormant in a couple of weeks and will be missed. We know they'll return though!

It amazes me how much Americans hate the dandelion and lawn weeds in general. I remember my yard being on the Rotary Gardens Home Garden Tour years ago and despite the 800 varieties of plants on our little property, most of the comments were about the dandelions and creeping Charlie in our lawn. My comment was, "My lawn is green and is a functional groundcover despite not being entirely Kentucky bluegrass." Essentially, I could care less. I wish the general populace would worry about more aggressive, invasive exotics like garlic mustard, European buckthorn, purple loosestrife, kudzu, etc. (depending on their region). Dandelions are here to stay and their "negative impact" (visual) is dwarfed by the impact that other weeds are creating. I'm not saying that dandelions should be left alone, however, when you're pulling a dozen of them out of your lawn, look at your woodland edge with 10,000 garlic mustard in bloom and prioritize your problems!
I was at Allen Centennial Gardens earlier this week (UW campus) and saw this ornamental onion (Allium karataviense) emerging from golden stonecrop (Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'). This allium has wide, bluish-green foliage and will bloom shortly. The foliage combination is superior. I may be stealing this idea shortly....

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