New To Me

What a gorgeous time of year! I’m enjoying many spring blooms that I hadn’t known or grown prior to moving to Coppertop.

Perennial cornflowers, or Centaurea montana, are a common sight along roadsides on the Olympic Peninsula. They belong to the daisy family and resemble thistles with their pretty purple bracts. We have a long row of these no-maintenance perennials along the orchard fence. They spread by creeping rootstock, so we contain them to one row by simply mowing them down. These, and especially the annual cornflowers, are sometimes called bachelor buttons. Bees love these plants!

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Another plant that stands out is this interesting heuchera in one of the perennial beds with its variegated foliage. It is one of many coral bells or heuchera in these gardens, but it is the sole specimen of this variety, which I’m pretty sure is called either Snow Angel, Heuchera sanguinea, or Snow Storm, Heuchera americana.

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A plant is blooming that I’ve mentioned before — Jacob’s ladder, or polemonium. Its diminutive purple flowers stand tall above ladder-shaped leaves. These have made excellent cut flowers for bouquets this week.

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By my kitchen window, these Icelandic poppies continually charm me with their papery blossoms and fuzzy, wiry stems. I grow them at the front of the house, cut them weekly, and sear the stems with a match to prolong their freshness.

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