Did you know that over 50 of the world’s 165, or so, species of lupine can be found here in the Pacific Northwest? Well, I didn’t either, until quite recently. I love seeing the blue expanses of it covering the mountain meadows of Mt. Hood in the summer.
The dainty flowers of these hardy little high-altitude shrubs belie their rugged tenacity. They are legumes, and can fix atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates, which allows them to grow where most other plants can’t. Here they are powering away above timberline at over 6,000 feet above sea level.
The other day, I walked by an arrangement including a type of lupine I had never seen before; Lupinus albifrons. It is native to California and Oregon, and was ingeniously paired with a Corokia cotoneaster. I thought its silvery, somewhat leathery foliage set off the knarly stems and the tiny mouse-ear leaves of the Corokia beautifully. In an otherwise rather uneventful month in my garden, this little inspiration will conclude my contribution to this month’s Foliage Follow-up. To see what other other gardeners around the world are up to, jump over to Pam at Digging down in Austin, TX.
In terms of yesterday’s Bloom Day celebration, I have some exciting tidings regarding one of my most steadfast house plants. I bought this cactus at about the same time as we bought our house seven years ago. Since then, it has more or less tripled in size, but that’s about it. So, imagine my delight when I noticed little green pearls emerging, like buttons on a Victorian coat. This is big news! Were they leaves, or would they become flowers? At this point, it’s clear that they indeed became flowers – fleshy little green ones at that! Pretty cool, methinks – green flowers never fail to appeal to my oddball appreciation. To see other September marvels blooming on our planet, hop on over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
It’s getting awfully tall and probably needs a new pot soon. The cute little pig is my “Swear Pig” where I make amends when my use of the English language gets a little too colorful. Ever so often, its contents takes us out to dinner – an arrangement that works pretty well, in my opinion.
Here are the “pearls” as they first emerged. See what I mean about the Victorian coat?
Aaannnd… the flowers! So cute!
An attempted close-up, but unfortunately a little fuzzy. Oh well, you get the gist of it, I hope!
I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well.
My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging.
Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration.
I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
Love those blooms! And did you see the Lupinus albifrons at Portland Nursery? It stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it there. Wish I could find a plant…
Cute aren’t they? Like little buttons! Yes, it was at Portland Nursery. I asked if they carried them, but no. Wish they would have told me where it came from… Now I’m on the hunt too. Maybe Xera would be willing to assist?
It’s been on my wish list at Annie’s Annuals for a year or more, just got the email tonight saying it’s available!
Yeay! I visited her site a couple of days ago, and put it on my wish list too. Maybe there is a line? I didn’t get an email yet… Good for you!
I’ll have to look up that ‘albifrons’ ! new one to me! And those are the sweetest blooms.
Thanks Linda! Yes, let’s go on a hunt together – I’m set on finding it too. It is so cool!
Love those adorable cactus blooms!
Thanks Peter! Yes, it was a nice surprise for sure!
People are always waxing poetic about the bright flowers on cacti. They leave me cold, but THESE! Yowza!
Glad you like them! I just noticed tiny little light green beads on the second stalk too! I’m so excited! It almost feels like my cat had kittens – they are so cute!
Missed this post last week when I was traveling: Those lupines…sigh. They’re just the best, whether up on the mountain, along the freeway in Washington or spotted on a Sauvie Island hike. And what a great cactus – with or without blooms. I like this type that to my eye have a little of that euphorbia look.
For some shameless tempting… Loree alerted me to the fact that Annie’s Annuals now have that lupine for sale. Within days of my post, it changed from ‘waitlist’ to ‘available’ status. Just saying… 😉
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