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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ripping Up Flowers

I am taking advantage of breaks in the rain to eradicate some non-native species from the back and front yard of my house.

First: thistles (not my sweet Thistle).  Easy right now to dig out and toss, as the ground is wet.  I love the pretty purple flowers, but do not like dozens of spiky plants in summer.

Second: Scotch broom.  It is one of the most invasive species in the county, crowding out native plants.  Again, easy to pull up when the ground is wet. There are considered an absolute plague in Santa Cruz.

Third: Forget-me-nots.  I hate to pull up this pretty flower when in bloom (in fact, I will leave it once it is in bloom--too many sweet memories of this flower!)  I do it when the plants are just sprouting and not blooming.  Another invasive non-native species, they crowd out things like redwood sorrel.  Forget-me-nots are the source of some very annoying burrs later in summer.  I have had to throw out clothes and socks that got hopelessly covered.

Fourth: Ivy.  'Nuff said.

A rather bad habit I have, though, is not eradicating daisies or purple violets. Oh, well!  Can't get rid of every flower. For my own extensive flower and vegetable garden, I use containers.  If I weren't in such a wild place, I might consider some flowers as landscaping, but I live straight in the middle of a forest and want to encourage all the native species.

I am trying to encourage things like redwood sorrel, native violets, trillium, wild strawberries, and wild iris. I also have some very delicate little wild roses in the front yard of my Lompico house.  I also have a very pretty Sierra lily there, but it has not bloomed in many years.  Perhaps the rains this winter will coax it forth.