I first really noticed Large-Leaved Avens as a specific wildflower when I found it blooming beside the waterfall at Goldstream Park one May. Before that, it was just one of the many yellow blooms we see in spring.
Recently I was pleased to see it blooming in a parking lot, not far from the ocean, near Tofino. That was at Thanksgiving!
October is really very late for a spring wildflower to be blooming – but I’m not complaining. 🙂
The flower is a simple yellow daisy style; a smiling happy bloom that I find charming.
The seedhead is funky– certainly something that I’d let stand in my garden rather than tidy up.
The achenes (fruits) kinda remind me of googly eyes floating above the alien body. Apparently, the pom-poms are happy to catch rides on passing pant legs or animals: free spirits looking for adventures far afield. Groovy.
But really, the magic is in the foliage. What other plant has 2 kinds of leaves? Right at the base, near the ground, the leaves are round. Further up the stem, near the flowers, they’ve morphed into 3 lobes with deep serrations. Crazy.
The guidebooks say Avens are common to wetlands across most of North America. I’m hoping they’ll become common in my garden, too. Last month I won 3 in the plant raffle at the Native Plant Study Group. They’re now growing in one of our courtyard beds (where they’re more likely to get the extra summer moisture they need). Cross your fingers for me.
It’s no secret that I like wildflowers, but occasionally my affections are tested.
Self-heal is a perennial with pretty pink (sometimes purple) flowers. It’s tough as nails. It thrives in moist meadows & dry roadsides alike. It thrives so well that it’s pretty much worn out its welcome in my garden. I always weed it out of formal beds and usually remove it from the rockery, in favor of plants I prefer.
Just because it self-sows willy-nilly, should I really be so judgmental?
A neighbor welcomes self-heal into her garden. I can appreciate it there, but I’m not the one working to keep it from out-competing her other plants. Lazy me.
Self-heal has established itself in C’s lawn. It seems to hold its own beside the grass, clover, wild violets and English daisies. It survives the mower and the foot traffic. I’m rather pleased that C’s monoculture ‘lawn’ is becoming more of a diversified ‘meadow’. I’m just fine with enjoying the self-heal in this space, too.
Perhaps this balances out barring it from the garden beds & borders?
Is it enough?
Am I redeemed?
Life is magic. Two days after the heavy winter storm, life proves itself.
And magic begins.
The snow has melted! In just 2 days? Even here on the coast, that seems crazy-fast.
I tentatively wander through the yard assessing the damage.
My muscles certainly remember shoveling sidewalks & shaking shrubs. But the winter blooms? They’re like children in a hospital ward. Perhaps a little bent & broken, but mostly they’re just happy to be alive and enjoying the sunshine.
The yellow cups of the winter aconite (Eranthis) don’t seem to have noticed they’ve survived 33 cm of snowfall since they showed themselves in January. (That’s more than 12 inches – a full foot – – radical for balmy Victoria BC!)
The snowdrops (Galanthus) have also held up well.
The Primula Wanda leaves are super-sad, but who can’t smile at those tough purple flowers?
I hadn’t even noticed the crocus buds before the snow. How did they arrive so quickly?
The Cyclamen coum unfurl their petals as the sun warms them. More blooms are on their way, too! Soon they’ll be a mound of pink.