Category Archives: perrennials

Self-heal

It’s no secret that I like wildflowers, but occasionally my affections are tested.

self-heal, Prunella, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

self-heal, Prunella, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

But I feel torn.

  •  Indigenous Peoples and cultures around the world have made good use of self-heal.
  • Bees & butterflies love the flowers.
  • Birds eat the seeds.
  • Deer nibble at the leaves without over-grazing.

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, Prunella, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

self-heal, Prunella, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Perhaps this balances out barring it from the garden beds & borders?
Is it enough?
Am I redeemed?

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Winter Magic

Life is magic.  Two days after the heavy winter storm, life proves itself.

winter aconite, eranthis in early February garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

snowdrops galanthus primula wanda after the big snow garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

snowdrops and primula after the big snow garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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!)

cyclamen coum in early February garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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?

snowdrops galanthus after the big snow garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

I’ve just gotta smile.

🙂

 

November’s Pink: Kaffir Lily

To be honest, I am not a SUPER-FAN of pink.

kaffir lily, scarlet river lily, crimson flag lily, Hesperantha coccinea, Schizostylis coccinea, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

But in mid-November…
When it’s cloudy & drizzling….
I’m thrilled by a soft pastel pink.

Today it’s a kaffir lily.  Blooming right beside the deer route!  And this patch will bloom until a hard frost kick’s its butt.

kaffir lily, scarlet river lily, crimson flag lily, Hesperantha coccinea, Schizostylis coccinea, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

It amazes me that these late-flowering perennials are native to sunny, South African streamsides .  Here they bloom in the light shade of our dry woodland garden.  Perhaps the thick mulch helped protect them from drying out too much this summer?

The mysteries continue… some websites call them ‘crimson flag lily‘ or ‘scarlet river lily’. But I’ve always thought those are the crimson / scarlet versions that bloom in our sunny borders in spring ??  Perhaps they’re cousins?

kaffir lily, scarlet river lily, crimson flag lily, Hesperantha coccinea, Schizostylis coccinea, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

What’s more, neither are actually from the lily family.  They kinda remind me of miniature gladioli. BUT they grow from a rhizome rather than a corm.

Scientists say they’re iris.  Go figure.

Can you imagine the hullabaloo & debate at one of those scientific Naming Conventions?  I figure those folks have some serious work on their agendas,
with figuring out who first claimed a name…
checking the flower specifics…
& then all the DNA analysis…

kaffir lily, scarlet river lily, crimson flag lily, Hesperantha coccinea, Schizostylis coccinea, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I reckon it’s during the evening cocktails  when the final naming decisions happen.

Well, if you can’t choose your family, at least you can choose your friends.  I’m happy to have this friend in our garden.

-30-

MS - Nerine Lily blooms, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

PS.  Here are some more pink fall friends: