Sunday, March 11, 2012

Where Have all the (Wild)Flowers Gone...?

Rock Daisy

A couple of weeks ago we cleaned the trash off our palm tree lot. (That clean up gave us the vodka bottles we made into bird feeders.) Today we went back to pull weeds before they set seeds. We watched for native wildflowers while we were working, but did not see a single one. The previous year we found Brown-eyed Primrose, Spanish Needle and others growing wild on the lot in good numbers. But this season's weather and below-normal rainfall has really put a damper on the wildflowers this year. I did manage to find a couple of Rock Daisies out by the curb, when I was cleaning up the parkway area. I hand weeded around them and gave them some of the water we brought with us.

Cryptantha sp.
Heron's Bill

Our front yard has also been short on native wildflowers. We landscaped the front with desert native plants, and have allowed them to reseed and grow pretty much where they want. But the volunteer native wildflowers we normally get have been very sparse this year. So far we've only seen a few Cryptantha and some Heron's Bill. (I used to pull the Heron's Bill as a weed, before I took a Desert Wildflowers class.) We usually get a couple of Canterbury Bells growing each spring in the same part of our constructed wash. But they too are a no-show so far.

The rest of the yard is coming into bloom - encelia and mallows in particular. The ocotillos are leafing out. The Palo Verde tree and cacti will bloom when the weather warms up a bit more. The mesquite trees on our other lot have put out a flush of fresh, bright green leaves.

Sitting quietly,
doing nothing,
Spring comes,
and the grass grows
by itself.

~Zen proverb

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