This past week has witnessed the long-awaited arrival of rain. The fuschia-flowered gooseberry (Ribes speciosum), feared dead, has sent forth fresh, bright green buds. The moutains, so recently suffocated by smoke, have reemerged, their heights and distances become illusions conjured by shifting veils of mist.
Thanks to the Propagator for hosting another Six.
1. Rat tail cactus (Aporocactus flagelliformis) has put on significant growth since its relatively recent acquisition. This cactus seems to enjoy its sunny position, though I was puzzled by the appearance of small scabs that suggested sunburn to me – probably a consequence of the rude transition from the shady interior of a plant shop to a position where it receives full sun. That said, I welcome other suggestions regarding diagnosis and care.
2. Narrow-leaved milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) gone to seed. I have purchased dormant milkweed plants and mature milkweed plants. I have also grown them from seed. I have read that milkweed can be slow to get established, and that has certainly been my experience. This is the first to flower and produce seeds, which I have been gathering and dispersing strategically. My hope is that next year will see a fuller flourishing of my growing population of narrow-leaved milkweed and heartleaf milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia).
3. Bromeliad (Dyckia “Nickel Silver”). This eccentric character was purchased at Cistus Nursery in Portland, which has an eclectic collection presented by continent. Brief research indicates that Dyckias are the most cold and drought tolerant of the bromiliads and that a well satisfied “Nickel Silver” may be expected to put forth spikes of orange flowers at some point in the future. If all goes according to plan, this spiky colony will continue to grow, filling this rusty pocket and allowing for propagation to other areas that could benefit from a little botanical menace.
4. Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) and visitors. The native goldenrods appear to be quite popular with the pollinators.
5. Sun drenched (or, perhaps more accurately, bleached) overviews.
6. Aster (Symphiotrichum novae-angliae) attracts a variety of pollinators, as does the native Douglas’ aster (Aster subspicatus).