Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Native Plants - May Flowers and Unknowns

A pleasant May Long Weekend spring walk through a mostly still native grassland urban park resulted in sightings of various native prairie plants (to add to the native plant feature series):

Saskatoon bushes (Amelanchier alnifolia) in bloom. We hope to plant some in the yard eventually if we can manage to find/make some room.

Golden Bean aka Buffalo Bean (Thermopsis rhombifolia). The flowers were used by some native peoples as a source of yellow dye to colour skin bags and arrows. The growth of the flower indicated the time of year when the buffalo were considered fat enough for hunting, hence the name "buffalo bean". The buffalo did not likely eat the flower, as all parts are toxic. [1]

[1] Wild Flowers of Edmonton and Central Alberta, France Royer & Richard Dickinson, 1996

I need to get the 'Calgary and South Alberta' edition, though many plants likely span both books.

Two unknown fossilized plant species discovered in stones removed in local road construction projects. Not sure if this species is still around, not likely I am guessing! I will see if I can find a local palaeontologist that may be able to help.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring Seeding

Spring seeding is complete, as of last Saturday, May 22, 2010. This year there was no indoor seed starts due to busyness with new baby and loss of spare room from the same event. All seeding was direct outdoors.

Utrecht Blue wheat under glass to help warm the soil. Lovage in bottom left of above photo planned to be removed and passed on to friends. The lovage takes up too much space and we hardly use a fraction of it.

New strawberry starts from neighbour adding to the existing strawberry bed. Oregano (bottom right in above photo) unexpectedly came up from last year.

2010 garden layout (above).

2009 garden layout above (forgot to post last year).

Now we wait for the rains and warm weather!