Monday, October 12, 2020

Autumn Blooms Abounding

Here in the desert, the plants seem to catch their breath when the first glimmers of autumn arrive and the entire region is released from the scorching heat. And then, in a long exhale, the blooming begins. Plants that sat patiently in the blazing sun, foliage lightened and curled by the intense rays, are suddenly full of buds and blossoms. The bees are going crazy, and it's easy to spot many kinds of them, including honeybees, yellow-and-black bumblebees, and shiny purple-black carpenter bees. Our favorite imposters arrive, too: Hoverflies by the hundreds.

Other areas in the East and North enjoy the turning of autumn leaves, and we get a small taste of that, too. But our "autumn color" is definitely the profusion of blooms.

I think my favorite is the Coral Vine, also known as Queen's Wreath. And indeed, it is beautiful enough to substitute for a priceless crown and grace the head of a monarch.

I used the word "grace," and the first thing noticeable about this vine is its airy grace. Only the Silver Lace Vine can rival it, I do believe. And the Silver Lace Vine is vying with the Queen's Wreath during autumn, both blooming at the same time, and sometimes tumbling over the same wall or climbing up the same fence.

Coral Love Vine, Queen's Wreath, Flowers

I found a "wild" Coral Vine today, spilling over a broken adobe wall in a very modest part of town: Very old, very modest, and very worn, but now undergoing some gentrification. If you, like me, enjoy rare old-fashioned plants, drive through the oldest part of your area or to an abandoned homestead in the country, and see if there are some seeds you can gather. If I find seeds on the sidewalk or against a curb, I gather them. If it's a deserted place, I do reach over and take them. Someone, long ago, planted these "pass-along" plants, and I think they would be pleased to see me growing them and sharing the seeds. 

    Kind regards,

    Olde Dame Holly Rose

Coral Vine, Queen's Wreath, flowers

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