And now for something completely different....


Traveling can broaden our view of the world, and I've found that especially true of a recent 11 day, 160 mile hike in Franconia, organized by the Sierra Club.

And, while others exclaimed about the churches and half-timbered houses, I got a least as excited about the meadows. Above, a meadow covered in salvia, which seemed to thrive on the magnesium rich soils of Upper Franconia.



More common are the buttercups and Sauerampfer (Rumex acetosa). I used to nibble on its leaves when I was a kid, and still enjoyed the flavor even now. 


I was especially happy to see lily-of-the-valley in the wild. They're hard to grow in gardens, and impossible to grow in areas that don't get sufficient frost.


And the graceful bellflowers covered some of the meadows with their pale, beautiful blue.


So pretty, so dainty, and so dependent on lots of moisture.


It was a bit of a shock to come home to the garden and to find that the beautiful spring flowers were all gone, that a lot of clean-up was needed. Several of the plants I had added to the garden in early spring did not survive the unusually high temperature and lack of extra babying in the last month. And yet, as the plums and peaches are ripening, as the birds gratefully come to visit the freshly filled birdbath, as I discover some blooms, I'm starting to make friends with my California garden again. 

Comments

Country Mouse said…
I love the meadows - interesting how the blue bell flower is similar to our brodiaea - I guess bees will be bees! - Also I'm happy to see the lily of the valley flower - I am tempted to go back to my post on false lily of the valley and add it!
Jason said…
Wait, you did a how many miles in 11 days? Ouch, my knees hurt, I have to sit down. Anyhow, lots of beautiful wildflowers there. I'm curious, though, how many are native?
Town Mouse said…
Jason, we trained for several months for this hike so we had no problems. The flowers in the photos are all European natives. That said, there are some problems there with invasive exotics as well. I was told about Pestilenzwurz, a bog plan that has become a big problem. Might be worth a post.
Rylahn said…
..interesting how the blue bell flower. Bellflowers are perennial, sun-loving flowers, unlike most bellflowers, the lactiflora, latifolia and takesimana bellflowers grow well in partial shade and moist soils.
David Cristiani said…
Nice trip...needed that on yet another 90's day. I assume this is in New England? I was near there years ago, and I could spend an entire summer in such a pastoral setting!