Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fertilizer Friday -- Taking Inspiration for the Garden from Mt. Rainier's Wildflowers

For my Fertilizer Friday post, I'm going to be flaunting flowers that aren't mine. They belong to Mother Nature -- specifically, the big patch of Mother Nature that is Mount Rainier.

At 14,411 feet, Mt. Rainier is the highest mountain in the state of Washington, and in the Cascade Range, and is home to some wonderful wildflower walks. Last weekend, while my son and his wife were visiting from Philadelphia, we took the almost two-hour trip from our home to Paradise, on the mountain's south slope.

As young, fit marathon runners, they could have easily seen a lot more of the mountain than we did, but they were very nice to go slow so their old, pleasingly plump mum could keep up.

The Nisqually Vista Trail, which we followed, is a 1.2 mile loop that winds it way up and down through some very lovely wildflower meadows.

Blue Lupines and Fleabane.

Lupines and Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush close-up

Rosey Spirea

Fluffy Western Anemone seed-heads

Sickletop Lousewort

Pink Mountain Heather

While huffing and puffing to keep up with the young-uns, I found myself inspired by the beauty. There is an area of my garden, in the northeast corner behind the water feature, that I've been at a loss what perennials to plant.

Currently it has lots of native shrubs, but at the front there are some colorful Heucheras that will have to be relocated. The area directly underneath the Douglas firs is unrelieved shade, but there is a swath at the front that gets sun for several hours. I realize that many, if not most, of the pretty wildflowers that I saw on the mountain will probably not thrive in my suburban, lower-elevation garden. But at least I have a better idea now of the look I want to achieve.

It's going to take lots of planning and research and thought. It won't happen overnight. But it will be fun to get started.

I hope you enjoyed this look at flowers that aren't mine. You can find lots of other people flaunting their flowers for Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. Check it out.