28 April 2016

🌿 Shaw Island seeds at the roadside stand 🌿

"Shaw Island Double Lilac Alba"
A late blooming variety that has been planted 
around the island for decades.
Glassybaby "Regal."
Bouquet for island gardener MLC
Anno twenty-eight April two thousand and sixteen.

What a treat to enjoy the native hot-shot orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa) blooming within feet of the roadside shed today as the place was swept out for another spring. It is time to share fresh seeds of island botanicals, packed, labeled, and stuffed in their handmade wrappers. The seeds are favorite flowers, a few herbs, and a few natives, with some being added along through the season. All are chosen for being good natured, dependable country flowers, grown down through the last century snuggled in the back corner woods and meadows of Shaw Island. 
      Thank you for the friendly notes that were left recently. No one scolded, but it's now true, like the garden, I'm out of dormancy.
      Happy gardening.  

13 April 2016


The Fawn Lilies deserve a prize this year.

Photographs courtesy of Joanne.
By rowboat from Shaw to Yellow Island, WA.
Anno eight April twenty sixteen.
Back on Shaw Island
Corinne found this beauty, Fritallaria lanceolata
(Chocolate lily) to photograph at the home of a friend. 

Scott Atkinson (Wild Plants of the San Juan Islands)
says that this specimen is common in the archipelago.
April 2016.

04 April 2016

🌿 CALYPSO bulbosa (Fairy slipper) 🌿

Shaw Island
Three April two thousand and sixteen.
This alert person behind the hand,
found a colony of Calypso, the
most I have ever seen in one location.

"Passing through a heavily shaded, coniferous forest during May [but in early April in 2016,] the watchful traveller will sometimes be rewarded by coming upon a classic orchid of bewitching elegance, so delicate as it grows alone on a bed of heavy humus or fern moss. Nature's artistry is hard to miss in the perfect design––a nodding head with five rosy-purplish tepals (modified petals) above a little face, that has a pink upper lip, a white lower one flushed with pink, and a blood red streaked throat that seems as if it were hand painted. If that isn't enough, the heads often have a pleasing, unusual fragrance. Calypso, Atlas' daughter in Greek mythology, was a sea nymph, often concealed below the waves, and here her name honors the lovely charms and inconspicuous nature of our orchid. The roots grow in association with certain fungi and, thus, attempts to transplant are futile; plants also can not tolerate picking or other disturbances. This species was formerly believed to be rare in our area, but naturalists in Washington have now found that it is widespread. The San Juans are particularly blessed, with impressive colonies present on many islands, such as Jones, Sucia, Lopez, Orcas, and many others."
      No one can say it better than these two authors:
Wild Plants of the San Juan Islands. Atkinson, Scott and Fred Sharpe. Seattle, The Mountaineers. 1985.
      How's that for the start of April on Shaw Island.

      If you'd like to be knocked over with some photographic art visit this PNW site to view the wild Calypso orchid captured by a master.Pacific Northwest Orchids
      Artist Joan Baez includes the Calypso in her song "If I knew"