Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wildflowers and native species

I wandered out behind the house this week, braving the thick bog-dwelling mosquitoes to photograph the native flora. The pink ladyslipper orchids [pictured] (Cypripedium acaule) are just past their prime but appear to be thriving. No doubt the blood-sucking bugs reduce the amount of foot-traffic parading over their bed of reindeer lichen.

The wild shrubs such as low-bush blueberry, low-bush cranberry [pictured] (lingonberry, Vaccinium vitis idaea), bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), and Labrador tea are flowering now.

I have planted a Bailey's compact highbush cranberry in the yard (no flowers this year) and there are wild raspberries, pincherries, and Saskatoon berries already growing in the yard. I haven't the patience to pick pincherries, but I do appreciate the pincherry jelly that is made around here. The local berries make for delicious waffle-toppings!

I also have been searching Blogger for other gardening blogs, but haven't yet found many companions into true cold-weather northern gardening (you folks in northern California think you have it rough, but you're zone 5a for goodness sake!). Let me know if you find a real do-it-yourself adventurous gardeners with a photoblog.

1 comment:

Kandace Groenewegen said...

When we were young, we would pick cranberries that grew from low bushes much like this picture (the one with the mysterious hand showing...) and eat them mixed with sugar in bread bags...true northern style. I learned this method of eating wild cranberries from the kids in the ?village? ?hamlet?
We survived, so they musn't have been too poisonous (the berries, not the kids).