This morning I noticed the roadsides are blooming – and the first thing to catch my eye was, of course, the blue chicory. I like to see the sky blue flowers that dot the meadow-like roadsides, they’re cheerful. The patch of ground I saw was filled with them and sprinkled with little stands of toadflax and clover as well. As always. there was the companion of Queens Anne’s Lace presiding over her many subjects and ladies in waiting, as the rest of the soft colored flowers look beneath.
Most of these flowers that we see along the roadsides are not native, but were once flowers introduced for one reason or another. They liked it so well in their new home that we now think of them as common weeds and presume they were always a part of the landscape.
Some of them, like chicory, were once used for homey uses. This one people liked as a coffee substitute or additive. Toadflax produced a yellow dye. and clover is an excellent honey plant and has nitrogen-fixing nodules to fertilize the ground.
This roadside scene always speaks summertime to me, while the later blooms of joepye weed and golden rod cause me to realize that summer is almost over. They go with migrations of birds to the south.
Thistles and teasles are always November-speak in my garden language, those and the dried and tasseled grasses, so I am happy to have the echo of the summer blue skies and the little “butter and eggs” nests of today’s medley of blooms.
That reminds me, the toadflax has such an amazing compendium of interesting names. To wit:
Other Names: bread-and-butter, brideweed, butter-and-eggs, buttered haycocks, calve’s snout, churnstaff, common linaria, common toadflax, continental flower, dead man’s bones, devil’s flax, devil’s flower, devil’s head, devil’s ribbon, doggies, dragon bushes, eggs-and-bacon, eggs-and-collops, flaxweed, fluellin, gallwort, impudent lawyer, Jacob’s ladder, larkspur, lion’s mouth, monkey flower, patten and clogs, pedler’s basket, rabbit-flower, rabbit’s weed, ramstead, ranstead, toad, wild flax, wild snapdragon, wild tobacco, yellow rod, yellow toadflax.