The Rewards of Letting Nature Take Its Course

By early to mid August, our white Japanese anemone are in full bloom. They line the rock wall, taking on more and more real estate with each passing year. They’re considered non-invasive, but prolific bloomers. I’ll say.

Anemones

September, 2012 Japanese Anemones Line the Rock Wall

The blooms are generally spent by November and the flower stocks dry up and turn brittle. The entire stem pulls up easily, no pruning required.

Last year we had some late bloomers so I didn’t get around to “trimming” them back.

Then I had surgery.

And the wonderful consequence is this:

hummingbird collecting fluff

Female Anna’s Hummingbird Gathering Nesting Material

I wish the photos were clearer but I had to share. That’s a female Anna’s hummingbird gathering Anemone “fluff” for her nest. She’s been back several times to gather more, along with others nesting mammas in the neighborhood. She plucked at the fluff over and over till her mouth was full, then flew back to the nest. One of the Anna’s appears to be nesting in the orange tree. That’s the direction she goes once her beak is full. Another one gathers, then heads to the neighboring pine tree.

Fluffy Anemone Seed Heads

Fluffy Anemone Seed Heads

Earlier in the week I sat still in a chair for half an hour hoping to capture this wonderful event on video. I forgot to close the back door, however, and within minutes, one of the kitties was asleep in my lap.

I could have taken him back inside, but once I was resting there in the warm sun, I found myself “in the zone.” Sitting in my wicker chair in the garden, warm kitty in my lap, watching nature unfold was mesmerizing. Alas, the mama hummingbird didn’t return for her closeups so I had to make do with these blurred pics and the happy memory to go with them.

Oh, and remember what I said about anemones flowering in the fall? Check out this one, flowering away in late February.

anemone bloom february

Anemone Blooming in February

I wonder if the lack of rain along with weeks of unseasonably warm weather is playing tricks on the flower’s programming?

22 thoughts on “The Rewards of Letting Nature Take Its Course

  1. What a wonderful bonus Alys! And a real sign of spring coming if the birds are nesting. Obviously you are required to sit in your wicker chair for a number of hours more in order to capture the perfect shot…… and of course the cuddly kitty [given away by saying ‘he’] might be in need of more outdoor cuddle time too. Either activity sounds good to me 🙂 Those flowers are so abundant and pretty and I have not heard of them before – I shall head over to Mr Google and see if I know them by another name. [Though I doubt it]

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    • Pauline, I’ve fallen woefully behind in the blog world. I love your comments, and apologize for taking so long to get back here.

      That lap time was much appreciated by both of us. As for the anemones, they can take over a garden if you let them, but who’s complaining? They’re wonderful, and now I know they have the added bonus of providing natural nesting material. What did Mr. Google have to say?

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      • Heh, heh! I’ve quite forgotten all Mr Google had to say – but he did assure me they are in NZ and much admired for their easy growing, spreading, seeding habits and being bird friendly and making good picked flowers too. Oh, so I did recall 🙂 Just finished vacuuming my uber dusty house 🙂 Breathless…..

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        • You have excellent recall! What a wonderful plant these anemones.

          I know you’re entering fall soon, not spring, but I’ve been in a fit of spring cleaning, including a “big clean” under the office desks. The amount of fur and dust that gathers is horrifying. I just haven’t been able to get down on my hands and knees to do that level of clean for awhile. Unfortunately I had three days of neck pain and low-level migraines from that difficult position, but the floors look good. Ha!

          And guess what? It’s R A I N I N G.

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          • Yay for rain in California! It is so hot here this morning I could not manage my usual hour walk and have come home covered in perspiration with less than half my normal steps on the app. Poor Siddy drank a bowl of water and collapsed on his cool mat! So much for Autumn!!

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            • It sounds like the start of our autumn weather. It can be really hot well into October before it cools down and stays that way. I feel for you, Pauline, and for Siddy too, poor chap. That kind of heat drains your energy and leaves you feeling spent.

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  2. I’m going to look into whether they will grow up here. I love that the hummingbirds used what you forgot to deal with to make their nest. 🙂 It’s just so perfect that nature knows better than we do. The photos are perfect and so was an afternoon in the sun. Nothing could be better.

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    • Thank you, Marlene. I’m always learning. I will be sure to leave the plants alone this fall so that the anemone seed pods are there for nesting next year.

      I exercised restraint last summer too, by leaving the Love-in-a-mist alone till it had gone to seed. There are now volunteers all over the garden!

      I hope the anemones will grow in your zone. They’re wonderful in the garden.

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    • Lisa, this is a first for me, too. I’ve now seen one of the females grab spider webbing and fluff. The nests should be ready to go. The male hummingbirds seem to dominate our feeders, but lately I’m seeing mostly females. They need to eat every thirty minutes while nesting and taking care of their young. They’re so used to us in the garden now, that they’ll fly quite close.

      Having held a rescued hummingbird last year, I feel even more connected to their tiny little souls.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think there must be different types of anenome as mine flower in the spring (and only grow to ground level).

    Anyway, how charmed you must have felt, watching the hummingbirds collecting for their nests. My blackbirds have been very active over the last few days – one was tugging energetically at the ground yesterday and I wondered whether that was because of an enticing worm or material for a nest 🙂

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  4. This is so cool! We only catch occasional glimpses of hummingbirds so I’m really intrigued that you get to watch them in detail. And, since I have a cat cuddling on my lap, even as I write this, I know what you mean about the “zone”!

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    • Thanks, Kerry. I love these little birds. Now that it’s mating season, we here the long whistling sound of the males rising several feet in the air, then diving downward. I think it’s to warn the other males that he’s in charge.

      I’m glad to hear that you too are familiar with the “zone.” Ahhhhh

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  5. How wonderful to have hummingbirds nesting in your garden and to see them gathering the fluff too! I also didn’t get round to chopping back the anemone flower stalks last year. They look a bit untidy, but perhaps some creature has found a use for them. 😉

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    • Cathy, it is such a treat seeing these birds passing through our garden.

      I’m tickled to read that you too left your flower stalks untouched. I’m certain that the fluff is lining a nest nearby. What a happy thought.

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  6. Alys, I came to visit and to remark how far behind I am … then I read your comment to Pauline about how far behind you are, too. Phew! That makes me feel much better.
    I’m so thankful that we have a date to Skype!
    And speaking of Skype: The husband of one of the GOAs (Girls of August – you may remember them) had a truly terrifying health crisis this past week (details later, but he is home now and healing). The other 3 of us felt an urgent need to connect and I suggested we Skype. It reminded me of the first time that we all skyped, with one person needing an upgraded version. We laughed as I held the phone up to the computer so all three of us could talk at one time 🙂
    Anyway, I babble … talk to you soon!! XO

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    • Hi Laurie! I’m so sorry to hear about your GOA’s husband. It sounds like a terrible scare. You can share more when we Skype. I too am looking forward to our chat on Monday. It feels like ages. I’m glad the three of you could connect. I’m sure it was healing in its own way. Babble away…I love it, any time, any where. xo

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