Riotous Roses And Pussy Hats

I am excited. My friend Linda crocheted me my very own pussy hat, complete with cute pink ears. And on Saturday morning I am going to grab my pussy hat and dive headfirst into the Seattle throngs at the Women’s March. We’ll speak our minds – politely – as a way to encourage each other and to object to (harrible, harrible) domination-based values hurtful to People, Peace and Mother Earth.

Pink is not really my best color but it sure looks nice on a Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana). Fragrant and beautiful, the Nootka Rose is flagrantly aggressive and prickly. So it’s a wonderful plant in a sunny hedgerow or exposed slope where its rhizomes can spread and form a thicket (terrific shelter for birds).

More ladylike (really only a virtue anymore if you happen to be a plant), the Bald-Hip Rose (Rosa gymnocarpa) also has beautiful pink flowers but stays where you put her. In the Spirit of Mutuality, she won’t run rampant over the smaller citizens of your garden. Definitely a candidate for Miss Congeniality! And she likes shade!

Subalpine Spirea (Spiraea splendens) is a standout shrub that has the virtue of staying pretty short — usually under 4 feet tall. In June, she blooms — dark pink clusters of tiny flowers. Subalpine Spirea thrives in sunny places, as long as the soil has some moisture in it. It will spread, but relatively slowly. Wonderful, wonderful plant. I love that plant.

I’ve saved the most glamorous shrub for last: Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale). Like Subalpine Spirea, it does best in sunny, moist conditions. This dignified deciduous beauty will grow up to 8 feet tall. The blossoms are very, very (very) fragrant and delicately tinged with pink, peach and/or yellow. Its natural range is Southern Oregon to Northern California so it is a “Northwest” native (as opposed to locally native).

Hope to see you soon! Your Pinko Purveyor of Native Plants,

Shirley Doolittle-Egerdahl, owner

Tadpole Haven Native Plants