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Alley Wonders

I spent some time cleaning up my computer desktop today and came across piles of plant photos from around town. The images of these cheery bright blooms and luscious green plants were too much to resist on a cold, gray January day. These photos were from a day in July, from the Mississippi neighborhood in Northeast Portland. A street fair was going on, but I spent more of my time roaming the alleys as I did the booths, looking at the trees and the weeds.

While editing uploading these photos, I was overcame by the scent of Butterfly Bush, Buddleja davidii as soon as I looked at it. To me it resembles an ambiguous “grape” flavor combined with fresh floral and honey, except much more authentic. There is a certain tartness to it that I can feel in the back of my throat, even by just gazing at its pictures. It was a new plant to me when I moved here, one that I much enjoy dues to its prolific aromatic blooms in all shades of purples. Apparently it is considered invasive…all the more reason stock my house with bouquets of it all summer!

My favorite of these photos are the yarrows. There was quite a large patch of many individual plants in an empty lot, each with a distinctive hue. There were the creamy whites, the bright stark white with florescent yellow centers, mauve, pink, purple and everything in between. The flower shapes and sizes seemed to vary, as did height.

The big poke patches were delightful, too. I love everything about these green and pink-purple flowers. It’s center shape reminded me quite a bit of the milk duct and breast tissue. No surprise that it’s oil is applied to breast irritations!




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