Apr 2, 2011

Baby Blues Still Babies

We seem to have given spring a miss and gone straight into summer.  With today in the mid-70s and the last several days in the 80s, maybe now my few, fragile little Nemophila menziesii (Baby Blue Eyes) seedlings will put on a growth spurt.  I hope so--because it is very late for them to be as tiny as they are.

The guilty party looking for chow in potted plants
I haven't had great luck with these babies, except for one fantastic patio specimen two years ago.  I think they should change the common name of this plant from Baby Blue Eyes to Sparrow Chow.  Even my lovely specimen two years ago was initially eaten to a nub by white-crowned and gold-crowned sparrows--I know it was them, because I caught them in the act several times!  Once, for a split second I started to open the door to shoo away the sparrows, but then I thought "Whoa, the garden is for the birds. Birds are not pests."  But they do have a palate for Nemophila for some reason.  For human greens too--I haven't been able to grow salad greens such as lettuce and spinach for our own table, because the sparrows chow right through it. I'm not an energetic enough gardener to mess with netting and all that--I always just figure what grows grows, and what doesn't can get replaced by what does.

The great Nemophila of '09 miraculously rebounded and it must have gained the sparrows' respect, because they then allowed it mature. But it was in full, spectacular bloom in mid-March.  Last year I had just a couple pitiful little baby blues--just enough to luckily reseed a bit this year.  And this year's seedlings are still teeny tiny, with March now history.

Here's the plant in March '09:

And here are its grandchildren today:

The sparrows haven't zeroed in on these pitiful little things--probably because they are too small to bother.  I have been looking at these tiny seedlings for months now, with no change.  So, I hope they get going and become real plants--maybe by month's end I can have a decent blue-eyed show that will coincide with the Clarkia concinna (Pink Ribbons) that reseeded quite nicely from last year.  Will get plenty of photographic evidence if I do!


  1. Wow, those are tiny! Mine are in full bloom right now.

    I wouldn't feel too guilty about chasing off sparrows, because sparrows are non-native.

  2. I had to smile at you chasing birds away, because I feel the same way about deer...I'm in their world!
    Wow, that Baby Blues in the pot was BIG. I'd like to sow some seeds in pots one year. Pretty.

  3. We are definitely in the wildlife's world--they were here first! I think the sparrows are native, but maybe someone can educate me on how nativity is defined with the winged beasts. They come here on their own power, and they weren't introduced from another continent. (House sparrows were, but I've never seen one of those in the yard.) The white-crowned and golden-crowned sparrows are with us only in winter. The golden-crowned have the loveliest, mournful, three-note song. I'm still hearing it daily and loving it--my golden-crowned friends have chosen to stay a bit longer than usual this year.