Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wildflower Wednesday, January, 2017

I have been posting less and less, and spending so much time on FaceBook, that I rarely read blogs anymore.  I do not want to entirely give it up, though, so will try to at least keep up with Gail, from Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesdays and the others who post for it.  I have links to the plants I posted today, that give more information about them.

I didn't remember to get a post ready until last night, when it was too dark to take photos.  It has been snowing today, so I took some photos out the front door.  We have seen birds when we go out, but they fly away so fast, I am not always sure what they are.  The one here is either a wren or a sparrow, I believe.  I like how the Rudbeckia maxima stems stay upright.  I have seen birds eat their seeds before.   We are out of their native range, but this clump has done well here.

Here, we see seed pods of wild senna.  I recently found out there is one native to our area, but this is not it.  Still, it is quite the draw for bees and butterflies here.  The smaller seedhead clusters are joe pye weed.

Most of the cup plant stems bent over the front walk that comes up to our house, so I had to break them off and set them inside the planting area more.  I wonder if there will be more seedlings than usual.  I see birds on them in the winter, too.

 I am pleased to have this Illinois bundleflower right next to our front porch.  Birds also eat these seeds.

I was able to dig out some of the joe pye plant from across the yard to plant on the west side, near the sidewalk, and it is doing fine.  I am not sure if it is a native one or a cultivar.

Grayhead coneflowers also self sow around.  I went to a native plant talk where it was said they are not good for a home garden.  The gal was surprised when I piped up saying they do fine in our yard.  They seem to stay pulled or dug out when they come up where I don't want them.

Here are some wider views of our front yard habitat.

Please forgive me, but I am going to get political.  I have never been one to pay that much attention to what my politicians do, except for some environmental issues that have come up.  Now that we have a new president, every day I am hearing things he has said and done that jar me to the core.  I am going through stages of grief over this.  When he first announced, I think he thought it was a big joke.  When different things came out about him, such as his not paying for work or goods what he had agreed to, I figured people would turn from him.  Then, when the video of him talking about liking to grope and do other things to women came out, I was kind of glad, because I figured that was it for him.  I will never see what others saw in him that would allow them to vote for him.  He sure is making a mess of things right now!  I am in the anger phase, in case you cannot tell, and even though I have friends who voted for him, I am mad at them for it.  I am a Christian, and need to forgive, but I am beyond sad for our future generations.  Please read up on pipelines, and when chances come up to fight them, I hope you do.

Happy gardening, or getting ready to!  Plant more native plants, and like Gail says, do not use pesticides!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October Wildflower Wednesday

We've had some nights in the lower 30s, that killed the ends of the tomato plants.  We are still picking some tomatoes, though.  Most of the flowering plants are finished blooming, but there is still some beauty out there, that I decided to post for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.  Some of the photos were taken around noon, when the sun was quite bright, and some around 6:30 in the evening, when it was near time to get dark.

The different liatrises are nice and fluffy.  I saw a sparrow on one that was on the side of the house.  I am not sure if I knew the birds ate these seeds.  The color behind it is an amsonia hubrichtii.

Lead plant is such a slow grower when it is small, but is worth the wait.

Some of the big leaf asters are finished blooming, but some are still looking fresh.  I'm not sure what the little insect is on one of the blooms.

I was surprised to see a few purple coneflowers blooming.  I did have to pull some this summer due to aster yellows.

The Virginia mountain mints look good, even when going to seed.

The Illinois bundleflowers look their best when going to seed.

Cup plants are ones I've seen birds feed from all through the winter.

Our grandaughter loves the different goldenrod seedheads because they are fluffy.  I don't remember what kind of beetle that is, but am thinking it is one I usually see on milkweed. It took off before I could get a clearer photo of it.

Aren't clematis pitcherii seed pots cool?

Deadheading the gray headed coneflowers prolonged their bloom time.  When I bought the Liatris pyconostachya 'Eureka' I didn't notice the 'Eureka' written in pencil until I got it home.   Oh, well, some of the other ones I have are also cultivars. It is shorter than other years.

Rattlesnake master is a fun plant to grow.

I am not sure what kind of goldenrod this is.  It is one of Ruby's favorites.

The New England asters were one of the last to bloom, and I am sad they are about finished.

Round headed bushclover is another one that was a slow grower here.  It bloomed last year, but was much shorter, and the blooms were smaller.  I am tickled with how well the two plants did this year.

The short toothed mountain mint looks awesome all season, and usually has insect visitors on it.

I know I've shown most if not all of these plants in posts, but am not sure if I have shown them at this time of the season.  I hope we all have some nice fall days before winter gets here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September's Wildflower Wednesday

I've enjoyed seeing more and more butterflies, bees, and other pollinators the past couple of weeks.  I'm sad that a number of flowers are finished blooming, but am pleased to see the asters, pitcher sage, and some of the goldenrods blooming to showcase for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.

The New England asters have self sown around the yard, and the pollinators have found them.  Even though I cut them back this spring, the stems got a disease on them.  Still, they are loaded with blooms, and pollinators.  This particular clump had the most sulphurs, skippers, various kinds of bees, monarchs, and painted ladies on it.

The most monarchs I have seen in a day this season was seven.  In the past, there have been more.  I hope next year is better.

How many hoverflies and bees do you see?

There have been a number of painted lady butterflies around, and now there are also some American ladies.  I can tell this is one because of the two large eyespots.  I see pussytoes is a host plant.  I am pleased to have some of that for them.

There have been several kinds of sulphurs.  I enjoy seeing bees and butterflies feeding peacefully near each other.

I was thinking this was a duskywing of some kind, but Cynthia, Gaia Gardener suggested it may be checkered skipper.  How cool!  I've never heard of that.  I looked it up, and think she is right.

The goldenrod, 'Wichita Mountains' also draws a number of butterflies and bees.  I just looked it up, and read that the blooms and leaves are edible.  Have you ever tried it?

I am pretty sure the bluish and orange butterfly is a gray hairstreak.

This was taken at a different time of the day when the area was shaded.

Pitcher sage is another one that self sows around the yard, and I love the blue blooms.  They usually have a butterfly or more on the blooms.  I cut most of the plants back late spring so they will be bushier and a bit shorter.

I have seen more silver spotted skippers this year than any other I can remember.

This has more spots than the American lady.  This is a painted lady.  I think there have been more of these than other seasons, too.

I just got a big leaf aster plant a couple years ago, and am enjoying the blooms.  It is spreading around a bit, and does not seem to be as appealing to the rabbits to eat as some of the other asters.  I looked at my last couple of posts, and saw that I'd already included this in one.  I didn't remember it had been blooming that long.  That's good to know, since there are some that do not have a long bloom time.

It is a host plant for several caterpilllars. Do you know what kind this is?

It has been a hot summer and fall.  I am glad the highs this week are going to be in the 70s, instead of the 90s like they were last week.  I am almost ready for winter to be here, so we can start over with spring, and hope for milder weather.