Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hot July Wildflower Wednesday

I have been very lax in posting and reading other blogs.  I want to at least participate in Gail's Wildflower Wednesday, even though I missed it last month.  Our yard was on our local Wachiska Audubon Society's wildlife habitat garden tour on Father's Day, and the next week, the Nebraska Herbal Society came for a tour and slide show of plants that are pollinator friendly.  While I thoroughly enjoyed doing this, I plan on being on no tours next year!  One change I made to the way I normally garden was not cutting back plants like sweet black eyed susans, and gray headed coneflower in order for them to be less floppy, because that also causes them to bloom later, and I was hoping for as many blooms as possible.  I am planning on letting plants grow closer to each other next year, too, so there is less dirt exposed.  I also want to start watering much less.  Maybe I won't need to cut back as much.

Gail highlighted Joe Pye Weed this month.  Mine are just starting to open their buds.  I am doing what I usually end up doing, and show a number of plants that are currently blooming.  I did leave some out this time, but did get a number of them.  I thought I'd include some wider views first. The coneflowers and liatris are doing well.

This is the west side of the front yard.

Here is the east side of the front.  The black eyed susans are in their full glory.

False sunflowers are the first plant that was chosen for the first flower bed that was made when Larry agreed not to plant grass back where the soil was dug to put in an egress window.  These are not in their original spot because there wasn't enough light, and they tended to flop.

It's been fun to watch the bees feed on the clematis pitcherii blooms.

The sweet black eyed susans were not blooming for the tours, but are now.

I think this may be a cross between Virginia and short toothed mountain mints. I don't remember planting it in this spot.  The wasps and such feed on this as much as the others.

I believe this is a hover fly on the black eyed susan bloom.

Whorled milkweed is one of my favorite plants, but is hard to photograph.  It is one of the last to come up in the spring, but is pretty hardy.  This one has a milkweed bug and aphids on it, but it will be fine.

The upright prairie coneflower plants are doing well.

I think I see the most diversity of bees on the gray headed coneflowers.

Wild quinine is another of my favorite plants.  It has a long bloom time, and provides for a number of different insects.

I frequently see bees on the monarda fistulosa.

What draws the most bees at a time are the wild sennas.

I am very sad not to be seeing many butterflies this year.  There are a few here and there, but normally, this time of year, there are almost always some when I go out to check.  I have heard others in different parts of the country say the same thing, so it must not be due to all the rain we had this spring, and then the very hot temperatures.  I guess that happened over much of the country as well, too, though.  I wonder what's going on, and if they will be able to recover and there will be more in the future.  Let's all do our parts and not use pesticides.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April's Wildflower Wednesday, 2016

This is one of my favorite times of the year, when spring is in full swing, and there are new discoveries to be made each time you go out for a yard walk.  Unlike Gail, from Clay and Limestone, our host, who normally showcases a flower or few, and gives information on them, I tend to include almost every wildflower that is blooming.  I started to include some that I've already posted about this year, and just decided to delete those.  Ruby did not take a nap today, so I am just getting this finished.

I did include one I've already posted. Gail, I was thinking this was False Solomon's Seal I planted in this wash tub a number of years ago, to limit its spread.  Does it look like it to you?

The amsonias are just starting to bloom.  This is either illustris or tabernaemontana.

I used to have some columbines that were not native.  When I planted some native ones in the same general area, I didn't realize they would cross with each other.  I now have all native looking blooms, which look t me to be a bit larger than they would have been on their own.

This is the first Virginia waterleaf set of blooms.  I wouldn't have noticed it yet, if I wasn't looking for what was blooming for this post.

I have to protect the phloxes from rabbits.  I've been seeing more damage on different kinds of plants, now that we are seeing bunnies.  This is wild blue phlox, next to the puffy seedheads of pasque flowers.  On the lower right are the blooms of rose mock vervain.

 The golden alexanders are starting to bloom.  They are a host plant for the black swallowtail butterfly, and I'm tickled to have seen some on them.

This is what Gail calls PPP, "Practically Perfect Pink Phlox".   The phlox pilosa is just opening a few blooms.

I have shown Fremont clematis blooms, but decided to include this one of the plant.  It's another of my favorites.

We were supposed to have some severe storms yesterday, but just a bit of thunder and lightning with the inchish of rain.  There was a tornado today in Omaha, an hour from here, which was on the national news, while we were just having cloudy skies.  I've not heard more about any damage it caused.  I'll have to watch the news at 10:00.  I hope all is well with you.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring, West Front Yard in Front of Fence

I am tickled it is spring, and we are seeing more and more coming up.  Not all of the milkweeds are up yet.  They seem to be one of the last to come up.  I went around taking lots of photos of the beds last night, because we were expecting a storm with hail, which we got, but thankfully, there was not much damage.  We are expecting a possibly severe storm tomorrow.  I hope we fare OK.

Our yard is going to be on our local Wachiska Audubon Society garden tour on Father's Day.  Because of that, I removed the plants that were in front of this sidewalk on the west edge of the yard, and put these steps from another spot in the yard here, so people can come out of the area where the tree used to be.  The path into it is narrow, and a "one way".  I am actually making a number of changes, mostly because of the tour, but am having lots of fun in the process.

I am trying to put the plant labels next to the first examples of each plant that will be seen.

Each kind of plant I have, such as one of my favorites, Fremont's clematis, is also in another flower bed somewhere in the yard.  Not all beds have every kind of flower, though.

Pussytoes and prairie petunia are also in several of the beds.  Prairie petunias are one of the last flowers to come up in the spring.

I don't remember where I got the couple of clumps of merry bells that are in this bed, but would love to find some more.  The foliage on the right is stiff goldenrod, which I thinned quite a bit, hoping there will be less leaning.

I don't remember what this is in the middle, but am thinking it may be a clover of some kind.  I tried transplanting one that was too close to another plant, but it came apart from the roots.  I have several prairie smoke geums, the plant on the right, around the yard.

I see gray-headed coneflower, New Jersey tea, liatris, Riddells goldenrod, and foxglove beardtongue in this photo.

Rabbits have been munching on this.  Do you know how to tell the different kinds of liatris apart?  I had some cultivars, Kobolds that seeded out some.  I am thinking with all of the natives ones I now have, I want to get rid of the Kobolds.

We are heading east, and seeing some of the plants I already named.  There are some bare spots I want to fill.

I am not sure what the two plants in front are.  I believe the middle one is white blooming flowering euphorbia.

Rabbits are eating on the foxglove beardtongue on the right, but not the one on the left as much.

Here is a closer view of one of the plants I'm not sure of the name of.

This is looking back to the west.

This is red root, a relative of New Jersey tea, blooming before the New Jersey teas even have flower buds.

This evening, I got Larry to help me finish digging out the spirea closest to the fence, to make room for the milkweed that came up in the area last year.  That's a Heuchera richardonii in the middle, a native coral bells.

I hope your spring is going well.  I'm thinking those of you in the north should be having some things up and blooming by now.  If you are in the path of the storms, I hope you stay safe.