Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Some Wildflowers are Making their Appearance

I have already shown the one wildflower that I have blooming so far, but will post it again, as well as some of the plants that are coming up.   There are a few I'm not including, because I am not sure what they are yet, or their names were not in my memory at the time I saw them.  I figured this may help others who have these plants coming up, but don't remember what they are.  (I also showed some of the plants that are coming up in my last post.)  This will be my different kind of post for Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail, from Clay and Limestone.  I hope you read hers and the other posts, and are inspired to plant more natives from your areas.

I am thankful we had 1/2 to 3/4 an inch of rain yesterday, while it was 35 degrees.  It's a good thing it wasn't a few degrees colder.  We could still get some snow in the next few weeks, though. 

The clumps of pasque flowers are blooming at different times than each other this year.  We had a few drops of rain this morning, and I like how the drops of water show up on some of the plants.



I am going to try to cut back the cup plant a couple or three times this year to see if it sprawls a bit less, since it is right by the sidewalk going up to our porch.


I hope to see more Golden alexander seedlings come up to share with local people.  This clump is several years old.


I am hoping this is the year the white blooming baptisia blooms.  I moved the stump away, and was pleased to see there is another shoot coming up next to this one.


 I don't remember the rudbeckia maxima looking smooth at this stage.


I am tickled to see the Virginia bluebells are coming up, as they weren't last week when I looked.


The Virginia waterleaf is doing well.


I showed the older, larger clump of Prairie smoke geum in my last post. This is one of the ones I planted last year.


I am please to see a number of self sown Mexican hat plants coming up. It looks like I will have some thinning to do.


I should probably clip some of the dried leaves off of the heuchera richardsonii. 


Now that it has rained, there should be lots more plants popping up, including the lettuce, spinach, kale, radishes, peas, onions, and potatoes that I planted.  I don't remember when the asparagus comes up, but I also planted some across the street that I hope grows well with the challenges of the evergreen trees.  Hopefully, they are far enough away from the walnut tree.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Let the 2015 Garden Season Begin!

After such a cold spell in February, with more snow than usual, I am so excited that the weather has warmed up into the 60s and 70s the last couple of weeks.  Next week, I heard something about highs in the 50s, but that's better than the 20s.  Spring is almost here, and I have lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, potatoes, and a row of asparagus planted.  If it does well across the street, I'll plant more next year.

I took some photos of the yard Saturday evening to make note of what's going on.  I have taken the top layer of leaves off the flower beds, and taken down most of last year's plants.  I have some piles across the street where I put them in case there are insects inside the stems overwintering, and so the birds can continue to eat the seeds.


It's so good to see some green on the plants that come up this time of year.  This is prairie smoke geum.


I decided to leave these coneflowers for the birds for awhile.


I like the fuzziness of the newly emerging pasque flowers.


The golden alexanders are up.


A couple clumps of pasqueflower in a different spot are blooming.


As I was cutting plants back, I chopped some of the stems and threw them around for mulch. In this area, the mulch we had was chips from the silver maple that had to be cut down a few years ago.  They are pretty much decomposed.  I put the grasses I cut back in the path.  I wonder if it will be slick when it's wet.


Phlox pilosa:


Zig-zag goldenrod:


This is the east side of the house.


I think this is an agastache or catmint, but I'm not sure because of the color.


Phlox divaricata


I don't know the names of the hellebores that I have, but I discovered them from others' blogs.  They are such a welcome early spring bloomer!



Short-toothed mountain mint:


I actually have been doing the garden clean up over a few days.   At first, I was propping some of the seedheads here and there for the birds, until I decided not to take down the ones in the curb area quite yet.


Looking toward the south, I am so excited to see what things will look like in a month!


The weather sure has been off lately, with us in SE Nebraska having warmer temps than some of you in the south.  Still, the spring season will still probably come for you sooner, and we will get to see the progression of it heading our way and north, as we find the time to look at others' blogs instead of spending so much time on Facebook.  (Maybe I should be speaking for myself.  Am I the only one who has been spending less time blogging?)  Oh, and there will be more time spent outdoors as the season progresses!  Yippee for spring!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Some Spring Blooms from Last Year for Wildflower Wednesday

Today is the fifth anniversary of Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail, blogger of Clay and Limestone.  For the occasion, she showed her first post, with some editing.  I like what she shared about learning to grow native plants.  Those who know me know that I am scatterbrained.  I had seen Wildflower Wednesday posts, and decided to join April 7, 2010, not paying attention to the fact that it was the third Wednesday of the month, so it was not on the right day.  Here is a link to my first post.  It shows pasque flowers. 

The photos for today's post are from the last week of April and first week of May, 2014.  These are not all that were blooming, though. For each plant, I included a link to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center where there is information on it.  For those in my area, most of these plants will probably be available at the plant sales held by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum in the spring.

Fremont's clematis is one of my favorites.  It is a long lived plant in my experience, and has very cool blooms.  This is a young clump.  It will grow larger and have more blooms in the next few years.  I had a clump in an island bed surrounded by concrete at church until they decided they wanted everything out, and planted a tree and some shrubs there.  It rarely got watered, and it did quite well.  I transplanted it to our curb area last year, but am not sure if it is one that can survive transplanting when so mature.


I've had Phlox divaricata for a number of years.  It spreads like a groundcover, but is not aggressive.  I am pleased to see they are coming up already.


I have had what I'm pretty sure are Common blue violets for many years.  A clump volunteered in the vegetable garden in full sun.  They seed themselves around, and I've had to thin them out from time to time.  I have been remembering to pull a few leaves to add to the salad the last few years.  What I'm feeling bad about, though, is that they are coming up in our next door neighbor's lawn, where she only wants grass.  I just read that the seeds are produced in the bottom flowers that do not always open, that have the seeds.  I should try to get those cut off so they don't seed so freely. 


Virginia bluebells are not native here, but I sure do enjoy the early spring blooms on the east side of the house, where they do not get the hot afternoon sun.  I hope they seed a bit.


Amsonia hubrichtii is one I've posted on a lot.  It is one of my favorites, but I wish the bloom time was longer.  Still, the foliage is very nice.  I just read where one should cut them back to six inches after they bloom so they will mound.  I do cut them back frequently, but not always.  Some years, I have let them seed, and have gotten a few volunteers to put in other spots that way.  They are not native to Nebraska, I just noticed.


I have gotten several kinds of Amonias over the years.  This is either tabernaemontana or illustris.  This is the kind I saw in a yard when walking into my sister and brother in laws' alley and fell in love with those beautiful blue blooms.


The yellow blooms are Golden alexanders.  I think I fell in love with PPPPs from Gail's posts.  I first found Phlox pilosa, 'eco happy traveler', then found the plain Phlox pilosas, so now have both, and do not remember which is which.  I imagine I'll end up with my own kind of they cross pollinate. 


The two plants in front are Prairie alumroots, what I refer to as native coral bells.   The pinkish blooms between and beyond the Golden alexanders is what I think is Shell leaf penstemon.


Purple poppy mallow is a good plant for the curb area.


Most of the snow has melted, but for the next couple weeks, we are to have colder than normal temperatures.  I am so ready for spring to get here!  It would be nice if I had an actual wildflower to post for March's Wildflower Wednesday!  Thanks, Gail for hosting this!

Oh, I forgot to mention that the things you've heard about liquids and computers are true.  A few evenings ago, I was at my computer with about a fourth cup of coffee.  The phone rang, and since our granddaughter was sleeping in the next room, I jumped up to answer.  I am not even sure what happened, but the cord to the computer was involved, and some things on the table, including the computer and coffee flew into the air.  After a few days of drying it out, the keyboard continued to type things on its own, so Larry made a list of possible computers for me.  I took that to a local Apple dealer.

The guy at the store was very patient with me.  He knew I was sad that I really couldn't afford to get another 15 inch monitor, but still wanted to compare the 13 inch to it.  I got my blog up on two computers, and found some posts from last summer.  He had already asked me what I use the computer for, and we got to talking about gardening.  He just does vegetables, because he wants to have the reward of picking something to eat.  I told him I am into growing native plants, and get rewarded by seeing so many insects on them.  He cringed at the thought of bees and wasps, but when he saw the photos from my blog, he asked if he could scroll down to see more.  He said they were good photos, which made me happy.  I hope that I planted a seed in him that will sprout, and he will end up finding some native plants to add to his garden.