Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August 2018 Wildflower Wednesday

I get to do my Wildflower Wednesday post on a plant I've never grown before.  This monthly event is hosted by Gail, of Clay and Limestone.

I had grown the non-native cleomes a number of years.  I was pleased that someone, and I am not remembering who, sent me some seeds of the native kind, called Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Cleome serrulata.  Then some people in the Facebook group, Gardening with Nature in Mind brought some seedlings to a share we had, and I took one to plant in another spot.  They both did well, and I am pleased they have had a number of insect visitors.

The photos are from different days, but did not get put in the order I tried to get them in, so just know that the ones with the green house in the background are the ones I planted from seed in the fall.  The other is in the east front bed.

Cleome serrulata is a self sowing annual.  I will collect seeds and plant some just in case it is not as reliable at it as the non-native ones I used to grow.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says the plant gets 3 to 6 feet, and does well in sun to part shade.  Mine are about three feet tall.  It says the water use is medium, but then says dry later in the information.  It is not overly dry here.  The one by the house probably gets a bit less water than the other one. 

This one in the front yard is kind of growing in the same space as a maximilian sunflower I don't remember planting.    It seems to be holding its own.

 The blooms on this one may be a little lighter colored than the other ones.

Can you see the visitors to the blooms here?

These are in the front yard:

I have enjoyed seeing all of the pollinators on the blooms.

 The next two photos are out of order because a few of the photos did not show up when I first uploaded them, and I had to do them separately.  I just noticed seed pods today, and think I will take them off to promote more blooming.  That's how it works with most annuals.  Do you have experience with these and deadheading them? 

This photo was taken today.

In looking for more information to share, I found out from the USDA database that it can be considered a weed, and one of the sources they used is a book I have, Weeds of the Great Plains, published by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.  I looked it up in my book, and found that the seeds are a valuable food for mourning doves and songbirds, and it is a source of nectar for butterflies and night flying moths.  A number of plants in our yard are in the book as well, such as heath aster, tall thistle, Helenim autmnale, which is a favorite of the bees here, lambsleaf sage, purple poppy mallow, and others.  I guess they are all in good company.  ;-)

I look forward to finding more spots for these showy blooms that provide for the pollinators.  I hope all is well with whoever is reading this. I have not been posting except for Wildflower Wednesday, and have not kept up with the blogs I used to frequent. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

July's Wildflower Wednesday

I almost forgot the date again.  Each month goes by too quickly for me!  It is sprinkling, so I just took some photos from the front porch.  I've done posts like this before for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.  There will be no feature plant, but I will try to get many of the plants identified.  Oh, I just got back from Gail's blog to get the link to it, and see she did something a bit different, too.  She posted about not having a lot of sun, and putting natives in pots.

Here is the east flower bed.  The tall plant is a wild senna that is native to the U.S. but not my SE Nebraska.  The pink blooms by the fence are a cultivar of joe pye weed, 'Gateway'.  The white blooms between the joy pye and liatris are a mountain mint of some kind.

The yellow blooms on the left are gray headed coneflowers.  The tall airy blooms are a Thalictrum of some kind.  I have always called them meadow rue, but the blooms look different than the ones I just looked up.  I am not remembering what kind of liatris this is.  The Monarda fistulosa on the right are finished blooming, while the ones across the sidewalk out of view just started blooming a week or so ago.

This is the west front bed where a silver maple tree used to be.  This area doesn't get watered much. When I do water, either from the rain barrel or with a hose, I just get the ones that cannot handle being dry as much as the other plants.  This time of year, a number of plants are finished blooming, while others, such as cup plant are coming into their own.  The close up of the cup plant did not post at first, so I had to go back to get it, and it is toward the end of the post.

The green plant near the milkweeds is sweet black eyed susan.  It will be blooming soon.  You can see lots of coneflowers in the curb area, and some liatrises as well as others not visible in the photo.

The white blooms here are wild quinine.  This wild senna is blooming ahead of the others in the yard.

The plant with the seed heads is giant coneflower, which is not nearly as tall as usual.  I am not remembering what the plant with the flower buds behind the not yet blooming wild senna are.

Here is the close up of the cup plant!  It has had a number of insect visitors, and will continue to.

There is another joe pye plant with the pink blooms in the background.  The orange blooming Tithonias are not wildflowers, but they have had loads of visitors, and when the monarchs come through this fall, they will be attracted to this plant.  All of those blooms are on two different plants that I started from seed indoors before planting time!  The yellow blooms are another cultivar, Rudbeckia laciniata hortensia,  also called golden glow and outhouse plant.  They took over the raised flower bed in front of the house.  There had been some liatris in there with them.  I am probably not going to dig them out, because it could cause more water to get into our basement. 

Our granddaughter will be here soon.  I hope all is well with you and you are enjoying summer.  Happy gardening!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Wildflower Wednesday, 6/27/18

I have probably talked about most of the plants I have for Gail's Wildflower Wednesdays over the years.  Today, I want to talk about Culver's root with a bit of a different slant.  Since I do not have a prairie, but a small corner lot, I usually cut back some plants like asters, Culver's root, monarda, sweet black eyed Susans and others that get tall and bloom later in the season so that they will bush out and not flop later in the season.  I normally take off about 6 to 12 inches. I also deadhead the amsonias and cut back the baptisias after they bloom.  Do you do any cutting back or trimming?

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower site says Culver's root gets 2 to 6 feet tall.  That is quite a range!  It is a plant that prefers to have some moisture.  I have three of them, and they do not get the same amount of water as each other, since one does not get hit by the sprinkler system we use for the little bit of lawn we have.  

I was sick this spring, and it has taken awhile to get my energy back.  I was late getting the plants cut back, and some, I didn't get to.  Since it causes the plants to be a bit shorter, and delays bloom time, I was surprised to see the two plants I trimmed starting to bloom already.

This is the plant across the way from the previous one.

Here is the plant that does not get as much water, and that I didn't get cut back.  It did start blooming earlier than the others, and I tied it up because it was flopping.  It looks like the blooms are going to be larger than the ones just coming on.  I don't think the bloom size is affected on other plants I cut back.  The monarda fistulosa I didn't get cut back has the same sized blooms as when I cut it back.  It is very tall, and I was thinking it may not flop, but the latest rain really caused it to splay out, so it is tied up, too.

I have been seeing a few bees on the blooms.

This is a very tiny bee, about the size of an ant.  At least I think it is a bee.  It was flying.

We had a very late spring, and then it got very hot.  We had some relief in the last week, with over 2 inches of rain!  The heat is coming back this week.  I hope all is well with you, and you are seeing some pollinators on your blooms.