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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 2018 Wildflower Wednesday

Spring was late in coming this year, but it looks like summer will be a bit early.  We are having highs in the upper 80s this week! I now have arthritis in my left knee, and am going to physical therapy, thankful they are not telling me to stop gardening.  I have been sick over a week, though, and have not had the energy to garden.  I did go out and take some photos today, and want to get a Wildflower Wednesday post linked up to Gail's blog before the day is over.  Most of the photos did not turn out well, due to the amount of sunlight, but I found some that will be OK.

I am sure I have featured Golden Alexanders for Wildflower Wednesday before.  They sure are easy to grow, and self sow all over the place, so I have lots to share with others in the spring.  I have seen a few bees on them so far, but have not gotten photos of them.  There are other creatures that make use of them as well.  They are also a host plant for black swallowtail caterpillars, and I have been pleased to see some on the plants.



Here is the view from the porch.  Look at all of the yellow!  A variety of kinds of amsonias add blue to the area.


The yellow blooms on the plants along the sidewalk are what I call native coral bells, and Lady Bird Johnson's page call prairie alumroot.   These have been growing here quite a few years, and have done quite well in this dry, sunny area.  All the other yellow blooms are the golden alexanders.


Here is a view from the street, where there is some Monarda bradburiana in front of a volunteer clump of golden alexanders.  This monarda is not native to Nebraska, but it seems to do well in the flower beds.


I normally cut back a number of plants, such as the asters in the spring, so they will be less floppy, but I have not had the energy to do more than what I had done before I got sick, which was just a few.


I am not remembering which Amsonias are which now.  I thought the narrow leaved ones were Amsonia hubrichtii, but when I looked that up, the plants I saw looked different.  I don't know if any of them are Nebraska natives, but they are U.S. natives, and I am glad they get part sun, since that is their preference.  I like all of the blue and yellow.


The last two photos did not load at first, so they are out of order.  this is the front yard and shows a baptisia blooming.  The cool looking plants getting ready to bloom are penstemons of some kind.  I looked up shell leaf and wax leaf, but didn't figure it out.


This is definitely one I didn't plant, but it seems very happy and exuberant here.


The plants that grow around the yard receive different amounts of light and moisture.  When I looked up golden alexanders for the post, I noticed it said the plant likes a moist site.  It seems pretty adaptable in our SE Nebraska yard.  I do not give them special treatment.  I think I do do some deadheading, though, so it won't flop.  Here is what Lady Bird Johnson's page says.

I hope spring is going well for you, and you stay well!  I am going to be so tickled to be able to do my gardening thing!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

April 2018 Wildflower Wednesday, a Day Late

Here is my Wildflower Wednesday post for April.  It is hosted by Gail, of Clay and Limestone.

Oh, my goodness!  Spring seems to be finally here now. The plants have responded to the cold temperatures by not coming up as early as usual.  I am tickled to see them finally growing, and look!   The Virginia bluebells are starting to bloom!  This clump has been here at least five years, and has not spread very quickly.  It looks like there is a new plant next to it in the upper right of the photo.  I am glad to see that.


I was thinking they were native here in SE Nebraska, but see they are not.  They are in near by Kansas, though.  They are a plant for shade, and will go dormant when they are finished blooming.  https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=mevi3



I had also chosen other photos that I realized I had posted on last month, but for some reason they didn't upload for the post.  Just one did.  The Virginia waterleaf sure has grown since last month!  It is also one for shade or part shade. It is native in Nebraska, and quite the spreader.  The purple blooms are pretty, but the foliage itself is also.  https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=HYVI


I hope spring is going well for you!  Arthritis found my left knee this spring, so between that, and spring coming late, I am behind in gardening.  I just got the rest of last year's dead stems cut back, leaving a few inches for stem nesting bees.  Now, I need to dig up some plants for Gardening with Nature in Mind's plant share, and hoe up lots of weeds.  I hope all is well with you.