Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wildflower Wednesday

As I frequently do, I am putting together a post for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday the evening of.  Gail normally highlights one or a few each time rather than posting a whole bunch, like I normally do.  There are no rules, but I just decided to keep mine shorter than usual. 

Spring is in full swing here in SE Nebraska.  It is a thrill going out each day to see how much things have grown, and what is blooming.  Today, some of the Foxglove penstemons have opened their buds.

I just planted these last year, and this is the first time I'm seeing the blooms.  I have some of these in other parts of the yard, as well.  It will be awesome when all of the flowers are open!

This Shell leaf penstemon was in my front porch post.  Here's a closer view.

Even closer:

This is another one with lighter colored blooms. 

This cultivar I don't remember the name of was in the last post, too.  The Purple milkweed next to it is in bud.

It is a nice looking plant!

I hope all is well with you, and you are enjoying some wildflowers along with the critters in your area.  Here are some links that talk about penstemons and the conditions they prefer. Here, they get some afternoon shade.,,

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday Morning from the Front Porch

I am pleased that it is spring!  I'm loving all of the new growth, blooms, and the insects that visit them.  I stood on the porch Saturday morning, and took some photos.  Later n the day, I took some more, especially with the zoom, and mixed them in.

I've been doing a lot of editing in different areas of the yard, especially in the east front area.  I have removed a number of daylilies and other plants, and put in some of the same native plants as on the west side, across the front sidewalk.  Since native plants grow slowly the first several years, it will take awhile for them to reach the size as the ones across the way.

I cut back a number of plants, such as the Joe pye weed, so they would be bushier, and not flop over as much.  Next to that are a Mountain mint that I don't remember planting, Wild quinine, which I hope will bloom this year, ornamental onions, and Pussytoes all along the sidewalk.

There are two Golden alexanders in this bed, and the other one is smaller, and not yet blooming.  This one blooming is smaller than the ones across the sidewalk, but I'm pleased to see the blooms.

 I've mentioned that in each flower bed, there is at least one plant that is also in another area or more.  Amsonias are one of them, and this is hubrichtii.

I had to get a new camera last fall.  It has a pretty good zoom.  I have given away some of the irises, but am glad I still have some.  (The sedges are in the area next to the curb.)

The orange poppies will be blooming soon.  They didn't bloom for the first year or two, and so I decided to pull them out, but they did not stay pulled.  They are not my favorite plant.  The foliage looks bad after they bloom.

The Narrow leaf coneflowers bloom a little earlier than the other kinds.  The purple and white one is in the east bed.  The yellow ones are in the curb area.

Heading over to the west area, I decided that since the Heuchera richardonii are looking so good, I didn't want to divide them, so I got some at the Nebraska Statewide Arobretum plant sale.  (They also have a mail order site.)  The ones I got are small and spindly, but in a few years, they will be full like these, with the year round good looking foliage.

I look forward to the Golden alexanders across the sidewalk reaching full size like these.  Can you see the false baptisia blooming in the background on the left?

Here's a closer view of it.  I like my zoom!

I like the foliage of the Boltonia, (I think that's what that is, if not, it's Riddell's goldenrod) next to the Rigid goldenrod, which seems to have seeded around the yard a bit.

I sure am enjoying the Shell leaf penstemons.  I got some more at the arboretum Friday.

The Phlox pilosa, 'eco happy traveler' is doing quite well this year.  I have some wire around the base to protect it from the rabbits.  That's a close up of Golden alexanders on the left.

Here's another Penstemon and an Amsonia, this one, either illustris or tabernaemontana.  The Wild senna to the right of the grass, which is either Prairie dropseed or Little bluestem, was one of the last plants to come up, but now that it's up, it is growing quickly.  The other day, I noticed a lot of seedlings that I'm pretty sure are these.  That's exciting, because I've had two of these for 3 or 4 years, and this is the first time I've seen seedlings!

The rudbeckia maxima shoud be sending up the tall bloom stalks soon.  I don't remember what kind of penstemon this is, but it sure is full of blooms.  Just to the right of the penstemon is a clump of Purple milkweed,  I'm pretty sure there are some coming up in the curb area.  I hope so!

This is one of my favorite parts of the yard.  Can you see the strawberry plants under the bench?  We've had a few ripen so far.

Only two of three of my mother-in-law's peonies have been blooming the last few years.  I wonder why the one hasn't been.  I am working to get the area in front of the house filled in.  Larry has been talking abut putting an awning in that area to prevent the rain from getting into the basement in the corner of this bed, so I'm not sure what will grow there, then.

I wish the bloom time for peonies was a little longer.

Donna, my mother-in-law, who planted these peonies died from cancer, mutiple myaloma, in 1992.  Denzel, my father-in-law also died from that as well as melanoma in 1997.  We bought the house from the estate.  I do not get graves visited on Memorial Day, but do think about relatives and friends who have passed away.  Have a safe and peaceful Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bloom Day

I saw someone had posted for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by May Dreams Gardens, and decided to get out there and take some photos of what's blooming today, and link up.  I am so thankful that spring is here, but it is supposed to get down to 32 degrees tonight, a couple days past our average last frost date.  I will be ready for some highs in the 70s with lows in the 50s for awhile before the 80s come to stay.

Praire smoke geum, native to areas near us:

I got sidetracked on my way to take a photo of the Fremont's clematis, native to our area.  This one is from April 27.  The plants are now loaded with blooms.

 Perennial geranium cultivar of some kind:

Verbena canadensis, native to our area:

Golden alexanders, native to our area:

Heuchera richardsonii, native coral bells:

Phlox pilosa, 'Echo Happy Traveler':

I think this is a German iris, a rebloomer:

I dug up quite a few daylilies to make room for more native plants.  This one was given to me by Jo, a gal who I don't see often, but we have a bond through gardening.  Plus, look!  It is an early bloomer!

Geranium maculatum, native in our area:

Bleeding heart fern:

Gas plant:

I like this color of iris.

Phlox divaricata, native in our area:

Native columbines, and Virginia waterleaf, also native:

Awhile back some of us garden bloggers talked about our "signature" plants.  I don't remember whose idea that was now, but I do remember that Amsonia was mine.  This one is either ilustris or tabernaemontana.  These are also natives.  I have some in several different planting areas.

This one is hubrichtii:

I have a lot going on these days, and  even though I am retired and have not subbed for over a month, I have not been posting or reading blogs often.  I do not want to lose the contact I've had with other garden bloggers, even though I do still keep up some through Facebook.  Facebook is fun and addicting, but blogging has been a fun part of my gardening and I want to somehow keep up with everything.  We'll see what happens with that, since June 21ish, our daughter is expecting a girl she's named Ruby.  I will be watching her 4 days a week when our daughter goes back to work.  I do believe that little girl is going to be spending some time gardening!  We'll still have the grandsons on Saturdays, so I hope they keep some interest going, too.  Maybe they are old enough to have both of them in the garden at the same time, even doing something productive like pulling weeds.  Maybe I can pay them or something.  We'll see.