Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March's Wildflower Wednesday

I'm glad Gail, from Clay and Limestone reminded us on Facebook that it is time for another Wildflower Wednesday.  There is not a lot blooming here in SE Nebraska yet, but spring is early, and there are lots of plants coming up.  I have two photos of each of the wildflowers I am posting, one closer up than the other.

This is a milkvetch of some kind.  I believe it's groundplum milkvetch.

I just planted these by the curb last year.  I am pleased to see them coming up and blooming.

Prairie smoke geum is one of my favorites.

I didn't figure out right away that some pasqueflowers are not native, so did get some in that are not.  I cannot always remember which are which.  These blooms look deeper purple than the ones on the link, but I was thinking these are native ones.

It sure is a beautiful plant, whichever it is!

I need to get more Hepaticas to fill up some spots that are bare before the big plants take up the space.  These go dormant.  It looks like they are past their prime, but still brighten up the space they are in.

Virginia waterleaf does not bloom until later in the season, but the foliage looks as pretty as the blooms, so I decided to include it.

The western and middle of our state are expecting measurable snow today, and they say we could get a trace to an inch.  Let's get it over with now, and let spring weather come back to stay.  I hope things are well with your gardens and families.  There is so much sadness in the world these days.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Changes, Heidi, and the Yard

Heidi, who appeared in many of my header photos, passed away March 1, 2016, at the age of twelve and a half.  She had some lumps for quite awhile, and in the last few months, had trouble going up steps.  She stumbled, and scared us sometimes.  In the last few weeks, it had gotten worse.  Then she started leaking urine.  The medication she went on helped, but then she started having trouble breathing.  I went with them to the vet this time, because I was afraid she wouldn't be coming back with us.  The vet said he was going to be brutally honest, and that it was time.  He said her lungs were filling with fluid.  We sat with her as she passed away. 

I went back to look at photos of her, and decided to do a post showing her over the years, along with the changes we've seen in the yard over time.  I had to start with 2008, because something went haywire with my iPhoto library, and Larry was not able to retrieve the ones I had taken up until then.  I am still sad about that.

Larry said I have too many photos, but I decided to keep them.  This has turned into a photo history of the yard as much or more than a tribute to Heidi. As soon as she saw me with my camera, she was ready to go outside with me and watch the world.
















6/18/11:  (I think.)
















I watch our granddaughter 4 days a week.  She has been a dog person from an early age, and loved Heidi, even though it took awhile for Heidi to get used to her.  She is still asking for Heidi.  I feel so bad for her.  I couldn't find photos of the grandsons with her, except for the one from 2011.  They come over on Saturdays.  The 8 year old loved playing with her when he got a chance, but she was usually in the basement when they were over, because the 4 year old was afraid of her. 

Larry and I have had 2 other dogs besides Heidi, and I didn't mind them, but I did bond more with Heidi, even though I got upset when she scratched on a closet door, and my Hoosier  cupboard door, trying to get to my chocolate.  She also dug some of my plants up in the back yard.  The friend we got our other yellow lab, Katie from asked us to take Heidi, shortly after Katie passed away, because the former student he gave her to couldn't keep her after all.  She and their other dog or dogs got into too much trouble.  As it turns out, she was mistreated there, and came to us with issues, some of which she outgrew, some she didn't.  I myself am not a dog person.  As a girl, I was afraid of dogs.  I used to choose the ways to walk to school that would avoid me being barked at by dogs.  I do not want to get another dog. I think I am in the minority, but they tie you down, and cost lots of money for their care.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring is Early 2016

Our SE Nebraska winter was pretty mild, and spring seems to be coming early.  I didn't get the blues I normally do at the end of winter, where I just want it to be over, so I can get back out and work in the dirt.  There is cause for concern, though, because shrubs and fruit trees are blooming early, and a freeze could cause them not to fruit this season.  

More of the early bloomers in our yard are not native than other times of the season, but there are some natives at least getting ready to bloom.  Prairie smoke geum is native to areas near us.  It gets a cool looking fluffy seedhead, which explains the name.

Hellebores are one of my favorite non-native spring bloomers.

There are several kinds of pussytoes.   I believe the link is to the kind this is.  The conditions are not as dry as they prefer, so they do not spread as much as I thought they would, but I'm pleased to see them continue to survive.

 I didn't realize when I added more pasqueflowers that not all are native.  I think this may be one of the native ones, though. 

When I took photos for this post, I went in the order of where they were in the yard, and did not organize by the types of plant.  It would be cool to have more clumps of hellebore in one bed, but this way, when they are finished blooming, the taller plants in the bed will take up the space, and hide the plants.

I have to protect the woodland phlox (and garden phlox) from the rabbits.  They eat them to the ground when they get a chance.

The hellebores sure are cheerful!

I haven't planted any bulbs for a number of years, but most of the ones I did plant have continued to come up and put on a show.

I needed some vegetable seeds the other day, and when I got to the garden center, was sidetracked by the pansies.  I forgot all about checking to make sure they were not treated with pesticides.  I need to call and find out.  I think if one cuts off the first blooms, there will be less of it in the next blooms.  Have you ever heard of that?  Our granddaughter, Ruby helped plant and water these.

The Heuchera, I'm pretty sure, richardsonii, is a native coral bells, and pretty much evergreen here. 

I was thinking this may be bloodroot, but AScott let me know in a comment it is sharp-lobed hepatica, which I do remember planting some of.  Thanks AScott!

This is a golden alexanders seedling.  I'm wondering if it is OK to share some of these, considering they had a disease on the leaves last year.

More plants have come up since these photos were taken a few days ago.  My husband does not like the flower beds in the winter, and does not like leaving leaves on in the spring, but he held back and did not try to get every leaf out of the beds.  I didn't even rake some of them.  I want to see if the plants can grow through them, and let them use the leaves for mulch.  When I was cutting the grasses back,  I put them in the path in the area where the tree used to be.  He doesn't like that, either, but I am hoping he'll get used to it

I hope all is well with you.  Spring is here for some, and on it's way for others.  I am pleased!