Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hot July Wildflower Wednesday

I have been very lax in posting and reading other blogs.  I want to at least participate in Gail's Wildflower Wednesday, even though I missed it last month.  Our yard was on our local Wachiska Audubon Society's wildlife habitat garden tour on Father's Day, and the next week, the Nebraska Herbal Society came for a tour and slide show of plants that are pollinator friendly.  While I thoroughly enjoyed doing this, I plan on being on no tours next year!  One change I made to the way I normally garden was not cutting back plants like sweet black eyed susans, and gray headed coneflower in order for them to be less floppy, because that also causes them to bloom later, and I was hoping for as many blooms as possible.  I am planning on letting plants grow closer to each other next year, too, so there is less dirt exposed.  I also want to start watering much less.  Maybe I won't need to cut back as much.

Gail highlighted Joe Pye Weed this month.  Mine are just starting to open their buds.  I am doing what I usually end up doing, and show a number of plants that are currently blooming.  I did leave some out this time, but did get a number of them.  I thought I'd include some wider views first. The coneflowers and liatris are doing well.

This is the west side of the front yard.

Here is the east side of the front.  The black eyed susans are in their full glory.

False sunflowers are the first plant that was chosen for the first flower bed that was made when Larry agreed not to plant grass back where the soil was dug to put in an egress window.  These are not in their original spot because there wasn't enough light, and they tended to flop.

It's been fun to watch the bees feed on the clematis pitcherii blooms.

The sweet black eyed susans were not blooming for the tours, but are now.

I think this may be a cross between Virginia and short toothed mountain mints. I don't remember planting it in this spot.  The wasps and such feed on this as much as the others.

I believe this is a hover fly on the black eyed susan bloom.

Whorled milkweed is one of my favorite plants, but is hard to photograph.  It is one of the last to come up in the spring, but is pretty hardy.  This one has a milkweed bug and aphids on it, but it will be fine.

The upright prairie coneflower plants are doing well.

I think I see the most diversity of bees on the gray headed coneflowers.

Wild quinine is another of my favorite plants.  It has a long bloom time, and provides for a number of different insects.

I frequently see bees on the monarda fistulosa.

What draws the most bees at a time are the wild sennas.

I am very sad not to be seeing many butterflies this year.  There are a few here and there, but normally, this time of year, there are almost always some when I go out to check.  I have heard others in different parts of the country say the same thing, so it must not be due to all the rain we had this spring, and then the very hot temperatures.  I guess that happened over much of the country as well, too, though.  I wonder what's going on, and if they will be able to recover and there will be more in the future.  Let's all do our parts and not use pesticides.