Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 2017 Wildflower Wednesday

After a few days of the 60s and 70s, we are now having 50s for highs, and there is a chance it will get down to 32 tonight.  I had forgotten to take photos to participate in Gail's, from Clay and Limestone Wildflower Wednesday, so I put a jacket on this morning and ventured out.

I had in mind to feature Fremont's Clematis.  I ended up posting a few others that are blooming now as well.  Jon Farrar's Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains said that Clematis fremontt is found only in extreme south-central Nebraska, north central Kansas, and east-central Missouri.

Its foliage is a bit different from other clematises.  I love the flower buds!

At a local plant sale, I got involved in someone else's conversation when I overheard them talking about this plant, and how the blooms vary from plant to plant.  Yes, I have found that to be true!

My plants tend to sprawl, and I sometimes tie them at the base.  I haven't done that yet.

They look pretty cool after the blooms are spent as well.

 This is a younger plant.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center shows a wider distribution than the book, probably because the book is about Nebraska and the Great Plains.

Some of the plants have this thicker kind of bloom.

Even this younger plant has the thicker blooms.

Gail, I am tickled that we have the Golden Alexanders in common.  This one is on the east side of our house.

Most of them are not yet blooming, but for some reason, the younger ones are ahead of the established clumps.  I have a lot of them dug up to share with others.

Heuchera richardsonii is one of my favorites, and is almost evergreen.

I believe this is Geranium maculatum.  I see Nebraska is not one of the states it is native to, though.

I used to have some non-native columbines, which bred with the native ones.  All of the other colors are now gone, but I'm wondering if these blooms are a bit larger than the native ones that have not mixed with other kinds.  There sure is a nice stand of them this year!

The Virginia waterleaf, a shade plant is starting to bloom.  I try to get the plants deadheaded before they can seed around.  I just noticed that these are of benefit to bumble bees.  I also noticed they are supposed to be divided in fall, but I have shared them successfully in the spring.

Well, it looks like I will get this posted before the day is over!  I am tickled it is spring, and we have blooms!  I hope once we get over this cold night, the weather will warm up again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wildflower Wednesday!

I missed last month's Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail, and wow, what changes have taken place since January!  Spring is here, and I have been working to cut back last year's growth on plants, and taking the stems to piles I have across the street, just in case there are insects in them.  I need to get more of the leaves raked, but want to leave a few.  I also have a nice sized pile of leaves across the street for my grandchildren to jump on.

Speaking of grandchildren, the boys, 5 and 9 have not been prone to pick and eat the plants, but our granddaughter, who will be 3 in June, and is here four days a week, has been picking things, and so far, I have been quick enough not to let her swallow the thing or two she has gotten to her mouth.  I am needing to do more research to find out which plants are poisonous.  I have hoed out all of the larkspur that has come up so far in the vegetable, except for one plant.  That, she did almost get into her mouth the other day.  Here is a link I have found so far:

Can you see the purple in all of the brown?

I found out that some pasque flowers are native to our area, and some are not.  I am not sure, which are which, but am thinking it is the lighter ones to the left of the prairie phlox in the cage to protect the foliage from rabbits.  The close up of the deep purple clump is out of order, at the end of the post.

I didn't see this little bloomer until I looked at the photos!  It may be rue anemone.

I am excited for a new season, and to see more and more plants coming up, blooming, and seeing the pollinators on them!

There are blooms in this photo.  I'll show them closer in the next one.

I'm not sure what the little seedling is in the middle of the pasqueflower blooms.

Here is the close up of the prettiest clump of pasqueflowers.

Prairie Smoke Geums are one of my favorites.

I look forward to seeing what wildflowers others post about, and what all we will have for next month's Wildflower Wednesday. 

Added after first posting:  Last night, when I took Ruby to her mom, I asked her if she remembers picking raspberries from the garden and eating them last summer.  She said she did, and they were, "So good, so yummy!"  I asked if she remembers picking kale and eating it, and she said she did.  She also remembered watching the bees and butterflies.  I told her some of the plants are good to eat, but some are not, and she needs to only eat things I say it is OK to eat.  I hope that helped, and that she will follow those directions, since she does not always follow what I say, especially when it is time to put shoes on or change clothes.  ;-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wildflower Wednesday, January, 2017

I have been posting less and less, and spending so much time on FaceBook, that I rarely read blogs anymore.  I do not want to entirely give it up, though, so will try to at least keep up with Gail, from Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesdays and the others who post for it.  I have links to the plants I posted today, that give more information about them.

I didn't remember to get a post ready until last night, when it was too dark to take photos.  It has been snowing today, so I took some photos out the front door.  We have seen birds when we go out, but they fly away so fast, I am not always sure what they are.  The one here is either a wren or a sparrow, I believe.  I like how the Rudbeckia maxima stems stay upright.  I have seen birds eat their seeds before.   We are out of their native range, but this clump has done well here.

Here, we see seed pods of wild senna.  I recently found out there is one native to our area, but this is not it.  Still, it is quite the draw for bees and butterflies here.  The smaller seedhead clusters are joe pye weed.

Most of the cup plant stems bent over the front walk that comes up to our house, so I had to break them off and set them inside the planting area more.  I wonder if there will be more seedlings than usual.  I see birds on them in the winter, too.

 I am pleased to have this Illinois bundleflower right next to our front porch.  Birds also eat these seeds.

I was able to dig out some of the joe pye plant from across the yard to plant on the west side, near the sidewalk, and it is doing fine.  I am not sure if it is a native one or a cultivar.

Grayhead coneflowers also self sow around.  I went to a native plant talk where it was said they are not good for a home garden.  The gal was surprised when I piped up saying they do fine in our yard.  They seem to stay pulled or dug out when they come up where I don't want them.

Here are some wider views of our front yard habitat.

Please forgive me, but I am going to get political.  I have never been one to pay that much attention to what my politicians do, except for some environmental issues that have come up.  Now that we have a new president, every day I am hearing things he has said and done that jar me to the core.  I am going through stages of grief over this.  When he first announced, I think he thought it was a big joke.  When different things came out about him, such as his not paying for work or goods what he had agreed to, I figured people would turn from him.  Then, when the video of him talking about liking to grope and do other things to women came out, I was kind of glad, because I figured that was it for him.  I will never see what others saw in him that would allow them to vote for him.  He sure is making a mess of things right now!  I am in the anger phase, in case you cannot tell, and even though I have friends who voted for him, I am mad at them for it.  I am a Christian, and need to forgive, but I am beyond sad for our future generations.  Please read up on pipelines, and when chances come up to fight them, I hope you do.

Happy gardening, or getting ready to!  Plant more native plants, and like Gail says, do not use pesticides!