Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August 2018 Wildflower Wednesday

I get to do my Wildflower Wednesday post on a plant I've never grown before.  This monthly event is hosted by Gail, of Clay and Limestone.

I had grown the non-native cleomes a number of years.  I was pleased that someone, and I am not remembering who, sent me some seeds of the native kind, called Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Cleome serrulata.  Then some people in the Facebook group, Gardening with Nature in Mind brought some seedlings to a share we had, and I took one to plant in another spot.  They both did well, and I am pleased they have had a number of insect visitors.

The photos are from different days, but did not get put in the order I tried to get them in, so just know that the ones with the green house in the background are the ones I planted from seed in the fall.  The other is in the east front bed.

Cleome serrulata is a self sowing annual.  I will collect seeds and plant some just in case it is not as reliable at it as the non-native ones I used to grow.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says the plant gets 3 to 6 feet, and does well in sun to part shade.  Mine are about three feet tall.  It says the water use is medium, but then says dry later in the information.  It is not overly dry here.  The one by the house probably gets a bit less water than the other one. 

This one in the front yard is kind of growing in the same space as a maximilian sunflower I don't remember planting.    It seems to be holding its own.

 The blooms on this one may be a little lighter colored than the other ones.

Can you see the visitors to the blooms here?

These are in the front yard:

I have enjoyed seeing all of the pollinators on the blooms.

 The next two photos are out of order because a few of the photos did not show up when I first uploaded them, and I had to do them separately.  I just noticed seed pods today, and think I will take them off to promote more blooming.  That's how it works with most annuals.  Do you have experience with these and deadheading them? 

This photo was taken today.

In looking for more information to share, I found out from the USDA database that it can be considered a weed, and one of the sources they used is a book I have, Weeds of the Great Plains, published by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.  I looked it up in my book, and found that the seeds are a valuable food for mourning doves and songbirds, and it is a source of nectar for butterflies and night flying moths.  A number of plants in our yard are in the book as well, such as heath aster, tall thistle, Helenim autmnale, which is a favorite of the bees here, lambsleaf sage, purple poppy mallow, and others.  I guess they are all in good company.  ;-)

I look forward to finding more spots for these showy blooms that provide for the pollinators.  I hope all is well with whoever is reading this. I have not been posting except for Wildflower Wednesday, and have not kept up with the blogs I used to frequent. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

July's Wildflower Wednesday

I almost forgot the date again.  Each month goes by too quickly for me!  It is sprinkling, so I just took some photos from the front porch.  I've done posts like this before for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.  There will be no feature plant, but I will try to get many of the plants identified.  Oh, I just got back from Gail's blog to get the link to it, and see she did something a bit different, too.  She posted about not having a lot of sun, and putting natives in pots.

Here is the east flower bed.  The tall plant is a wild senna that is native to the U.S. but not my SE Nebraska.  The pink blooms by the fence are a cultivar of joe pye weed, 'Gateway'.  The white blooms between the joy pye and liatris are a mountain mint of some kind.

The yellow blooms on the left are gray headed coneflowers.  The tall airy blooms are a Thalictrum of some kind.  I have always called them meadow rue, but the blooms look different than the ones I just looked up.  I am not remembering what kind of liatris this is.  The Monarda fistulosa on the right are finished blooming, while the ones across the sidewalk out of view just started blooming a week or so ago.

This is the west front bed where a silver maple tree used to be.  This area doesn't get watered much. When I do water, either from the rain barrel or with a hose, I just get the ones that cannot handle being dry as much as the other plants.  This time of year, a number of plants are finished blooming, while others, such as cup plant are coming into their own.  The close up of the cup plant did not post at first, so I had to go back to get it, and it is toward the end of the post.

The green plant near the milkweeds is sweet black eyed susan.  It will be blooming soon.  You can see lots of coneflowers in the curb area, and some liatrises as well as others not visible in the photo.

The white blooms here are wild quinine.  This wild senna is blooming ahead of the others in the yard.

The plant with the seed heads is giant coneflower, which is not nearly as tall as usual.  I am not remembering what the plant with the flower buds behind the not yet blooming wild senna are.

Here is the close up of the cup plant!  It has had a number of insect visitors, and will continue to.

There is another joe pye plant with the pink blooms in the background.  The orange blooming Tithonias are not wildflowers, but they have had loads of visitors, and when the monarchs come through this fall, they will be attracted to this plant.  All of those blooms are on two different plants that I started from seed indoors before planting time!  The yellow blooms are another cultivar, Rudbeckia laciniata hortensia,  also called golden glow and outhouse plant.  They took over the raised flower bed in front of the house.  There had been some liatris in there with them.  I am probably not going to dig them out, because it could cause more water to get into our basement. 

Our granddaughter will be here soon.  I hope all is well with you and you are enjoying summer.  Happy gardening!

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.

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.

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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

March Wildflower Wednesday.

When I took hodge podge photos for today's Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail at Clay and Limestone, I had not remembered what I posted for February, so today's post is going to be quite similar.  Next month, I know there will be more to choose from, and it will be different.  One can tell there has been growth since last month, though!

I'm not sure why I chose three photos of prairie smoke geum, but I am pleased the plants in different parts of the yard are beginning to bloom. Here is a link to learn more about this plant.

A pasque flower is getting ready to open up in the background.

I don't remember whether this is one of the natives or cultivars of pasque flower I have.  I don't remember what the little plant on the left side of the photo is.  There is a closer look at it in the next photo.

It is a native ephemeral of some kind.  Do you know what it is?

I am not remembering what this is.  (I sure am using that phrase a lot!)  I wondered if it could be pussytoes, but if it is, it looks like a different kind from the one later in this post.  Do you know what it is?

The Virginia waterleaf is up now.  It is a shade plant that I keep from spreading farther than I want it to.

The short toothed mountain mints are doing well.

Here is the clump I know is pussytoes. It looks different from the other clump, with shorter leaves. I did read, though, that there are a number of varieties of this plant.  This may be field pussytoes.

Spring came a bit later this season, and we are still having more cool than warm days.  Between that, other obligations I have had, and one of my knees being in pain off and on, more on the last week, I am just starting the clean up of the flower beds.  Normally, I have had it finished by now.  I am glad to see the sedges greening up.

Wherever you are, I hope spring is going well for you, and you are enjoying some wildflowers!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February's Wildflower Wednesday

I am tickled that February is almost over, and the temperatures for this week are going to be warmer than they had been in awhile.  It was in the upper 50s Tuesday, and even though it was very windy, I was able to go outside without a coat on, and managed to get some photos taken.  This is going to be a hodge podge post for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.

I am glad to see the prairie smoke geums coming to life.

The short toothed mountain mints are looking great.

I don't remember which kind of penstemon this is.

I have noticed this winter that my memory seems to be getting worse.  I know full well what this plant is, and I am wanting to call it a verbena of some kind, but I am not remembering for sure.  It will have clusters of lavender colored blooms in spring.

We have had a warm up since the last snow, and it is pretty much all melted now.  The flower beds look a lot different than how they did in my last post.

There are still some seeds on the cup plant for the birds to finish if they want them.

The Heuchera richardsonii clumps are greening up.

I think wild quinines have the longest season of beauty.  They bloom pretty much all summer, and continue to look awesome in fall and winter.

I am not sure if birds eat the seeds.  I did a brief search, but did not find the information.

Illinois bundleflower is another beauty in the fall and winter.

I have been spending a bit less time on Facebook the last few days.  I am hoping to keep up with blogging a bit more.   I am excited to see the changes spring brings in different parts of the country, and for it to make it our way.  I hope things are going well with you.