Friday, May 3, 2013

May 1, 2013 in the West Front Yard

It has been quite a cold spring.  Just when we think spring is here, more cold and snow come.  Here's what it looked like yesterday morning.

I'm thinking they said we got a little more than 2 inches of snow overnight.

I looked out of the windows off and on at work yesterday, to see if the snow was melting.  I was pleased when I got home, to see that the plants seemed fine, even the ones I had planted this weekend.

Things have grown quite a bit since my last post on this area where the tree had to be cut down the spring of 2011.

The plants are clearly ready for spring to be here.  I am trying to plant mostly natives in this area, but it was easier to find culitvars for some, so I have included those, as well.  The allium on the lower right, is from a clump I've had for over 15 years, which I bought from a woman who sold plants from her yard each spring.  The plant to the left of the allium and the one across the sidewalk are Heuchera richardsonii, and are sending up bloom spikes.

I am pleased at how much the clumps of plants have grown since I first planted them.  The Switchgrass 'Prairie Wind' have not come up yet.

Pussytoes, cup plant, Meadow rue, and Culver's root are some of the plants in this area.

The rabbits have not eaten the Phlox divaricata so far.  I brought a tub of it with us when we moved here about 15 years ago.  I have put it in different spots in the yard, but it has also still survived in the tub, even though violets have tried to take over.

I am pleased to see some flower buds on it.

Most of the Pasque flowers have formed their puffy seed heads.

I am looking forward to seeing the Narrow leaf coneflowers, Monarda, Narrow leaf mountain mint and such continue to grow and bloom.

In the fall, I planted Prairie larkspur in some open spots, but don't think it's coming up yet.  I also planted Showy penstemon and native Cleome.  I deadheaded the non native Larkspur last year, but I'm thinking the Larkspur, which is on the lower right, must be from the previous year's flowers.

Look, there was a little bit of ice left in the basket.  I have been looking at photos from last year, trying to figure out what some of the plants that I'm not sure about are.  I think this may be the Boltonia.

Lobelia siphilitica 'Blue Select', Grayheaded coneflower, Zig-zag goldenrod, Larkspur, and Zizia aurea are some of the plants in this area.

This is facing back toward the east.

Facing north, I look forward to seeing what the area will look like in a few weeks.  I grew Tithonia for the monarchs in the area right in front of the porch last year.  Last fall, I planted Illinois bundleflower.  There are some seedlings coming up, but I can't tell yet if that's what they are.  They have been slow to grow.  Maybe the warm temps we are expecting in a few days will help.  Last week, I planted a Rudbeckia submentosa next to the little boy with a dog.  Liatris and Purple prairie clover are a couple of the rabbits' favorite foods, so that's why they have cages over them.

Heading back west, the plant on the middle left is Stiff goldenrod.  The two across from each other are Zizia aurea.  The plant next to the chair is Grayheaded coneflower.  There are several in the area, and are nice and tall, and full of blooms in the summer.  I am pleased that the Fremont's clematis plants are coming up. I love them!

Very soon, the columbines will be blooming.  They don't reseed in this area, but on the east side of the house, where they can enjoy more shade.

The west side of the area looks pretty bare, but there are some plants coming up, like Rattlesnake master, Prairie dock and Joe Pye weed that will get pretty large.  There could also be some non native old fashioned flowers I like to grow, Kiss me over the garden gate, and Love lies bleeding volunteering in the area.  I have seen a number of pollinators on them, so I am pleased to grow them.

The Wild senna behind the Coreopsis lanceolata are just starting to poke through.  By mid summer, the plant should reach over 5 feet.  The Coreopsis did not bloom last year, so I look forward to seeing blooms this year.

The area behind the bench needs some attention.  When the weather cooperates, I have someone who is going to take the lamium and lamb's ears.  I want to let the strawberries under the bench take over the area.  I will keep the peonies that were Larry's mother's. 

The money plant is looking good after having been drooping with the weight of the snow.  I have a whole bunch of them across the street.

I am trying to remember whether the Penstemon near the chair is a native one.  I'm thinking it may not be.  I'll need to decide whether I like it enough to keep it, or if I want to replace it.

Come August, the Grayheaded coneflowers and Liatris will tower over the chair.

Well, by now, most of us should be experiencing some spring growth and warmer temps.  I hope all is well with you.  I still haven't visited all of those who left comments on my Wildflower Wednesday post.  I hope to this weekend.


  1. Hi Sue, it amazes me how you'll get snow and them poof, all your plants take off and out run ours growing here. It's like when summer really does hit for you, it takes off. I hope that'll be the last of snow for you. It must get tiresome, especially as we are into May. Great looking growth so far! Cheers, Jenni

  2. I saw on the weather that you were getting snow. Ugh. Though we typically don't warm up until May, we've had fine weather all week. What a shock to see the storms hitting the center like that. Well, your plants have kept going and look great. I guess that snow is "free" fertilizer-LOL!

  3. I hope this is the last of the winter snow for you. It's always neat to see your gardens waking up. Pretty soon everything will be bursting with color.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  4. Hi Sue...Your garden is really looking great! I can't believe this darn weather...just crazy. It has rained here for two days and the forecast for the next three days is rain. I think I need a boat! In your header picture I see a pretty bird in the lower it real?

  5. Looking good, Sue! I am trying to raise purple prairie clover from seed that I got at Seed Savers Exchange. If you're not familiar with them, you should check out their website. You would like what they do, and probably find some seeds you'd enjoy planting in your garden. You have inspired me over the past couple of years to look for pasque flower and Culver's Root. I'm also interested in Queen of the prairie. Thanks for sharing so much beauty and for sharing your love of the earth. You are a good steward.
    xo Beth

  6. You certainly got some snow. Plants are probably happy for the moisture. You sure do a great job of remembering your plants.

  7. Looks beautiful - I can't wait to see it in full blooms. We're hot here and not officially in a drought yet but we need rain and since we are now heading into our dry summer pattern, we're starting to see fires.

  8. The rabbits have been marauding my Phlox divaritica as well. However, my plants seem to have come back well from the abuse. I wouldn't worry too much about using cultivars of native species. Doug Tallamy is all in favor of cultivars, he says they have the same leaf chemistry desired by native insects.

  9. Sue, I am very impressed by the lack off weeds and grass in your beds......mine are horrible this year.

    I am waiting to see all these wonderful plants in full bloom.

    I love the background of Virginia Blue Bells. I tried to get a start but they did not survive.

  10. Seriously. all that snow a week ago? I'm glad it hasn't done any harm.

  11. What a contrast from one day to the next! I hope that was the last snow of the season for you, Sue. Seeing all your natives makes me excited about a native plant sale this weekend--it's the only one we have in this area. I've got a long wish list:)

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  13. Wow--that May Day snow was crazy! I'm glad we didn't get it, but it sure makes for an interesting post! ;-) I'm always amazed by your plant collection, Sue. Have you had Larkspur for many years? I had a couple of beautiful Delphiniums for several years, and then I think the summer heat (or one of our dry winters) killed them off. Last year, I planted two new Larkspur perennial plants, and I was pleased to see that they've re-emerged this year! Enjoy the warmer weather!

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  19. Your garden looks beautiful! Snow in May...yuck! It was cold her this morning, 36 with sleet yesterday. The week ahead looks beautiful! Happy Mother's Day to you.

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  21. Oh yuck, I don't like to see that snow in the lovely month of May! I broke the rules, and planted ahead of the frost free date, and tonight there is a frost advisory. What a fool I am! I tucked them all in for the night, hope they are okay!


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