Monday, July 8, 2013

East Front Yard Flower Bed

Since I am not blogging as often, I have not been posting as many updates on different parts of the yard as I have in the past.  I just checked back through March, and even though the east front yard is in my header photo, I have not done an update on it.

I have been taking lots of photos all over the yard to refer to in the spring when plants are just popping up, and I can't remember what some are.  I took over 300 of this area Saturday, but don't worry, I am not posting all of them.  There will be lots, though.

This first photo was actually taken Sunday, July 7.  I decided I wanted to include a view from the curb first.

The east side of the yard is the area on the right side of this photo.

We will be walking around the flower bed heading east first, taking photos of sections at a time.  I took quite a few plants out of this area in order to make room for more plants that are native to SE Nebraska.  A number of the new plants are still very small, so there is more dirt showing in here than I prefer.

The Oenothera speciosa, Pink primrose is a native plant I've had for a number of years.  It likes to spread, but I pull out the plants that go beyond their area.

I have cages around the New Jersey tea plants to protect them from the rabbits.  I have one that is on its second year that bloomed, and 6 little ones I got from Prairie Moon Nursery.  The 38 native plants that I ordered as a tray came the end of May, when there had been lots of rain, and I had to wait a few days to plant most of the plants.  Some are still struggling, partly because it has been hot almost all of the days they've been in, and partly because I couldn't get them planted right away.  The didn't dry out, but they did not like being cooped up the 2 or 3 days they didn't get put in.   The New Jersey tea plants are doing better than most of the others, which are just now showing some new growth.

I think I've shown the various coneflowers in a post on blooms.  Do you grow fleabane?  I have mixed feelings about it, because it can be weedy, but I'm liking the little white blooms mingling with the coneflowers.

This front area was a circle bed before we added to it to make it larger a few years ago.  The curve of the brick is where it ended before.

This Pine leaf penstemon was one of the first plants I put in.

The Helenium, 'Mardi Gras' has been here awhile, too.

Turning the corner facing west, I have decided I am not sure if I am a Yarrow fan, but I'm liking these pink blooms.

Here's a closer view.  The yellow blooms are Centaurea macrocephala, Giant knapweed.  When I bought them for the circle bed, though, I'm thinking they also were said to be a type of Bachelor button.   I was mystified when they first started blooming, and all I could see were a bunch of gold balls.  There is one in this photo, below the two yellow blooms, between two of the pink yarrow blooms.  Then, a little bit of yellow "fluff" appeared, and I was amused.  I didn't think they looked like Bachelor buttons, but decided they were pretty cool.  They seem to be losing their vigor.   Usually, there are quite a few blooms.  I hope they do better next year.

I don't remember if I planted this Butterfly milkweed, or if it came from the seeds of a plant somewhere else in the yard.  Purple prairie clover is another favorite of mine and the rabbits.  The upside down wire planters seem to have kept them away from the new growth, and they have found other things to eat.  Last year, though, I got one of these as a nice sized clump that was already blooming, and they ate half of it down in one night.  Other plants are being spared this year so far, so I hope things will be left alone all season.

I am sad the native kind of Cleome I planted seeds of this fall did not come up, but I am glad at least some of the non native ones are growing.  The area behind it is where I took some plants out.  The grass I planted there is Prairie dropseed.

I moved these from another part of the yard.  I was hoping they were Showy penstemon, which I planted seeds of, but I just figured out that I'm wrong about that.  I noticed that there are some little growths on the stems under the sets of leaves, just like the ones on an aster plant that I put in a couple years ago.  Well, now, there will be lots of fall color, but I wish they would have been the penstemons.

I added more Ratibida columnifera, Mexican hat plants, native to our area, some the red kind, some yellow.  Then, I found that I have a number of seedlings from last year coming up.  Well, they should provide lots of color in the next few years, and I will be able to give some away.

I am needing to keep on the lookout for aster yellows in the coneflowers, and have had to pull a number of affected plants.  Still, there are enough to provide lots of color.

The foxglove is about finished blooming for the season.  It was fun seeing the hover flies enjoy them.

The Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' is starting to bloom.

I got sidetracked taking a number of photos of this red admiral butterfly on the Monarda, which I'm pretty sure is 'Petite Delight'.

Here's another area where I dug out some plants.  In a couple years, there should not be much dirt showing.

I planted one of the 6 tiny clumps of Prairie dropseed here, and moved some seedlings that came up in another spot.  They are in the middle.  Do you know what they are?  I'm thinking they may be a Black-eyed Susan of some kind, but the foliage is different from the ones in other parts of the yard.    The Hellebores hold onto their blooms awhile. They actually seem to dry on the plant.  They are on the right here.

I am tickled to have wild petunias here and there in the yard.  They are one of the last to come up in the spring, but are nice fillers once they come up.

Farther in, is a clump of grass that I hope has some of the Indian grass that I planted last fall.  I divided a large clump in half, and each half had some other grasses in with them when they came up this spring.  I pulled them out the best I could, and time will tell if there is still Indiangrass here.

We've reached the north end of the bed now.

There are a few volunteer Rattlesnake master plants, and this one is blooming.

I planted a couple clumps of Sweet black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia subomentosa, this spring, and am pleased at how well they've grown, and that they are getting ready to bloom.  These are native to the states that border SE Nebraska.

Larry said he noticed that we didn't have as many daylilies this year.  He kind of misses them.  I am planning on digging more out, but will keep the ones Larry and I like the best.  I have been taking photos of them so that I can figure out which I want to keep, and which I want to give away.  I think what I'm going to do is email some photos to myself so I can write a message to help me remember which are the keepers.  I will show this orangeish one closer in another photo.  It is a keeper.

Illinois bundleflower, another native, is one of the plants I planted seeds of in the fall that did not come up.  I got a  couple clumps from Jill, a local gardening friend, who is in a Facebook group with me, called Gardening with Nature in Mind.  I think I've mentioned it here.  It's mostly local folks, some who are interested in doing seed and plant exchanges, but others who are interested in the subject are welcome, and have also joined.  Anyway, I am excited to see how well the plants are growing, and that they are about to bloom.  The foliage is so pretty, I wouldn't complain if it wasn't a bloomer, but I am looking forward to seeing the cool seedheads in the fall.

The Swamp milkweed here is probably 'Cinderella'.  I dug out many of the Drumstick alliums, but kept some because I like them, and so do the bees.

I've mentioned that I planted a couple of the fancy new coneflowers a few years ago.  One of them was 'Harvest Moon'.  They died after the first or second year, but not before cross pollinating with other Echinaceas.  This clump is much taller than the 'Harvest Moon' plant was.  If I buy any more, it will be the plain old purple coneflowers.  I did just plant 6 of the pallidas, and have a number of other narrow leaf kinds that are native.  Now that I bought more, I've noticed some seedlings coming up on their own.  Well, I think I can stop buying plants, unless I see another native that I don't have.

We'll turn the corner and face south now.  Here's the parent Rattlesnake master plant.  A number of plants aren't as tall as they were last year, but maybe they will still grow while in bloom.

Here's the close up of the daylily.

I don't remember the name of this Hibiscus, but it has been doing well in this spot about 4 years.

We had a long wait for spring to get here, and then, I don't know how summer got here so quickly.  Soon, the big blooms will be open.

This area is nice and full.

I've seen some bees on the Swamp milkweed 'Ice Ballet'.

We've reached the west side of this bed, and will now head back to the north, and face east.

I have trimmed back the Joe Pye weed, but it is still getting quite tall.

I always like to show the view from the porch.

I don't remember why I planted this dwarf sage under the Joe Pye weed, but here it is.  I've cut some off so it won't grow too far onto the sidewalk.  I am drying it, but I don't think I like the flavor of it as well as garden sage.

It's almost finished blooming.

The tall plant is Meadow rue.  

I have several kinds of Mountain mint, but don't remember whether I planted this one, or if it is a combination of a couple of the others.  It is different from each of them.

It is getting ready to bloom.

Salvias and cleomes come up from seed each year.   I took some videos of a bumble bee enjoying them this evening.

I moved this plant that I think is a Rigid goldenrod from across the sidewalk.  It seems to be doing fine.

The "fluffy" looking plant by the bicycle is Amsonia hubrichtii, one of my favorite plants.  The bloom time is short, but the foliage looks good all season.

The Pussytoes and Nodding onion, both natives are doing fine.  I have been moving the Pussytoes from other spots in the garden, and they take right off and grow. 

Here's the other clump of what I hope is Indiangrass.  Can you tell?

I think someone has identified this plant for me before, but I don't remember.  It may be a sage of some kind.

These are the cute little blooms on it.

Here is a closer view of the Meadow rue.  I think this is its 3rd or 4th season, and it has never gotten this tall before.  I'm thinking it's because of all the rain we had this spring.  Actually, there are 4 plants.  Two on each side of the sidewalk are tall, and two are more medium height.

This clump of Purple prairie clover may be 'Stephanie', which was developed by University of Nebraska, Lincoln breeder, Dale Lindgren.  I planted several of these before finding some native ones, so I have both.

Aren't the blooms oh so sweet?  I'm thinking the orange is only on 'Stephanie'.

We are continuing to head to the south, still facing east.

Verbena bonariensis is one of my favorite non-native plants.  It's wiry stems don't take a lot of room, and the blooms are frequented by numbers of pollinators.  It is a perennial in warmer zones, and there are usually some that overwinter here, but I do have to pull out lots of seedlings that I don't have room for.

This yarrow is 'Paprika'.  As you can see, I tie up plants that flop, and this one does.  I plan on making the clump smaller next year.

This daylily is another keeper.  I got it from some local growers before they went out of business.  They closed because they decided to pursue other things, and not because they could not make a go of it.  I am including this link I found when I was checking to see if I had the name of the place right. Local folks, did you ever go there?

Here's a closer view of the Yarrow, 'Paprika'.

The Anemone 'September Charm' plants will bloom toward fall.  They are quite the spreaders, too, but I pull out what I don't have room for.  There are Chrysanthemum 'Debonair' plants under the Anemones that are also pink bloomers.  I am not a huge mum fan, but Larry likes them.

On the other side of the Anemones is a Lead plant that I just put in a few weeks ago.  It's one of my favorite native plants, and I look forward to this getting as large as the one that's been in the side yard a number of years.

We're back where we started. The Leadplant is just behind the Monarch Waystation sign.  I just realized I didn't include photos of the Love in a Mist plants that are next to the Pink primrose.  There is also another tiny Prairie dropseed in that area.

Gardens are such fun, living things, that change from season to season.  I am looking forward to seeing what transpires in mine the next few years.  I hope to get yours visited soon.  In the mean time, have a great time in your gardens!


  1. Thanks for the tour! I love your Helenium. I like to grow lots of swamp milkweed also, but I have given up on Purple Coneflower because of Aster Yellows. I now have lots more Ratibida pinnata, yellow coneflower, which I'm very fond of.

  2. Oh my gosh Sue ~ Your garden is wonderful!!!! It's amazing the way it is now full of life, textures, colors, shapes and scents, as compared to winter. If I lived in your neighborhood, I would want to walk by your garden every day.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Beautiful! You have so many wonderful plants. I love your Yarrows and may have to go on a quest to find the pink.

  4. It all looks great!Lots of diversity and color. I liked seeing how you tied some of the plants up too. Inspiration for some of my own plants that are getting minds of their own.

  5. Your garden is truly a haven for pollinators, butterflies, and people! The Helenium is a wonderful pop of bright color--I love it! And the Prairie Clover and Butterfly Weed are great together!

  6. You have an amazing number of plants, and you can remember all their names! I adore coneflowers, and enjoyed seeing how many you have. My favorite part of amsonia is the golden foliage in the fall. Love it, don't you?

  7. The plants are so much taller! Really like the shots down the beds to see all the plants together.

  8. Sue, Your garden is looking so full and lush!! I have a larger area than you, but not so much covered in plants. I have Japanese stilt grass in many flower beds and I think there is some in your Indiangrass. I find it difficult to control. I planted verbena like yours this year and wondered if it would reseed. Its blossoms aren't as full as yours. Great posting. P. x

  9. Great pictures, wonderful flowers, I like to enjoy such a beautiful place :) Regards

  10. Your garden is beautiful. It was a pleasure taking the tour. I'm always looking at other's gardens to get some new ideas and to see what plants are available.


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