Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wildflower Wednesday

The day is almost over, but I want to join in, and have had my photos ready since yesterday for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.  I saw that Gail did her post on Black-eyed Susans, and she included a number of photos of insects, like I like to do.

This is Tall coreopsis, not quite native here, but is in near by areas.  It likes shade and moisture.  I have one clump of it, and it is on the east side of the house.  It does not get a whole lot of watering, but the area probably does not dry out as much as more exposed parts of the yard.  This is the second year for it, and I have seen a number of insects on it.  I'm pretty sure this is a Hoverfly.

I am pleased to have a number of Pitcher sage plants, 'Nekan', which are locally native.  Now that a number of summer bloomers are starting to form seeds, these are coming into their own.  It's a good thing, too, because most of the other blooms in our yard are yellow.

The Prairie dock plant is blooming now that the Cup plant is almost finished.  The blooms are very similar, and both are frequented by the pollinators.  Can you see two in this photo?

This is my second year growing Sweet black-eyed susans.  I sure like them!  I have seen a number of bees on them, but this time, it's a Soldier beetle.

We have Brown-eyed susans, smaller blooms than the Black-eyed ones, and very prolific self sowers.  I have to give some away and still pull some out each year.  They are nice for color this time of year, though, and are frequented by a number of insects.  Can you see the one in the photo?

Here's a closer view.  If you can identify any of the insects in these photos, please let me know.  This one was about half an inch long if I am remembering correctly.

This Painted lady butterfly was originally on the Helen's flowers mingled with the Brown-eyed susans.

Back to the Tall coreopsis, I am thinking this may be a Long-horned bee.

I'm not sure what this tiny creature is, but I like the details of the Tall coreopsis bloom.

Oh, wait, maybe this is the Long-horned bee.

This photo was taken later in the day.  I was excited to see a monarch on the Prairie dock bloom.

I had also seen a Monarch on some Rigid goldenrod, but it didn't stay around for a photo.  I decided to take a photo of the Blister beetle, and just noticed another Soldier beetle as well.  I just read that it is a heavy self sower, and needs competition.  I guess I have had some self sowing, but not too much so far.  I need to plant some things closer to mine, and maybe move a couple that get too tall for the space they are in, and tend to flop over.  They are just now opening their buds, so they extend the blooming season when a number of plants are finishing up.

There are still things going on that prevent me from getting into the garden to work, but I have found time to take photos or even take our granddaughter, who I am providing childcare for outside to observe the insect activity and blooms.  A Facebook friend sweetly pointed out that observing and enjoying what you see is also gardening.  Next week, I should be able to get more accomplished.  I am thankful for the rain we've been having.  Like I seem to say each time, too, I hope to spend a little less time on FB and get more blogs visited.  I can't believe it is almost September!  I hope all is well with you.

Monday, August 18, 2014

From the Front Porch, August 15, 2014

I looked to see what things looked like in July, when I did a post showing photos taken from the front porch.  There have been enough changes to do another post.   This post has been a few days in the making.

The Butterfly bush is now blooming, smaller than the last few years, because I kept cutting it back so it doesn't take up so much space.

Rattlesnake master looks good all season.  This is the second season for the Sweet black-eyed susans.  The pollinators and I sure like them.  The Hibiscus is kind of out of place now, but I let it do its thing, and have seen some insects on the blooms.

I love where the Kiss me over the garden gate plants seeded this year.  They sure are tall, too!

The Joe pye weed is one of the favorites of the bees and butterflies, as are the Liatris ligulistylis, which you can see in the background here.  This Joe pye is 'Gateway'.

I trimmed back the lower stems of the Joe pye weed, so they will be blooming a little later than the upper ones.

Next, come Wild quinine, Mountain mint, Allium, Liatris, and Meadow rue.

These are the same plants as above, with some volunteer Stiff goldenrod, not blooming yet, and Coneflowers.

Oh, there are also seedheads of Golden alexanders.

I sure included some repeats!  In this one, you can also see a bit of yellow from a Mexican hat plant and the leaves of the cup plant.  Birds have been eating the seeds of the Coneflowers.  It's fun to come out and see them before they fly off.

The Purple prairie clover is finished blooming.  I'll keep the cage around it because the rabbits have been doing lots of munching, and this is one of their favorites.

We'll cross the sidewalk to the west side of the front yard.

I'm thinking the grass here is Sideoats grama.  The white is Wild quinine.

Whorled milkweed is one of my favorites.  This is a Switchgrass cultivar.

This Liatris is later opening than the others.

The Cup plant sure is tall.  I love it!  Illinois bundleflower is in front of the porch, with the yellow blooms of Gray-headed coneflowers on the other side.

I love the seed pods of Illinois bundleflowers.  The blooms are in the next photo.

Back to the Cup plant, the pollinators are loving it as much as the Joe pye weed.

There are two or three Monarchs that have been flying around the yard, nectaring mostly on the Liatrises, Joe pye weed, and the Cup plant.

I keep forgetting the names of the bees, but I'm pleased there are a number of different kinds.  These lovely blooms are Sweet black-eyed susans.  This is their second season here.

That may be Stiff goldenrod almost ready to bloom in the background.

I am sad that the Wild sennas are finished blooming.

I had a number of seedlings come up this spring that I was able to share.  I hope there will be some next spring as well.

The Prairie dock is blooming this year.  The blooms look a lot like Cup plant blooms.

We've been continuing to the west.  The grass is another cultivar of Switchgrass.  The strawberries have done pretty well in this spot.

I am glad the Joe pye weed that I was able to divide from the original clump is doing OK in this dryer area next to a sidewalk.  I didn't get the Beauty berry plants cut back this year.  The yellow blooms are Helen's flower.

I forgot what kind of Helen's flowers these reddish ones are.

The Rudbeckia laciniata hortensia plants have needed to be deadheaded and tied up so they won't flop over as much.

I hope you have been enjoying the views from your porches, too!  Enjoy what's left of summer.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Side Yard Update

When I first started blogging a lot of my posts involved updates on different parts of the yard.  I have made some changes over time, but it still sometimes feel like I am posting "reruns".  Still, I will post so I can refer back to it over time.  I started this post a few days ago.  The other day, I decided to pull out the volunteer moonflower that was growing over the grass, either Little bluestem or Prairie dropseed, which is in front of the pot of mint.

Love lies bleeding volunteers are doing pretty well.  I'm glad to see the Phlox are pretty healthy this year.  I have Purple coneflowers all over the yard.  A couple monarch butterflies have been flying around the yard the last few days.  I have seen them land on the Liatris that has the top cut off in the photo a few times.

I recently told people in the Facebook group, Gardening with Nature in Mind, that the Buttonbush I planted here last year has different colors on its foliage, but, I see the leaves are green now.

I've been cutting back the Goldenrod, but see they are blooming what seems early to me, but maybe it's just because it's been a whirlwind of a summer.  It's hard to see the Leadplant to the right of the Globe thistle, next to the fence.

I have several types of  Rudbeckia laciniatas.  This one is Outhouse flower, 'hortensia'.

This is very similar to the one a couple ago, but I am including it because it is a wider view.

Globe thistle is one of the non-native plants that the bees feed from frequently.

The yellow blooms in the middle are False sunflowers.  I deadheaded them today, careful to leave the new buds on.  The bushy plant in front of it is Amsonia, I'm thinking, tabernaemontana.  I trim it back a couple or three times a season.  I can't remember what the feathery plant is that is similar to Amsonia hubrichtii.  It looks like it will be blooming soon.

Oh, here's a close up of the False sunflowers, the first plant that Larry was willing to have planted instead of grass in the area dug out for the egress window when we first moved here.

Continuing to the south, toward the front yard, are some of the same plants as down the way.  I seem to have lots of yellow!  When the aster to the right of the bird bath blooms, it will add some purple or blue.

I moved some of the Short-tooth mountain mint to the area in front of the fence just to the left of the bird bath this spring, and it is doing well, but the plants in front of it, such as a volunteer yellow coneflower of some kind are taller.  I'll have to decide whether I want to keep them as is, or switch them around.

I'm glad I trimmed back the Rudbeckia laciniata cultivars back in the spring so they wouldn't flop as much.  Still, I do have them tied up at the base.  This one is 'Golden glow'.  Now that I'm looking things up, this could be the same as Outhouse plant, but I'm not sure.

I think the Black eyed Susans are volunteers here.

The pollinators sure love Liatris!

I try to remember to cut back the Quaking grass back before the seeds ripen, because they self sow too aggressively for my garden.

This Campanula spreads too far for here, too, and I am currently behind in thinning it out.  I sure like the blooms, though.

I can remember this is Rudbeckia laciniata 'Herbstsonne' because the blooms are different from the others down the way.

The Catmint blooms for a long time.   It's probably time to deadhead it, though.  Asters and Goldenrods will be blooming yet this season.

I just planted this Liatris and Amsonia this season.  I hope they are larger next year.  I place watering cans in bare spaces, but then, sometimes the plants fill in around them.

So far, I haven't seen any Genista broom moth caterpillars on the baptisias.  (I copied and pasted the name of the caterpillars, and now, can't figure out how to get the normal font back.)

We made it to the end of the bed, and are now facing back to the north. The plant loaded with blooms may be a salvia of some kind.

Yes, there is lots of yellow right now!

It's been a very busy summer. Our yard was on that neighborhood garden tour, our daughter and daughter in law and I looked at LOTS of houses, and finally found one for our daughter to move into, which we were involved in helping with.  We had a baby shower, and Ruby was born June 22.  I was spending as much time as I could hanging out with Ruby until my 83 year old dad became ill and had his gall bladder taken out, was it 3 or 4 weeks ago?  It's been such a blur.  The day after he got home, he had a major stroke, which we knew he was not going to be able to recover from.  It was very difficult seeing him lie there, unable to move his left side, swallow, or speak.  He passed away less than 2 weeks after having the stroke, a few days after being moved to hospice care.  We were pleased with the care he received.  I am sad, and miss my dad, but I'm glad he is no longer lying there like he was.  Now, I hope to catch up with things a bit before our daughter goes back to work August 12, as I will be watching Ruby 4 days a week from around 12:45 to 9:15 pm.  I will have mornings to garden, so that will be good.  I hope things are going well for you.