Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June's Wildflower Wednesday

I enjoyed reading Gail's Wildflower Wednesday post today, as always.  I like how she said we need to be willing to have imperfection due to insects feeding on the plants in order to provide for their needs, which in turn meets the needs of larger critters such as frogs, birds, etc.

I took a break from getting ready for a garage sale we are having Friday and took some photos for a WW post.  I know I've shown some of these blooms before, but wanted to have some with insects on them, and these must be their favorites.

This bee on the New Jersey tea was about half an inch.

The foxglove penstemons are almost finished blooming, and even though I've tied them up, they are flopping a bit.  Since they are still being fed from, I will keep them looking a bit untidy, embracing imperfection, like Gail recommended.

Here is another example of imperfection in the eyes of us.  I forgot what bulb this was, and wonder what this wasp was doing on it.

In my last WW post, I showed a photo of lead plant.  It is a good looking plant all season.  It is now blooming in several places in the yard.  This is the first plant I got.  It takes a long time to reach full size, and I am thankful I was patient.  The blooms are visited by a number of kinds of small bees.  It is hard to get photos of them.  I realize I am not just showing wildflowers in this post.  The daylilies were planted by my mother-in-law when she lived here many years ago.  They are also visited by pollinators.  That's a spent foxglove beardtongue growing through the plant stake.

The blooms of leadplant are unique, and I think they are pretty cool.

I decided to include some longer views of the yard.  I was thinking about what Gail said about embracing imperfection.  I am thankful to live in a neighborhood where people stop from time to time, to let me know they like the flowers.  Some also take photos.  I sometimes hope they don't notice a blank spot or some other imperfection that has been bothering me.  I know they don't, though, because they are looking at the blooms.

I am not good at making plans for flower beds.  I am a plopper.  I want it that way, though.  I am taking liberties with Gail's theme of embracing imperfection.  I do not strive for a neat and tidy look.

A few days ago, when a guy in a car told me how much he enjoys the flowers, I told him I am thankful to live in a neighborhood where they are accepted.  I said if this yard was in a different neighborhood, then he finished my sentence, saying something like others may consider it messy.  LOL  Can you see the common milkweed plants that will be blooming soon?

This is the area that bugs me the most.  I have some things too far apart, and others too close together. In the spring, there is a lot of dirt that shows.  Still, open ground is good for some insects.  We did have some ground nesting bees in there one year.

I pulled out a lot of the purple coneflowers from this area, hoping there will be less aster yellows.  Rabbits have eaten down some of the pale coneflowers, but at least there are some blooms.  The imperfection of plants being eaten down does bother me, I have to admit.  This has been the worse that I can remember, and I am hoping all of the plants recover.

This is back in the area in front of the fence where I was saying there is a lot of dirt that shows. I am glad to see the Mexican hats are blooming.

I may have mentioned that I am not seeing as many insects this year, but there seem to be more bees than butterflies.  The butterflies I do see are pretty flighty, and do not land on blooms long enough for me to get photos.

The purple milkweed on the side of the house is taller than that in the front yard.  I wonder if it's because it is surrounded by tall plants.  Milkweed blooms are one of my favorites.

Spring started out cool and wet.  It continued to rain a lot, then jumped into being hot.  It is 8:12 pm, central standard daylight savings, and 91 degrees!  I am thankful the plants are doing fine for the most part.  Yes, there are insect holes on the leaves.  They are supporting life.  There are also birds in the yard every day.   I hope you have been able to spend time in your less than perfect garden.

Thank you to those who have left comments on my last two posts.  I plan to visit your blogs in the next week.


  1. Hi Sue: I didn't notice any blank spots, and it looks perfectly planned. I especially like the way you've creatively used the slope--moving from the curb, to the walkway, to the front door. Very nice! Weirdly, the biggest portions of the rain and heat seem to be sticking around just south of us--in N. Illinois. Here in Wisconsin (so far, at least) we've had just enough rain to keep the plants happy, and highs in the low 80s. I love it! Happy summer!

  2. Oh, I love it! So many blooms! Great photos of the pollinators, too!
    I just rescued some milkweed that was growing on the side of the road. Our road looks like any other country road, but it is a state highway. Driving along yesterday we saw milkweed blooming in the road ditch, and then a few miles down the road - the highway dept. mowing crew! We rushed home, grabbed a shovel, walked a quarter of a mile, and dug up the milkweed (in full sun and 90 degree temps - a hot job!). By the time the mowers got there we had it home (with as much dirt as possible) setting in a bucket of water. When the temps cooled off a bit (close to dark) we dug a hole in our yard, set it out and watered it again. I hope it will survive being dug up and moved while in full bloom.
    A wildflower adventure!

  3. I think your garden is lovely. Of course I like chaos. I think insects and birds do too. I am always promoting with a gentle plea for chaos.

  4. I'm glad you live in a neighborhood that accepts your garden, too, Sue, though I would never call it messy! I think you are doing a great service in your area by showing how beautiful native plants can be and how we can help support the pollinators. I always enjoy seeing what's in bloom in your garden--now I'm coveting Lead plant:)

  5. Sue, I would never say your yard is messy. It's more wild in a good native grassland way. I don't think I would get by with having a front yard looking wild in my neighborhood so I'll just have to live it through your wonderful posts. I always enjoy the tour of pictures in your posts. I'm trying to incorporate more flowers into my garden. Some thing that would deter the four legged animals (deer and raccoons) from devouring everything in sight. Every last strawberry and strawberry leaf on the plants disappeared a few days ago. Tracks left behind indicated it was Bambi and her mother. (big sigh) I guess next year there will be a chicken wire fence covering the strawberry patch.

    Have a great flower growing day.

  6. Your garden is so lush. From the photos, I don't see imperfections but I now how it is with dedicated gardeners. Every hole in a leaf and every brown leaf is noticed and made note of. I have some bug eating my zinnia leaves but it won't kill them so I am ignoring it. Every year the number of pollinators is declining, this year is really bad.

  7. I adore your garden and do not see it as my weedy gardens that is another story...but bracing imperfection in our gardens and ourselves is a wonderful lesson. Your gardens are always a please Sue...especially the front garden....I think it is paradise.

  8. Your wildflowers and blooms are looking great, so many textures and colors! I got a Joe Pye Weed this year so hope for some blooms. So many have not made it for me. I enjoyed your pollinators, I saw the green-headed sweat bees for the first time last year, then I found they had holes in the ground and were busy flying in and out. I haven't seen them again this year as yet, I hope they made it here. Someone posted about putting sugar water on their plants to attract pollinators, that might be an interesting experiment.

  9. Your garden is looking blooming beautiful,it would really make me stop and smile if I was walking past, such a gorgeous range of colours too! Katie x

  10. I feel your gardens look perfect to me:-) I have to admit, I am a plopper -too! Perfection is overrated:-)

  11. Really nice. Everything seems set for summer. When I think of your garden, this is what my mind sees even if I'm not on your blog.

  12. Hi Sue,
    I love your flowerbeds and would be shocked if you got complaints about them. They look beautiful to me....not messy but, I guess I'm a bit of a plopper too! You have so many plants that are unusual. Every time you post Mexican hats I get envious.....if I find them around here there's no stoppin' me....I'll use the grocery money! Happy Gardening!

  13. The weather here is rainy and cool, or rainy and hot, but either way, too much rain even for gardeners! I admired some Mexican Hat at a garden center, and now I think I need to grow it for myself. But where? I'm full!

  14. Hello, and thanks for your comment on my blog.
    The milkweed is still alive, but some of the leaves are turning yellow (we've had a lot of rain). The older flowers are falling off, but I think that is normal. So, I am hopeful.
    On a positive note, a milkweed I dug up from the roadside two years ago has buds! It just stood around and didn't do a thing last year, but now blooms are on the way!
    Have a great week!


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