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!


  1. Every time I stop here to visit the photos of your garden just scream happy! I love the cottage feel. I have tons of golden alexander too but have never had a swallowtail caterpillar on them. I find them on the parsley all the time. Weird! When you cut your asters back do they still bloom in the fall? I do that with the swamp sunflowers but have never tried with the asters. Some of mine are really tall already.

    1. Thanks, Karin! Yes, the asters still bloom. I am thinking I have even cut the New England ones back twice some years.

    2. I agree with Karin. Love your garden, Sue!

  2. Beautiful wildflowers! Love the Golden Alexanders!
    I was sick for most of April with what the doctor said was just the Common Cold, but I felt really bad. So I am way behind in my garden, too
    Hope you are feeling better soon!

    1. Thank you, Lea! That's what my PA said when I first went in, that I have a cold. Usually when I get a cold, I can function more than what I've been able to with this one. I woke up in the night with my left ear hurting. I was already planning on calling my PA to let her know what is going on.

  3. When I was younger, I thought arthritis was just a little achiness, but I’ve come to find out that it can be debilitating! But I’m still gardening, I just have to cut my time shorter. Those Golden Alexanders are just so beautiful, thanks for showing them off again. I love them every time.

    1. It has been interesting what is going on with my knee now that I have not had energy to do much, and have not been going to physical therapy. It doesn't hurt as often, but it still does sometimes, and I do not know what causes the pain when it comes.


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