Sunday, February 11, 2018

Photos from the Front Door

We have had a mild winter up until the last few weeks.  The local news said we have had 7.7 inches of snow in the last, I think, 10 days.  In the mean time, I am starting to see spring posts in the southern and western states.  Those photos always lighten my heart, and excite me for the time when our signs of spring will be visible.

I have been seeing juncos, cardinals, blue jays and sparrows in the yard.  The rabbits are also around.  They don't seem to hibernate.  We also have a number of squirrels.

I enjoy growing lots of native plants.  Leaving them up in the winter provides seeds for birds and shelter for the insects that live in the stems.  The tall plant just left of middle is pale Indian plantain, the plant I featured for last month's Wildflower Wednesday.  The one one the right is cup plant.  I love how the snow rests in the cups of the leaves.

I am seeing round headed bush clover, wild quinine, and maybe a coneflower of some kind.

This is across the sidewalk, right in front of our house.  You can see the cup plant on the left.

I love the seed heads of the Illinois bundleflowers.  They look very nice with snow caps, as well.

I am pretty sure this is a gray headed coneflower clump.

I look forward to the progression of spring to Nebraska.  I am going to need to be more careful to use sun screen and wear hats when I garden.  I encourage others to do it before damage is found.  My face is a mess from the work the dermatologist did Friday on the AKs and SKs he found.  He also took a couple biopsies to send in.  I will get the results of those in a couple weeks.

Monday, January 22, 2018

January Wildflower Wednesday

I knew I missed the last Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail at Clay and Limestone, but didn't remember October was my last post.  Since it is snowing today, I took some photos out the door, and made a decision to highlight a plant I don't think I have before.

I like the colors of the garden better in other seasons, but enjoy them this time of year as well.  The cup plant still has some seeds for the birds. 

The plant I am featuring is the tallest in this photo.

I am thinking this was the second or third season for the Pale Indian Plantain, which I was pleased to get from a friend at a plant/seed share for the Facebook group, Gardening with Nature in Mind.  I don't remember if it bloomed last year, but did read that they take a couple seasons to grow large enough to bloom.  When I went to get a link for information at the Lady Bird Johnson site, I saw that it prefers a moist site.  This site is not particularly moist, but is not dry, either.  The seed heads on the round headed bush clover are looking good.

I did a search to see if birds eat the pale Indian plantain seeds.  I found an article that mentioned the seeds can pass through birds and mammals and remain viable to grow.  I am not sharing the link, because the article was about using the plants for medicinal uses.

Two of my photos did not load, so I am not positive if my dates are going to be correct for the photos of the pale Indian plantain from last season.

Heather Holm mentioned in this post that the stems make good nesting material for many native bees and wasps.  When it is time to clean up the garden this spring, I will leave about 10 inches of stems in the ground, and may make bundles of stems.  The pale Indian plantain is the light stemmed plant near the seat of the bicycle and to the left of the Amsonia hubrichtti.  This photo is from May.

This photo is from June.  I see a penstemon of some kind blooming here.

Here is some interesting information I found at the Missouri Department of Conservation:
"Pale Indian plantain is not in the plantain family, it is in the daisy or sunflower family. The word “Indian” in the common names of plants often essentially means “false,” designating a North American plant that somehow resembles an unrelated plant European settlers knew from the Old World. Exceptions are the names “Indian paintbrush” and “Indian pipe,” in which the plants were named for fancifully resembling objects used by Native Americans."

This photo is from July.

It continued to bloom in August, drawing bees, wasps, and butterflies.

I believe this is from August.

I think the September photo is one that did not load.  This is either October or November.  The plant looks great in all seasons!

Our schools are closed today due to the snow.  They say parts of our city could get more than others.  We are not getting a lot here yet, but that could change.  I hope all is well with you and your gardens.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October Wildflower Wednesday

I am not sure how October got here so quickly. I am not ready for winter, but most of the flowers in the yard are finished blooming.  There are some plants with lovely colored foliage to share for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday, though!

The golden colored plants are Amsonia hubrichtii.  I just found out from the Lady Bird Johnson site that this is only native to Arkansas and Oklahoma.  It sure does well here in SE Nebraska, though!

One flower that still has a few blooms is pitcher sage.  This one is a native.  I believe it is this one.  I like having clumps of it in different parts of the yard, and seeing the insects feed on them.

The different kinds of amsonias bloom very early, and I am always sad the time in bloom is short, but this kind makes up for it with beautiful fall foliage.  The short-toothed mountain mint on the right is continuing to look good and attract pollinators.

Amsonia hubrichtii is another plant I have in different parts of the yard.

We had been looking south and west.  Now, we are facing north and west. Some of the clumps are not golden yet.

This is the big bed on the east side of the front yard.  Only one of the two round-headed bush clover plants survived last winter, and after being slow to grow, it did quite well this season.

We have enjoyed a very mild fall so far, but colder weather is on its way.  I hope all is well with you and your gardens, and you are finding native plants to enjoy.