Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July Wildflower Wednesday

I missed posting for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday last month, so am glad to be getting July done, since I am not posting anything else these days.  I just chose one plant this time, what I know as short-toothed mountain mint.  I didn't find it at the Lady Bird Johnson site, but found it at the Missouri Botanical Garden page.  This article says you can make tea with it, as you can with other kinds of mountain mints, and when I did a search, I found other sites that say it, but I need to check with a friend of mine, and will edit this if he lets me know that he found out one should not with this kind.  (Edit:  Gene gave me this:  http://www.motherearthliving.com/Plant-Profile/herb-to-know-mountain-mint, which says not to make tea with this one due to the higher amount of pugelone, an insect repellent that is also in pennyroyal.)

Pychanthemum muticum draws lots of pollinators in.  People tell me what kinds of wasps and bees I share photos of, but I forget what they say.  I am pleased to be able to see them anyway.


This clump used to be in front of the egress window, where it was shaded by an Amsonia, and even though it looked good, it was about half the height and spread it now is.  I was glad to read that it is not aggressive, so if you dig it out, it won't keep going.  I am in the process, though, of giving different kinds of plants more room to spread so that the masses of plants are larger.  That was one of the suggestions when I became a local pollinator habitat.


I think it likes its new spot!  It can handle sun or part shade.


There are usually a number of these black wasps on the blooms.  There are also quite a few small bees of some kind that I have trouble catching with the camera.  There may be an insect of some kind on the upper left.


Isn't that a nice looking plant and bloom?  Blunt mountain mint is another name for it.  It can handle dry to moist conditions.  Do you have a spot for it if you don't already have it?


I hope all is well with my blogging friends.  I have not been keeping up with you, unless you are on Facebook.  Happy gardening!  I am watching our granddaughter who is now three four days a week.  Now that she is not napping some days, I don't get out to the yard as often as I'd like.  I also need to spend less time on Facebook.  Balance is hard to achieve sometimes!  Do you find that?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wildflower Wednesday, and Yard Update

It seems I have only been posting once a month, for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.  I decided to include some photos of the yard as well this time. I have lots of blooms that are not native, but am continuing to replace some of them with U.S. natives a bit at a time.  I am not attempting to just have locally native plants, though.  A number of plants that do well here would not be found together in nature.  I am just tickled to have what I do, and to see the insect and bird visitors.  I didn't take these photos at a time when they were feeding, even though I have been seeing bees and butterflies on some of the blooms.  I learned recently that different kinds of flowers release their pollen at different times of the day.  I am not making it out at different times of the day as often as I used to, so maybe the numbers are not as low as I think.

Here is the front yard, where a silver maple tree used to be until hollow branches were found, and it needed to be cut down for safety.  The first wildflower I want to talk about is what appears to be the tallest in this photo, at the back by the bird feeder.


It took a few seasons, so I am pleased that the white wild indigo plant has been blooming for a couple or three years now.   I planted a couple more this year, and look forward to them growing large enough to bloom.  I recently looked up information to see what native plants are poisonous, after finding out some are.  I found out the baptisias are, but they are not severely toxic.  Here is some information on that.


 It likes sun, and is in a spot that does not get watered much.


There are a number of baptisia australis in the yard.  They are in sun, and part sun.  These have self sown, and I have been able to share some.  I am seeing a few bees on these.



On the east side of the house is a parent plant and its offspring that I didn't get dug out to move or share.  The shorter plant with pinkish blooms is a spiderwort cultivar.  The chair belonged to some neighbors who recently moved, due to the mother having memory problems.  I don't know where it will end up, but it probably cannot stay on the egress window cover.


Amsonias are also some of my favorite spring bloomers.  I just wish the bloom time was longer.


The previous photo was looking north and west.  This one is looking south, and there are more amsonias and another baptisia.


Aren't they so pretty?


I decided to go on a bit of a yard walk, to show the flower beds, always a work in progress.  The tall plant by the shed is a buttonbush, which has not yet bloomed.  I hope this is the year it does.


The golden alexanders are still blooming.


The bare spot by the bird is where I dug out a catmint last year.  I planted some native seeds I got from Gardening with Nature in Mind's (on Facebook) plant/seed share last fall, but neglected to write down what I planted, and I think whatever little things have come up are weeds.  After this photo was taken, I moved some plants from the yard to fill in the space.






I am relieved the rabbits are not doing as much damage to the plants as usual.  The phlox pilosa plants, PPP to Gail, have been eaten down to the stubs other years, but they are doing quite well this spring.


I am glad to be seeing monarch caterpillars on the various kinds of milkweed.


We started and will end in the front yard.  I trimmed back the golden alexanders because they were flopping due to all of the rain we've been getting.  I also cut down more stems of the cup plant than usual, hoping it will not hang over the sidewalk as much.


I am not making it to visit blogs like I used to.  I hope all is well with you, and you are enjoying time in your gardens.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 2017 Wildflower Wednesday

After a few days of the 60s and 70s, we are now having 50s for highs, and there is a chance it will get down to 32 tonight.  I had forgotten to take photos to participate in Gail's, from Clay and Limestone Wildflower Wednesday, so I put a jacket on this morning and ventured out.

I had in mind to feature Fremont's Clematis.  I ended up posting a few others that are blooming now as well.  Jon Farrar's Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains said that Clematis fremontt is found only in extreme south-central Nebraska, north central Kansas, and east-central Missouri.


Its foliage is a bit different from other clematises.  I love the flower buds!


At a local plant sale, I got involved in someone else's conversation when I overheard them talking about this plant, and how the blooms vary from plant to plant.  Yes, I have found that to be true!


My plants tend to sprawl, and I sometimes tie them at the base.  I haven't done that yet.


They look pretty cool after the blooms are spent as well.


 This is a younger plant.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center shows a wider distribution than the book, probably because the book is about Nebraska and the Great Plains.


Some of the plants have this thicker kind of bloom.


Even this younger plant has the thicker blooms.




Gail, I am tickled that we have the Golden Alexanders in common.  This one is on the east side of our house.


Most of them are not yet blooming, but for some reason, the younger ones are ahead of the established clumps.  I have a lot of them dug up to share with others.


Heuchera richardsonii is one of my favorites, and is almost evergreen.



I believe this is Geranium maculatum.  I see Nebraska is not one of the states it is native to, though.


I used to have some non-native columbines, which bred with the native ones.  All of the other colors are now gone, but I'm wondering if these blooms are a bit larger than the native ones that have not mixed with other kinds.  There sure is a nice stand of them this year!


The Virginia waterleaf, a shade plant is starting to bloom.  I try to get the plants deadheaded before they can seed around.  I just noticed that these are of benefit to bumble bees.  I also noticed they are supposed to be divided in fall, but I have shared them successfully in the spring.


Well, it looks like I will get this posted before the day is over!  I am tickled it is spring, and we have blooms!  I hope once we get over this cold night, the weather will warm up again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wildflower Wednesday!

I missed last month's Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail, and wow, what changes have taken place since January!  Spring is here, and I have been working to cut back last year's growth on plants, and taking the stems to piles I have across the street, just in case there are insects in them.  I need to get more of the leaves raked, but want to leave a few.  I also have a nice sized pile of leaves across the street for my grandchildren to jump on.

Speaking of grandchildren, the boys, 5 and 9 have not been prone to pick and eat the plants, but our granddaughter, who will be 3 in June, and is here four days a week, has been picking things, and so far, I have been quick enough not to let her swallow the thing or two she has gotten to her mouth.  I am needing to do more research to find out which plants are poisonous.  I have hoed out all of the larkspur that has come up so far in the vegetable, except for one plant.  That, she did almost get into her mouth the other day.  Here is a link I have found so far: https://www.plants.usda.gov/java/noxiousDriver


Can you see the purple in all of the brown?


I found out that some pasque flowers are native to our area, and some are not.  I am not sure, which are which, but am thinking it is the lighter ones to the left of the prairie phlox in the cage to protect the foliage from rabbits.  The close up of the deep purple clump is out of order, at the end of the post.


I didn't see this little bloomer until I looked at the photos!  It may be rue anemone.


I am excited for a new season, and to see more and more plants coming up, blooming, and seeing the pollinators on them!



There are blooms in this photo.  I'll show them closer in the next one.


I'm not sure what the little seedling is in the middle of the pasqueflower blooms.


Here is the close up of the prettiest clump of pasqueflowers.


Prairie Smoke Geums are one of my favorites.


I look forward to seeing what wildflowers others post about, and what all we will have for next month's Wildflower Wednesday. 

Added after first posting:  Last night, when I took Ruby to her mom, I asked her if she remembers picking raspberries from the garden and eating them last summer.  She said she did, and they were, "So good, so yummy!"  I asked if she remembers picking kale and eating it, and she said she did.  She also remembered watching the bees and butterflies.  I told her some of the plants are good to eat, but some are not, and she needs to only eat things I say it is OK to eat.  I hope that helped, and that she will follow those directions, since she does not always follow what I say, especially when it is time to put shoes on or change clothes.  ;-)