Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wildflower Wednesday

Monarda fistulosa

This summer's been rough on humans and wildlife, crops and livestock, lawns and gardens.  Still, with a little extra help from the end of a hose, our garden is weathering Mother Nature's and climate change's challenges.

With our early hot weather, plants bloomed early. Now, in July, that seems to have mostly leveled out, with most  bloom times pretty normal. What has been off is height.   A lot of stuff is shorter than usual - in some cases several feet shorter.



Lobelia cardinalis have their share of challenges this summer. One disappeared, one got smashed by a fallen branch during a recent storm, and this one . . . well, at least it's blooming.

They like moist soil, and live in an area of our swale that stays moist all year, normally . . .


This summer  has been lots of things, and normal isn't one of them.


Most of the purple coneflowers are two feet tall and under.  Most of the phlox, and everything in this part of the garden is shorter than usual.


Joe Pye Weed is a few feet shorter than usual, along with way-shorter-than-usual  Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne.'   Besides being shorter, lots of stuff is less full too.


Nodding onions, Allium cernuum, seem oblivious of the heat and drought.


Culver's root, about finished blooming, is weathering the weather well.


A volunteer eupatorium (or do you say eutotrichum?) seems unfazed by the weather.  It's one of few July bloomers, whether native or  cultivar, that's its usual size.

Our small corner of the world has been hot and dry most of the summer along with much of the country.  Lately, there's been welcome relief with a few mid-80-degree days, and a few good deluges.  The occasional breaks from lugging hoses feel luxurious.

 

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. ~ Unknown


To see more Wildflower Wednesday posts, please visit Gail at Clay and Limestone.


20 comments:

  1. Hi i am new here, just came if from the WF meme. If your climate is hot, i wonder what you will call ours, :) maybe oven! But we are in our rainy season now so it is a relief to us and to the plants which are mostly dying during our dry season. That last one you call Eupatorium is almost similar to a very invasive species here which we hate so much!

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  2. Hi Andrea, and welcome! It's been an oven here too - far too many days in the 100's, and more 90+ days than we've ever had. Glad you're getting rain. We've had some, but are still in severe drought.

    I'd love to know which eupatorium that last one is. I was worried about invasiveness, but so it's been very well behaved. There's not a single seedling, and it's grown very slowly - no runners, no sign of invasiveness.

    There are SO MANY different eupatoriums/eutotrichums, and they look so similar that figuring out what they are if they show up on their own can be very challenging.

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  3. I've never seen blue monarda, I love it! I'm glad your plants had rain finally.

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    1. It does have definite blue tones, Nadezda. I love it too. So far it hasn't gotten powdery mildew, and I love that, too.

      Every bit of rain helps. We could definitely still use more, especially with temperatures here so hot.

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    2. Our rains seemed finished, so wait for them coming to Chicago. My plants rose.

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    3. Glad you got rain too. I hope it's coming to Chicago!

      There's nothing like rain to refresh the garden. Watering with a hose is just not the same.

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  4. Everything looks great. My red monarda is really short this year.

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    1. Thank you, Darla. Ours red monarda is really short too, (and almost leafless from powdery mildew.)

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  5. Thank goodness for the natives during this difficult summer, though I've noticed, too, that everything seems a little shorter and not as full as usual. Love your Cardinal flower--wish I had a place for some here, but all I seem to have is dry shade.

    The last quote is so appropriate! I've been watching rain clouds in the sky today, but not a drop has fallen. I'd be thrilled to dance in the rain.

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    1. Even the natives in our garden seem challenged by this year's weather, Rose. Of course, they were never meant to live in the root zones of silver maples :~| Thankfully though, except for the cardinal flowers, everything seems to be doing ok. It's interesting seeing things so stunted - never saw this happen to such extremes before.

      Same here - lots of cloud cover most of the day, but no rain, and no rain dance today.

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  6. Yes, this has been a hot, dry, challenging garden season. It looks like your native flowers are handling things OK, even though they are different sizes than usual.

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    1. It sure has, Sue! Watering during the hottest, driest weeks has definitely helped.

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  7. Lots of lovely wildflowers! Many are on my list but have failed to grow for me from seed or after planting. I love the red of the Lobelia. Monarda got mildew and succumbed. We have a nearly rainfree summer in the Pacific Northwest but have milder temperatures and cold nights so the heat is not so much a factor and watering with a hose is a fact of life here. At least for vegetable beds I use soaker hoses and cover them with mulch to retain the water and cut out weeds. I'm envious, I don't even see any weeds in your garden. I was on vacation for a couple of weeks and came back to rampant weeds everywhere, so am slowly working on them to try to keep them from reseeding.

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    1. Thank you Hannah!

      I'm envious of your milder weather! (and the soaker hoses - I keep meaning to get them for the veggie beds.)

      We don't seem to get many weeds in the ornamental beds - probably because there's so much shade. We do get a lot of tree seedlings, and I'm pretty obsessive about finding them and pulling them while they're very small and easy to get out.

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  8. Your flowers look pretty good for all the heat we've had. My little woodland garden is struggling because of not watering. It will be interesting to see what survives and comes back next year. I do worry for the trees though.
    Balisha

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  9. Hope your woodland garden, and the trees make it through this tough weather, Balisha.

    It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years as we learn what the 'new normal' will be and how climate change affects what we can grow. I hope our natives are tough enough to deal with it.

    Lots of trees around here seem pretty stressed. I've seen a few neighbors' lawns covered with leaves as if it was October. Our river birch isn't too happy, but it still gets some moisture from the swale, even though it's not as wet as usual there.

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  10. Glad to see you are weathering the drought with some help from the hose! I like those nodding onions and may have to try to find some to grow next year. There's also a kind of "walking onion" that I'm hoping to try. Stay cool!

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    1. Bees seem to really like nodding onions too!

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