Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

 It's the fourth Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to show off the native plants blooming in our garden.

 Veronicastrum virginicum, or Culver's root, is one of my favorite natives.  The dark green foliage stays clean and beautiful all season, and the candelabra blooms are pretty cool.  Culver's root is easy to grow, very well-behaved, a beautiful plant in the garden, and we just love it here.

Stokesias are just about finished,

 while purple coneflowers are just starting to bloom.

 This ginormous plant way in back looks just like Joe Pye weed, with white flowers instead of pink.  It's a volunteer, though I've no idea how it got here since nobody surrounding us grows it.  Wherever it came from, I'm glad it planted itself here.

Liatris spicata needs protection in our garden, lest somebunny eats them.  These get only morning sun, and seem to be doing fine.  They've been here three years, and these are their first blooms.  Last summer after they were mowed down by critters yet again, I fenced them.  They join the growing list of plants with little fences surrounding them to thwart the dastardly rodents.

Asclepias tuberosa is blooming for the first time.  Added four years ago, it's a thrill to see it finally bloom.  They went dormant last summer during the drought, and that makes these blooms extra special.  I wasn't sure if they were dormant or dead last year.

What wildflowers are blooming in your garden this month?

To join the celebration of natives and other wildflowers blooming around the country and around the world,  please visit Gail at Clay and Limestone


  1. Beautiful blooms!
    Really pretty Butterflyweed, and I especially like the Culver's Root!
    Happy Wildflower Wednesday!
    Lea's Menagerie

    1. We don't have a lot of orange here Lea - it's a color I'd like to see more of!

      Happy WW!

  2. It's so frustrating to have somebunnies mowing down our plants. They've done the oddest thing here~cut plants down but, not bother to eat them. I've recently planted veronicastrum in the front garden~I hope they're as happy here as they are in your garden. They are pretty cool looking and the pollinators seem to enjoy them~a lot! happy WW. xogail

    1. It sure is frustrating Gail! They are voracious here. They used to do that with tulips - cut them down but not eat them. I gave up on tulips long ago, before I started being the crazy plant woman and fencing their favorite delicacies.

      I hope veronicastrum is happy there too - they are wonderful plants!

  3. Beautiful pics as usual. Almost looks like Svenskland (Sweden).

    Curious, do you snip off the seed pods of your Butterfly Weed ? I always did on the Property I maintained when I was Landscape Supervisor/Head Gardener. It kept the cottony seed mess down and allowed more energy into flower production.

    Over here this Spring when I got back from San Diego for two months, most all the evergreens like Juniper, Cypress, Thuja, Yew, etc were either completely dead or half-dead. Everyone said it had to do with milder winter than usual and cold Spring, but the phenomena was in both the urban landscapes and out in the wild. The Blueberries all burnt back to along with other similar deciduous shrubs. But what has been amazing is whole dead trees were gone, and not just slight burning around the edges.

    Weather forecasters are predicting increased warmer than normal Temps August thru October. Very unusual. We haven't had rain for almost a month now and that is bizarre. Things die here quickly in heat and drought. I'm wondering if it continues what chance there is for Forest Fires.

    1. I wish we had seed pods! So far on Asclepias tuberosa, the flowers are falling off. They don't seem to be getting pollinated. I've had the same issue with Purpurascens - still no seed pods after four years.

      The weather is indeed very strange! It's actually been cooler than normal in the Chicago area. We just emerged from a two-week heat wave (temps over 90 degrees,) and now it's back to unusually cool weather - highs in the mid-70's. We had lots of rain through the end of June, and July has been very dry.

  4. Very pretty and nice choices for wildflowers in your garden. It's always a problem when somebunnies get there first though.

    1. Thank you Shirley!

      Somebunnies here are very annoying! Few of our neighbors garden, and the somebunnies seem to think our beds are their own personal salad bars.

  5. Culver's Root is something I've considered adding to my butterfly garden--such a dramatic tall plant! Your pseudo-Joe Pye weed looks very much like mine. I bought it several years ago at a local prairie plant sale, and it was labelled Joe Pye weed, but its blooms are white and the stems are green. This year I bought another one which has the more typical pinkish blooms and reddish stems. I wonder if the white one is a variation?

    Oh, those darned rabbits! My dad has chicken wire around everything--even his containers of petunias:)

    1. I think you would like it Rose! Ours is a few years old but still not up to full height yet. Maybe it would be if it was in full sun, but it is doing great here with just about 2-3 hours of morning sun.

      I'm pretty sure that plant is a white-blooming Joe Pye weed. I've been trying to figure out what it is since it first showed up here, and from what I've read there are white ones. I still wonder where it came from! For two or three years it was just one stem, and only about 3' tall. It sure has grown since then, and since last year after we took out a spruce that suffered sudden spruce death, it gets a lot more light and more sun. This year it has really taken off!

      I'm about at the same point as your dad. The fences have saved a lot of stuff here, including some shrubs they have wreaked a lot of havoc on. I can't believe how voracious they are here - never had as many problems with bunnies anywhere else I've lived. And of course they have also discovered one of the veggie beds. So far they leave the other one alone. If not for the little fences there would be a lot of bare spots in our garden. As things grow, the fences are less noticeable, except in winter, as a lot of them are left in the garden over the winter.

  6. Beautiful post Linda and fun to visit your late July garden. Happy Summer :)

  7. Thank you Joey! Thanks for visiting! Happy Summer to you too! :) It sure has been a beautiful one.


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