Wednesday, July 09, 2008


After a few years of drier than average weather, the tide has turned. And when it rains, it pours. Here in Barry County, Michigan we have had two storms with over 4 inches of rain per storm. That is more than we get on average in a month. And the prairie plants are responding in a big way.

Weeds were far less a problem this year than in years past. These plants are now established and shading out the annual weeds. I keep on top of the grasses, a few maples, and the ever present catalpa seedlings.

Shown here are the black eyed susans, purple coneflowers, and few orange butterflyweed. The white is white prairie clover and a bit of daisy fleabane. I generally pull out most of the fleabane, which is weedy, but the bees and butterflies do like it.

A few weeks ago we saw flats of annuals on sale, and my lovely wife suggested we dig sod to make a new bed. I did not need to be asked twice. Over two evenings we cut about 300 square feet of sod and planted 5 flats of annuals. That may be just enough room for plants we desperately need to divide. We are well on our way to a grassless front lawn. And we were rewarded by a visit by goldfinches feeding on the coreopsis seedheads. I never thought of the goldfinch as an expert in camouflage, but they are tough to spot in a see of yellow flowers.

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