Sunday, July 27, 2008

Peak Bloom in the Wildflower Garden

Now is the beginning of peak bloom time in the garden. A few of the early flowers are still ingering on, such as the lance-leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata). A few of the late bloomers, such as the gray goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis), are just starting. While I did a pretty good job this year moving tall plants to the back of beds and promoting some short plants forward, I was not ruthless pulling out sprouts of good plants in wrong places. So I have some tall 1st years screening out plants further back. Tall coreopsis and brown-eyed susan (Rudbckia triloba) are the most problematic. The tall coreopsis will be transplanted, the brown-eyed susans have thus far been biennial. Was it the drought conditions of the past few years? No sense in moving them if they may not comeback next year.That'd just give me an empty bed where they were moved from and an empty bed where they were moved to.

The front bed project continues. I am tired of my burn experiment and will now shift gears to either regular raking or (if I can find cheap mulch) smothering. I have burned the bed every 3-4 days for the last three weeks. I have exhausted by propane tank, and my back, but not the reserved of the grass seedlings. The roots are insulated from the fire by the soil, so really I am doing the same thing as very frequent, very low mowing - which may be bad for the grass in the long run, but not deadly over the span of my attention.

In the photo of the new bed, you can see hostas in full bloom. Yesterday while sitting on the front porch, a female ruby-throated hummingbird visited the tubular hosta blooms. While I have never been particularly enarmoured of hosta flowers, my opinion of them has changed from "shade filler plant" to "sometime hummingbird food."

Below is a taste of a few of the flowers, mostly native, now blooming. In order, top to bottom:

Borage (Borago officinalis, not native, but pretty and a good companion plant to veggies)

Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana), with purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) behind

Red milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), with bergemot (Monarda didyma) and spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)

Gray goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis), with gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) and ox-eye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)

Cup-plant (Silphium perfoliatum, yellow), Culver's root (Veronicastrum virginicum, white), with gray-headed coneflower and purple coneflower in background

Purple coneflower and prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya), with fleabane (Erigeron sp.)

Spotted mint (Monarda punctata)

Rattlesnake master (white), with purple coneflower and black eyed susans in background

1 comment:

Gloria said...

That is one nice showing of blooms for the pollinators. I was off line for much of the summer and just getting to see how well your garden is doing.