Monday, September 20, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
An interesting fact about this flower is that the juice from the stems can be used to soothe the sting from nettles and Poison Ivy. It is also a favorite of hummingbirds.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
By far, this is becoming one of my favorite plants in the garden. Pictured here is Liatris spicata "Kobold", also known as Blazing Star or Gayfeather, that I have growing behind my coneflowers. These purple spikes add a different texture to the garden and are great for the back of the border (at least those where max height is around 4 feet). The flower spike reaches anywhere from 2-3 feet tall, and forms a clump of bulbs, but some of my spikes this year are pushing 4 feet tall..
Looks like I will have to divide mine next spring as some of the original single bulbs I planted two years ago have 6-8 spikes. Butterflies love this native wildflower!
Monday, July 19, 2010
I planted one in my front border two years ago, and then decided to buy two more last fall to plant in another section of the yard. Those were "buy one get one free" and very root-bound, but they seem to be doing well this year.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I was only planning on taking a macro photo of this pretty daisy at a friend's yard the other day, but along came this little spider and quickly walked across the face and back under the petals. I took a batch of photos hoping I caught him, and luckily, this one photo was my great reward.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The spinach, radishes, and red leaf lettuce are spent, but I still have beets to harvest in another week, as well as strawberry plants, and yellow beans.
Friday, June 25, 2010
My Coneflower Garden is about to bloom and includes Blazing Star Liatris "Kobold", an "Endless Summer" Hydrangea, two varieties of Coreopsis -"Moonbeam" and "Limerock Ruby", and Black Eyed Susans "Goldsturm".
I have alot of Coneflowers in this bed and once they start blooming, I will photograph each one so you can see their color and petal characteristics:
- White Swan
- Harvest Moon
- Fatal Attraction
- Summer Sky
- Ruby Star
- Primadonna Deep Rose
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I have been seeing quite a few of these beautiful blue dragonflies in the garden all through June. The Red Headed Woodpecker that has set up shop in my backyard is going crazy chasing them down for a quick snack.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I have never given much thought to Poppies and really don't know much about them. But a couple of months ago while perusing the Home Depot garden center, my son spotted some poppies called "Champagne Bubbles", and he just had to have one of his own. So, we picked out this beautiful red flower, as well as a pink variety.
When the rabbits don't eat them, they bloom very well and are quite pretty, though short in height. It will be interesting to see how they do with their first winter, and if they come back. If successful, then I just might add a few more to the garden next year.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Unfortunately, this causes a dilemma for a gardener. The sides of our yard for instance, have such a steep grade that water runs right over it, and doesn't have a chance to soak in. The grass there is struggling, and anything that I plant on the side of the house has to either be drought tolerant, or heavily mulched to retain moisture.
At the back of our lot, the grade levels out, but unfortunately, retains all the water that drains down the lot and leaves the water with nowhere to go. The soil there is relatively moist, and in a few places, stays quite wet. In these places I have had to plant moisture loving perennials, some that don't mind getting their feet wet.
Getting to know the different areas of your garden and yard can take multiple seasons. You have to research what works in the sun or shade, and what takes drought or moist conditions in these lighting scenarios. You will lose some plants, as I can attest, so be prepared and keep a garden book for notes on what does and doesn't work.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I have to say that my favorite color is blue, so I am very attracted to blues and purples in the garden landscape. Spring is a great time to walk through forests to find Minnesota wildflowers, and you cannot miss the tons of Wild Blue Phlox that line walking trails. The flowers are very delicate and I had to get really low to the ground to take this photograph.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Word of caution, once planted, these plants aren't the easiest to get rid of, some people calling them invasive. Their roots grow deep and self seeds readily. Make sure to deadhead to prevent self sowing, and cut back after bloom as you might get a rebloom in the fall.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
But since irises usually do not bloom for a year once transplanted, I did not get to enjoy any blooms when the Spring of 2009 came around. So I waited patiently for another year to go by, and now finally, three seasons later, I finally have blooms! I had forgotten just how beautiful the blue-purple color of these flowers were.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
After living through so many storms in Florida, I have come to hate the wind. A gentle breeze is ok, but I have experienced more high winds in Minnesota than I thought was possible. Oh, and the humidity that followed was also not a welcome addition. Maybe we should call this state, Florisota instead? Minneorda?
Friday, May 21, 2010
Here's another yellow Minnesota wildflower that likes moist areas and is prolific around streams in the early spring time. Marsh Marigold is a member of the buttercup family and is best identified by the bright yellow flowers that mound above round basal leaves. Each yellow flower can have between 5-9 petals. I found hundreds of these plants at Nerstrand State Park this spring, all growing along the creeks that fed into the Hidden Falls waterfall area.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
If you read my garden blog, then you know that I love to photograph flowers and wildlife, pretty much anything in the Minnesota landscape. This spring has been great for catching wildflowers.
I found this lovely yellow wildflower, a Swamp Buttercup, in one of the state parks a few weeks back. It grows on erect stalks above the "sharp" edged leaves and has five roundish petals. As the name suggests, it likes water and can be found most readily in wet soil, shady areas, woods, and meadows.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Jack in the Pulpit
Probably one of my favorite spring Minnesota Wildflowers because it is not like any other "flower" and can easily be overlooked when walking through the woods. I always find them at the edge of trails and wooded shady areas. I have only seen them 1-2 feet tall.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
- Peony, Coral Charm
- Peony, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Azalea, Mandarin Lights
- Yarrow, Paprika
- Foxglove, Candy Mountain
- Delphinium, Pagan Purples
- Delphinium, Black Night
- Butterfly Weed
- Coneflower, Purple
- Coneflower, Ruby Star
- Coneflower, Primadonna Deep Rose
- Phlox, David
- Blazing Star, Purple
- Blazing Star, Meadow
- Blazing Star, Button
- Butterfly Bush, Argentea
- Monarda, Jacob Cline
- Astilbe, Ostrich Plume
- Astilbe, Taquetti
- Coreopsis, Moonbeam
- Verbena, Brazilian
- Aster, Alma Potschke
- Joe Pye Weed, Wild
- Joe Pye Weed, Sweet
- Queen of the Prairie
Some of them I bought multiples of, as many are going in my church's butterfly garden which I have volunteered to take over.
Monday, May 10, 2010
I was able to cover up my vegetables, bleeding heart, peonies, and many other plants that were tender with new leaves and they look to have pulled through. But my Chocolate Joe Pye Weed got hit, as well as some of the astilbe and sedum leaves. Tomorrow I will have to see if there is any further late appearing damage. Next time, I need to get some more sheets!
Friday, May 7, 2010
I got my wrist band at 8:30am, which they start giving away at 8 am, and I still had 13 groups of people ahead of me. So I waited until they opened at 11:00, thankfully under the umbrella I bought, and watched the crowd get bigger and bigger. By the time I got in, the building was swamped, and of course groups behind me kept coming in as well. Needless to say, they need to space the groups out better. At times, I was like a car in Los Angeles traffic, stopped in my tracks with no one moving to let people through. What's the purpose of coming early with congestion like that?
Oh, well. I experienced it at least.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I happened upon this delicate flower last week as I was walking along a hiking trail in Nerstrand State Park. I have never seen this Minnesota Wildflower before, and found out when I researched it that its name is Early Meadow Rue. A week later, I was back in the park, and the wildflowers were spent, so it doesn't last long. The flowers are so small they are easy to miss.
Monday, May 3, 2010
- Friends School Plant Sale at the Minnesota State Fair, May 7-9
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Sale, May 8-9
- Dakota County Master Gardeners Sale, May 15
- Hennepin County Master Gardeners Sale, May 22
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The early vegetables I planted a couple of weeks ago in my garden are coming up nicely. Last year I planted only tomatoes, but ventured out this year and planted beets, radishes (pictured), red leaf lettuce, and spinach. In a few weeks, I will have to plant wax beans.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The Dog Violet is a really pretty hue of blue and purple, and can be found almost everywhere along the trails and roadsides of Minnesota. I have a similar type of wildflower violet in my back yard, but I found this one in Nerstrand State Park this spring.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
I planted my Red Brandywine tomato seeds about a week ago and transplanted the sprouts into the cell pack above yesterday. I learned a ton growing tomatoes last year, and six plants overwhelmed me and my garden, as this tomato grows huge! So this year I plan on keeping four for my garden, and giving any other plants away.
Feel free to read my series on Growing Tomato Plants from Seed, which I wrote for the 2009 growing season.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
This past week I have awoken every day to two sets of visitors in the pond behind our house. They don't stay for long and are gone with-in hours, but these Hooded Mergansers are a delight to see, and a nice change from geese and Mallards.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I keep a garden journal of each year's growth, and found that last year, new growth for many plants didn't appear until the middle of April. This year, with the 50 degree weather, I found the following plants peeking out:
- Black Eyed Susan
- Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinth
- Bachelor Button
Now, let's just hope the bunnies don't have a buffet dinner with my plants!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
This morning I woke up to find the rabbits had dug a foot down into the snow and eaten all the sedums up to that point. I feel bad for them, but hate to think that food like this will keep them around. There is also a growing number of rabbit droppings under my deck.
Don't get to comfy critters...war will be declared in the Spring if you don't leave my perennials alone!