Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wild Bergamot

One of my favorite wild flowers, Bergamot is a member of the mint family and blooms late summer. It is always a beautiful purple, all though perennial varieties from nurseries come in a vast array of colors and heights.

Some know the flower as Bee Balm. You might be surprised to learn that the oil from this mint has been used in folk medicine as a tea ingredient to treat respiratory and digestive disorders.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Coneflower - Big Sky Sundown

I planted a coneflower garden on one side of my house this year, with about 10 different types of coneflowers. The Big Sky Series has some amazing colored coneflowers and it took me all summer to finally find one of the Echinacea "Sundown" varieties. The photo really does not do it justice as the color is just more vibrant in real life. The color is dark pink and orange and pretty fragrant.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hydrangea - Pinky Winky

I planted the Hydrangea Pinky Winky in my yard this year. It is a very pretty shrub as all the blooms start out white and then slowly turn to a dark pink as the flower ages. I placed it at the corner of the garage since it is supposed to get six to eight feet tall, as well as very wide. It was a pretty hard bush to find in stock this summer, but I was able to finally find it at Bachmans.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Magnus Coneflower

The ‘Magnus’ Coneflower, of the Echinacea purpurea family, also known as Purple Coneflower, is one of the coneflowers I chose to be in my Coneflower garden this year. I have one area of purple toned varieties, and then another area that includes the yellows, oranges, and whites. The Magnus is one of the largest, getting 3 feet high, and so far is still blooming away.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kogane Fubuki Dahlia

Another Dahlia I am growing this year - it is called the Kogane Fubuki Dahlia. The photo on the package shows the color distribution as yellow in the center and red on the outer pedals, but my dahlia seems to be doing the opposite. I had to stake it twice, as the stems are very thick and heavy, and it has about five other blooms maturing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Red-White Fubuki Dahlia

This is the first year growing Dahlias and they have just started to open up this second week of August. I got a late start with them, as our yard was not ready for planting anything until mid June.

This is a Red-White Fubuki Dahlia that I bought as a bulb from a local gardening store...comes from VanBloem Gardens in Meridian, Mississippi.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Yellow Rumped Warbler

This little guy posed long enough for a photo op...his name makes you chuckle.

Minnesota Wildflowers - Dutchman's Breeches

This past weekend I took a long nature hike off the bluffs of the Mississippi River and found some great spring wildflowers.

The photo is the wildflower called Dutchman's Breeches. The odd shape of the flower makes it hard to get to the flower's nectar. Only bumblebees have mouths capable of reaching in far enough for the prize.

Minnesota Wildflowers - Columbine

This beautiful red-orange flower hangs upside-down and is usually found perched on rocks or on the edge of shady woodlands. From the Buttercup family, Columbine blooms in late spring and into summer.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Wood Duck

Yesterday the Woodducks came back to the back yard to check and see if their home was still attached to the tree. With the squater squirrels that took possession over the summer, the ducks have some spring cleaning to do on their home.

It was really interesting to watch them. The male, who is quite beautiful, staked out a branch near the box for about a half hour. Then he would hop branches, getting a little closer each time. Finally, he landed on the box, checked it out, then called the female over to give her final approval. If this isn't the same way couples pick a house in this market, then I don't know what is.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Finally, Spring is here!

I created this blog to showcase the Minnesota Garden, namely my garden as I create it, and gardens, wildlife, etc, around the Twin Cities. It has been a few months shy of a year since I last posted, namely because we had planned on buying a home sooner (after renting for two years), but then decided to build instead.

Of course, building in the winter and closing in April means you have no garden. Actually, we have no sod either...only a blanket of dirt and mud. Sod typically isn't available until late May here in Minnesota, and then there is a mad rush from the winter built homes. So over the next few weeks, I will be planning my garden and yard, and will be sure to keep the zero number of readers I have in the loop. :)