Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Iris Garden

I have been waiting three seasons to finally witness once again what I have not seen for at least a decade or more: Irises from my mom's garden, ones I grew up with, are now blooming in my own garden.

My mom gave them to me in the fall of 2007, but since the home we were building was not yet complete, I had to plant them in my mother-in-laws garden for the winter in Wisconsin. The fall of 2008, with our new home complete and my garden beds plotted out, I moved them into my garden bed.

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.

Thanks Mom, they are a welcome site to my garden and people walking by always comment on them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I hate the Wind

For a few days this weekend it felt like I was living back in Florida as a Category 1 hurricane rolled through the area. My poor plants took a beating and were pleading for a drink after the wind died down. Ok, most of them came through ok, but I did have to save one of my iris plants as the wind had it nearly laying down on the ground. I quickly staked it and it pulled through the wind no problem.

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

The Marsh Marigold Wildflower

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

Swamp Buttercup Minnesota Wildflower

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 Wildflower

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

My Newly Bought Plant List

On behalf of my readers who want to know what I got at the Friends School Plant sale, below is a list of my plunder:
  • 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
  • Bluestar
  • 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

That Darn Freeze!

I experienced my first late spring Minnesota garden freeze this weekend, and ran out of sheets to protect my Endless Summer Hydrangea. By noon Saturday, the poor thing looked like the above photo. I have another one as well, and it took a beating too.

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

Friends School Plant Sale

I spent the morning in the pouring rain at the Friends Plant Sale at the State Fair Grounds. Let's just say it was a mad house, and I doubt I will go again next year. The even is just too big and too crowded. Granted, I got a lot of plants for the money, with the amount of people there, it was more of a hassle being there, when it should have been fun.

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

Early Meadow Rue

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

Do You Like Plant Sales?

If you are looking for a good plant sale, then don't miss a few coming up in the next two weeks:
  • 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

Happy Shopping!