Thursday, July 25, 2013

Little Blue and Turkeyfoot

Name for a dynamic duo? Super hero's? Cartoon characters, or Indian tribe names? Nope. Super prairie grasses. Schizachyrium scoparium-Little Bluestem and Andropogon geradii-Big Bluestem or Turkeyfoot.
Schizachyrium scoparium 'the Blues' - Little Bluestem
Last year the Kansas legislature named Little Blue the state grass. During this time the Native Plant Society of Kansas, which was instrumental in achieving this goal, provided funds for educational material to be used for speakers and also for schools. The school materials are being used to inform children of the importance of these prairie grassed in the ecosystem and history of Kansas. 
Andropogon geradii Vitam - Big Bluestem, Turkeyfoot
Turkey foot got its nickname from the native Americans. Most people know it as Big Bluestem. This particular plant is well over 7' tall and was rescued from a vacant industrial lot. It is located on my corner hell strip. Right plant in wrong plant, so after this image was taken I cut it down to three foot along with everything else in the bed. There will be movement this winter. This grass populates a large part of the Kansas Flint Hills and is outstanding forage for grazing cattle as well as seed for wildlife.
 The shape of the seedheads resembles a turkey foot.
As you can see the seed heads even dwarfed the Calamagrostis seedheads.
Or they did in this photo.
 Little Blue and Purple Leaf Coneflower

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rankled by Rumex

This is my Foliage Followup post which follows Garden Bloggers Bloom Day every month. Pam @ Digging hosts this flying foliage extravaganza.

One of my design goals this season was to improve winter interest in the garden. I read somewhere that designing for winter interest is the most important garden design criteria. Another goal is to create a native plant enriched prairie garden near the street frontage, alias: hellstrip. I keep a keen eye out for winter interest in the surrounding prairies and determined that Rumex crispus-curly dock's rusty seed heads would be a bold addition to the winter garden. I found some growing in my favorite vacant industrial lot and transplanted four groupings.

They survived the winter and begain to grow in the spring. Looks like a weed doesn't it? Plantain even. This was taken April 12.
Broader view. Thats the Rumex on the right side of the Yucca.
On May 23 my wife was telling me some weed in the garden is giving her allergies a fit while she spied this ugly(her term) weed.
 June 12 the plant is getting huge. See it on the right?
 Now things were getting controversial. My neighbors were giving me concerning looks while passing by. The curly dock and the mullien were causing quite a stir.
Add to this grouping a few Vernonia gigantea-Tall Ironweed and we got a prairie weed rodeo going on! At this point, with the Rumex beginning to flop over I decided to do a Tracy DiSabato Aust. That is experiment whacking one in half to experiment to control height. So far so good. At this time a rancher who lives in the hood, replied that one (pointing to the dock) is not a "good one". Whoops. Two days later with Panicum, Achillea, Echinacea, and Veronia. It's beginning to grow on me.
June 19.
June 22nd powdery mildew is taking away the leaves.
June 29 the spendor.
In closure, July 13th.
What's your opinion weed or worthy?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bloom Day Post - July 2013

 Echinacea pururea - Purple Coneflower
I'm sure there will be plenty of these posted on this months bloom day post. I purposely allowed these seedlings to multiple to create this large grouping. Some designers would call this a "block" planting, which I suppose it is. This too shall change.

The pollinators do love it.
Let's not forget my newest favorite, Dalea purpurea-Purple Prairie Clover.
Visiting grandaughter, loving the blooms.
And my pal, Sid. Loves the feel of the Yarrow.
Happy July Blooms everyone. You can join everyone at the monthly bloom meme, May Dream Gardens. Thanks Carol.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Passionate Purple

I had planned to head out to the garden to piddle, but instead I sat down to import images from my camera. Wow, I opened the first image of Dalea purpera. An outstanding landscape form from a native Kansas plant. Check these images out and go get some!

Dalea purperea-Purple Praire Clover with Nasella tenuissima and Perovskia atriplicifolia

 Petals appear from the bottom first.

 With Achillea millefolium 'Terra Cotta'
 Grouped with Nasella tenuissama
Natives gone wild?