Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Maxed Out

Hmmm.....doesn't look too abnormally large.
That's a pretty normal size of things.
That's a little more on the maximum size.
Bam! Yes, that's maximum. 9-10' Tall! Yes these plants are taller than the stop sign! whoops. They are impressive, however they are a little large and 'weedy' looking for me and for my small piece of property. The plant? Helianthus maximiliani -Maximilian Sunflower. I planted some by seed two years ago in a eastern exposure and the plants stayed pretty confined with late season interest that I enjoyed. This spring many seedlings were popping up every where including these plants which I allowed to grow while removing many more nearby. The size of the plant and texture of the foliage mixed in with the similar foliage of Western Ironweed created a combination that really isn't pleasant to the eye and they bloom so late.
It looks like a glob and most of the foliage has been eaten by lacebugs. So most of these are gone as I write this. I left a colony near the house and one plant on the right.
The blooms are impressive and the bees and ants love them.
This is Kansas you know.
More to come! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wildflower Wednesday September 2014

Yellow seems seems to be the color of choice for natives in my neck of the woods.
Some of the new blooms in the new native garden hellstrip are really responding to the growing conditions. Rudebeckia hirta, Verbena stricta, Eupatorium purpureum and Eryngium yuccifolium.

Rudebeckia subtomentosa-Sweet Black-Eyed Susan with Eupatorium purpurea- Sweet Scented Joe Pye Weed.
Ratibida pinnata-Yellow coneflower
In the vintage area of the hellstrip, Agastache foeniculum-Anise Hyssop, Dalea purpurea-Purple Prairie Clover, Panicum virgatum 'Dewey Blue', and Allium.
Schizachyriium scoparium'Blaze'-Blaze Little Bluestem in middle.
West half of the new prairie garden hellstrip.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Morning Bliss

Echinacea purpurea, Schizachyrium scoparium 'the Blues', Helianthus maximiliani, Clamagrostis acutifolia 'Karl Foerster' and Rhus typhina 'Balitiger'.
Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail', Eupatorium purpurea, and Rudbeckia hirta.
Nepeta 'Walkers Low', Ruellia humilis, Salvia azurea, Symphyotrichum ericoides, and Salvia farinacea.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Fathers Day Garden Bloggers Bloom Day-June 2014

I suppose if it wasn't for GBBD I would barely post at all. So thank you Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting my monthly reminder.
It has been a relatively slow to bloom spring with alternate warm and cool weather this year. When I began planting my new perennial native bed in late April the temperature extremes fluctuated from 38 to 99 in two days. Now on this fathers day I am concerned about some newly planted natives I just received last week and our planned vacation next week and how they will survive while we're gone. Hopefully my watering fiend neighbor will do a fine job.
Onward with some photos:
Hollyhock in the Veggie Garden.

The entry Cottage Garden.
Cat Pink.
Purple Prairie Clover

Butterfly Milkweed Photo from the Cowley County Wildflower Tour

Happy GBBD!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Sensitive Catclaw

Every month on the last Wednesday, Gail with Clay and Limestone blog shares a meme to provide a place to link our native and wildflower blooms and plants. I'm a little late but I wanted to share this unusual Kansas native, Catclaw Sensitive Plant. 
Mimosa quadrivalvis - Catclaw Sensitive Plant
This plant really isn't too impressive until it blooms these round sparkling blooms. It reminds me of a woodland plant for some reason but it is prevalent in many prairies. I found this plant in a vacant industrial lot that I have derived many natives before.  Kids would be interested as the leaves fold up when touched.
Mimosa quadrivalvis L. var. nuttallii
Height: 1-2 feet tall
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period: May-September
Stems: Sprawling, 1-6 feet long, strongly ribbed, covered with hooked pickles.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked.
Inflorescences: Heads, dense, spherical, 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter, talks 1 to 3 inches long, in leaf axis.
Flowers: Numerous, tiny, sessile, pink to lavender, calyces minute, 5-lobed, petals 5, united; stamens 8-12, filaments pink, anthers yellow.
Fruits: Pods, linear, 1 to 5 inches long, strongly ribbed, prickly; seeds namy, nearly square, smooth.
Habitat: Prairies, open woodlands, ravines, and roadsides, most abundant in dry, rocky or sandy soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Comments: The leaflets are sensitive to touch and will fold together when disturbed. The tiny flowers are rarely seen due to the overshadowing stamens.
*Information courtesy of Mike Haddock Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses website.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

My love of Spaghetti (Italian)Western movies is quiet evident by inserting a video clip from the Sergio Leone film, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Clint Eastwood became famous starring in many of these films. I'm using the film name as a theme for this blog post.

the Good

Tulips, spreading phlox, and the Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) tree are the only plants in full bloom presently. I definitely need to add more tulips in the coming years as I have been extremely pleased with the performance of this variety of tulip. I have used a different planting method to increase performance.
the Bad

You may ask what is bad about this area of the garden. Everything is green and growing, right? Yes, the Allium and Verbascum are doing well. But what is the green vine going gang busters during this cool and late spring? Yes, you probably guessed it, Convolvulus arvensis, Field Bindweed. 
I swear if there ever is evil in the plant world, this one is it. I'm curious how these new Perennial Movement gardens keep these noxious weeds and tree seedlings under control.
The plant in the lower area resembling chrysanthemum leaves is a Kansas native, Ambrosia psilostachya, Western Ragweed. This one snuck in with some native Delphinums I planted. Spreads by rhizomes, very prolific. This one I should be able to dig out with time.

The cool season grass above reminds me a lot of yellow nutsedge in appearance. However its a little early for that lovely weed. I believe this to be an Eragrostis that I planted from seed, and it has spread by rhizomes throughout this part of the garden and into the middle of plants.
the Ugly

Ulmus amercana-American Elm. Whats so ugly you may ask. Those are not new leaves developing on the limbs but clusters of seedheads. Thousands of seeds, there may be a few seedlings coming up in the mulch this year. Pure ugliness.
Former variegated Yucca. Fifteen below temperatures take care of zone envy dreams quickly. Mush ugly.

Big gopher holes?
This photo above shows the movement of six tall grass species in the corner hell strip to increase visibility on that traffic corner.
Before-January 2014
April 16, 2014
No they are not gopher holes, but transplant excavations. I moved a 8' crape myrtle in the first photo. The second photo involved moving Panicum to the photo above (bottom corner). The new construction creates quite a bit of ugliness. Soon the beds will be full of new native plants and everyone will be happy. Lawn Gone as Pam Penick @ Digging would say!
This post coincides with Garden Bloggers Bloom Day  where you can view blooms from all over the world.
Happy gardening!