Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Golden Wildflower~~Part One

I hope you like my entry into  the Gardening Gone Wild Picture This native photo contest! 

The GGW folks want a photo of a native plant featured in a garden setting.  I took this photo last spring with my ancient point and shoot camera and I have been unable to  capture another view of this garden that pleases me more!   Golden Ragwort/Senecio aureus  is my choice for native plant. It's not a sexy or glamorous wildflower; but it's a hard worker in my garden.   It's in most of the shady  beds and I divide and move it around depending upon where it will have a good impact.  It provides continuity, good color and food for  Little Carpenter bees, Cuckoo bees and various Halictid bees. 

 The Screened Porch Wildflower Garden, where all these photos have been taken,   

has a mix of mostly natives, with a supportive cast of native friendly exotics.

 The Japanese Maple, seen in the entry photo,  is under planted with Golden Ragwort/Senecio aureus, non-native Polygontum odoratum 'Variegatum' and natives Phlox pilosa, Delphinium tricorne, heucheras and a few others.  (Some of the sexier wildflowers.)

Golden Ragwort,  in my opinion,  is under appreciated and under used! It's a good  evergreen ground cover here in my zone 7ish  garden.  It has a nice extended bloom period.  I  cut the flower heads off after bloom to keep it from seeding everywhere... The seed heads add nothing to the garden...unless you want to collect them.  It does spread from the roots, too!  Not to worry!  Trust me! You can easily rip out unwanted seedlings or transplant them to another part of the garden. 

Did I mention it makes a really nice ground cover!  Well, it does...if that's what's needed this plant will do the job!  

Visit Gardening Gone Wild to see the other entries! You still have time to enter the contest!

I'm so glad you stopped by!
Gail

66 comments:

  1. Looks like a nice native for the garden Gail. :)

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  2. I've fallen in love with Senecio family - what with there bright colors and lovely blooms that almost blooms year round. I have a cousin of your Golden Ragwort - Mexican Flame Vine! It's so easy to propagate through cuttings!

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  3. Good morning Gail, this is one of my favorite photos of your garden. It is so natural looking and the blend of plants and furniture alone should win a prize. I did locate and move my ragwort to a better spot and after pouting a bit has perked up and will bloom soon. Would you suggest allowing it to seed, I want more, many many more, or just root run? Danger of frost tonight!!!! Save the tomatoes.
    Frances

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  4. Gail = you're right - that's a beautiful photo of your garden and I love the natural way that the Senecio has covered that area. What a lovely wildflower meadow.

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  5. Beautiful Gail! Those first two photos look like they should be in a magazine.

    Our local natives nursery sells Senecio plattensis. I did a quick google, and it seems aureus may be more of a woodland plant, while plattensis seems to be a prairie plant.

    Aureus sounds like something that would be happy in my garden - very tempting!

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  6. You can not beat that photo of your garden at that time and stage .. it is beautiful !
    Everything seems so natural and at ease in your garden Gail .. you and it, have taken on each other's "personalities"? and that is truly wonderful : )

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  7. Racquel,

    It's not a bad little fellow..if you like yellow flower in spring and a nice evergreen plant for the rest of the year.

    Gail

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  8. Chandramouli,

    I am glad you know this plant~~I am going to google your Mexican Flame Vine to see what it looks like! Glad you popped over for a visit!

    gail

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  9. Ragwort is a popular plant at our local botanical gardens. We were there a few weeks ago, and I saw a bench surrounded by a woodland "meadow' of ragwort in bloom! It's almost Monet! :-) You have a divine setting! I think your photo will win! Can we vote? :-)

    Cameron

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  10. Frances,

    Let it go to seed, the wind will blow them all over and you can move them about, plus, you have a friend with more of them! I'm glad you like the photo...It's one of my favorites, too...Please tell me you are teasing about a frost? That's not good this late in the season! Yikes...and with a drought forecast for the summer; it's deja vu all over again!

    Gail

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  11. Diana,

    Thank you...It's a fun garden to look out into when your sitting on the front porch. We would love to sit out there but we haven't had decently warm weather yet! But later this week it will be summer! The weather forecast sounds like the early spring Austin had! Have a good day!

    gail

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  12. Joy,

    You say the sweetest things! I like this little garden...I am afraid that this past few months I've been paying way to much attention to the Garden of not so Benign Neglect! The dogwood is still blooming and if the weather cooperates...we can sit on the porch and look at the garden before all the spring pretties go to seed!

    Wish you could join me on the porch for tea...that's hot tea...it's chilly!

    Gail

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  13. Linda,

    It would be lovely in your garden! Unless you are bothered by it's ground cover preferences! I can send you a bit of it? Let me know and email me your address... I can't find the envelope the seeds came in, I knew I should have written it down!

    Gail

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  14. The golden ragwort looks beautiful in this setting. When I read "golden" I immediately thought of the Golden Alexander that does much of the same job that you have your Golden Ragwort doing. Lovely pictures.

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  15. Cameron,

    The picture you've painted of a Monet like setting is wonderful...It's a pretty little wildflower and if one has the real estate it's a good investment! Your botanical gardens sound like a good place to visit. Thanks for the 'vote', although, it's a psychological one...I think there are official judges!

    Gail

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  16. Hi Lisa,

    I had to google Golden Alexander! It's lovely...the name sounded familiar. Mobot had a nice write up on it ...I hope you have the lovely in your garden! The Senecio is not a bad plant either! How's the garden weather?

    Gail

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  17. Gail, I personally love golden Alexander. I especially love how the buds are so purple and the flower is so yellow! It kind of moves itself around, but I'm cool with that, too. I also love that it handles some shade as I have a lot of it.

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  18. Gail,
    Yellow is my very favorite color! Excellent choice and beautiful pictures!--Randy

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  19. Wild and wonderful, Gail ... love it ... my kind of Paradise plus I can smell the background woods.

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  20. I've always loved this photo - good luck in the contest!

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  21. Phillip, You, too! I have never thought of entering a photo contest...and wouldn't except this is just among friends! It's my favorite photo, too.

    gail

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  22. Joey,

    Thank you! ...You would love my suburban neighborhood. Off to the southwest there are hills and ridges...here where it used to be all forests and woodlands with an occasional cedar glade, there are still pockets of woods. Gail

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  23. Monica, I am going to have to try to grow the Zuzia or Golden Alexander. I love how Golden Ragwort is purple in winter, too! We never have snow cover so I can see it year round. It is a traveler!

    gail

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  24. Randy, There are gardeners who don't like yellow! Not me and you...I love it! I would send you some, but it might like your soil too much and then you would be mad at me! glad you liked the photo! gail

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  25. Hi Gail, I've admired this on your site before. I googled it and get the impression it needs consistently moist soil. Is that true in your garden? There isn't any point in my buying plants that are not drought tolerant.
    Marnie

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  26. WOW! That is a beautiful photo!! All of your photos are great, you really captured the contrast in the Maple with the yellow underneath, that pot is just a bonus....

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  27. Thanks for another thoughtful post. That first picture with the Maple and the ceramic pot is a stunner! I've just added the Senecio aureus to my list of flowers to seek. Sounds like seed would be good way to get these started.

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  28. Marnie, I have it in several dry spots...it doesn't do as well there, but, it isn't dead! Can you plant in the early fall? If so, then I would suggest planting it then...unless you can supplement the rainfall it's first summer.

    Gail

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  29. Darla, Thanks dear. I do love the way the maples accent the golden ragwort and vice versa! That was another happy accident in my garden! gail

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  30. Macgardens, I need to save seeds to share with all of you who might be interested in this plant. Where is my chalk board for reminders. I think I need one in the garden! I am so glad you like the phot, wasn't I lucky to make the shot...never again! gail

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  31. It's really pretty. I was walking on the greenway recently and I am wondering if this is what we all saw there. Is it fragrant? I also saw it listed on GroWild's plant list. I would love to go to that, if only to look at all the wildflowers and learn, but I am thinking I'll be too stretched that day. You have fun there! See you tonight! Yes, I'll save you a seat. Looks like only me tonight-but that's okay. I always try to get there at 6:30 so hopefully no terrible traffic.

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  32. I really like that one. Under the Japanese Maple with the blue urn it looks so pretty.

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  33. Tina, The Growild thing is two days. Maybe the Mr would drive down with you on Saturday, they usually have great snacks and music through out the day! There are a few trails, too. While here you can pop over to the natchez trace or to Leiper's Fork where marmee lives...great food. I will see you at 6:30! gail

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  34. Catherine, Thanks! The urn is fun and I wish they would sell them at Home Depot again! The color is perfect for gardens. It was originally part of a recirculating fountain. Thanks for popping over! Gail

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  35. Great photo! I'll stick to admiring Senecio aureus vicariously, as I'd rather not plant it & watch it struggle in my incredibly well-drained. soil

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  36. MMD, Let's make an exchange...I will gladly send you clay to add to your well drained soil if you send me well drained soil to add to my clay! We may end up with the perfect clay loam mixture and be able to grow just about anything! gail

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  37. Hi Sue! Thanks for stopping by! gail

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  38. LOL, I took my computer to work today, and was blogging while waiting for our boss to come for a meeting. I was typing my "nice" as he was starting the meeting. He just found out 3 positions are being cut for next year. He's going to let us know soon, who it will be. I really hope I am not one of them!

    I did enjoy your wild flowers.

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  39. Sue, I hope you're safe from a layoff! You'll let us know? gail

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  40. Gail~
    The photo is beautiful! It could be a greeting card :) Well done!

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  41. I love the flowers against the lattice. Such a homey feel to it.
    Brenda

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  42. I really like the porch garden. I don't know much about wild flowers. I've spent my time learning the cultivars. It's a treat for me to come here and see a garden that grows in the same zone and be so different from mine. You make me want incorporate a wildflower garden somewhere around here.

    Your first photo is beautiful and unique. I know what you mean about capturing it just perfectly.

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  43. Anna, I think your garden is perfect for wildflowers...Under and near your dogwood out by the Coppertop Shed is a good environment! Just start with a few ephemerals and phlox divaricata, native columbines and you have the beginning of a wildflower garden! You can grow native azaleas so you can have the pretty flower colors you love so much! You'll love them! gail

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  44. brenda, Thanks...I like the lattice, too! gail

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  45. Yes, I'll let you know. Thanks, Gail. Just the other day someone asked me if my job is safe, and I said it was, because we are kept so busy, and are needed. I am a special education para. They recently hired several people, who work with the higher needs students some, but spend a lot of the day with students who have behavior issues. I am one of the only 2 women willing to get into the swimming pool, so I think I'm safe, but we'll see. He did say he's not going by seniority.

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  46. Beautiful shots Gail. We have a lot of Senecio growing in our floodway fields; I wonder if it's the same species as yours.

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  47. First photo is stunning !
    Love all the colors and composition.
    Maybe I should find out whats native where I live.

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  48. It looks great with the Japanese maple! Ironically I planted the senecio you gave us near one too.

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  49. I love that first photo. The serene stillness of the yellow & blue together. That is magazine material for sure.

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  50. Lola, Thanks..how are you? g

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  51. What a stunning photo! I love how the colors go together...

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  52. I love all the primary colors in your entry. Ancient point and shoot camera or not, you got a great image.

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  53. Gail, HA! I actually meant golden ragwort and typed golden Alexander (Azizia) by mistake--I like that, too, but I was referring to the cute purple buds of golden ragwort. Brains! I want a refund!

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  54. I have always loved that top photo, Gail. It's like a living bouquet of flowers and foliage coming out of the blue pot. So cool!

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  55. Hi Gail! I'm glad I posted about our news at work here, because I have someone to tell I found out today from a teacher that I am not going to be one of the people whose positions will be cut. She said I can't tell anyone yet. I never said anything about it on either of my blogs, so I don't know if I will, but I can't yet, anyway. So, Gail, this is very off topic, but thanks for letting me express my relief here in your comments. I can tie it into gardening by saying I won't have to reduce my plant budget. :o)

    It's hot this week! Where are the 70s?

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  56. Loving these combos!
    Thanks for the golden ragwort name:)

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  57. That picture is awesome. Like stepping into a dream! Well, at least the kind of dream I enjoy :)

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  58. Hi Gail,
    Doing good, old Arthur sure is not leaving me alone. He must think I get lonely. lol
    Came through your neck of the woods a couple weeks ago. Wish I'd had time to stop & have a cup of hot tea with you.
    Biggest thrill, got to meet the greatest Master Gardener.

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  59. I should be in the middle of it's range, yet can't recall seeing it. I certainly will be keeping an eye out for it and bringing some home. I agree it would be a winner in my light woods.

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  60. Well the contest is done and results posted over at GGW early next week. Thanks for your entry and I am giving each photo bit of constructive criticism.
    Love the photo and nice combination of colors and garden elements. I wish the pot had been straightened and the photo would be so much stronger if it had been a bit brighter.

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