Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox
Showing posts with label celebration of wildflowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label celebration of wildflowers. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bottoms Up!

Penstemon X

Bee bottoms that is!

But, let's make a toast to the bees that visit and pollinate our flowers.
They work hard~from sunrise to sunset.

Carpenter Bee visiting kale flowers
No vacations. No time off. Take these ginormous, pesty Carpenter Bees~ They are busy, busy, busy pollinating garden crops and garden plants while feeding and carrying for their young. They pollinate eggplant tomato, cucurbits, cassias, Carolina Jessamine, bee balm, aromatic sumac and wild lupine.


I had to use this one again~It's a favorite photo!
All the pollinators that visit or live in our gardens need a variety of nectar and pollen producing plants from early spring to late into the fall.


Ox-Eye Daisy
Here at Clay and Limestone we celebrate all pollinators and welcome them with as many plants as I can cram squeeze into the garden.


I don't mind that Evening Primrose could be called a thug. It's such a cheerful late spring flower, smells lovely and rips out easily.
Look at how nicely it weaves among the perennials in the Sunny Susans Bed.


Or, that Ox-Eye Daisy is a naturalized non-native. It grows well here and always attracts an interesting assortment of pollinators!




I plant bright colored plants

because pollinators love bright colors.

I do, too. Aren't I lucky that so many of my favorite natives are brilliantly colored.

You can't beat the brilliant pink and lilacs hues of Phlox pilosa. Practically Perfect Pink Phlox is a favorite of many small butterflies, bees and gardeners all over the country. Let it seed about your garden to create lovely drifts of fragrant flowers in April and May.


Just as the Phlox pilosa is beginning to fade, the humming bird and bees favorite, Penstemon X begins to bloom. P calycosus is a Central Basin Native that I can't say enough good things about! Not only does it tolerate wet feet, shade, dry soil and sun; it reseeds delightfully, creating drifts that make it easy for pollinators to visit.
Astranthium integrifolium~Entireleaf Western Daisy
~and speaking of drifts. Western Daisy is drifting about the garden. In the last month, small gnats, little bees, Hover Flies and a strange little pollen eating beetle (adult carpet beetle) have been seen on the flowers.
Scorpion Weed has faded but, not the memory of the Bumbles
So, raise your hori-hori knife, your hoe, your favorite digging tool or fork to honor the pollinators that frequent our garden! Join with me in thanking them. May these marvelous and important creatures continue to grace our gardens. Here's to planting for them and here's to creating a garden that brings us pleasure all season long~

xxoogail

PS ~ You know what's coming next! If you want pollinators~Big ones, small ones, odd ones, beautiful ones! Never, ever, ever, ever use pesticides in your garden.

This post is also part of a series on native pollinators in the garden~ Earlier posts and their links are listed below for your convenience.
Part I~Now Is The Time To Bee-gin Thinking About Bees ( here)
This Is The Place To Bee ( here)
If You Could Plant Only One Plant In Your Garden~Don't (here)

Must Bee The Season of The Witch (here)
Go Bare In Your Garden (here)
We can't All be pretty Pollinators (here)
Eye, Eye Skipper, Big Eyed Pollinators (here)
What's In Your Garden (here)
Carpenter Bees (here)
Got Wildflowers?(here)
It's Spring and A Gardener's Thoughts Are On Pollinators (here)
The Wildflower and The Bee (here)
A Few Good Reasons To Plant Milkweed (here)

Other bee posts you might want to read~
Count Yourself Lucky To Have Hoverflies (here)
Bumblebee Hotel (here)
Still Taking Care Of Bzzness (here)
My Sweet Embraceable You (here)



Bee clip art (here)

This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Wildflower Celebration With: A Few Wildflowers, One Shrub, A Tree and a Garden View

Cumberland Rosemary/Conradina verticillata



A rare native found growing on the gravelly river banks where it is seasonally flooded then gets dry all summer! Sounds like a marriage made in Clay and Limestone heaven. But, just to be on the safe side~Cumberland Rosemary has lived its entire life in a container where he can get exactly the conditions needed to bring this rosemary lookalike to bloom. The leaves are fragrant and can be a substitute for rosemary in the kitchen~Not gonna happen, though, to a rare and endangered plant! (endemic TN and KY)

Hypoxis hirsuta
This is an adorable and diminutive plant of the lily family. It resides under the Grey Owl Juniper near the side entrance to Chez Cedar~where I can see it everyday. It's planted in gravelly soil~That's to keep the rodents from eating the corm! The little bees visit for pollen. It's native to the Eastern half of North America~except Florida and those very hot and dry states out west.


Geranium maculatum 'Espresso'

Pale lavender flowers accompany the chocolate/espresso foliage. I love the species but, this beauty brings a pop of color contrast that disappearing purple heucheras can't! G. maculatum is found in open woods throughout the Eastern US. It can make a sweet ground cover if given enough moisture and good drainage.



Senecio aureus


Golden Ragwort is a member of the Happy Trinity of Spring plants in the front gardens~it's a fairly aggressive colonizer in moist situations. I enjoy the green with purple rosettes all winter and thoroughly love that it creates a huge mass of bright yellow flowers each spring. It is shade tolerant. Little bees, flies and small skippers visit it. Another Eastern North American native~This one loves Florida, but not LA!


Phlox pilosa and Senecio aureus
Phlox pilosa is the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox that I refer to frequently. It's a marvelous plant. I've shared it with gardeners on the East and West Coasts, the Midwest and Central South! It's even in a Florida garden. That's one of the characteristics that makes it so perfect! It's a trouble free plant with a two month long bloom time and fragrant pink flowers. This plant is a bee and butterfly magnet. It grows in shade, sun and in between. That's why it's practically perfect! Like most of the plants I grow this one is also native to the Eastern and central US.

Euonymous americanus
Strawberry Bush is strictly an Eastern US native understory 'shrub'. It's deer candy in the woodlands where it's endemic! Most people are under awed by the Spring flowers, but, I like them. They are tiny and pale. The real payoff is each fall when the fruit pods split open revealing dangling seeds and the mystery of why they have the common name Hearts-A-Bustin! It's visited by bees.
Chionanthus virginicus
Fringe Tree, Old Man's Beard, or Grandfather's Whiskers are common names for Chionanthus virginicus. I love it, but, cannot look at it in bloom without thinking how my favorite author, Elizabeth Lawrence, wrote that it reminded her of coleslaw! This is a slow grower~Seriously slow! If you get one, buy the largest one your budget can afford! I found this one at the Cheekwood Wildflower Fair~I immediatly brought it home. It's native to the Southeast, Northeast and Central South states. Give it a try~It's harder to -30 degrees.

The Garden of Benign Neglect
There were more blues then pinks in the GOBN this Spring. It's time for PPPP to rejuvenate itself...The flooding rains, the droughts and my sharing too many large pieces of it have left the garden bare. Do not despair~The GOBN will be back in the pink by next Spring....I see offspring everywhere and I can move plants from the front garden back there! I will say~The columbine and Phlox divaricata had a stellar year.

I am so glad you stopped by to help me celebrate wildflowers this week. Please take time to visit all the fantastic bloggers who have participated. Several are new to me and I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting their posts. You long time readers and visitors know how very much I appreciate each and everyone of you!

May all your flowers bloom beautifully this Spring.

xxoogail


Check these out if you want to see the entire series:
Let's Celebrate Wildflowers This Week (here)
The Wildflower and The Bee (here)
Wildflower Wednesday:Phacelia bipinnatifida (here)
Into Every Wildflower Garden A Little Rain Must Fall (here)




This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Wildflower and The Bee

Baptisia australis, dusk, April 25, 2011
I've been watching and hoping to catch a few pollinators buzzing around Baptisia australis! Today I was rewarded, when this busy Bumble began working its way from flower to flower to flower. What was most astonishing, and I so wish I had been able to capture the images, was watching the Bumble work. She landed on each flower and with her back legs pushed open the petals in order to give her room to reach inside with her tongue to drink the nectar. I've shared with you that long and short tongue bees visit plants; well, this is a plant that is pollinated by bumbles and other long tongued bees. It was the first time I saw how clever these critters are when trying to get at nectar. It was a marvelous dance to watch.
Her pollen baskets are filled with orange Baptisia pollen!
Just look at the pollen that's been collected. She'll take it back to her nest to feed her young, while she feeds on the nectar to maintain her energy for her sunup to sundown job.

The stems stand tall above the plant
Watching her buzz from flower to flower drove home how important it is to plant in drifts. The plants are right there all together and make it easy for bees and other pollinators to do their job~pollinating those flowers! Baptisia with it's mass of blooms is its own drift. But, if you have the space plant more.

Bumble doing her job!
Baptisia australis is a Central Basin native that is happy, happy, happy in my garden! That makes me happy! I love this plant. Love how it looks like a shrub, but, is a herbaceous perennial. Love the trifoliate leaves that remain good looking all season long and add a much needed different leaf shape to my garden. Love the tall flower racemes that bloom for a few weeks, then turn into the most marvelous charcoal colored seed pods. Love that bumbles and other pollinators visit. I so love that it is a host plant for Skippers and little hairstreaks, but, is not tasty to mammals and rodents!

I love purple in a garden
Commonly known as Blue Wild Indigo or Blue False Indigo, Baptisia is a herbaceous perennial in the pea family. It is native to much of the central and eastern North America and is seen in gardens almost everywhere. Blue Wild Indigo prefers full sun, average to well drained soil and is drought tolerant. The blue flowered plants do well in neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Yellow and white Wild Indigo prefer slightly acid soil.

Baptisia Starlite PrairiebluesParentage: B. australis x bracteata
Baptisia Starlite Prairieblues™ from Chicagoland Grows is one of my favorite of the new hybrid baptisias. The flowers are a gentle bi-colored periwinkle blue that looks beautiful with the pinks and lavenders of the Garden of Benign Neglect. The stems arch rather then stand tall and they require excellent drainage. Which is always a challenge here.

Practically Perfect Pink Phlox pilosa looks lovely at the base of baptisia

Don't you love Spring! I'm so glad you stopped by to help me celebrate wildflowers and to continue our conversation about pollinators.


I'll be celebrating wildflowers everyday this week along with Frances of fairegarden and anyone else who wants to join the party. Post anytime this week~or everyday. Let's just celebrate!

xxoogail


PS. Because it bears repeating~ If you want to attract Bumbles and other pollinators to your garden:
  • provide nesting sites for a variety of visitors, some bare ground (ixnay on the plastic landscape cloth), decaying logs and even special bee houses
  • plant large swathes of pollinator friendly plants and host plants
  • plan for bloom from late winter to late fall
  • bee sure to include water
  • and, never, never, never, ever, use pesticides in your garden.
This post is also part of a series on native pollinators in the garden~ Earlier posts and their links are listed below for your convenience.

Part I~Now Is The Time To Bee-gin Thinking About Bees ( here)
This Is The Place To Bee ( here)
If You Could Plant Only One Plant In Your Garden~Don't (here)

Must Bee The Season of The Witch (here)
Go Bare In Your Garden (here)
We can't All be pretty Pollinators (here)
Eye, Eye Skipper, Big Eyed Pollinators (here)
What's In Your Garden (here)
Carpenter Bees (here)
Got Wildflowers?(here)

It's Spring and A Gardener's Thoughts Are On Pollinators (here)

Other bee posts you might want to read~
Count Yourself Lucky To Have Hoverflies (here)
Bumblebee Hotel (here)
Still Taking Care Of Bzzness (here)
My Sweet Embraceable You (here)


This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

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