26 August 2010

Wildflower Wednesday on Thursday...


I've never been much in the way of a trendsetter, and often am slow to sign onto doing something that others are doing already. So I'm not-exactly-fashionably late in joining in with the Wildflower Wednesday meme, started and hosted by Gail of Clay and Limestone. Because I spent so much time on Wednesday reading other blogs that were doing Wildflower Wednesday posts, I got inspired and went out to see what's blooming around the wild parts of our property right now.

In the collage above, we have a mixture of wildflowers both planted by me and left to grow wild in the undisturbed parts of our property. From the top: A bee darts from one evening primrose flower to another; some sort of wild mint alongside the pasture; a big clump of Eupatorium (Joe-Pye weed) in my gardens; a former 'holding bed' that has been given over to all kinds of wildflowers for the bees and other pollinators; my Cornus sericea is blooming again; and centre photo, the striking flowers of pink turtlehead, Chelone, are beginning to open.

I have a very laissez-faire attitude towards many wildflowers, letting them bloom where they are unless they're starting to be a little too populous. There's a lot of jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) around the moister parts of our yard and garden, and they're regularly buzzed by hummingbirds. Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officianalis, centre photo bottom row) blooms alongside the pasture but also in one part of the garden where it's been for years. And then there are the asters. I have wild and cultivated asters all over the gardens, and sometimes the wild ones aren't supposed to be where they are, but they're terrific pollinator plants and pretty into the bargain, so I often just pretend I've planted them where they are.

Not every wildflower is a great blessing, even to me. Lady's Thumb (Polygonum cespitosum, top photo) is a real nuisance plant for many people, as are others of the smartweeds/polygonums. The tiny flowers of American willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum, side photos both white and pink flowers) aren't as showy as fireweed (E. angustifolium) but they're a real nuisance plant in my garden. Hemp nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit) is a huge problem to some gardeners and farmers, but doesn't bother me unduly. And the little plant in the centre is a mystery--I can't for the life of me remember what it is, and it's not a particularly showy or pesty plant, just a pretty little thing.

Goldenrod gets much maligned by some people, so let's set the record straight. If you have allergies, don't blame goldenrod, which is insect pollinated, not wind-borne. Its pollen is too heavy to drift, but it flowers at the same time as do several species that do bother allergy sufferers, such as ragweed and some of the asters. Goldenrods are important wildlife supporters, and they're very pretty too. There are now a number of cultivated varieties of goldenrod, including 'Little Lemon', a very attractive variety that I have just coming into bloom in my garden (bottom left photo). A number of wildflowers are now popular with gardeners, or have been the basis for new cultivars of ornamental flowers, and that's never a bad thing. At least, it isn't in my worldview.

These are some of what's blooming around our property in these last days of August. I have mixed feelings when I see the asters and goldenrod and Joe Pye and turtlehead; as much as I love them all, I know that they are also harbingers of autumn. Which I'm not prepared to deal with yet, so I'm going to stick my fingers in my ears and sing loudly so as not to think about that any further!

15 comments:

  1. Love the goldenrod. Too bad every one blames it for their allergies acting up. It's gotten a bum rap, that's for sure!

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  2. I just love that photo of the bee going to the primrose.

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  3. I love golden rod and have it growing in my London garden - it self seeds from year to year and I simply move the seedling to grow in clumps in the beds where I want them. It's not a wildflower round here and I'd never thought of it like that ...

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  4. A lovely collection and variety of wildflowers, Jodi! I find it hard to keep up with a lot of memes, too, but Wildflower Wednesday really appealed to me, and I've learned so much from others' posts on them. For example, someone once showed a pretty little bloom called persicaria. It looked vaguely familiar, so I researched it and found it was smartweed! Nope, in my neck of the woods smartweed is a WEED, not a wildflower, and I yank it out wherever I find it:) It just shows that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. I may one day also regret planting my Obedient plant:)

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  5. I am also not ready for the autumn, Jodi! Love your caleidoscope of wildflowers! They can choose the place for themselves to grow, and often it's not the place that we chose for them. Joe Pye Weed is a center of attention in my garden right now. Let's hope for good, warm, mild September!

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  6. I know what you mean Jodi~I love the rough and tumbled beauties but they do mean that the seasons are moving along~Asters, ex and otherwise or allowed to fling themselves here and there, but they can be a bit pushy in a smaller garden. Turtlehead is a plant I've tried without success~never sure if it's the dry summers or wet winters that take it out~but, I do like their looks. I am tickled pink you've joined the celebration~ gail

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  7. Hi Jodi....as you say certain flowers are a sign of fall, hey I love fall and my garden now and into the fall is beautiful. The heather and hydrangeas are spectacular now. I love the turtleheads...have the pink and lots of blue...if you do not have blue I will bring a piece over to you! I won't tell anyone about your secret if you won't tell on me....I do the same by letting some of the asters grow where they may!

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  8. I love when you post the collages...we viewers get more for our buck so to speak)))) and you have a great eye for cropping.

    Oh the seed saver workshop was so great (well except some folk took more than their fair share of Owen and Dan's time to talk about themselves))))) but it was a wonderful visit and we learned a lot. Thanks for your kind comment on blog.

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  9. beautiful. I read a book a while ago that asked the question, "can you name 10 wildflowers?" I couldn't. I could name 1000 perennials, annuals, vegetables, trees, shrubs, etc, but not wildflowers. So I'm learning.

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  10. Hi Jodi, thanks for the link to Clay and Limestone. I agree with your laissez-faire approach to wildflowers in the garden. Nice post.

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  11. I'd never heard of Wildflower Wednesday though I do love, and grow wildflowers and even write about them! I'll have to check this out. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

    Regards, Alison Kerr

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  12. I have invited Bouncing Bet (a double form) into my garden - and I don't regret it. I think it's beautiful and the history around it intrigues me. I can just imagine how my ancestors used its roots as detergents in the cold rivers, many, many years ago...

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  13. Jodi glad I was able to see the wildflowers in your part of the world - many so new to me. I used to grow Chelone in my previous garden - it went crazy sending up suckers everywhere.

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  14. Love the turtlehead, though I hadn't thought of it as a wildflower, but Googling tells me the white turtlehead is in fact native, and even to my state. Cool! I love learning new things, thanks. :)

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  15. I enjoyed your post. I'm familiar with some of your wildflowers, but not all of them. We have some of that wild goldenrod on a hill at church. I brought some home a number of years ago, but then, when it started to spread too far, I decided to pull it out. It kept coming up for a few years, and I kept pulling it. Now, I'm trying to figure out if the goldenrod in my vegetable garden is the wild kind. I do grow several other kinds of goldenrod.

    Recently, I got an email from a woman at our local newspaper, saying she liked my blog, and wondered if she could include it in a story some time. She said she was currently working on an article about the plants that attract hummingbirds, and wanted to know if I ever see them, and what plants I have that they like. I wrote back to tell her that would be fine, but I've been thinking that my posts used to be more informative than they are now, because most of my posts are entries to memes. I have ideas for posts, and don't have time to get to them. I have now skipped a week of 2 of the weekly ones I was doing. They are fun, but now that I'm back to work, I'm not getting on the computer as much, either. I want to do more blog reading, too. I'm not sure whether I'll go back to as many memes or not. It is easier to keep up with the monthly ones.

    Have a great week!

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