Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bloom Day June 2013

Here in south central Kansas, it's not been the best of days to get good bloom photos:  windy and mostly overcast.  However, I did what I could...and I am cheating just a bit by adding in a few photos from yesterday.  I figure that the flowers are still in bloom today, so it's not too out of line!

I'm new to this meme, so perhaps a quick introduction is in order.  On the prairie, where we live, conditions can get tough and stressful for plants.  While around here we all yearn to be able to grow ferns and woodland plants, blue hydrangeas and a wide variety of evergreens, the truth is that only the sturdiest of plants will survive our climate.  Since I'm out in the country, that is especially true in my gardens.  If it needs to be pampered, it doesn't make it here!

Both because of the difficult prairie growing conditions and because I'm naturally interested in the animals around me, as well as the plants, I focus primarily on native plants.  We are lucky enough to have 10 acres, which we moved onto about 6 years ago, and we are working to restore tall grass prairie on about 7 of those acres.  Up near the house, though, I just garden for fun and beauty.

Weatherwise, we've just recently gone from a pleasantly cool spring to full summer conditions.  Out here, that means that the pastel flowers are finishing up and the bright hues of summertime are taking over.  In my front flower bed, those bright hues are coming from the butterfly milkweed, gaillardia and yellow coneflower, all in full bloom.

Here's another view of the same area, taken yesterday.  There's a little bit of lanceleaf coreopsis and some pink evening primrose hanging around, but they are both winding up for the year and turning the palette over to the next crew.

Not all my flowers are rooted.  Here is a native bee trying to chase off a painted lady butterfly.  All she's trying to do is get a quiet meal.  For some reason, the bee seemed much more upset by the painted lady than by the pearl crescent nearby.  The yellow coneflowers have been hopping with insect activity every time I go outside.

I noticed today that this particular butterfly milkweed variety has a deep red streak down the center of each petal.  I think that makes an already attractive flower even more interesting!

Just around the corner from all  this orange and red and yellow is a spot of cool - an oakleaf hydrangea in full bloom.

What I've particularly enjoyed seeing in the last few days are perfectly round circles cut out of a few of the petals.  These are the work of leafcutter bees, one of our little native pollinators.  They line their nest cells with these bits of petal and leaf to help protect their developing larvae.

Narrowleaf coneflower is our main native Echinacea around here.  It's not readily available in "the trade" as its roots are too deep and it doesn't, apparently, germinate easily.  I was able to get hold of a few small plants last year, however.  This one is blooming particularly nicely for me.  It's not the showiest of Echinaceas, but it's ours.

The checkered skipper seems to be enjoying it, too.

Another new plant that shot out a bloom for me is this Penstemon.  I don't remember what kind it is, and I couldn't get the bloom and the base of the plant in the same photo without getting WAAAAY back, but I think the flower spike is quite attractive.  Hopefully next year it will get a little fuller and not quite so tall!

Two summers ago, at the start of what turned out to be 53 days over 100 degrees with no rain, my husband and I started plugging in a buffalo grass lawn.  It's done amazingly well.  In the middle of the front yard, though, a purple poppy mallow came up.  Well, I just haven't been able to bring myself to pull it out - and we are in the country, after all, so Greg mows around it and we enjoy its magenta blooms and interesting foliage.

Up close, as the blooms open, they form an interesting spiral pattern...

...and as they close, they seem to make a purple star, with a clear white echo in the center.

In the back yard, I have masses of larkspur blooming.  I love the deep purplish blue of the larkspur blooms...

and the occasional pink accent that shows up, too.  The foliage is about as close as we get to ferns around here.

Well, that's it for now.  It's fun to see what's blooming in everyone's garden - some so much ahead of us, into full summer, and some still enjoying the pastel, cool beauty of spring.  Thanks for stopping by!


Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Enjoy seeing the beds along your stone walkway.
Not all your flowers are rooted. That's a great phrase for the butterflies and bees.
The red streaks on that milkweed are indeed stunning. Don't mow off the purple poppy mallow. I'm hoping to get some in my garden. Have memories of gathering it along the roads growing up and twining them into necklaces.

Gaia Gardener: said...

GonSS, I've never heard of anyone twining purple poppy mallow into necklaces - but how perfect!

NellJean said...

Lovely presentation, butterflies and all.

Jason said...

I love butterflyweed. Ours is not yet blooming but you can see the buds beginning to turn orange. Great picture of the pearl crescent and painted lady butterflies. said...

Wow, you really have an interesting and beautiful property. I love your native plants and all the wildlife it brings. Coneflowers so soon and butterfly weed in bloom? Mine I will not see for a while yet, near the end of July. Big differences in bloom time from your prairie garden to mine here in the northeast.

Melanie said...

Everything is looking great!! I especiallylove the butterfly milkweed. .and another packet of seed is on my list for next winter!! I have one little expanding clump. .and it is one of my favorites!

Kalantikan said...

Hello Gaia Gardener, thanks for visiting my post, replied to your comments. I love the way you joined my belief and we both love the rocks and boulders. It really is common among humans to search the answers outside even if "all answers are within". I like your area, teeming with life and self sustaining, just like my biodiversity garden!

Casa Mariposa said...

Your garden is really beautiful! I had to pull up all my callirhoe because it was suffocating the other plants nearby but I have one lone survivor that has come up so I'm letting it stay - for now. I love the prairie feel of your garden. :o)

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

The larkspurs are fantastic!