Spring Blooming Flowers 5-28-2015

To see what was blooming in 2013 click HERE ~ 2014 click HERE.
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Toxicodendron radicans – Poison Ivy… It just felt like a great start to this post….

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Convolvulus arvensis ~ Bindweed has been used medicinally for centuries as as a natural laxative and for hypertension. In Chinese Medicine it has been used as a salve for itching, pain and even toothache.

Further, bindweed is great for cleansing the body’s internal systems and even restores chemically-trashed agricultural land by returning the soil to its original fertility. Bindweed is also full of other beneficial plant compounds, including tropine, pseudotropine, aspartic acid, cysteine, alanine and Arginine.

More studies are being conducted on this cancer-preventing plant, but it looks promising as a tumor-busting phytochemical without side effects.

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Annual Aster

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Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’

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Iris germanica ~ Bearded Iris – There are so many I couldn’t ID this one.

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Lobularia maritima ~ alyssum (an annual here)

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Got me on this mint family plant

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Grapes!

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Allium schoenoprasum – Chive

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Iris versicolor ~ blue flag iris

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-27-2015

Happy Wednesday! Ah, It’s all downhill from here =-)

To see what was blooming in 2013 click HERE ~ 2014 click HERE.
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Lonicera japonica ~ Japanese honeysuckle

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A well-spaced, diverse evergreen hedge. There is a berm behind it and a cement factory behind that.

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Packera paupercula ~ Balsam Ragwort

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Robinia pseudoacacia ~ black locust – The smell from these is heavenly. They are also native to the whole lower 48 states.

 

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Weedy aster plant

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Trifolium repens ~ white clover

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Lotus corniculatus ~ Birdsfoot Trefoil

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An early stumper… Anyone?

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Geum canadense ~ White avens

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-26-2015

Happy Tuesday. The only bonus to this week is that it is one day shorter. To make up or getting paid for yesterday, we won’t make any overtime this week. so sad. Welp. It is what it is.

To see what was blooming in 2013 click HERE ~ 2014 click HERE.
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Xylocopa virginica or Eastern carpenter bee on Lamium galeobdolon ‘Hermann’s Pride’

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Solanum family ~ nightshade – won’t kill you, but will hurt coming out.

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Rosa ~ Iceberg

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Prunus serotina ~ Black cherry – This is not the yummy fruit variety, just the ‘stain your feet dark purple’ variety =-(

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Viburnum trilobum OR Viburnum opulus OR Viburnum opulus var. americanum ~ I think all of these are correct for now. Or you can call it American cranberry bush. We are on the southern-most tip of their native region.

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Geranium maculatum ~ wood, wild or spotted geranium

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Just love those trillium! Trillium sessile ~ Toadshade or Sessile-flowered wake-robin

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Both are woodland phlox, however one received more sun than the other.

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Rubus subgenus idaeobatus ~ Yummy Raspberries! I’ll be back to pick you later =-)

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Hydrophyllum virginianum ~ Virginia Waterleaf

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

A Sangria Salute to Memorial Day

imageHappy Memorial Day! A wonderful drink to enjoy today is a Sangria.

Sangrias are a light, citrus fruit drink that is quite refreshing on a hot Spring day! It is the traditional wine of Spain. Its made with fine red wine and natural citrus flavors.

TRADITIONAL SANGRIA (Four Servings)
1/4 cup of Orange Juice
1/4 cup of Orange Liqueur (optional), such as Gran Marnier or Cointreau
1 tablespoon of Sugar (I like to rim the glass with sugar)
1 cup of chilled Soda Water
Sliced apples, oranges, limes and whatever fruit you enjoy
Ice
Combine the wine with the orange juice, liqueur and fruit. Refrigerate for at least an hour, ideally overnight. Add chilled soda water and a small amount of ice right before serving.
YUMMY!!!


© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Annual Containers 2015

Here’s all the buzz!

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If you’re looking for sensational summer color, look no further! Summer pots are the way to go. Not only are they full of pizzazz, the color is often right in your face, literally, especially if your favorite container is on a pedestal.

You don’t need to remember a bunch of annual names. The only thing you need remember for a well-presented display is: Thriller, Filler & Spiller! The Thriller is that one large plant that is generally in the center and taller than the rest. Filler are those mid-range sized plants, often of ‘fatter or fuller’ stature. Spiller is just that, plants that hang over the edge of the pot.

Here’s what my company puts together:

Click HERE for 2013 or for 2014 designs – No worries, they never go out of style! ;-)

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This is my humble design, in my $20 pot. Can you tell I love fire colors?

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Spring Blooming Flowers 5-21-2015

Happy Thursday to all!
I’ll admit I scheduled this post to publish while I’m in down-state Utica, Illinois for the long weekend. This is one of my favorite areas of our state, however there is plenty of it I’ve not seen either. We’ve decided to roll the dice for the Labor Day weekend and drive 7 hours south to go to a campground with caves et all… WITHOUT RESERVATIONS! Gasp.

I hope you all in the US enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend, and for everyone else, enjoy your regular two day weekend =-)

Wanna see what was blooming in 2013 or in 2014? Click the year.
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Buddleia davidii ~ Butterfly bush

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Phlox divaricata – Woodland phlox

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Lamiastrum galeobdolon ~ Yellow Archangel 

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Arisaema triphyllum ~ jack-in-the-pulpit, bog onion, brown dragon, Indian turnip, American wake robin or wild turnip

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Osmundastrum cinnamomeum ~ cinnamon fern

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Eastern carpenter bee (Xyocopa virginica) on may night salvia.

These guys are very non-aggressive. The male doesn’t even have a stinger, however females do. If there is a bee you’d like to pet, this is the one for you.

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Annual Flower time at the office!!

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Paeonia suffruticosa – Peony tree – Holy cow! What a specimen!!

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Rhododendron ‘Stewartstonian’ ~ Red Azalea

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Rhododendron ‘Girard’s Pleasant White’ ~ Azalea

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-19-2015

Happy Tuesday!
Want to see what was blooming in the past? Click here for 2013 or here for 2014.
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Kerria japonica ~ Japanese rose

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Tiarella cordifolia ~ foamflower

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Digitalis purpurea ~ Foxglove

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Delphinium grandiflorum ~ Siberian larkspur

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Iberis sempervirens ~ evergreen candytuft or perennial candytuft

This is in the family Brassicaceae, which is the same family as broccoli. Can you see the resemblance? Botany used to be a science of observation, however now microscopes and DNA analysis has messed up this science and creates confusion among different sciences such as horticulture.

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Aronia arbutifolia ~ red chokeberry

Cancer research on anthocyanins where in black chokeberry preparations were first used to inhibit chemically induced cancer in the rat esophagus was found to reduce the disease severity by 30-60% and that of the colon cancer by up to 80%. Effective at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of tumor development, these berries are a practical research tool and hold a promising therapeutic source since they contain the highest amount of anthocyanins among native North American berries

[J. Agric. Food Chem. 50 (12): 3495–500].

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Syringa reiculata ~ Lilac – white and purple varieties

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

These Are a Few of My Smelliest Things

There is no candle, can of spray or incense that compete with the real thing.

Right now, my Calamondin or miniature orange (Citrofortunella microcarpa) is in full bloom. It sits in the south facing window of my living room. While I relax in this room, I am encircled in the sweet scent of the blooms.

My lilacs are in bloom also. Out of the 6 bushes I have on my property, only one truly smells heavenly. These bloomed extremely early on 4/13/2012, when I had my wedding reception.

I love to put 2 or 3 vases full of blooms to sleep by. I truly feel that I get a better sleep with flowers that smell in my bedroom.

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Breck isn’t always my smelliest thing, but he tries as often as he can!!

Sweet Marjoram – Helps treat anxiety, headaches and insomnia. Effects of Sweet Marjoram: Soothing, Warming.

Lavender – Helps sooth and calm nerves, reduces tension, insomnia, headaches and depression. Effects of lavender: Calming, Therapeutic

Bergamot – Comes from citrus fruit rind. It does its job by relieving stress and enabling you to be able to relax. It has a lovely citrus scent that will make you feel refreshed and give you that sense of well-being. Interestingly bergamot is the main ingredient in Earl Grey tea.

Roman Chamomile Helps relaxation, reduces excessive anxiety and treats insomnia. Effects cause relaxation.

Jasmine – Helps sooth and relax, very beneficial for depression, insomnia, nervous tension and stress. Effects of Jasmine: Soothing, Relaxing

Sandalwood – Promotes relaxation, beneficial for depression, stress, nervous tension, and insomnia. Effects of Sandalwood: Warming, Relaxing

Mandarin – Has two different types of oil, one green and the other red. It has several advantages one of which is that it is gentle enough that you can use it with children as well as adults. Interesting, the scent is closer to that of a bergamot oil and less like the tangerine it’s expected to smell like. Mandarin oil is a very successful treatment for sleep difficulties almost rivaling lavender.

Clary Sage – Helps sooth, relax, and uplift the spirit. Effects: Warming

Rosalina – Would be a mild and effective change for those not fond of Lavender or just tired of it. Rosalina is sometimes called “Lavender Tea Tree.”

Sandalwood – Does indeed come from wood. To get the right intensity of oil from the trees they must be at least forty years old, but the older the better and a tree eighty years old will produce better oils. Sandalwood is a calming agent; it relieves nervous tension and helps you relax.

** The title was inspired by the song “These are a Few of my Favorite Things” from The Sound Of Music

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Ilex VS. Volutella Blight on Pachysandra

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This pachy is showing some stress under the newly planted trees and in full sun.

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This side was worst because it’s sunnier, which equals more stress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pachysandrea terminalis is a beautiful, lush, evergreen ground cover for a semi-shady spot. One of the most common problems with pachysandra is a fungal infection called, Volutella Blight. Generally, pachysandra has very few issues when well cared for. However, when other situations stress the plant out, opportunistic pests can take over.

Volutella Blight has a fungal ring associated with the damaged lesions. Winter damage has an even-toned brown to the damage.

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Blight on the left / Winter damage on the right

How to not stress out your pachysandra:

    • Plant it in a partial shade or shade area. Not in the sun.
    • Do not overwater, water in the morning and use drip irrigation, not overhead.
    • Be sure to do a fall cleanup to remove any fallen leaves or plant debris from the bed to improve air circulation and reduce moisture levels. Blow lightly with blower.
    • It is also helpful to periodically thin the planting to prevent dense growth and increase air circulation.
      Use leaf mulch, not woody chips.

Fungicides such as mancozeb and maneb can be used to protect remaining plants and the new growth of any pachysandra that have been cut back. These treatments can help deter infection but will not cure infected plants. You would need to spray at 7 to 14 day intervals from spring until early summer. Generally this time would coincide with the blooming of serviceberries (Amelancheir) and Redbuds (Cercis canadensis), i.e. now in the Midwest.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl