Monday Memories 7-25-2016

It’s actually been a pretty weird year for plant pests this year. Many things that were plentiful last year, haven’t been seen, and many things I’ve never seen before are showing up like they’ve been here all the time. This teaches me that you can take nothing for granted in this world. The life span of a human is very short compared to the life span of the earth. Although we may say, “I’ve not seen that since I was knee-high to a grasshopper”, the phenomenon may have been taking place since the dawn of time. Humans tend to think of things in our lifetime, when we really have to broaden our outlook to include many generations.

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Rabbit Deterrents:
•These trees have chicken fencing around them, but it’s right against the bark. It needs to be away (1 foot) from the trunk and at least 6 inches underground, as best as possible.
•There are commercial repellants to use, but need to be reapplied often & don’t generally work according to the experts.
•Spread blood meal, cayenne pepper, manure or dog or human hair around plants.
•Spray plants with a solution of hot pepper sauce and water or vinegar. Reapply the solution after each rain. This solution can be rinsed off of vegetables after harvest and will not affect the taste.
•Use a foul-tasting spray deterrent that contains bitrex. Do not use bitrex sprays on vegetable plants because it will affect the taste of the produce.
•The last solution is a fine rabbit stew. Mmm.

Ilex vs. Snails & Slugs

Euchemotrema hubrichtiPreventing damage should start from last year’s observations, if possible. Most likely, if you had them last year in your garden they will be back.
Clear leaf litter from around susceptible plants. Don’t give them a place to hide.
Make a barrier of eggshells, twigs, or ashes around the plants as they don’t like to crawl over rough or sharp material. Copper wire or pipe is also effective, relying on the premise that the copper delivers an electric shock to them.
Provide a halved orange upside down as bait at night, and remove the takers the next morning.
Use a shallow lid buried in the ground and fill with beer or lemonade. Slugs and snails cannot resist a free drink, and will come and drown in the pool.
For smaller plants, make a cloche by cutting the bottom off a plastic bottle, bury slightly, and remove the lid for ventilation.
Encourage frogs and birds to your garden as they can’t resist a meal of escargot!

Ilex VS Lawn Fungus

disease Triangle

Changing your lawn care habits might reduce your risk of fungi problems. A healthy lawn has a really good chance of pulling through a fungal infection, but that is up to you!

  • Water your grass regularly, but don’t water it too much because waterlogged grass invites fungi. Don’t set your irrigation and not monitor it.
  • Dry grass can also makes your lawn more susceptible.
  • A nitrogen-based fertilizer applied annually (in the fall) supplies your grass with the nutrients it needs to flourish.
  • When you mow, don’t remove more than one-third of the length of the blades of grass at a time. A healthy length for grass (from the thatchline) is 3 inches tall.

I’ve noticed many different types of fungus coming out in droves because of our weather this season. Some are fairly rare and hard to treat. I wish we could get over the ‘Perfect Lawn’ mentality and all just enjoy the clovers and other blooming weeds. =-)

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Kayaking Green Bay in Lake Michigan

We had a wonderful time in Door County, Wisconsin. We were able to explore Lake Michigan via our kayaks in the tranquil Green Bay. We disembarked from Gills Rock and paddled south.

To quote myself, from my Door County post:

“The geology of this area is pretty unique. In a seriously, small nutshell: About 425 million years ago, there was a shallow sea in the Lake Michigan area. After the sea dried up and deposited all the Limestone, it was covered in a glacier. All the pressure & chemical reactions turned it in to dolomite. Many years of erosion made all the beautiful bluffs we see here today.”

Goodness! I just summed-up 425 million years in 5 sentences =-O I don’t believe I shared the utter beauty of the place with you. Here’s just a bit more info on the area.

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The circular area in red is called the Niagara Escarpment, and stands taller than the surrounding areas. Green Bay and neighboring Door County run along the escarpment which extends in a wide arc from eastern Wisconsin through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, and through the Niagara Falls. I’ve not been to Niagara Falls, however now I know what to look forward to when I do visit.

While hiking, you get to enjoy the height of the cliffs looking out over the lake. However, while kayaking, you get to enjoy the cliffs looking up FROM the lake!

The trees have obviously been hanging onto the cliffs for years. It was so cool to look up into a trees roots.

The area was originally full of alder (Alnus), willow (Salix) and cedar (Juniperus) which has given way to forests dominated by spruce (Picea) and, then later, pine (Pinus). Mixed forests of eastern hemlock (Tsuga) and hardwoods such as beech (Fagus) and elm (Ulmus) became standard by about 7,500 years ago and have persisted. I saw many birch (Betula) and Eastern red cedar (Juniperus), like the ones in this photo.

There are many animals that rely on the cliffs for shelter and food. The gulls in the photos below soared just above the water looking for fish.

Although we did not see any, there are many bats that are indigenous to the area; little brown myotis, the northern myotis, the big brown bat, and the tri-colored bat. All four of these species are currently listed in Wisconsin as threatened. In addition, the forests above the escarpment provide summer homes for the migrating bat species, including the silver-haired, eastern red, and hoary.

    


Clean rocks among the dirty. It was only about 4′ (1.5M) deep here.

We were told by a bartender that there were Native American paintings on the cliffs near Gill’s Rock. We paddled south for about a mile, all the while staring at the walls. Finally! I don’t know what they used to paint the walls, however I’m really shocked me that it was still able to be seen. Doubly shocked that no one has desecrated it =-)

I did try to do some research into what tribe may have painted it, to no avail. The Potawatomi Indians are still around, however there were many other tribes in the area. I wasn’t even able to find these same paintings posted on-line. That’s strange. I can’t imagine I’m the first one to post these things. Either way, it was really cool to have seen them and experience them in a kayak, looking quite like them.

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.* HeeHee!!

Washington Island

Rock slides are common.

There’s not really a beach where we were paddling. So much of the limestone has eroded and fallen into the lake. Although the lake works its magic quickly, the rocks were smooth and not too rough on the tootsi’s.


It is 25′ (8M) deep here. Scuba divers like to view the shipwrecks in this area. The small passage between the islands and Lake Michigan is called ‘Death’s Door’. Ironically, not because of all the shipwrecks (and there are many), but because of ancient Potawatomi legend. To learn more, click here!

Vessel Name: Fleetwing (1867)
National Register: Listed
Registry #:9883
Casualty: 10/26/1888, stranded
Vessel Type: Schooner
Built: 1867, Henry B. Burger, Manitowoc, WI
Owners: Andrew McGraw John Spry
Home Port: Chicago, IL
Cargo: Lumber (that is what you’re seeing in the above pix)

   

The photo of the tree was taken by me looking straight up the cliff.

I felt the water was a bit too chilly to swim in, although many folks were enjoying it.

The water was absolutely beautiful and clear.

I would highly recommend coming here for a paddle.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

*Gilligan’s Island

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-20-2016

“You may delay, but time will not.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Don’ delay! See what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Hemerocallis ~ Daylily

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Coreopsis   ||  Echinacea

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Hydrangea macrophylla   ||  Allium

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Another allium   ||   Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’

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Achillea ‘Apple Blossom   ||  Garlic

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Astilbe japonica ‘Montgomery’

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Astilbe   ||   Daucus carota ~ Queen Anne’s Lace
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-19-2016

“Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear.” ― Paulo Coelho

Jump back to see what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Physostegia virginiana ~ Obedient plant

This plant is fun to play with. Its obedient because you can move the tube and it will stay!

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Hydrangea macrophylla ~ Endless summer hydrangea

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Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Light of Day’   ||   Lobelia x speciosa ‘Starship Deep Rose’ ~ Cardinal flower

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Hydrangea macrophylla   ||   Sorbaria sorbifolia  ~  False spirea

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Hmmm. Don’t know.    ||   Sambucus racemosa  ~  Red elderberry

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Asclepias Tuberosa ~ Butterfly weed


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-18-2016

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” ― Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Hop on the wayback machine to see what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Ferns & Thistles

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Mertensia paniculata ~ Northern bluebells   ||  Campanula ~ Hare’s bells

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I’m guessing Geranium bicknellii   ||  Hmmmm.

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Campanula rapunculides ~ Creeping bellflower   ||  Maybe Scabiosa atropurpurea

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Not sure which sunflower this is…   ||     Verbascum thapsus ~ Mullein

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

The Clearing ~ A Dream of Jen Jensen, Landscape Architect

As a Midwestern lover of landscape architecture, I could not help but take the walking, story tour of the Jens Jensen inspired folk school called ‘The Clearing’, in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin

Jens Jensen was born near Dybbol in Denmark on September 13, 1860. He worked on his family’s farm until the war came to his country. After serving his mandatory military service and becoming engaged to Anne Marie Hansen, Jensen decided to immigrate to America. He landed in Florida, moved to Iowa and then Chicago, Illinois, where he took a job as a park laborer in 1888. He learned during his first opportunity to design a garden using native plants, after all of his exotic plants died. Later in his career, he formed the conservation movements that led to the creation of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, the Illinois State Park system, the Indiana Dunes State Park and National Lakeshore. After that, he went into private practice and designed landscapes for Henry Ford, Frank Lloyd Wright, Rosenwalds, Florsheims, Ryersons and the Beckers.

Fast forward to his retirement at age 75, Jensen purchased land in Door County, Wisconsin and achieved his longtime dream of establishing “The Clearing” whose mission is “to provide diverse educational experiences in the folk school tradition, in a setting of quiet forests, meadows and water.” The Clearing was to be a place where city people could renew their contact with nature.

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The main house

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Mertha Fulkerson was a close aide to Jens. This woven piece of art (Mertha’s talent), is dedicated to her 18 years of service to The Clearing.

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One of the classrooms    ||   The main sitting room of the house

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Jens had a one room shack that overlooked the lake. I would have totally lived there. One room, very little upkeep!

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He was adamant that facing west towards the setting sun was magical.  There were many nooks to sit facing west.

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He believed in the circle. A circle of learning, dancing and conversation.

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If you’d like to see some of his original drawings, click here!


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-15-2016

Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose. ~ Thomas Edison

Don’t waste any time! Go see what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Lychnis coronaria or Silene coronaria (dang botonists!) ~ rose champion  | Acer ~ Maple

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Lathyrus latifolius ~ Sweet pea vine

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Dracunculus vulgaris ~ Dragon Flower, Dragon Arum, Voodoo Lily, Black Lily  |  Not sure either ~ Batting 1,000.

The voodoo lily was in Wisconsin, a zone 4 area. I was shocked to read that this crazy, cool plant is hardy to zone 5B! I’m 5A… a whole letter higher in zone😉 This guy may survive in a well protected, well mulched, shady spot in my garden. I’m so looking for some of these. You can also dig these croms in fall and over-winter them in the garage.

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Potentilla fruticosa or Dasiphora fruticosa ~ Shrubby cinquefoil or whatever the botanists are calling it today.

Clematis growing up a beautiful trellis.

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Centaurea macrocephala ~ Globe centaurea   |   Huh…

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Lupinus ~Lupine   |   Lysimachia punctata ~ Yellow loosestrife

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Nice variety =-)


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-14-2016

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. Albert Einstein

However, you can open three tabs to see what I found blooming at once 201320142015

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Gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiou Pink’   |  Daisy and fern

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Silene dioica ~ Red champion or red catchfly  |  Brunnera macrophylla ~ False forget-me-not (blooming late)

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Plantago Lanceolata ~ Plantain

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Paeonia ~ Peony

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Paeonia ~ Peony

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Sambucus nigra ~ Lace leaf elderberry  |  Paeonia ~ Peony

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More large allium

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Hesperis matronalis ~ Dame’s rocket   |   Cornus sericea ~ Redtwig dogwood

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-13-2016

Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got. Art Buchwald

Click to see my best and worst blooming flowers of 201320142015

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Hieracium aurantiacum ~ Hawkweed

I think this little guy is adorable. Too bad others think of him as a weed… Of course I love him because he is my favorite color! Us gingers have to stay together😉

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Rubus parviflorus ~ thimbleberry, salmonberry orsnow bramble mmmm!   |   Hesperis matronalis  Dame’s rocket

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Allium ~ Onion   |   Alcea rosea ~ Hollyhock (Sometimes referred as “The outhouse Flower”, ‘cuz guess what they usually surrounded?) Excuse the fat finger again. I’ve actually been dropping my phone a lot lately. I’ve slightly damaged it on the top corners, nothing on the viewing part of the screen, however once compromised, it could crack the whole screen quite quickly. This is the first time I’ve been dropsy with my phone and now I’m overcompensating by having a gorilla grip on the dang thang!

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Oenothera fruticosa ~ Sundrops

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Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’ ~ Bleeding hearts. Sooooo beautiful!!

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Asclepias syriaca ~ common milkweed, butterfly flower, silkweed, silky swallow-wort, and Virginia silkweed  |  Achillia millefolium ~  Yarrow

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Large Allium! As big as my inflated head!!

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Potentilla fruticosa ~ Shrubby cinquefoil or bush cinquefoil


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl