Tag Archive | flowers

Hurry Up, Already! Spring Can’t Come Soon Enough for Me!

Although I really can’t complain about our Midwestern winter this year, its still lasting too long for me. I’m hoping for an early spring, however it usually doesn’t happen like that when we’ve been teased so early in the year.  In mid-February, we had a week of 60F / 16C… That was just crazy weird! Of course the convertible top was down all of those days =-D We got a lot of yard work done that weekend. My front garden is all pruned and ready to be posted about. (I’ve been holding out on ya’all regarding showing you my whole front foundation bed!)

I’ve been out checking the status of the daffy and tulip bulbs, along with the buds on the lilac bush. The bulbs are barely out of the ground and no action on the lilac. I used to have a fair amount of crocus, snowdrops and grape hyacinths in my lawn. I haven’t replenished them in a few years and I think the squirrels have accidentally dug them up or they’ve perished, as I don’t see any yet. That’s OK. When things decide to pop, they tend to do so in a hurried manner. Spring bloomers, to me, are like the ocean or a 2 year old… turn your back on them for one second and they quickly change their status from OK to OH!

My quince are starting to bud. I love quince. Such a vibrant display of color. These shrubs are quite small right now, however as part of my front bed, I’m not planning on letting them get too large. I’m focusing on pruning them to be fuller shrubs. Quince can be quite leggy without proper pruning early in their lives. Since the blooms tend to be in the lower, inside regions of the plant, the more inside area, the more numerous the blooms. Same goes for my mock orange. These are a dwarf variety, however they have the same blooming location as the quince. Proper pruning will give these guys a thicker branching structure, lower in the plant. Of course you don’t want to get too crowded of a crown, that promotes less air circulation which lead to other problems. Like Goldilocks’s liking… not too much, not too little 🙂 This is a great argument for purchasing smaller, younger plants… so you are able to prune and train them to your liking.

This may be my last Friday off this Spring. Sad face. Although I am writing this post on St. Paddy’s Day, these photos were taken before the snow… There is still about 3″ (9cm) of snow on the shady parts of the yard. I’m going to try to eek one more Friday out of this month, however that’s pushing it. I’m actually doing rain/bad weather dances, as that will delay any construction / clean-ups until April 1, when our contracts actually start.

I finally got a real nice, competent co-worker to fill a much needed gap in our company. She’s very young, however hungry to learn. Who knows? Maybe she’ll like horticulture and follow that into college. Maybe not. I just hope she stays long enough to straighten this place out a bit. After only three weeks, she’s proved herself immensely in keeping all the records straight. You just don’t understand how stress relieving she is to me! I’m a horticulturist, Jim! Not an office manager!! 😉 I’m hopefully going to get out into the field a bit more because someone is there to man the office. Sadly, I did get my wish last Tuesday and had to drive to the North Shore in a snowstorm for an emergency tree locate. That was super!! NOT. In the end, it wasn’t that bad and I proved myself where 2 other ‘Master Arborists’* failed. Three’s a charm, they say…

As it is Spring around here… A time for new beginnings and all that. I’m going to try to get my life in a bit more order. First, I need to get myself in better health. I don’t know how I got so fat. I hope I don’t have a heart attack when I go out planting Spring flowers in three weeks =-O

Next, I need an income plan. Life at my job right now is pretty awesome (along with the pay), I’m not going to leave anytime soon. Yes, I have complained about it in the past (who doesn’t???), however now that I’ve got some well needed help, I can focus on what I consider more fun and that is working with plants.

Yes, I will continue with my blogging here. Honestly, during the flowering season, posts write themselves with all the photos. It only takes me a second to stop and shoot the flowers.. Haha!! I’m still hoping for that perfect writing job. Ya know…. The one that pays you enough to actually eat better than Ramon noodles? That is another reason I keep the blog going. It is a portfolio of sorts. It also shows I’m capable of finding stuff to write about.

Speaking of which… I thought of a great ‘Tuesday’ feature, that will also showcase some of the awesome blogs I follow. It’s a win / win. I’m not an ‘Awards Blog’, however I understand that they are around to try to promote each other’s blogs and share. I’m just not a big sharer of personal info, that’s all. However, I’m all for promoting each other! I’m not going to give the premise away just yet… They say you should always leave your audience wanting more….

 

*I’m only a test away from ‘Master Arborist’ status. It requires 10 years of active service, educational goals and passing a test.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-3-2016

We had a wonderful weekend camping in Racine, Wisconsin. There is a little gem of a campground run by Racine County. It doesn’t come up on the national reservation site reserveamerica.com. There were a few seasonals already set-up. Usually, at national forests, the limit for staying is 2 weeks. Obviously, they have their own set of rules. I respect that. Sadly, it rained all weekend… we found a bar there the owner came from my hubby’s home town, and the bartender came from Serbia and was a doppelganger for my neighbor’s Dad. Too odd. Those afternoon’s are pretty fun =-)

Hop on the hot tub time machine to see what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Muscari neglectum ~ Grape hyacinth

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Malus ~ Crabapple   |   Tulips

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I love these Daffy’s – I planted them last fall

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More Tulips   |   Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’

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Erythronium albidum ~ white fawnlily or white trout lily   |   Ribes uva-crispa ~ Gooseberry


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

The Last of the Blooming Flowers 11-16-2015 Quiz!

I was out looking at my front foundation bed I planted this past year. I was pleasantly surprised to see some color still showing off in the garden. Some of these perennials have continued blooming and some have just bloomed out of nowhere land. I was thinking I would make a quiz out of it for my faithful followers…. See if you guys are really reading my posts or just hitting the like button 😉

I’ve read about writing tests. In a multiple choice question, two answers should be close, but truly not possibly right. The other two should make enough sense to be right, but if the material was understood, only one answer is clearly correct. I’ve written my test in this fashion.

So, are these following photos of flowers blooming out of sequence (no where near their correct bloom time) or are the blooms in sequence for this late season (these are late blooming flowers)? Note that the Midwest has had pretty mild weather this late summer into fall. It’s been an average of 50F/10C high and a low of 36F/3C.

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Centarea

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. Nice windmill.
  4. Don King called, he’s suing over hairstyle rights.

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Dianthus

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. This is a cactus!
  4. This porcupine is wearing a cute hat.

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Knautia

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. What? I’m not knautia, I’m a mum!
  4. Shhh, I’m a dandelion with a punk hairstyle.

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Gailardia

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. I’m a bulls eye, not a flower.
  4. I am a sunset.

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Anemone

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. You’re thinking of my cousin, the other anemone…
  4. Shouldn’t I be in the ocean?

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Geum

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. I’m a poppy for Veteran’s Day.
  4. I’m a colorful fall leaf.

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Echinacea

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. Look! Squirrel!
  4. I think I want my lawyer.

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Clematis

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. I’m a starfish.
  4. I’m a wad of bubble gum.

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Violet

  1. I bloom now.
  2. I normally don’t bloom now.
  3. I’m schizophrenic and so am I
  4. Don’t think about answering, just look at my cute face.

 

Answers:

Centaurea = 2 – I usually only bloom in June.

Dianthus = 2 – I usually only bloom in May through June.

Knautia = 1 – I start blooming in July and go through September.

Gaillardia = 1 & 2 – They aren’t supposed to be blooming now, however I’ve usually had them bloom in a longer window than published.

Anemone = 1 – Although a tad late, I will still say this is a late blooming flower.

Geum = 2 – I usually bloom May through June. This one bloomed all season.

Echinacea = 1 -Yes, a true late bloomer!

Clematis = 1 – I bloom twice a year starting in May through June then again in September.

Violet = 2 – I usually bloom April through May. I think I was confused in the cold weather.

 

So, how did you do? Please post your results in the comment section.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Autumn Blooming Flowers 9-24-2015

Happy Thursday everyone!

The one week countdown to vacation starts now. Opps. Hmmm. It’s Wednesday this moment. However, this post publishes on Thursday… Awe, who cares! Next Wednesday, I will be in the Mile High city of Denver, Colorado, officiating my BFF’s wedding! Let’s hear it for my KweenBe!! Love ya!!

Click to see what was Blooming in 2014 or Blooming in 2013.

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Solanum dulcamara ~ Bittersweet nightshade

You won’t die from eating this, but you’ll sure feel like shit!

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Jerusalem artichoke ~ Helianthus tuberosus

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Physalis philadelphica ~ Tomatillo or  Mexican husk tomato

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Pennisetum alopecuroides ~ Fountain grass

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Devil’s Beggar-Ticks  – Bidens frondosus

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Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ – Maiden Grass

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Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus on Sedum.

So cute! I’ll write about you soon.

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Lonicera albiflora ~ Western white honeysuckle, Texas honeysuckle, White honeysuckle, White shrub honeysuckle or White limestone honeysuckle.

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Ohhh boy was I jealous of what I saw down in Southern Illinois… Crepe myrtle ~ Lagerstroemia indica

They were so beautiful. What a difference a zone makes.

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Autumn Blooming Flowers 9-21-2015

Haaaaappy Monday!

Last weekend I was down in Utica, Illinois to enjoy the Illinois Wine Fest.

Click to see what was Blooming in 2014 or Blooming in 2013.

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Asclepias tuberosa ~ Milkweed

Everyone is enjoying the milkweed!

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Beautiful natural art. I bet if spiders became aware, they would become great mathematicians. How do they measure that perfectly?

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Asclepias syriaca ~ Common milkweed

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I’m not sure of this grass, however the seedhead was pretty cool.

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Wish I had more time to key this out… Sigh.

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Monarch on the Joe Pye. I took so many photos of this guy enjoying this bloom, there’s no surprise more photos are turning up!!

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Hypericum perforatum, ~ Perforate St John’s-wort, Common Saint John’s wort or St John’s wort

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Eupatorium perfoliatum ~ Boneset

 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-10-2015

Happy Day!!

Click to see what was Blooming in 2014 or Blooming in 2013.

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Monarch on Joe Pye Weed

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Oenothera missouriensis ~ Ozark sundrops

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Clueless…

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Rose hips

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Lonicera flava ~ Yellow honeysuckle….. I think!

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Aster macrophyllus ~ Big Leaf Aster

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Oenothera biennis ~ Evening Primrose, Evening Star, How Weed, Kings Cure-all, Fever-plant

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Bees love their thistle!!

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Rhus typhina ~ common sumac

Not poisonous!! Very velvety soft.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-9-2015

Wonderful Wednesday!

Click to see what was blooming in 2014 or blooming in 2013.

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Helenium autumnale ~ Common sneezeweed, Fall sneezeweed, Autumn sneezeweed

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Crioceris duodecimpunctata ~ The spotted asparagus beetle

Gaaa! Squish. I don’t kill many things. I try to just make things go away. These guys are everywhere right now. EVERYWHERE.

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Campsis radicans ~ Trumpet flower

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Xylocopa virginica ~ Eastern carpenter bee

They are hiding under the blooms of my cup plant because I turned on the sprinkler. They fluffed up and flew away afterward.

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Miscanthus of some sort.

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Eupatorium fortunei ~ Pink Frost Joe Pye Weed

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Caladium ~ Annual elephant ear

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Mandevilla boliviensis

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Chasmanthium latifolium – Northern sea oats

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Clematis ~ Not sure of flavor

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-8-2015

Terrific Tuesday…

Eh, not so much. I’ve got a “Case of the Monday’s”… or in this instance, an “Attack of the Tuesdays”!

The only good thing about a long weekend with a Monday holiday is that there is only four more days to the week =-) I’ll try to focus on that.

We did have a wonderfully long weekend in Sooooouthern Illinois (Kentucky was only over the river) and got to see so many cool things not normally seen up here. For you friends that are not on this island, Illinois is a long state, 8 hours from top to bottom. That’s 2 growing zones, swoon! I will post about it soon.

I am a bit behind on the ‘Blooming’ posts. These were all shot at least a week ago. Just for clarity. Enjoy!

Click to see what was Blooming in 2014 or Blooming in 2013.

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Cornus sericea ~ Red dogwood berries

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Asclepias ~ Milkweed seed pod

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Euphorbia corollata – Flowering spurge

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I’ve got nothing. A weed?

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Solidago rigida ~ Stiff goldenrod

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Silphium laciniatum ~ compass plant

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Liatris aspera ~ Rough blazing star

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Ditto.

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I really like the leaves on these… awe, snap. Brain cloud! Anyone?

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Eryngium yuccifolium~ Rattlesnake master

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Solidago nemoralis ~ Grey Goldenrod

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-3-2015

Happy Thursday!!

I was looking over 2014 ‘Blooming Flowers’ from the month of August and I sure took way more photos in 2014 than 2015! I wonder if I’ve done less hiking, less visits to my perennial nursery or what?! Had the season gone by faster? I feel like the goldenrods, liatris and asters shouldn’t be blooming for another few weeks. I shouldn’t be seeing seedpods yet. Ugh. This means this blooming season is coming to a close soon, not that soon, but soon 😉

See what was blooming in 2014 or blooming in 2013.
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Baptisia australis ~ False indigo seed heads

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Physostegia virginiana ~ Obedient Plant

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Symphyotrichum novae-angliae – New England Aster

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Silene regia ~ Royal Catchfly

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Symphyotrichum leave ~ Smooth Blue Aster

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Nuphar polysepala ~ Yellow water lily

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Cirsium discolor ~ Pasture Thistle

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Alnus incana ~ grey alder or speckled alder

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Solidago canadensis ~ Canada Goldenrod

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I just thought this was a great mix of wildflowers…

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl