Tag Archive | plant

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-23-2017

Happy Tuesday!

Only two more days of this shyt…..

Click to see previous years blooms 20162015 20142013

     

Veronica ‘Purpleicious’ ~ Speedwell   ||   Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’ ~ Gro-Low sumac

Viburnum plicatum tomentosum ‘Mariesii’

Weedy grass or an ornamental… you choose.

     

Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ ~ Japanese pained fern  ||   Look at this little trooper, growing through the pavers.

Podophyllum peltatum ~ May Apple

     

Geranium sanguineum ~ bloody cranesbill or bloodred geranium   ||   Cornus kousa ~ Flowering dogwood

Matricaria discoidea ~ pineappleweed

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-22-2017

Happy Moanday!

It doesn’t feel like a Moanday. It feels like a Tuesday. I don’t think I’ve ever put more hours into a week before (59) or worked on a Saturday in 7 years. It was cold and rainy to ice the cake. Ugh. My poor husband is so busy that we can’t leave early for the holiday weekend, sad face. My co-workers, who are a tad overworked themselves, keep telling me, “Think about the numbers on your check…”. Is it worth it?

Click to see previous years blooms 201620152014 2013

     

Cornus sericea ~ Red twig dogwood   ||  Euonymus alatus ~ Burning bush

     

Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’ ~ Dwarf Korean lilac   ||   Rhamnus cathartica ~ Buckthorn

     

Arisaema triphyllum – Jack-in-the-pulpit, bog onion, brown dragon, Indian turnip  ||  Trillium sessile ~ Toadshade or Sessile-flowered wake-robin

     

Rosa multiflora ~ Wild rose  ||  Aquilegia canadensis ~ Canadian or Canada columbine This little trooper was growing in the middle of our shade house.

Waldsteinia ternata ~ Barren strawberry

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-16-2017 Illinois Beach Park

This day’s Blooming Flowers all occurred at Illinois State Beach Park. This place has such an awesome biodiversity. I love coming here and seeing all the birds and plants. I’ve never been here this early in the year before and got to see some new plants, along with some oldie but goodies.

Click to see previous years blooms 2016201520142013

Alliaria petiolata ~ Garlic Mustard

Alliaria petiolata ~ Garlic Mustard

    

Draba nemorosa ~ Yellow Whitlow-grass   ||   Baby Oak leaves ~ Quercus

Arabidopsis lyrata ~ Lyre-leaved Rock Cress

Got me!

Lake Michigan – The view from our back window

Fragaria vesca ~ Woodland Strawberry

    

I’ve still not figured this one out…   ||   I suck at grasses, at least the non-ornamental ones.

Opuntia cymochila ~ Prickly Pear

Lithospermum incisum ~ Narrow-leaf Puccoon

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-12-2017 Volo Bog 

Happy Fooking Friday!

This week has sucked. Like really sucked. I’m starting tomorrow with 42.5 hours under my belt. I’m exhausted. Yesterday, I had a nursery tell me the 6 – 7″ caliper pears I ordered have not been dug for an order that was placed last March. Oh. My. God. Remember the small digging window trees I spoke of earlier this week? Well, these are a small window trees and the window has CLOSED on digging them. The color drained from my bosses face when I told him. I’m going to another nursery to view trees that were dug last year and over-wintered. That’s usually nt a good thing, however what choice do I have?!? Gaaa!

We are going camping this weekend. I will switch off that part of my life when I leave the parking lot! 🙂

Click to see previous years blooms 2016201520142013

Aquilegia canadensis ~ Canadian or Canada columbine

Pasque Flower ~ Anemone pulsatilla

There’s a turtle down there, I swear…

Geranium maculatum  ~ Wild Geranium


Beautiful pond

I can see it’s yellow….

     

Nope. I’ve got nothing.   ||   Dodecatheon meadia ~ Prairie Shooting Star

Geum triflorum ~ Prairie smoke

Now just look at that HAIR! Don King would be proud.

The actual Volo Bog, surrounded by tamarack trees.

      

Menyanthes trifoliata ~ Buckbean   ||   I’m going to guess a viola

     

Equisetum arvense ~ Horsetail   ||   Sisymbrium loeselii ~ Tall Hedge Mustard

Sarracenia purpurea ~ Pitcher plant

Phlox divaricata ~ Woodland phlox

Lithospermum canescens ~ Hoary Puccoon

Say that three times fast 😉

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-4-2017

Happy Thursday! Is the week over yet?! I’m dying here =-P

Click to see previous years blooms 2016201520142013

    

Prunus x cistena – Purpleleaf Sand Cherry   ||  Taraxacum officinale ~ Dandelion

Cercis canadensis ~ Redbud

    

Cercis canadensis – Redbud  ||  Spirea x Vanhouttei – Bridal wreath spirea

     

Aesculus glabra – Ohio buckeye, American buckeye, or fetid buckeye   || Malus x domesticus – Apple

     

Malus – Crabapple    ||   Asarum canadense ~ Wild ginger

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-3-2017

Happy May!

May is a funny month. Seems it’s supposed to be the month for flowers and April was the month for showers… However, it seems after us pink apes have messed with Mother Nature and global warming has increased…

May monsoons bring June’s beautiful blooms!!! MPG

Click to see previous years blooms 2016201520142013

    

Trillium sessile ~ Toadshade or Sessile-flowered wake-robin || Phlox divaricata – Creeping phlox

Malus – Crabapple

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ – Heartleaf brunnera

Picea abies – Norway spruce

     

An out-take from a photo I was trying to Instagram || Malus – Crabapple

Dicentra spectabalis! It sure is spec-ta-bu-lous 😉 – Bleeding hearts

     

Syringa vulgaris ~ Common lilac  ||  Magnolia × soulangeana ~ saucer magnolia

At blooming May 1st, the lilac is still a bit later than its earliest bloom day of April 13th of 2012.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Acer platanoides ~ Norway Maple

Common Name: Norway mapleimage
Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 40′ – 50′ feet
Spread: 30′ – 50′ feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Yellow-green in color
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Form: Columnar to Oval
Suggested Use: Do not plant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Drought, Air Pollution

‘Columnare’

Dark green

Yellow

Columnar

50′ x 20′

‘Crimson Sentry’

Purple

Insignificant

Columnar

35′ x 25′

‘Deborah’

Red in spring, bronze green in summer

Bronze, yellow

Oval

60′ x 60′

Emerald Lustre

Dark glossy green

Yellow

Round, oval

60′ x 60′

‘Crimson King’

Purple

Insignificant

Oval

35′ x 35′

Princeton Gold

Golden yellow

Yellow

Oval

45′ x 40′

‘Royal Red’

Maroon, red, glossy

Insignificant

Oval

40′ x 25′

‘Variegatum’

Green with white edge

Yellow

Rounded

60′ x 50′

imageJohn Bartram of Philadelphia was the first to bring the Norway maple from England to the U.S. in 1756 and soon it began appearing along streets and in parks.

As its name implies, this maple is native to Norway and much of Europe into western Asia. It was introduced to the U.S. in colonial times as an urban street tree and is still widely used for that purpose today. Many years of horticultural selection has produced cultivars that vary widely in form, from columnar to densely global and different leaf colors varying from red maroons, bright yellow and even variegated. Many times the purple leaved varieties are miss identified as ‘red maples’. An easy way to identify Norway maples would be to break a leaf off and if the sap is milky, its a Norway. Other maples will have clear sap.

Norway maples are found in woodlands near cities, especially in the northeastern U.S., they have also escaped cultivation and invaded many forests, fields and other natural habitats. Norway Maple can be monoecious or dioecious, meaning it produces male (staminate) flowers and female (pistillate) flowers on either the same or separate trees. Either way, they produce a large quantity of seeds that germinate rapidly. The species can be locally dominant in forest stands, create dense shade and displace native trees, shrubs and herbs. Its dense canopy also can shade out native wildflowers.

The normal leaf color is a dark green but cultivars have also been created with maroon, purple, and variegated foliage. Leaf variegation is not a stable trait and often tree canopies will display solid leaves along with variegated. Few Norway Maples provide meaningful fall color, a few yellows at most and often persisting on the tree until late season frosts before turning a drab olive brown.image

Norway maples tend to have very shallow roots and sometimes growing grass or any other ornamental plant under it is impossible. This also is one dirty tree… dropping trash during every season; starting with flower buds, two crops of seeds, twigs, branches, and copious amounts of leaves. There are many alternatives to Norway maples.

Red maple – Acer rubrum

Sugar maple – Acer saccharum

Hackberry – Celtis occidentalis

Basswood – Tilia americana

Northern red oak – Quercus rubra

Sycamore – Platanus occidentalis

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Burn the Fields!

Since I was focusing on my front foundation plant bed for the past two years, I passed on doing my veggie garden. We tried to keep it weed free, however weeds won the battle. Late last fall, we just cut it down to a few inches tall. We are planning to have the veggie garden back this season. To prepare for this, we needed to get rid of these weeds! An easy way for us to do this was to burn them. I’m a bit of a pyro. In my younger years, I would have loved to be the firefighter that battles the wildfires. I’m too old for that, however I am certified to work prairie fires. Of course, I can still have my fun in my own yard!! 

In lieu of using the normal fire starter method used for prairie fires (diesel) we opted for a harder method, however our method would not taint the soil. We used a propane torch. It got the fire started, however because we weren’t dropping drips of fuel, which would fuel a fire so many ways better, our method relied on the dryness of the plant matter and wind. We chose a 10 MPH wind, and used it to ‘push’ the fire along the bed. It wasn’t perfect, but it got the job done.

I’m not sure where my hubby got that pink firehat. They were being given out somewhere and it had somehow got placed on the shelf near the propane torch. He thought it was apropos for the situation. I just thought it made him look cute.

Like I said, this was not exactly a wildfire! This was as good as it got. I think those flames are reaching waist height.

In case you’re wondering why we are burning our fields, in short, our area “The Great Plains”, requires a burning now and then to cleanse the non-natives from the native lands. Non-native plants and seeds usually can’t survive the heat of the fires like our natives can. Ancient Native Americans learned this long ago. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

Burn, baby, burn!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

The Crab Apple ~ Malus Species

Like many heralds of spring, crab apples explode with color upon the dreary backdrop of April.  For a tree that can grow in almost all 50 states, there are not many other species that can offer the colors, shapes and sizes the crab offers. It also has three season interest (as seen below), with blooms in spring, beautiful green (or red) foliage in summer, along with berries for winter. Fall is usually uneventful, as fall color is unknown to this tree.

Crab apples are loved by many of our wildlife friends.

  • The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of many moths and butterflies.
  • The flowers provide an important source of early pollen and nectar for insects, particularly honeybees.
  • The fruit is eaten by birds including cardinals, robins, thrushes and finches.
  • Mammals, including mice, raccoons, vole and squirrels also eat crab apple fruit.

Although all of the blooms are similar shaped, they come in a plethora of colors, buds that bloom to another color and different bloom times. Crabs can grow from 5′ – 50′ feet, but on average, stay between 15′ to 25′ feet range. This makes them a great choice for under wires or a street tree, along with the fact they are salt tolerant. Varieties can vary from columnar, weeping, spreading, vase-shaped to pyramidal which allows them to be planted almost anywhere. Click here for my favorite ‘cheat sheet’ (It’s a PDF) on crabs, which shows size, shape, bloom and berry colors, along with other great info.

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Sadly, there are many things lurking out there to attack crabs. Although many of the new varieties are resistant to one or more disease; scab, fireblight, leaf spot, rusts are among the top killers of crabs. Buying a resistant variety is the key to longevity.

Although the fruits are very tart, they are plentiful and able to be turned into jellies and jams quite easily, due to their high pectin. Here’s how you can do it!

A Makah Legend

The Indians who live on the farthest point of the northwest corner of Washington State used to tell stories, not about one Changer, but about the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things. So did their close relatives, who lived on Vancouver Island, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

When the world was very young, there were no people on the Earth. There were no birds or animals, either. There was nothing but grass and sand and creatures that were neither animals nor people but had some of the traits of people and some of the traits of animals.

Then the two brothers of the Sun and the Moon came to the Earth. Their names were Ho-ho-e-ap-bess, which means “The Two-Men-Who- Changed- Things.” They came to make the Earth ready for a new race of people, the Indians. The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things called all the creatures to them. Some they changed to animals and birds. Some they changed to trees and smaller plants.

Among them was a bad thief. He was always stealing food from creatures who were fishermen and hunters. The Two-Men-Who- Changed-Things transformed him into Seal. They shortened his arms and tied his legs so that only his feet could move. Then they threw Seal into the Ocean and said to him, “Now you will have to catch your own fish if you are to have anything to eat.”

One of the creatures was a great fisherman. He was always on the rocks or was wading with his long fishing spear. He kept it ready to thrust into some fish. He always wore a little cape, round and white over his shoulders. The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things transformed him into Great Blue Heron. The cape became the white feathers around the neck of Great Blue Heron. The long fishing spear became his sharp pointed bill.

Another creature was both a fisherman and a thief. He had stolen a necklace of shells. The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things transformed him into Kingfisher. The necklace of shells was turned into a ring of feathers around Kingfisher’s neck. He is still a fisherman. He watches the water, and when he sees a fish, he dives headfirst with a splash into the water.

Two creatures had huge appetites. They devoured everything they could find. The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things transformed one of them into Raven. They transformed his wife into Crow. Both Raven and Crow were given strong beaks so that they could tear their food. Raven croaks “Cr-r-ruck!” and Crow answers with a loud “Cah! Cah!”

The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things called Bluejay’s son to them and asked, “Which do you wish to be–a bird or a fish?”

“I don’t want to be either,” he answered.

“Then we will transform you into Mink. You will live on land. You will eat the fish you can catch from the water or can pick up on the shore. ”

Then the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things remembered that the new people would need wood for many things.

They called one of the creatures to them and said “The Indians will want tough wood to make bows with. They will want tough wood to make wedges with, so that they can split logs. You are tough and strong. We will change you into the yew tree.”

They called some little creatures to them. “The new people will need many slender, straight shoots for arrows. You will be the arrowwood. You will be white with many blossoms in early summer.”

They called a big, fat creature to them. “The Indians will need big trunks with soft wood so that they can make canoes. You will be the cedar trees. The Indians will make many things from your bark and from your roots.”

The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things knew that the Indians would need wood for fuel. So they called an old creature to them. “You are old, and your heart is dry. You will make good kindling, for your grease has turned hard and will make pitch. You will be the spruce tree. When you grow old, you will always make dry wood that will be good for fires.”

To another creature they said, “You shall be the hemlock. Your bark will be good for tanning hides. Your branches will be used in the sweat lodges.”

A creature with a cross temper they changed into a crab apple tree, saying, “You shall always bear sour fruit.”

Another creature they changed into the wild cherry tree, so that the new people would have fruit and could use the cherry bark for medicine.

A thin, tough creature they changed into the alder tree, so that the new people would have hard wood for their canoe paddles.

Thus the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things got the world ready for the new people who were to come. They made the world as it was when the Indians lived in it.

 

*** Did you like this post? I have more coming that show trees in all of their seasons. Stay tuned!!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-20-2016

He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time. ~ Oscar Wilde

No need to be punctual in seeing what I found blooming in 201320142015.

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Hardy mum ~ Don’t see many ‘rund here     ||     Monarda seedhead

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Purple hosta      ||       Liatris aspera ~ Rough blazingstar

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Solidago rigida(or Oligoneuron rigidum) ~ Stiff Goldenrod   ||   I’m confused & maybe this plant is also. This looks like roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii), however its blooming now. Anyone with thoughts??

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Spiraea ~ Spirea     ||     Heptacodium miconioides ~ Seven Son Flower

Ironically, there are no fun stories about this tree, however after it finishes blooming, the calex turn bright red, giving it a second bloom time! This is in my yard, so I’ll be sure to let you see soon.

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Flies like nectar too! (on mint)    ||    A quick bouquet for my neighbor =-)

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Rose hips

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Aster     ||     A hosta with a large flower


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl