Tag Archive | weed

Spring Blooming Flowers 5-9-2017

Happy second week of May. Last weeks rain was pretty tough on the tree farmers. If you guys were not aware, many trees have specific times they can be dug. Some trees have a large window, other trees the window is more like a peep hole. Pears can only be dug while in flower, Maples only while they are budding and most other plants need to harden off their new growth before being dug.

Please be kind to your landscaper. Trees don’t grow on trees 😉

Click to see previous years blooms 2016201520142013

Lonicera tatarica ~ Tartarian honeysuckle

My shade / spring ephemeral garden (Where’s Breck?)

     

Geum coccineum ‘Cooky’ ~ Cooky Avens or Scarlet Avens  ||   Vaccinium corymbosum ~ Blueberry!

Lamiastrum galeobdolon ‘Yellow Archangel’

Polemonium caeruleum ~ Jacobs Ladder

     

Thlaspi arvense ~ Field Pennycress   ||   Polemonium caeruleum ~ Variegated Jacobs Ladder

     

Uvularia grandiflora – large-flowered bellwort or merrybells   ||  Lonicera periclymenum ‘Scentsation’ ~ Honeysuckle

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Monday Memories 5-1-2017

The Hunt for Garlic Mustard for Tasty Meals!

garl mustDuring the first year of growth, plants form rosette clumps of heart shaped, slightly wrinkled leaves that smell like garlic. The next year plants flower in spring, producing white flowers, and as the flowering stems bloom they stretch into a spike-like shape. This pain-in-the-butt plant has enough energy in it, that if you pull it while it’s blooming, it can still produce seeds, which are released during the early summer.

So what can be done about this invasive species? EAT IT!

Garlic mustard can be found growing almost anywhere, but prefers a shady location. Procuring this herb is as easy as traveling to your nearest forest preserve. Removing native plants from protected parks is illegal, but because of garlic mustard’s invasive status, most parks will encourage you to take all you’d like.

Use Landscaping to Save on Energy BillsScan_Pic0001

Landscaping can significantly reduce the costs of heating and cooling the home. Some well-placed shade trees, evergreens and shrubs not only look great, but also keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Not much solar energy enters our homes through the walls and roof because of the insulation. Sun shining through the windows accounts for about half of the unwanted heat in a house during the summer. Twice as much solar energy enters through the east and west windows as the south windows, particularly if there is a roof overhang on the south side of the house.

The sun and wind both affect the temperature of residences in winter. A substantial amount of warmth can be gained from the sun shining through a southern facing window in the winter when the sun is low in the sky. East and west windows can also provide solar energy gain in the winter. The solar energy from the windows may provide 4-18% of the total energy needed to heat the home. Although, escaping warm air, along with cold wind penetrating a home, increase the heating costs and account for 24-39% of the heating requirements.

Ilex VS. Powdery Mildew

mildew grape leaf.JPGThere are many species of fungus that cause powdery mildew on plants. Most only infect the leaf surface or stems and do not attack the leaf tissue of the host plant. Powdery mildew is not usually a serious problem, but to avoid severe damage to plants, quick control methods need to be taken.

Powdery mildew grows predominantly on leaf surfaces and does not require water to infect the plant. Powdery mildew fungi overwinter in tiny black bodies called fungal threads, which can be found in leaf litter, twigs, and dormant buds. In Spring, the fungal threads produce spores that start the cycle, especially during periods of high humidity when days are warm and nights are cool, ideal temperatures range between 60F to 80F. Vulnerable plants are most susceptible while new shoots and leaves are expanding. Fungus is host specific, meaning the powdery mildew on phlox does not infect crab apples.

Ilex VS. Volutella Blight on Pachysandraphoto 2

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.

 

Four-Spotted Sap Beetle ~ Glischrochilus quadrisignatus

imageFour-Spotted Sap Beetle (or ‘picnic beetles’, ‘picnic bugs’, or ‘beer bugs’) feed on sap from injured trees, decaying vegetables or fungal matter. They love ripened fruit, as well as beer, wine, fruit juice and fermented beverages. The beetles like to party in large numbers when these beverages are present, often drowning while enjoying their libation. Then I get to enjoy protein in my wine =-P

They can be a nuisance to farmers, however they don’t generally bother crops until something else causes the crop to be damaged in some way. Once damage is done, like Japanese beetles nibbling on tomatoes do they come from miles around. They aren’t strong fliers, however scientists have tested marked beetles by placing a basket of rotten tomatoes 200 yards away, and the beetles found the prize in less than two hours.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

Monday Memories

This also gets me off the hook for fresh material on the busiest day of the week  😉

The Willows are starting to turn yellow here. wpid-20140304_070015_richtonehdr.jpg

This is right on schedule with last year. This photo is from last year and had I taken a new one last Friday, it would have been void of snow. However Mr. Jack Frost is not done wit us yet! We’ve got 3-5 inches predicted for this evening! (Technically, I’m writing this Sunday night ~ We’ll see in the comments if I’m right!)

Summer blend gas is on order.

Our gas prices are starting to rise, even though the cost of a barrel of oil is going down. Yeah, living by a large city is awesome!! Not. So even though there is plenty of gas made and ready to go, the refineries have to make summer blend for the area that drives the price up almost double. $2.97 per gallon now will be $4.50 in June.

The upside is usually the price of diesel stays the same price throughout the year at about $2.70 per gallon. This is good when we are camping and driving a bit to get where were plopping for the weekend.

s daliDaylight Savings Time

This was a few weeks ago, however I think it’s important to understand where these notions come from and just why do we do it?!?

Many think this was all done to try to save resources, energy and money… However, environmental economist Hendrik Wolff, of the University of Washington, found that the Daylight saving did indeed drop lighting and electricity use in the evenings… HOWEVER, higher energy demands during darker mornings completely canceled out the evening gains.

rain barrel35 Water Saving Methods in the Garden

  1. Water lawns during the early morning when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces evaporation and waste. Watering in the evening can leave leaves wet all night, promoting disease problems. Better yet. DON’T WATER THE LAWN AT ALL!!! It doesn’t die, it goes dormant.

  2. Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. Your garden hose can pour out 600 gallons of water or more in only a few hours, so don’t leave the sprinkler running all day. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn it off.

  3. Use water from dehumidifiers to water indoor and outdoor plants. You can also collect condensation water from air conditioning units to use for watering plants.

https://midwesternplants.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/garlic_mustard2.jpg?w=171&h=182

99 Edible Plants for the Midwest Forager

Many young weeds are great for food! Take a look at this list and get ready for fresh, free veggies!

Plants can be your best bet for long term survival or your short ride to being plant food. Here’s another wonderful site: Plants For a Future that lists over 7,000 plants and their medicinal purposes, really really great stuff going on there.

Asclepias spp. – Milkweed ~ Young pods, before they set seed*

Asimina triloba – Pawpaw ~ fruits (I’m dying to try these)

Artium spp. – Burdock ~ The root

Barbarea spp. – Winter Cress ~ The young leaves & flower

Betula spp. – Birch ~ The sap, inner bark, twigs

Brassica spp. – Wild Mustards ~ The young leaves, flowerbuds, & seeds

Capsella bursa-pastoris – Shepard’s Purse ~ The young leaves, seedpods

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-7-2016

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia. Charles M. Schulz

Don’t wait till tomorrow to see what was blooming in 2013, 2014, 2015

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Sporobolus heterolepis ~ Prairie Dropseed   ||   Pennisetum alopecuroides ~ Fountain Grass

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Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pee Gee’

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Hosta     ||   Lobelia cardinalis ~ Cardinal Flower

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Phlox

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Rudbeckia triloba ~ Brown-eyed Susan     ||   Rhus typhina ~ Staghorn sumac

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Parthenium integrifolium ~ Wild Quinine    ||    Solidago canadensis ~ Canada Goldenrod

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Euphorbia corollata – Flowering Spurge


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Welcome Little Violet – Viola sororia

imageI saw this little guy on the top of my south facing swale. It gets a bunch of sun and tends to warm up quickly there. These beauties are really low and were tucked protectively into the grass. If you put weed killer on your lawn in the spring, you’ll miss out on having them bless you in the spring.

There are many health benefits of violets. Leaves of violets contain twice as much vitamin C as the same weight of an orange and over twice the amount of vitamin A when compared with spinach. Bam! Early Native Americans have used violets for treating different cancers and the American Natural Cancer Institute has recognized this and have joined forces. Violets may also be useful in the therapy of disorders related to an overactive immune system.

Here are a few spring tea recipes including violets:

Nutritious Tea
Use equal amounts of the dried leaves of nettle, dandelion, red clover, violet and mint.

Mineral Rich Tea
Steep violet leaves with alfalfa, horsetail, oatstraw, red clover, hawthorn leaf and flower, chamomile, and raspberry leaves. This tea is jam-packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

Relaaaaax
Combine violet leaves with blue vervain, linden leaf and linden flower with elderberry flower.

These cutie-faces are native east of Kansas. They are the state flower for Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

If You Can’t Be Bad Ass, At Least Look Bad Ass

Many times in the big, scary world we live in, there are times we need to defend ourselves from the big, scary things out there. Now, without getting all logical and deep… We can all probably agree that:

  • All things aren’t what they seem
  • Some things can seem what they are

So, the problem is in figuring out who is telling the truth and who is fibbing…

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Sonchus asper ~ sharp-fringed sow thistle, prickly sow-thistle spiny sow thistle, or spiny-leaved sow thistle DON’T TOUCH!!

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Sonchus oleraceus ~ common sowthistle, sow thistle, smooth sow thistle, annual sow thistle, hare’s colwort, hare’s thistle, milky tassel, swinies. EAT ME!!

 

Here is a case of imitation. They are in the same family, however one would really hurt your pie-hole if you were to eat it, where the other would be a nice, fresh addition to your salad.

This is also akin to the cutie thirteen line squirrel.. Who knew he was going to attack a house sparrow!

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover and know there are many look-alikes out there, so beware!

 

 

 

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Aieeee! They all look alike!!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl