Happy Summer! Chance and I had our very own welcome to summer party, we were out looking for wildflowers. I love the soft light of the evening, and last night the clouds were pretty interesting too. I have learned to always take the keys out of the car, or leave the window down as the brilliant border collie can and will step on the door lock, he loves to ride in the front and co pilot for me..drooling and making nose spots on the window. When we got back, we played ball and he went for a dip in his pool. Our daytime temperatures are around eighty...dogs won't mold will they..he is continually wet.
Here are some of the wildflowers that have been blooming recently.
Canada Hawkweed or Hieracium canadense, a non native and one of seven species of Hawkweed in Minnesota.
Evening Primrose or Oenothera biennis a native plant whose flowers open in the evening, by the next day at noon they will wilt and be done. A fleeting beauty.
Golden Alexanders or Zizia aurea, a native plant..cheerful and yellow flat clusters of flowers.
Yellow Sweet Clover or Melilotus officinalis is a non native and was once grown as a hay crop, now it is just mowed along the roadsides.
Northern Snow Bedstraw or Galium boreale is a native. The early pioneers dried this fragrant plant and stuffed their mattresses with it. If you are in a real pinch, after the seeds have dried you can brew them up for a coffee substitute.
Wild Rose or Rosa arkansana this native to Minnesota plant is blooming quite happily in our yard. The fragrance is heavenly.
Wild Calla or Calla palustris is another native found in bogs and swamps.
White Campion or Lychnis alba is a non native. The petals of this flower retract back into the green bladder during the day, it blooms best in the evening. It's redeeming quality is the tiny seeds it produces that are eaten by sparrows and finches.
Years ago I met an old lady, well she was way older than me. She really irritated me. She wanted only native plants in her yard. She had no Wild Rose..she had no Northern Bedstraw..certainly no Evening Primrose..she was missing the boat. I am not sure if she ever had a boat ..she definitely did not have both sets of oars in the water. I have met these "nature women " before. I do not get along with them. They are a total waste of my time. She doesn't want seedy weedy plants next to the shoreline, I explained that many of the natural tall grasses that are near the shore produce seed heads that are food for baby ducks..she isn't the least bit interested in those messy creatures. I almost tore my hair out..sometimes shore-land restoration drives me nuts..just let the natural grasses come back and let the Wild Iris bloom..don't be so picky. No matter what kind of fancy native plants you plant ( the kind that are rarely found, but you pick because of a pretty flower or the ones that struggle to grow) sooner or later your knees, hips or your back are going to give out, the native grasses will take over again and the baby ducks will have some food once again along your shoreline. Your pathetic attempts trying to manipulate native wildflower plantings will be history.
I enjoy the native wildflowers..but I enjoy them where they grow naturally...not where someone tends them, eagerly watching for the next tiny weed. I swear the only thing some of these people have to do is weed, then again with the lake shore taxes they must pay perhaps it is the only thing they can afford to do:)