Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wildflowers: June 22, 2010

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:)


  1. I agree with you - let the native grasses have their way. It is the way nature intended it to be. As far as leaving Chance alone with the keys in your car - as smart as he is, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to hear he could drive away. That is one awesome dog!

  2. I can see Chance getting antsy while he is in the vehicle and you are not. He wants to go where you go. Buddy does too. Oh well. Love the evening primrose. Those are so beautiful. Have a good day. Becca

  3. Far Side, your photos are superb as always, and I'm with you. I'm not much of a weeder; therefore, I'm happy someone who lived in our house before we did planted perennials. I can enjoy them each year but truth be told, the weeding is slow, sometimes absent. Wildflowers are my favorites as well. They are such a gift, such a surprise. It's like God saying, "Here you go, enjoy this, isn't it lovely?" Indeed, it is! Thanks for capturing such lovely images to share.

  4. what beautiful flowers! my car also has nose prints from my dogs. some days so thick it's hard to see clearly out of. just when the kids don't do it anymore along comes the animals!

  5. As usual, I love the post and I know Chance loved going on an adventure with you.

  6. More beautiful wildflowers. The pink evening primrose grows/spreads like crazy here but I bought the yellow variety and it did not last very long. It sure was a pretty color though. We suffer from windwos with nose prints too!

  7. I LOVE wildflowers! Beautiful. Hubby was trimming the front of our property and there was a clump of wildflowers in the middle of everything. You can bet they were saved!

  8. What lovely flowers! I like wild grasses too - we have several in our garden! ;-) Oscar is constantly wet: he isn't mouldy, but he does tend to smell a bit...

  9. Oh I so love all the wildflowers, I do not know most of the ones names here, but I sure enjoy them and have enjoyed seeing the one there too, hugs my friend.

  10. Another wonderful post! Keep up the good work!


  11. I always like seeing your wildflower pictures to compare the things we have in common. You often call them by different names or probably I don't have the right name. For instance we have Hawkweed (Canada eh ;) but I've always known it as false dandelion.

  12. I've been following your blog for about 6 months and certainly enjoy it. This spring I have really appreciated the posts done on wildflowers. I noticed that you were great with identification and used the latin names. Then I checked your profile and find you are a hoticulturist .
    So for a heads up I'm working on a small post and will refer to your blog on it .

  13. She sounds like a cousin to the one we met up with in the Community Gardens. At first she was nice enough, and then she just let loose. Nasty one.

    I love the direction you go, when you post the wildflowers. So beautifully presented, and informative. Why don't we have as many here? Right, I live in the stinkin city, and there are no fields around here.

    Funny about the door locks, and dogs. My Mom was telling me last night, a visitor to the farm locked her keys in the car, when her mini dog jumped onto the door locks. It ended up costing her $150.00 to get a tow truck up there.

    Lesson learned, I hope.


  14. I think I saw yellow clover blooming on this trip from which we just returned. I saw many wild flowers - but we couldn't stop and smell them ( or photo them) as we had an agenda (or sort of one)

    I did stop occasionally to see birds.

  15. Preach on! Perfect tidy wild gardens - what an ultimate contradiction in terms. And no non-native non-invasive lovelies that have come on the backs of the fauna or the satchel of non-natives - so much for reality. And so much for understanding symbiotic relationships that are often necessary and very healthy for all. Thanks for the uplifting post. And the tasty wildflower selection.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie