Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wildflowers of the Big Horn Mountains

I have just returned from a great vacation.  My husband, parents, and I went on a 9 day road trip where we visited South Dakota, Wyoming, and for 3 days stayed with great friends on their ranch in Montana.

While in Wyoming we made it to the Big Horn Mountains where it was the start of their wildflower season.  Here are some that I happened to catch on camera:


This looked like some kind of bee balm - could be horsemint before it blooms

Orange Sneezeweed

Blue Flag Iris

Prairie Smoke

King's Crown

Silvery Lupine

Alpine Phlox



King's Crown and Alpine Phlox

Alpine Sunflower

My husband and my dad thought these were hostas (which they are not LOL), but I am pretty sure they are common Mullien.

Wild Chamomile and Alpine Forget-me-not

Orange Sneezeweed and Pinedrops

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shade Plant of the Week - Thalictrum or Meadow Rue

Thalictrum is commonly referred to as Meadow Rue.  Although the one below is a tall plant, it's very light and airy.  The leaves remind me of bleeding heart leaves, and it is topped with fuzzy almost aster like flowers.  Meadow Rue comes in variety of heights and colors (pink, lavender, white, and yellow).  It blooms late spring through early summer.
T. aquilegifolium

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hosta 'War Paint'

Hosta 'War Paint' is one of my favorite spring hostas.  It is so beautiful with it variegation and pie crust edges.  I always hope that it will stay that way, but it greens up as spring progresses.  So this year I decided to take a picture of it every week just to show the difference in color.  Even after it turns all green it's still a beautiful hosta.
Hosta 'War Paint' early spring

Look at the beautiful variegation in the leaf.

Hosta 'War Paint' one week later

Hosta 'War Paint' two weeks later

Hosta 'War Paint' three weeks later

Hosta 'War Paint' four weeks later, almost all variegation is gone.

Friday, June 15, 2012

First Daylily of the Season

The first daylily of the season has bloomed!  This one is 'Ruby Spider', it's a spider-type daylily.  Spider-type daylilies have petals that are four times longer then they are wide.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shade Plant of the Week - Martagon Lilies

Martagon lilies are a species of wild lilies that can grow in the shady garden.  They add height and color to the garden.  Martagon lilies do not like to be disturbed, so if you dig them up or plant them for a first time you may not see them again for another year (or two).  The flowers themselves are small and downward facing, but an established plant can have up to 50 or more flowers.   They come in a variety of colors: yellow, red, orange, white, and pink.
'Mrs. R. O. Backhouse' Martagon Lily from my garden

'Claude Shride' martagon lily from Woodland Gardens

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Fifty Shades of Shade

Ok, there are not really fifty shades of shade, but not all shade is created equal.  The type of shade you have in your garden will determine which type of plants you can grow.

Here are the different types of shade:

  1. Dry Shade: Dry shade has a large canopy of overhanging tree branches that does not allow rain to reach the ground.  The ground is usually also filled with tree roots that will soak up any of the moisture that does reach that area.  Your best bet for a dry shade area is to grow plants in pots so they do not compete with the trees.  Hostas can grow in dry shade, but they will not grow well and may disappear completely if you don't water them well.  Spring blooming plants and woodland natives are also your best bet.  Things like ferns, bluebells, bloodroot, vinca, ajuga, etc.
  2. Moist Shade: Shaded areas along streams, ponds, or other wet areas.  Since hostas love water, they would love moist shade.  Just make sure to plant them at the proper depth.  If you plant them too deep they could end up with crown rot.  Other plants for moist shade: ajuga, bleeding heart, ligularia, columbine, jack-in-the-pulpit, ferns, woodland phlox, lungwort, rodgersia, meadow rue, foam flower, toad lily, trillium, etc.
  3. Dappled Shade: Dappled Shade is a when the light you receive is filtered from either a light canopy of trees, a pergola, etc.  It is not hot direct sun but a filtered light on and off throughout the day.  Dappled shade allows you to grow a wide variety of both shade and sun plants.
  4. Light Shade: Usually this is an open area that may be shaded by tree limbs, walls, or other structures.  Throughout the day it will receive direct sunlight on and off.  Some shade plants, such as some hostas may burn in this area if you don't keep it watered well.  It will really depend on the variety of hosta, ones with white in them will probably not do well in this kind of shade as the white areas will melt out.  Plants such as daylilies, lilies, coral bells, and most sun perennials will grow in this kind of light.
  5. Medium Shade: This area receives about 2 to 6 hours of direct sun a day.  It's the true Partial Shade.  Shade plants will do well in this area if the sun is morning sun and not hot afternoon sun.  Sun plants will also grow well in these conditions, especially if the area receives afternoon sun.
  6. Deep Shade: This area receives no direct sun at all and very little to no filtered light.  No plant will really thrive in this type of shade, but there are plants that will tolerate it.  Hostas will grow in deep shade provided they receive water and a little filtered light.  Blue colored hostas would keep their great blue color in this type of shade.  Other plants for deep shade are: ferns, dead nettle, ajuga, bleeding heart, astilbe (as long as watered well), columbine, lutea, lungwort, hellebores, vinca, bergenia, etc.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thank You!

Thank you to all the people that came out today for the plant sale and open house.  I met so many new people and everyone was so incredibly nice!  And, of course, it was awesome to see old friends who come back year after year.  I can't wait to someday be able to tour some of your gardens!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What do you think of my new stickers?

I think my stickers I had made for my plant pots turned out pretty cute!  Getting excited for the plant sale Saturday.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shade Plant of the Week - Baptisia 'False Indigo'

Baptisia is normally known as a full sun plant, but I have success growing it in partial shade.  It can take a long time to establish itself.  I planted this one probably 5 years ago, and it wasn't until 2 years ago that it actually started to bloom.  Once established it's very hardy.  It comes in a variety of colors: blue, yellow, purple, and dark maroon.  It blooms in late spring, and then flowers turn into interesting seed pods.   Place this plant at the back of the border with some space.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Climbing Roses Hardy for Wisconsin Winters

It's the time of year when I walk into my backyard and immediately smell the roses (literally)!  Climbing roses can be easy to grow in colder climates if you choose the right variety.  The ones below are John Cabot and William Baffin.  Both are Canadian grown climbing roses which are known to be hardy to about zone 3.  Other varieties of roses will grow in colder climates, but Canadian grown roses are hardier and require less care since they are usually shrub type roses.  These roses are very low maintenance, usually only some fall pruning.  I never even cover them for the winter.  Canadian roses are perfect for colder climate gardens, people without a green thumb, or those who want roses without all the care that goes along with them.