At the bottom of the to-do list usually is the butterfly garden where the natives and volunteers have been allowed to fend for themselves. I usually don't pay much attention to this area until something is blooming and catches my eye.
Thank goodness these pink pretties are at the front of the butterfly garden where they are immediately noticed, despite the weedy grass surrounding them. This is, of course, the famous PPPP--Phlox pilosa--known throughout Blogland, thanks to the generosity of Gail of Clay and Limestone. In fact, this stand started from three small starts given to me several years ago by Gail. They have multiplied over the years, but what has me really excited this year is that they now have spread to another area. Those thuggish obedient plants and aggressive asters aren't going to conquer this little beauty!
Nearby in the better-tended arbor bed Amsonia hubrichtii is blooming. Planted three years ago as a delicate little seedling, it finally seems to be coming into its own. The blooms don't seem to be as blue as that of its cousin, but it's the interesting foliage of this plant that makes it a year-round winner, turning a lovely bronze in the fall.
Its relative, Amsonia tabernaemontana is just starting to bloom. Once a beautiful plant, I made the mistake of dividing and moving it last year--something I won't attempt again! I'm glad to see it survived; hopefully, one day I'll have not one, but two large specimens of this plant I first fell in love with at the Lurie Garden during the Chicago Fling of '09.
While these are the only natives currently in bloom in my garden, I hope to have many more to show in the coming months. I ordered a few plants from Prairie Moon Nursery, and two weeks ago I went to the local Prairie Plant Society's plant sale. The plant sale always seems to fall on the same day we have our big planting day at the Idea Garden, so I either miss it or get there late. This year I got my act together and headed out early to the plant sale, which was definitely a good idea. There were so many more selections available before everything had been picked over!
Between my order and the plant sale, I now have these new additions to the Butterfly Garden: Coreopsis tripteris (tall coreopsis), Echinacea Pallida (the pale coneflower I've always wanted!), Ratibida pinnata (yellow or gray-headed coneflower), Eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master), Helenium (Sneezeweed), a foxglove beardstongue, Royal Catchfly, and a trillium (planted in the shade garden). I also stopped at a plant sale on the way home--a local gardener who plants mostly natives and has lots of nice divisions looking for new homes every spring--and added another Joe Pye weed and a 'Baby Joe' to the collection.
|Image from Wikipedia|
While I wait for all these new natives to grow, there are other blooms attracting my attention in the garden this week. I realize this isn't a wildflower, but the irises are in full bloom right now, and I had just had to show off one of these beauties.
I'm glad to finally join in once again in the Wildflower Wednesday celebrations, and with all these new babies in the garden, I'm looking forward to having more to share in the coming months. Wildflower Wednesday is hosted the fourth Wednesday of every month by the best friend of pollinators, Gail at Clay and Limestone. Thanks, Gail, for reminding us of the importance of going native!