Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday Walk

Once again it's time for Wildflower Wednesday, hosted each month by Gail of Clay and Limestone, and I really thought I would have much to show you this month.  But it seems to be a transition time in the garden for everything, including wildflowers and the natives.

The purple coneflowers are but shadows of their former selves, and even the Susans are in a state of faded glory.  A few sprays of the common goldenrod are turning yellow, but little else is in bloom right now in the Butterfly Garden, where most of the natives reside.

Obedient plant and asters, which along with the goldenrod seem to have claimed most of the territory in this area this year, are still a few weeks away from blooming.

Since there aren't many native blooms in my garden now, let's take a little walk, shall we?  One of my favorite places to look for natives is at Meadowbrook Park in the Tall Prairie restoration planting.  In April Sophie and I checked out the prairie when the dried grasses and blooms of last year were still standing and only a few trees were in flower.  The plan was to go back in June and again in July when the area was full of interesting blooms, but somehow we never got there.  Today there were errands to run and a new session of Tai Chi to attend, so poor Sophie didn't get to go with me once again.

Obviously, the prairie is in transition, too, as more dried seedheads are spotted than blooms.

Native Sumac is showing the first signs of its autumn coloring . . . or maybe it's just suffering from the prolonged lack of rain.

Ah, here's a bloom--the tall thistle is just opening up.  Most people would consider this a weed, and I really don't want it in my garden, but it's a favorite of bees, butterflies, and especially goldfinches.

A few yellow blooms dot the landscape here and there.  Perhaps you can identify this, but I'm not going to venture a guess.  It could be a type of Rudbeckia or Helianthus or even something called Yellow Crownbeard. There are so many wildflowers with yellow blooms that it takes some study and research before I can identify them, and today I left my wildflower book at home.

Much easier to identify, though, is Culver's Root, Veronicastrm virginicum, even when it is no longer in bloom.  Set against a darkening sky, it towers above many of the other prairie plants.

I thought we might be able to see a compass plant today as I've noticed them while driving past the park in recent weeks.  But there seems to be some strange rumbling noises from the sky, and the wind has suddenly picked up.  The tall prairie grasses are swaying in the wind, making photography very difficult.

Let's ignore that flash of light in the sky and see if we can identify this plant about to bloom--perhaps an Evening Primrose?  . . . Oh dear, something is falling on my head . . . what's going on here?  Could it be . . . yes!  Raindrops are falling!  And now they're coming down even faster . . .

I'm sorry, but I guess we'll have to cut our walk short and come back another time to look for the compass plant and identify the fall bloomers in the park.  Maybe next time Sophie can come with us; she loves it here. 

Please go ahead and visit Gail's for some other wildflower scenes.  But if you will excuse me, I think I'll just stand here in the parking lot awhile and do a little happy dance, my "Thank you for the Rain!" celebration.


  1. Rose how wonderful to get some needed rain. Your prairie wildflowers are beautiful. I love the grasses...Happy WW!!

  2. Hi Rose,

    Thank goodness you are getting some rain. I hope that it is enough to give everything a thorough soaking.

    My Sumach is turning, and it is not, for me, it is a mark of autumn on the doorstep.

    We have an abundance of wildflowers this year.....I incluse the thistles in my patch (the copse). I have to say, in all honesty, that I actually love them. They are such a pretty colour.

    Tku for showing us the changes in your landscape.

    I do so hope Sophie has a lovely walk with you next time.

  3. Lucky you getting some rain. Hopefully this afternoon we will get some much needed rain. I am not so sure it will though. Only a 40%chance. WHINE. Love seeing the prairie even if an abbreviated look. Mz Sophie will love to return with you no doubt.

  4. Lucky you to get some rain. I loved the words to describe it. The prairie looks great with all those seedheads. Sometimes that is my favorite part. I've been collecting seeds for a MG seed swap in November-a big deal for us all.

  5. Hi Rose! What do you mean, I love the shot of the prairie grasses on its on merit. (I love grasses.) The yellow flower looks like woodland sunflower, Helianthus divaricatus (don't let the name fool you, it grows in sun, too). My goldenrod is at about the same stage as yours. I love obedient plant and have a HUGE clump of it, because I've been meaning to divide it for the past 2 years... And the Culver's root is gorgeous! One of my faves, which I hope to grow myself soon. Happy WW!

  6. The lightning and thunder here were pretty awesome yesterday Rose, as was the much-needed rain. Sorry it cut your wildflower expedition short. Love your goldenrod. I added one last summer (unknown variety from a fellow master gardener,) and hope it may bloom this year. I should go out and check it! Happy WW!

  7. So enjoyed walking with you, dear Rose! One of my favorite things to do is walk the woods at the lake and gather wildflowers. Happy remains of August :)

  8. Such pretty wildflowers! I , too find it funny how thistles get such a bad rap yet the birds in my area thrive on their seed.

  9. Thank you for the walk~ I love, love, love the Culver's Root against the sky. That's how it's supposed to look! Not lying down like it does in my mini-prairie! Now, please send the rain South! gail

  10. The Culver's Root doesn't look unhappy about the lack of rain! I'm still trying to convince it that it would like a place in my garden, as it's such a lovely plant.

  11. Donna, We've had sprinkles and threatening skies off and on the past few weeks, but no rain, so Tuesday's rain was ever so welcome.

    Cheryl, Sophie will definitely go with me next time. But Coconut may want to go, too:) I'm learning to enjoy thistles, as long as they know their place.

    Lisa, I do hope the rains made it your way--everything looks so much better here now.

    Tina, If you have some 'Cosmic Orange' seeds again, I'd love to have some. Mine didn't return this year for some reason.

    Monica, The grasses really are pretty, but trying to take photos when the wind was blowing was pretty hard. I do like Culver's Root, too.

    Linda, I didn't mind at all having my walk cut short by rain--we've had very little the past month. All my goldenrod is volunteer.

    Joey, I wish I could take walks like this more often, but for me it means driving several miles first.

    Rosey, I don't like thistles in my flowerbeds, but I do enjoy watching the finches devour them.

    Gail, The Culver's Root impressed me, too; I hope the rain found you!

    Sweetbay, I'm mulling over where I could add one, too.

  12. Seed heads and grasses do make lovely displays, don't they?
    It is a pity that the summer is flitting by so fast.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  13. Glad you got some rain, not a drop here yet. Of course we might get alot come this weekend depending on Hurricane Irene. Your common Solidagos are very pretty. :)

  14. Hi Rose! I love your blog! I am a newbie blogger from Illinois too and would like to put a link to your blog on to my blog if that is ok??!?? Thanks so much! Cheers! Nicole

  15. I included tall thistle in my August wildflowers also! I agree--I don't want it in my garden either, but it is a pretty flower (in a field)!

  16. Goldenrod along the roadsides here but has yet to find its way into my gardens. Ah, precious rain, oh how I would enjoy some of that right now.....

  17. I'm sure that everything seems to look quite fresh again after those welcome rains. See your 4th photo down - there are other seedheads that look so interesting - a bit like an allium but with it's umbels leaning over the top as if hiding something - could you tell me what that flower is?

  18. Rose, you are just about the best ever blogger friend. Thanks for visiting Mamma Mia Days even when I've not been a good visitor to Prairie Rose's Garden. I vow to do better. My dad died in July, thus I was thrown for a loop but am doing well now.

    The Sumac is beginning to show fall color here in Zone 4. It's hard not to take pictures of the purple thistle blooms...they're pretty. I luv the look of tall grasses swaying in the breeze, even if it makes the photo less than perfect.

    If you have too many raindrops there by you, please send some up north to us. Dry, dry here.

    Nice to be in touch with you again. Hopefully, I'll stick with blogging this time.

    Fondly, donna

  19. Eeks! How did I miss this?? I guess by now you've had lots more rain! We have, anyway compliments of good old Irene.

    Seedheads are pretty on their own and I love thistles too. Nice flowers. Can't believe summer is winding down!

  20. Rain is indeed a wonderful thing. I'm so glad you were blessed. The prairie sounds like a lovely place for you and Sophie to walk.

  21. I didn't get your comments read, but that yellow blooming plant looks like what I call false sunflower, but I'm not sure if that's what it is. I love that Culver's root. I planted a couple this year. I hope they get nice and tall and full like the one in your photo.


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