Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday: Thanksgiving Edition

Like most of you, at least those of you living in the U.S., I have a full agenda today.  Bathrooms have been scrubbed and floors mopped, but there is vacuuming and dusting to do, though why I bother I don't know--by tomorrow afternoon there will be dirty dishes and toys strewn all about, as the adults sit, too stuffed to move, let alone notice a little dust.  Ah, well, old habits die hard.  Once the cleaning is done, it's time to begin the serious work--baking, chopping vegetables, wrestling the turkey (that I hope has thawed completely) into a pot of brine, and all the other food preparations that can be done ahead of time so that Thanksgiving morning is as stress-free as possible. Of course, a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner is an oxymoron at my house, if you recall my tale of Turkey Trials and Tribulations from last year.

With all this to do today, what in the world am I doing here blogging?? For one, I wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.  And two, today is Wildflower Wednesday.  I have been racking my brain the last two weeks, trying to think of something I could show for this month's celebration of wildflowers.  I could have shown another photo of dried seedheads and foliage, but with the rain recently, they've mostly turned to mush.  Then, a small envelope arrived in the mail--serendipity!--and inspiration hit.

Orange cosmos in the butterfly garden 2010

Blogging friend Tina had kindly offered to send some seeds for 'Cosmic Orange' cosmos, after mine failed to appear this year.  When I opened the letter from her, I was surprised to see not only cosmos seeds, but seeds for several other plants including some for Rudbeckia lacinata, a variety I have been admiring in other gardens for some time.

Photo from Wikipedia

 Rudbeckia Lacinata, also known as Cutleaf Coneflower, can grow as tall as 8 feet, which makes it ideal for the back of a garden.  It blooms in mid-summer to fall with central cones of green, turning to yellow with maturity.  And like all Rudbeckias, it attracts all kinds of pollinators; in fact, it is the host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly.

Photo from
A second seedpacket from Tina included seeds for Scutellaria incana, commonly known as Downy Skullcap.  Downy Skullcap is a native perennial that grows to 2-3 feet tall, and is covered with racemes of blue-violet flowers that are especially attractive to bumblebees.  According to Illinois Wildflowers, "it's surprising that this plant is not grown in flower gardens more often" because of its attractive tubular flowers. Also noteworthy for many of you--deer usually don't bother this plant due to its bitter foliage.

I hope that next summer I can show you both of these plants blooming in my own garden--thank you, Tina!

Wildflower Wednesday is being celebrated all this week by our hostess Gail at Clay and Limestone--why not drop by to view other wildflowers or join in when you have the time?

Today I am grateful for all of you who have shared your gardening experience and knowledge with me over the past few years.  As I plan for tomorrow's big dinner, I realize that I have been truly blessed this past year--a new son-in-law and a new healthy grandson top the list.  I also am thankful that both my parents are in good health and can join us tomorrow, as well as my youngest daughter, who will be celebrating her first Thanksgiving dinner with us in three years.

May all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Rose! Have a wonderful day with family. x

  2. I am proud of you Rose for working in a blog post when I know you are busy as can be. I wish you and yours a Great Thanksgiving. Big Hugs.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Rose! I hope your turkey tale is a good one this year (not a disaster of course:). Those wildflowers look wonderful. I wonder if Tina has any seeds to spare?

  4. Have a lovely Thanksgiving. And, thank you for telling us about the Scutellaria incana - I've grown other Scutellarias and they were much weedier looking - am definitely going to do a bit of hunting for that seed. It's very pretty.

  5. I wish you a very happy thanksgiving.
    Thanks for the always beautiful posts
    of the wildflowers.

  6. You are very welcomed Rose. I would winter sow both the skullcap and lacinata and see how they do. I've not started them from seed but know the skullcap self seeds. The cutleaf I got a start from a gardening friend and boy do they ever multiply. These grew to about 6 feet tall and all yellow. A splendid addition. I hope they do well for you and happy Wildflower Wednesday. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  7. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, Rose! Don't work too hard. Have fun with the family!

  8. That last photo is so lovely, it might not be a wildflower anymore if it is already being domesticated in normal gardens.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I love your idea for a blog post and have so adopted a similiar theme. The rudbeckia and skullcap will be beautiful in your garden.

  10. Cosmos is one plant that always makes me happy, I think it was the first flower I learned the name of. I love that shot of sweet, happy cosmos against the sky. Mine didn't grow, I'll have to try again.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving (in your scrubbed, cleaned, dusted home --- we do the same thing, we clean to a T only to have hordes traipse in and who notices?? But we do it.)

  11. Happy Thanksgiving, Rose. You are blessed indeed to be surrounded by your loving family.

    How thoughtful of Tina to share seeds with you. I hope they grow well next spring.

  12. Two great wildflowers and a nice annual, how lucky can a gardener get! Happy Thanksgiving. xxoogail

  13. Liz, Thanks; we had a wonderful day with the family.

    Lisa, Happy Thanksgiving to you & DB, too. I wrote this post early in the morning before I got busy--you know I don't move too fast early in the day:)

    W2W, Thank you--the turkey turned out perfect this year--and right on time! I'll ask Tina; I'm sure she has a few orange cosmos seeds to spare.

    Barbara, I've never grown Scutellaria before so I'm curious to see how they grow for me.

    Marijke, Thank you and thank you so much for visiting.

    Tina, You don't know how excited I was to get the cutleaf seeds--I've always wanted to add these to my garden. I thought I would try several methods of sowing the seeds, including winter sowing in hopes of having success. No problems with the cosmos, though--I know they will grow!

    PlantPostings, Thank you; this holiday dinner went off without a hitch!

    Andrea, I'm not familiar with the Scutellaria, but this photo really caught my eye--I hope mine looks as pretty.

    Sweetbay, Thank you, and I hope your Thanksgiving was happy as well. I'll drop by to visit in just a minute.

    Laurrie, I have only grown cosmos the past few years; I love them! Every year, I say why bother when it comes to cleaning, but I keep on doing it:)

    Wendy, Thank you; having the family here for the day is the best part of Thanksgiving.

    Gail, I'm hoping I can get these seeds going in my garden so that I can show some actual blooms next year. Tina's timing was perfect! Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, too!

  14. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! There is always so much to do at these sort of big family events, but who could imagine a full, happy life without them. I really think that the Downy Skullcap is pretty. Given its beauty, it is surprising that it isn't grown in flower gardens. Enjoy your holiday feast. I bet the food will be delicious!

  15. Happy Thanksgiving Lady! Cheers! Nicole

  16. I do hope it was a lovely day. I can smell your turkey soup cooking today.

  17. So many blessings - including friends with seeds. My this month continue blessed.

  18. shoot, I forgot Wildflower Wednesday! How great that you were able to find the orange cosmos, they're getting harder to find it seems. and lucky bonus flowers! You'll love the Rudbeckia, the flowers are very lovely and bright but you might want to tie it up, it gets very rambly.

  19. Rose, you are a blessing. I hope your Thanksgiving was great. I love that you took the time to blog about wildflowers on the day before Thanksgiving.

    I need to add wildflowers to my list of things for which I am thankful. By Thanksgiving, who even remembers these beauties that add so much interest to our landscapes. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. So much to be thankful for, dear Rose. And knowing you has been a true gift ... for that and our sharing, I am most thankful.

  21. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving Rose! How wonderful receiving those wildflower seeds from Tina! I hope they sprout and grow well, and give you many years of garden beauty.

  22. Hi Rose,
    Yes, we made it through Thanksgiving alright.

    I love your first photo! I don't think I've heard of that skullcap. It sure is a beauty! I have Mongolian Skies and Smokey Hills. Smokey Hills doesn't seem to be quite as hardy here.

    I hope your seeds grow well.

  23. I forgot to say I don't remember if I've seen that rudbeckia before. I would like to try growing that one.

  24. So much to be grateful for Rose..blessings to you and your family.
    hugs Anna from Florida

  25. You have a new grandson...that's really something to be thankful for. Do you know where I might get one? ha-ha

    How wonderful of Tina to share so many different kinds of seeds with you. No doubt you'll make those seeds grow and bloom. We'll be looking for the photos.

    Rose, have a fun-filled, stress-free month of December.


  26. Dear Rose,
    Your Thanksgiving sounded wonderful.
    Surrounded by family is the best!
    Hope you are relaxing a wee bit before putting up Christmas.
    Next summer your wildflower garden will be gorgeous! The Rudbeckia Lacinata looks to be a large plant. I shall look for a spot in my gardens to grow one. The host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly needs to be in my backyard!

  27. I am so thankful that I have been able to read great gardening blogs like yours. Seriously, I get so much inspiration to keep trying.
    I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
    Thanks for stopping by.


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