Bringing Nature Home with the natives.

Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm in the process of removing all the non native species in my yard and gardens, and replacing them with the native species that evolved to support the local wildlife. I'm also a butterfly gardener and milkweed fan, so if anybody out there would like to share what they are doing you are most welcome to join in the conversation, it's always great hearing from new people. There is a lot of discussion about species going on. If you are just becomming interested in natives, or you've been growing them a long time, I'd really love to hear from you!Jay

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's raining and too wet to do much, but all this rain has been great for my transplants.

This Rubus? is a vollunteer. Something's eating it.

.The Hieracium venosums are starting to bloom. Hoping for viable seeds.

White spiderwort

I cut back all the suckers around the Juneberry and dug out a buckthorn, and a mulberry. The landscape fabric runs underneath the stone blocks making this cluster**** even worse! Have to remove the stones and then put them back.

and Jay raised his machete and a plague of Viburnum leaf beetles descended upon his arrowwoods causing much suffering and deveststion! :(

i should have been more attentive! :(

Shielding and bracing my proceras from the wind. I spent too much time nurturing these babies to let the wind break them.

My 2 Amorpha fruticosas are coming back to life.

A new common milkweed stalk is growing right in between my 2 rue plants. These are all host plants except the mulberry in back that's really getting on my nerves. As soon as things dry, the power tools are coming out lol. Get ready!!!

there has been some shifting around at the ' Overboard Lazy Squirell Nursery'.

This looks so hillbillyish but I'm not really! It's the neighbors lol. Yes there's a lot of wood laying around. It never dries out! :(


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javiwa

Haha...your neighbors are 'bin folk', too? Who learned from whom? My procera true leaves are popping, so not tall enough to worry about winds. And I'm trying to cover up the sides of the seed tray as much as possible so the soil stays as cool as is possible, yet still have the leaves get all the sunshine they need -- a balancing act, for sure!


Day 2 of the Eastern black swallowtail depositing eggs all over -- such a happy sight.

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gracie01 zone5 SW of Chicago(5)

Jay I had 3 mature Arrowwoods that were completely skeletonized by the leaf beetle. Finally chopped them down and dug them out.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Ok, where was I? There are finally leaves on my Apios vine yay!

these look interesting, Apios getting tangled.

so do these

Skip, I swear I was real careful trying to evenly dustribute the seeds when sowing, so the seedlings would have room. Why do I find some like this??? lol

wow! I went over to the back bed and my heart skipped 2 beats. These are newly emerging black cohosh.

some textures

the mullberry is fighting for its life. It will lose of course!

small part of my brush to cut and burn

all the Virginia creeper I could ever want, free for the taking, thank you birds.

every Smilax I find is a pleasant surprise. Thank the birds!

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javiwa

Jay: I bet your viburnum is mature and strong enough to survive. I planted all but one of my purple MW seedlings way in the back of the yard, but kept one in a pot as a safety. I figured I could keep a closer eye on the potted one than the in-ground seedlings. Well, nope. I wasn't paying close enough attention either, until one morning I noticed three leaves were gone and one being nibbled: dang cutworm of some kind. Ugh. Hoping it comes back.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Gracie, that's not what I was hoping to hear. lol Did you try treating yours? I'm sure you did. What did you replace them with. I'm considering getting rid of them if it's too time consuming to treat them. I'd have to get 3 more native shrubs that get large enough to screen. I'll see if I can get rid of these nasty things, or else I'll be driving out to Monee again, getting lost because there's no Manhattan/Monee road sign lol. It's a shame because they are so beautiful when not ravaged.

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javiwa

A. perennis is exceeding expectations!



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javiwa

OK, technically NOT OT as this is indeed a native. :) This beauty has taken up residence in our gas grill and pops out to visit me every morning for a few hours. Honestly, I have no idea how it doesn't burn itself on the hot metal.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Javi, none of my purple milkweeds have germinated yet. I hope I don't lose any plants because of all the rain, but some things look a little yellowed and stressed. I could've had a nice picture. There was a cute black jumping spider curled around a Calotropis flower bud, but I didn't have my phone.


This is a nice vollunteer. It could be in Apiaceae? The neighbor planted the vinca. I pull it out as I go along.

A cool looking, fine bladed, vollunteer sedge? Another cool vollunteer I'm hoping might be violet wood sorrel.

This vollunteer is by the lilacs. I think it's in Apiaceae too. It will look great mixed in with the ferns and other woodland groundcover plants.

These are cool looking vollunteers by the lilacs. They also look like something in Apiaceae maybe Conium maculatum aka poison hemlock.

Zizzia aurea in flower!

I brought these over thinking they were Salvis lyrata plants, but they are starting to look more like brown eyed susans. They must have thugged out the lyratas. Now I have to start new Salvia lyratas and Blephilias from scratch thanks to these thugs. They could come in handy for fast color, but best to deadhead them all.


The jewelweeds are growing like crazy with all the rain.

This Cardamine pensylvanica is another welcome vollunteer. It's a host plant and the roots taste like horseradish. The concept behind the bare soil is that I'm going to redo the whole bed and take out a bunch of rocks and improve the soil. I couldn't do that with the bins on the patio. A sample of the weed pioneers around here.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My perennis leaves have sort of a weird color too. I wonder what's up with that? I like the frog. There must be sitting water in the grill somewhere?

Skip, I like your Erigerons, and it looks like Skipperella does too lol!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice milkweeds and frog Javi!

You have a lot going on over there Jay.

I took the row cover off my tunnel, now its just bug netting. I dont know if it will help but there's more sun and ventilation now, for better or worse. Im thinking for next year, cutting it in half to make two 4'x6' tunnels, then putting greenhouse plastic over top with screen on the ends. That will control washout during hard rains. I have all kind of ideas for this.

I was wandering around my back yard, and saw these in the weeds... is it Sisyrinchium!?

Also, some Apios made its way through the weeds to the fence. Wonder how long until the fence disappears.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Oh yeah, Jay, check your local big box stores for Kellog "Garden Soil for Trees and Shrubs". I looked at the label, there is no actual soil, guano, or fertilizer in it, its just composted wood chips. Seems perfect for ammending, mulching, and enriching crappy soil.

I finally caved to my wife and cut down the astragalus and echinacea that were growing in the phlox subulata, but it will just grow back a little shorter, along with the little bluestem, I am not going to tell her that part lol.

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javiwa

Jay: Dunno what's up with the perennis leaves. I've got a few plants with leaves that are almost all burgundy/green -- not sure if they're getting too much sun or what. No standing water in the grill that I know of, so perhaps that's a very temporary roost. I just don't see how it could take the heat being inside what is essentially an oven all day. I'll have to remember to take some pics of my purple and variegata MWs. For every 10 minutes I'm outside, it takes 30 minutes to cool off. I just came in from washing lower windows (the better to see my butterflies through, my dear!), so I'll run out in a little bit and see what my distant MWs are up to.

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javiwa

A. purpurascens (germinated Feb. 8):



A. variegata (germinated Feb. 10):


Each stands no taller than 3", but they're looking healthy anyway.

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gracie01 zone5 SW of Chicago(5)

Jay, my arrowwoods were in too much shade; never bloomed. Plus I had other viburnums so I don't miss these. I read that they are the MOST susceptible to the beetle. I replaced with red twig dogwoods.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow! So many detailed updates! Going to read all of them closely and google along the unknown plants. I was not able to find any Amorpha Nitens plants, Pine Ridge said maybe next year. I did plant two Amorpha Fruticosa. They seem to be doing well. Even found an egg.

Deer eat Pokeberry?! They never did before. I don’t mind at all, but am surprised. Hey, maybe they will leave some of my other plants alone. Enough pokeberry to go around.

One of the weird insects I looked up is a leaf/ tree hopper nymph. The images on BugGuide are looking kind of the same for them. Just to save you all some time when you come across them. Took me a bit to figure it out.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

UiI just saw the 1st Monarch this year. It was at the prairie. The milkweeds are big enough for the cats now. There is a picture of a trifoliate tree. Is it a wafer ash. There are babies all around the mother tree.

Gracie, thanks for all the info. I had 7 arrowwoods from the previous owner all growing in shade too. They weren't blooming either. It seems the more shade they are in, the worse they get eaten. I'm going to try to save the 3 I transplanted to the front and get rid of the other 4.


Strange looking milkweed. Not sure which species.


Is this a wafer ash?


and this?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The preserve a block away.


bladder campion


hawkweed or something


cool looking grass. maybe a Chasmanthium?


a huge colony of mayapples


the prairie


maybe a Packera?


unknown, out of focus


grass already going to seed


the Gillenia bloomed.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Waiting for the label for the first picture since it looks so much like my mystery milkweed!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

When I saw that milkweed it reminded me of your mystery one. I can't imagine there would be any speciosas growing there. I can go back and check on it later. All this rain brought out the mosquitoes.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well, I didn’t plant them either. Or at least not knowingly (if they were in the seed mix). I am going to try to make my way in there tomorrow. Some flower buds would surely help.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Everything is growing super fast because of all the rain so I thought that the milkweed might just be syriaca that looked a little different. The Amorpha nitens is nice. I wish it wasn't so hard to find.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Iris-thanks for asking. I can maybe put together a collage tomorrow of what is starting to bloom. Not much as we have had a super cool spring with temps way below average for months. But today got to 70 degrees.

Skip-congrats, yes that is Blue Eye Grass. I just love the stuff. You better transplant it away from where it is, I had one smothered like that and it never made it. But It looks like I'm going to have a large number of replacements coming up as one of the pots held over from last year appears to have 30-40 new seedlings coming up.

Polymonium reptans just started blooming today and saw my first bumble bee working overtime to get the pollen.

Dug up some Balm of Gilead(Populous balsamifera) by the rr track and transplanted into my yard. It has an amazing aroma just from the leaves. Unfortunately it also acts just like all the other Poplars, ie, spreads around fast.

Jay-too bad about your V dentatum. I have them growing wild from volunteers here(after axing all the oak) and love seeing them around. I'm going to save seed this fall along with all the other berry types.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, I would love to see what is going on up there. Talked to my sister in Germany. She is still moving her seedlings in and out. Seems so weird when it is 96 degrees here.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Well Iris, your not that far from the tropics where you live. I just had snow about ten days ago. But when in a few weeks it will be hot and humid, just like in the tropics but way up here in the north. My seedlings are a long way from getting into the ground. Some of them not until September. I do have a rule of stop trying for germination around the 4th of July. After that the pots go dormant until next year. But I'm very pleased with my germination rates this year. I only have about 5 pots out of 40 or so with no germination, at least so far. I think keeping them under snow for as long as I could really increased germination rates. That constant cold temperature is what they needed. I tried the milk carton thing this year and am not sold on it. I don't think there's any advantage. I cut the tops off 6 weeks ago and cover them with dish towel.

The method I use is to use small plastic containers and cover them with cut up dish towel and a rubber band. Then put them outside beginning on Jan 1 for 90 day striation, Feb 1 for 60 day types. So far so good. Warm types start indoors on Mar 1.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I didnt plant that blue eyed grass, it must have been in the tall weeds there since I stopped mowing that area last year. I will pull and cut some weeds around it to give it some space. Its surrounded by geum and deer tongue grass. I also fenced in that area of the yard last year, this might be the first time the deer didnt eat everything in sight. I finally got to see the flowering stalks on the deer tongue grass to make a positive ID, usually the ends of those are chewed off too.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Hey whats this plant?



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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Some kind of Lily?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Plantago lanceolata.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Epithet deleted!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's not native and it's a common weed.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Collect seed of the plantago? Thats already a weed in my lawn, I didnt recognize it the way it was growing all sparse like that in the shade. That was in the park down the road. The understory vegetation in the woods there consists of colonies of clethra or clethra with smilax running through it in the low lands, the same with ferns near streams, and in the uplands colonies of some kind of blueberry or black huckleberry. Overstory of mostly oak, pine, and beech. Not much diversity or herbaceous plants in the woods. Here's the blueberry looking one, care to guess?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It reminds me of Amelanchier. Did you ever get and plant the serviceberries? I still want seeds for Plantago cordata and patagonica if they ever become available.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

No I never got the serviceberries, I was tempted by that sale but wasnt ready to plant them anyway. Then I read about running serviceberry, Amelanchier spicata/stolonifera, and I was looking for that locally. I thought it would make a good groundcover since it is black walnut tolerant, unlike low bush blueberries. Although, I moved half my Clethras to the back of the lot, and if the nearby woods are any indication they should be taking over everything along with the greenbriar in a few years.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Is that a blueberry? NJ is the home for blueberrys I thought.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I think its blueberry. I dont really know how to tell the different types apart. Vaccinium angustifolium and Gaylussacia baccata are both similar and common around here.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think it's the Vaccinium, not the Gaylussacia.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

The berries look similar to my low bush, but the leaves are all too large.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Looking at all your green pictures. My lawn is already turning brown. Spent hours yesterday and today watering. No rain in sight.

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javiwa

Sorry to hear, Iris...I won't 'Like' your post. :/

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Looks like Jay might be in for some big storms tonight with lots of rain too.

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javiwa

I saw that in the forecast, too, dandy_line. Truly, when it rains, it pours...feast or famine, this darned weather. Like Iris, we have only hot, dry weather with no rain in sight. Stay safe, Jay!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Stay safe, Jay!

Guess it’s my own fault for planting all this stuff in the middle of nowhere. Sure got my steps in (if I would count). It’s supposed to cool down a bit by the weekend with the high of just 90. It’s still 87 now with the sun going down.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Well, nothin but bad news. I broke the stem on a Calotropis. I'm trying to root cuttings. Could end up with just the one thats left or 4 if the cuttings take and it grows back from the root. All the plants are stressed from too much water. Something chewed 2 of my Dregea vines, but didn't eat them, and something was eating one of my moonseed vines. I threw out an Angelica that rotted. If the r in doesn't stop I could lose a lot more. I brought the variegatas inside to dry out and get light. It's too wet to plant anything. My swamp milkweeds already have flower buds and the jewelweeds are almost big enough to bloom. I have Red Admiral cats on my nettles at the old place. I was checking those plants too and weeding. All the common milkweeds in the bed where they were a huge colony died out, and the only milkweeds now are those that traveled under the stone walkway. My tuberosa survived over there and I cleared more space for it. The wooly pipevine is back and everywhere. The Admiral cats are leaf rollers. The mosquitoes and deer flies are out already.

These waterleafs by the canal seemed more colorful.


Lotus I think, with non native yellow iris.


Conium maculatum aka poison hemlock. So many invasives. Lonicera, garlic mustard, buckthorn, teasle, motherwort, Veronica, crownvetch, bull thisle, mulberry.


It's a tiny Admiral cat, but it came out blurry.


Rolled leaves.


This looks like the Erigeron that Skip has I think.



I don't know what this is. It looks like a thistle, but there aren't any stickers?



Flower buds starting to form on Asclepias incarnata.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I used to carry 2 five gal buckets of water up hill multiple times a day. What good exercise, I was always really fit by summers end. My doctor said carrying the buckets was the same as being 80 pounds over weight and carrying it with me all the time. A real eye opener for me.

Saw my first Monarch today, but no Milkweed visible yet.

Iris-you wanted to see some pics. Here's a few for now only to show the slow progression.

View from deck of some Elderberry in bloom, Chokecherry on left.

Hillside garden with Elderberry in front.

Main garden. Polymonium reptans in front, just starting to bloom.

Button Bush on left finally starting to show some life. I hope it blossoms this year.

The original Blue Cohosh I brought north with me, in bloom, has provided babies. I limed the soil around it this spring and I think that created such a nice bushy plant.


The "woodland" garden area. Some J.I.T.P., Bellwart, Actaea rubra, Aralia racemosa, etc

Sambucus racemosa in bloom. The big show will be in a month when the birds devour the fruit.

Scarlet Tanager

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javiwa

I'll name one of my C. procera after you, Jay -- fingers crossed I can get them to grow!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am so sorry to hear this. On the bright side you have some caterpillars! I am on the totally other side of the spectrum. Even some of the plants that have been in the ground for a few years look really pitiful. As for bee balm, it seems the wild bergamot is the worst handling the dry weather. I will see how things look like tomorrow and take some pictures. There is just no way I can water all the stuff except the new ones more than every other day. If that. The trees/shrubs today were watered with city water. Yesterday I watered on the other side. This faucet is still connected to the well. We did get city water about 17 years ago after high levels of Uranium were detected in the wells around here. I ran out of water there after 3 hours. Getting no weeding done.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, this is looking great! So much more alive than I thought!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have the American Elderberry. Just looked up the red one. Wonder why I am excluded? Going to investigate a bit further.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, nice pictures! I thought I saw green dragons and prairie smoke. Is that what they were? I wish I lived in a town with a population of 490 lol!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay sorry to hear the bad news. Hope the majority pulls through and propagation goes well. Something is killing my elderberry volunteer, the main tip just completely flopped over and wilted, maybe some borer? The multiflora rose is in bloom now, the sheer volume of it on roadsides is a sight to behold. I cut down a huge one and dragged it to the brush pile yesterday. Pandoras box of invasives is open, its hard to imagine closing it and going back. Private gardens will support natives now and nature will be forced to evolve. Some native wasp has started eating emerald ash borer, so there are some positive reports.


Dandy your garden is looking alive and well, beautiful blue cohosh and tanager. The elderberry is showy.


Iris, wow I cant believe your well is dry already, feast and famine in the blink of an eye down there, seems you were just getting endless rain not long ago. Hope the weather pattern brings you (and Javi) some rain soon. Its difficult to find plants that can tolerate flooding in spring and dry summers but thats often the condition here too. Although that heat wave is something else.

There hasnt been much rain but scattered thunderstorms blowing through a couple days last week and again today. Cant complain about that.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Yes-forgot to mention the Prairie Smoke in bloom, and a couple Shooting Stars. Geranium is starting too, along with ubiquitous Violas.

Solomon Seal is growing everywhere now, becoming a nuisance. Where I lived before, in the farming prairie, it was an exotic species for me. But up here it is going rampant and out of control in places. I have five different gardening areas so there's plenty of places for it.

Jay-the weather map is looking bad, that storm is right on top of you now, and is the one that just ripped thru Kansas City an hour ago causing major damage.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We are getting drenched, but no wind or tornados. I need more Solomon's seals. I thought I had more but they are Solomon's plumes. They all kind of look similar when not in flower. Maybe I'll winter sow all bog plants this fall so we can have a 100 year drought next year lol. My palm sedge looks pretty awesome with all the rain. The trumpet vine is out of control and touching the roof. One good thing, birds don't spread them.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Come on man, how can Solomon's seal be a nuisance? Just remove patches here and there and plant other stuff in it. It seems like a good canvas to start with.

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javiwa

Nothing screams "it's a joy to garden!" like waking up to an 80-degree, 88% humidity pre-dawn. <<Typed with as much sarcasm as I can muster before the caffeine kicks in.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, send me all the ss you don't want. I'll pay for shipping lol. Nice pics Skip? Great idea having the Penstemon with the Baptisia. It's a good year for Penstemons. Iris, I hope you get rain soon. How hot are you going to get today javi. I have a bunch of awesome milkweed species if they ever grow. The tropical ones are nice, but the perennials are special! There is probably major flooding. It's going east. Get those plants in the ground while you can. The variegata are safe under lights and fans lol.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

How does one get a bunch of wrens out of the garage? They usually get out after a couple of hours. Not this time. There are three teenagers. They didn’t get out last night, so I closed the door after dark. Opened it first thing in the morning. The parents fly in and out with bugs, but don’t take the kids. Can’t leave the doors open the whole day since I have to leave later on.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Pick them up with a spatula?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)
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javiwa

Iris: Dumb thought, but could they just be avoiding the heat?


Jay: We'll top out at 87, which is just a degree away. The up side of a humid day is there are generally clouds around. But, ugh, so muggy that my pores feel like they're suffocating: you sweat, but there is no cooling by evaporation happening. I haven't decided which is worse: upper 80s and muggy, partly cloudy, or full-on-sun and 98 degrees.


I couldn't help myself yesterday: was at WalMart to see if they had any California Giant Zinnia seeds left (nope), and 'accidentally' meandered into the garden section. I generally have low expectations, but why waste a trip, right? They had a bunch of scabiosa (1 gallon?) and blanket flower marked half off -- plants look plenty fine (clearance plants are generally beyond hope); so I grabbed a couple. I'm in love with the scabiosa. :) Gaillardia is a bit gaudy for my tastes, but they're supposed to be great nectar plants (right?).

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Javi, do you think basketflowers are gaudy? lol I don't think Scabiosas are native and they related to teasle which is a noxious weed here. I went to view the flood damage. Flash flooding issued for New Jersey. I might bring over a couple tarps so most of the bins don't get yet more water!

There's water back there.

More water back there.

Some Penstemons along the trail.

I never saw Aquilegia canadense at this park before.

A carpet of Solomon's plume. If this is 'weedy', the more the merrier! hello lol

More plume.

The milkweeds are growing fast with all the rain.

Solomon's seal

Smilax and Dioscorea together

.Prunus?

More variegatas are germinating. About 30 and counting. Mine all mine! Hppefully everything will run smoothly. Expect a plant later on Iris. I hope the humistratas germinate and grow too.

With so much rain, now is the perfect time to pull invasive honeysuckles and buckthorns out of the ground. People in groups can cover as lot of ground. Even the bigger ones that normally won't budge are coming out easy. The ones still left in my yard are beyond that stage. Looking at about 15 major excavations. The barberry is next.


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javiwa

I don't at all mind basket flower (seeds still haven't sprouted!). I think it's the harsh colors of gaillardia that get to me -- the reds and yellows and jaggedy petals look like little fire bombs to me, and they make me feel uncomfortably warm to look at them. Yeah, see what TX heat does to me? :) Oh, what we do for our flying friends.


Fingers crossed w/ the variegata: did you buy more seeds?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The birds are finally out! I was considering the butterfly net, but thought is would be hopeless with all the stuff in the shelves they were hopping around in. Javi, I don’t think cooling down in there was the idea. When I checked the temperature in there at 5:30 it was 94 degrees. Would be better in a tree with a bit of a breeze. Got attacked by Mockingbirds while watering. Looked over to the next shrub.

Don’t they know I am the one filling up their feeders every day?!

Not much hope of weeds coming out here easily, Jay. But maybe they will just die by themselves with this weather.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Looks really parched there Iris! No tumbleweeds and steer skulls yet!?!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Does your garage get hotter when its closed?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)




Nabalus species. I thought the would stay low growing like this. When they bloom they grow a big 3 ft. stalk. This makes placement in the garden tricky. At one point they can be thugged and at another they are the thugs. Well worth growing!


Allium cernuums. Somehow I missed their blooms. These spring natives come and go so fast. In s day or two you can miss an entire species blooming.


The river is really flooded. The forest is flooded too.


Normally I walk down there.



The ramps are already going dormant. I think they send up their flower stalks at a time when they don't have leaves.


This whatever it is, is going dormant and making seeds.


Solomon's Seals ?


trillions and trillions of trilliums


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha, thanks Jay! I need labels. The garage doors were open most day, so the little breeze kept it a bit cooler. Love all these green looking pictures. It’s crunchy here walking through the grass. No tumbleweeds though.


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javiwa

I believe tumbleweeds and steer skulls are sterotypically my department. ;) (And, no, none here either.) Sorry to hear about your crunchy grass, Iris.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Less mowing! It’s just really early. Usually it’s brown in July. At least I am currently not tempted to browse the plant clearance section at Walmart or Lowe’s....

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javiwa

....and I plan on going again maybe Friday! :D I spied a few salvia Greggi (reddish-pink) that looked rather lanky and just begging to go home with me.

ETA: ooooo...forgot about Lowes. It's on the way home. ;)

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha. I have many plants from Lowe’s. Just strolling by while buying soil or something. Both of my Sweetbay magnolias were from there at 75% off. Nothing wrong with them, just the end of planting season for shrubs. It’s a joy to walk by them right now. They smell so good!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Salvia greggiis are nice. The bees and hummingbirds love them.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I just got a bunch of thunder and lightning and it rained as hard as it possibly could for a short time, but everything has calmed down now. The park down the road is probably flooded like Jay's, I nearly got stuck in a mud pit on a trail with the offroad stroller on monday, that trail is probably a pond now. I dont dare to look at my trays. I had to pick a slug out of a tray yesterday, it hasnt been a great year for starting seeds.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I will take some of your rain! At this point I need a slow and steady one though. Otherwise it will just run off.

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javiwa

Wow...just checked the forecast: 80% chance of rain, and we might get almost 1/2". Too bad I'll be stuck in a courtroom: jury duty.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We are supposed to get more rain tonight. I saw the red on the radar for New Jersey. I put the most stressed plants in the shed. I brought my Asclepias halliis inside. They were ready to start damping off it looked like. I'll still have more than enough plants to deal with even if there are many losses. I'll be more prepared next year. I couldn't walk much of the park either because it was so wet. I found this huge hill filled with moonseed vines yesterday. I couldn't repel the hill to take a picture because it was too wet.

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javiwa

I'll need to get out early and get my pots/trays under cover, just in case we get a deluge. I don't want to come home to flooded seedlings. The two verticillata I water germinated are doing fine, but still tiny and fragile looking. And I'd hate for anything to happen to my C. procera.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Eh. The highest chance for me at 40% is June 8. My daughter probably would love for me to have jury duty. With 3.5 weeks to go until she calls Finca Las Piedras her home, I have been nagging about getting appointments with the eye doctor, dentist and passport health clinic. At least her rabies shots should still be good. How come I pay 20 dollars for my dog and 800 for her? Sorry, didn’t mean to be off topic.

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javiwa

Someday she'll appreciate your 'nagging', promise. :)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't see any rain for Houston on the radar. It looks like the worst of it will go south of me. It's all heading somewhere east.

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javiwa

Shhhhh! Don't scare it away! Noontime it should hopefully roll through.

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gracie01 zone5 SW of Chicago(5)

Jay, is this what you see going dormant? I have these in my yard.

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/cutleaf_toothwort.htm

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, they are. Everything is growing and blooming so fast, that I missed seeing those in bloom, but now I'm seeing seedheads. The parks parks in this area are weird. There isn't one that contains a full compliment of all the natives around here. Each park has parts to the puzzle. If all the species were together at one park, that would be great. I think all the rain is affecting the way things in the woods are growing too. The flowers like bluebells that go dormant after blooming are dissapearing fast this year. You must have a nice yard with all those cool natives.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Javi, how many purple milkweeds do you have now? I have some seeds left. I might try the warm water thing on them if the seeds in the bin do not germinate soon. I was looking forward to that deep purple color! :(


This patch of waterleafs had deeper color.

I didn't think Aquilegia canadensis occured at this park. This was a nice surprise. Look at the diversity. This is a beautiful combination, and the Smilax...........


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The sun was out, and I took everything out of the shed and put it all back on the lawn. The sun went away as soon as it was done. The milkweed seedlings look pretty good in spite of the rain. Good news. 4 humistratas have germinated and 2 purpureas. I had to bid for the humistrata seeds on ebay. Those seedlings are under lights now with the latifolia seedlings. I don't want to lose those either. My final delivery just came. 2 coralberries. The native nursery was out of stock. I have to stick some plants in bigger pots asap , and there's no time to do the Tapla thing. I'll have to do it later.

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javiwa

The day at the local muni court started with 14 cases at 8 a.m. By the time we were checked in, unresolved cases shrank to 6, then 3. We were all released by 9:30 a.m. Of course, that left me too much time to get myself into trouble! :) Headed to Lowes and picked up a batface cuphea (not on sale, but I haven't seen these around the past couple of years) and a clearance Salvia Mystic Spires balsamisp (very large, green leaves). Needed topsoil at a different place, so also picked up a hard-to-resist pot of coneflowers (still a ton of ooomph left) and a gold lantana (c'mon...only $1.98!).




Hot as blazes out there ... what on earth was I thinking?! Went to court in blue jeans (no shorts allowed), so I'm tearing around in 98-degree 'feels like' temps heat in long pants. What I do for our hummers and butterflies.


Jay: I still have three purple MW in the yard, and at last check they seemed to be doing okay. Remember the one in the cup that got hit by the cutworm? No hope, I think, but I'll keep an eye on it. Have brought it indoors for now:



I'm very bummed.

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javiwa

Just saw your post, Jay: So far, I've only done the 'Tapla thing' with my orange tree. Though, hmmm, I forgot to mention I snagged a key lime tree (clearance, of course) the other day; so, that will receive the Tapla treatment. I still have one bag of reptile bark left (it's the only source of bark fines around here).

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Reptile bark. Somebody gave me a link for getting cheap pine bark 1/4" fines near me, but I lost it like everything else. Nice finds! None of the garden centers around here are carrying anything interesting. Mow and trim that lawn, kill the weeds, plant non native plants throughout your yard so you can look 'normal' like everyone else! The suns back out.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, the bin that had the Gillenia and Amorpha fruticosa seeds went most of the winter without holes drilled in the top. Both still germinated. I ordered plants thinking the seeds were a lost cause. Now I have extras.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Well if you successfully pot them up and still have them at the end of the july, I'll pay shipping for them. Or you can be like me and just jam as many plants as possible into whatever space you have. I think the 511 mix I tried to make didnt turn out right, Im looking at a .pdf from the University of Arkansas about making potting mixes, and you're supposed to add fertilizer to fresh pine bark, or other ammendments to composted or aged pinebark mulch, to fix issues with it. I dont want to mess with mixing water soluble fertilizers and the runoff from it, so I'm just going to keep an eye out for a good premade potting mix.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yours might still germinate. I'll try to keep some alive for you lol. There's a lot of stuff here that hasn't, but also a lot that has. It's better to watch what's happening and do damage control. I'm still happy I did it all!. I can't fertilize anything because it's all too wet. Maybe I can mist fert on them next time it rains. Now the cottonwood cotton apocalypse is starting. A 3" mat of nasty cotton will soon be covering everything. I do have some row covers lol. This potting mix thing is getting more complicated.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

From

Growing Media for Container

Production in a Greenhouse or Nursery

Part I – Components and Mixes


"Softwood Bark

Bark is the primary component (80% to 100% by volume) in most outdoor container nursery mixes. For many years bark was viewed as a forest waste product but today the availability for container use is limited in some markets due to alternative demands (e.g. landscape mulch fuel) and reduced timber production.

Pine bark is preferred over hardwood bark since it resists decomposition and contains fewer leachable organic acids. Pine bark is usually stripped from the trees milled and then screened into various sizes. A good potting medium usually consists of 70% to 80% (by volume) of the particles in the ¹/4- to ³/8-inch range with the remaining particles less than ¹/4 inch.

Bark is described as either fresh aged or composted. Many growers use fresh bark but typically add 1 lb N/yd3 to compensate for the potential nitrogen draft that occurs in the pot. Composting bark involves moistening the bark adding 1 to 2 pounds N/yd3 from either calcium nitrate or ammonium nitrate forming a pile and then turning the pile every 2 to 4 weeks to ensure proper aeration. Composting bark typically takes 5 to 7 weeks. Aging is a cheaper process but aged bark has less humus and a greater nitrogen draw-down in the container than composted bark. "

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay looks like you are keeping busy just moving these bins around. Yay for success with the Amorpha and your milkweeds looking good. Javi, seems you will need to dig up some more of your lawn soon. Sorry, I have a bunch of pictures.

Any idea what this is popping up with one of my potted plants?

Also, what is up with my blanket flowers this year? I posted the one with the fluted petals not long ago, now they are turning different colors? Did this happen to you before? They look normal otherwise.

unruly as the common milkweed is, it is very popular right now

so is the passion vine in a different manner

found this one flowering buried in the blanket flower

also found a Unicorn! Ok, that’s just the heat getting to me, but I thought it was adorable.


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javiwa

Iris: Are your blanketflower petals white turning pink, or pink turning white? I only find the red/yellow ones out here. No more lawn digging up til the fall.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I honestly don’t know what is going on with them. There are just a few different flowers on a couple of the plants. I thought maybe some weird virus (like aster yellows), but the foliage looks healthy. The white/ pink ones come in fluted, too.


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javiwa

I LOVE the white/pink ones...very pretty.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Thanks for all that info Skip. It's a little deep for me to think about right now lol. I can compost wood chips no problem.

Iris, nice pictures! I can't believe your whorled milkweed is blooming already. I am getting a lot of exercise moving bins around. The light shifts to different areas all day. All my neighbors are crazy too, so I don't care if they think I'm crazy lol. I'm going to look at the flooded river again. It's too wet to do anything.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha Javi. Maybe I should try to grow them on purpose and make money for my bad plant buying habit. I should read up on how this would happen on a plant with normal flowers though. And they kind of clash together don’t they? Not that I don’t have all kinds of colors mixed up anyway. I am a bit worried. Had to toss a bunch of coneflowers a few years ago because of the Aster Yellows. That was pretty sad.

Jay, you are lucky to have so many neat places nearby to wander around. I have my birthday coming up. I am planning to run away from my weeds for a couple of hours and take a hike in the nature park not too far away. Actually already told the relatives that I am running away. Not that big into parties. And with my husband’s birthday not even a week from mine it’s plenty enough.

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javiwa

Well, early happy birthday to you, Iris! iiiii << Those are candles. :)


Clashing is my entire yard's theme, not that it started off that way. I did come across references to Aster Yellows, but didn't read any further -- doesn't denial at all play a part in keeping these plant diseases away? I've actually been trying to germinate coneflower seeds for a couple of weeks now, and nothing's sprouted. I'm certain it's my impatience that made the potted one so enticing: instant gratification. Rain, at least at my house, was pretty much a bust today -- just enough to wet the ground for a couple of minutes, but at least the temps dropped a bit.


Jay: NO slipping and falling out there!

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javiwa

BTW, Iris: how old/tall is your whorled milkweed, to be looking so gorgeous? I'm just wondering what to expect of my seedlings, this Year 1.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

This patch is in it’s third year. Started out with a little pot. Two little sprigs about an inch tall. There are now about two dozen stalks. First time I see flowers. They really are no match for the caterpillars. Maybe this one made it so far by being so hidden in the blanketflowers.

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javiwa

My largest two are at the 1"-stalk stage. :) But I've got them covered up with my 'smallpox cups' (as DH calls them), keeping the butterflies away as long as I can. But, sheesh, a couple of years is a long time. Must need fields and fields of them to support Monarch cats.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I like that whorled milkweed, I really wanted to get that one started this year. The local native nurseries dont sell it. I might try digging up all the milkweed seeds to see if I can germinate them with the hot water trick.

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javiwa

Sorry if this is a repeat, Skip, but I recently successfully water-germinated a couple of whorled milkweed. They're at the 1/2" stage. :)

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javiwa

Iris: Despite growing amidst your blanketflowers, your whorled MW gets plenty of sun, then? My notes indicate full sun for these. Just wondering how much leeway I have with the amount of sun they need.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well. Each of the stems is about 12 inches, but if you think food, it’s 2 leaves of the common. Being generous here. I am glad I finally saw some flowers. On the bright side, it never had an aphid problem. Skip, I would be happy to try to dig some up for you.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, this patch is not seeing any sun. I have some others in more sun, but they don’t look any different. I am going to take pictures of the whole tomorrow.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I have around 20 whorled milkweed seeds left if you want them, and 20 purple milkweed seeds. . A few others, incarnata, tuberosa, ovalifolia, exaltata, sullivantii, curassavica, Cynanchum, speciosa. I looked today, and there were 4 whorled milkweeds that germinated. They are the smallest milkweed seedlings I've seen.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


a whole field of Packera

not ornamental, but a great butterfly host plant

Dioscorea, wild yam

these Smilax mean business

a wild or maybe invasive rose?

the Illinois and Michigan canal. ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN!

all aboard...............

huge poison ivy patch

Dupage river is very high!

These were only blooming a couple days ago. Now I can get seeds. Is anybody else growing this?





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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Is this a Staphylea trifolia?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Ok, I'll ask: What is it? The thing with the seed pod.

Summer is here! Temps zoomed up into the 80's the last two days and going forward, much of the same. Shorts and sandals is now the new regime. I complained a lot in past about how cold it was but that's because for the past 3 months it has been much below normal temps. Like 20 degrees below normal. I'm used to a usual amount of above normal, which never seemed to happen. so these temps are like heaven. A little known secret about weather here in the north: summer time has the same climate as Honolulu! Temps in the low 80's with light humidity. When I lived in Seattle, summer was too cold for me, highs only around 70. So now begins the proverbial salad days.

Looks like my Warblers have left for the North to make their babies. But the noisy racket going on outside says there are still plenty of birds left. The grape doesn't need refilling as fast anymore.

Indigo Bunting


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javiwa

Wow...beautiful bird, dandy! By the time fall decides to roll around here, I'm still so overheated from a long summertime that I don't shed the shorts until Christmastime! Kids turn blue when they come to visit 'cuz we have the thermostat set at ~ 65. Do NOT mess with my thermostat! ;)


OK, sorry to poop on your mornings, but what the heck is going on here with my Turk's Cap?!



I've flipped over entire branches, but can find nothing. It's possible these are raining down from the crape myrtle canopy 20' up. But I'm finding some of these underneath other Turk's Cap leaves.


There's definitely deliberate leaf munching happening, but I don't know if it's related:



A happy discovery: first bloom on my passiflora foetida! So, so pretty:



Such cool bracts:




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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I would say yes thats Staphylea trifolia too in the separate pic Jay. I have 5 small ones I planted late fall 2018 and Iris is growing them too.

Dandy the seed pod plant is Staphylea trifolia. You have some really good birds in your yard!


Cool passion flower Javi.


My spiderwort finally bloomed


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Nice pics everybody. I had a long comment that got pulled. It was all morally pure and politically correct??? House has as marriage forum. You should see what they talk about on there! The prettiest thing right now is the spiderflowers.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Yes-but can you control those Spider flowers? I need air on about 6 days per year. Not cost effective to have it installed, except when a wifey lives here. Then it's well worth it.

I want some of that Bladdernut seeds.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The ohio spiderwort doesnt spread by rhizomes so its not too bad, but it does produce seeds. So far I have only seen a couple seedlings, have more echinacea, agastache and penstemons seedlings than the spiderwort.

I love to hate on the japanese honeysuckle but it smells heavenly outside now that its flowering. The "scentless" mock orange, which isnt really scentless is flowering now too. The pokeweed hedge is up to about 4ft tall already.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The Tradescantia I have is the woodland ernerstiana. It only spreads by seeds too. I would still deadhead the Ohio spiderwort.


Look for the frog in the water.

Look for the muskrat in the water.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The deer path right off my yard.

There's a bunch of native Angelica next door.

Very swampy

A shady area with young blue cohosh plants.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Very nice pictures from all of you! Dandy, glad Summer has arrived. Love your birds. Mockingbirds still don’t like me watering near their nest. There is one bachelor singing his heart out the whole day. I swear he has one of my dogs bark in his repertoire. It’s the “double woof” when she wants to be let inside. Even if she sees I am right there outside....I am really getting frustrated with the rain situation. This is a flower bed I didn’t plant anything for years, so the last time I watered there was 4 days ago. Poor 4’ o’clock looking really sad.

I know Jay doesn’t like the native yellow passionflower, but I do admire the complexity of such a small flower.


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javiwa

Very cool flower indeed! Poor 4 o'clocks. I know yours is a much bigger area than mine, but I can't let my plants go more than a couple of days w/o water -- and temps will increase this weekend. At least I've got the sprinklers on timer, so that helps. But I still need to drag the hoses around in the morning. They're (again!) forecasting rain for mid-week, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, did you ever figure out what that weird plant with the little flower was? I was thinking maybe you should put it on name that plant. I saw another Monarch today. A bunny ate the tip of my Apios vine. The picture isn't posting.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I do have permanent sprinklers in the flower bed that runs in front of the house all the way to the driveway. That works well for the most part. Except for the common milkweed and some other plants getting so tall and blocking the spray. I have by now an assortment of sprinklers I can attach to the hoses, but still haven’t found one working in the mess that is most of my flowerbeds.

Jay, I haven’t found out what the little plant is. Might take some pictures for Name that Plant. Haven’t seen another one of them so far. The plant in the pot is a new one from this Spring. Maybe it came with it?

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javiwa

I'm trying to be mindful of where the sprinkler sprays hit, as I'm filling in esp that new middle bed. But the big question mark will be how large some of these plants will get. I may need to do some culling next year. We spotted a painted lady yesterday - so excited to see it! DH and I were laughing at how, up until just recently, our brains threw everything into the generic "orange butterfly" category. :) My newly planted A. perennis are all flowering! This is the (almost) instant gratification I needed with these new native milkweeds, since the others may take a couple of years to flower.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I like that passion flower. Sorry about your drought situation, hopefully the plants bounce back after it rains again.

Hope you get some rain too Javi. It seems to be turning into a rain forest in the midatlantic the last couple years. Cant complain about that!

Jay who mows that deer path? Thats a cool area. Weren't you wanting to grow some Angelicas, and theyre basically already there? I saw a young bunny in my yard the other day but there are still roaming cats around and I rarely see chipmunks and bunnies.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The Four o’clock are looking better after my watering. They, a rose and a couple of day lilies were the only perennials here when we bought the house. Fun to watch all the Sphinx moths on them at night. There are a lot of lightning bugs this year.

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javiwa

He's baaaack! :) First visitor of the morning: the flight pattern is so erratic and frantic, these are easy to spot. I think its a male. Most sites say one can differentiate gender by comparing abdomens -- obviously impossible with only one. But another site mentioned a loitering painted lady will most likely be a male.



^^^ Sorry for the ugly rusty paper clamp shot: he lands where he lands...


Jay: There are a couple of monarchs hanging around your h@iry ballz this morning (might wanna get that checked out...hahahaha!). They're very camera shy this morning, so I couldn't get any pics. Will keep trying.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think I would have felt them when I woke up lol.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My neighbor Buzz mows the deer path. I did want those Angelicas and now I have a bunch close by. There was a bunch of rotted loggs so I broke them into small pieces and there's enough for potting mix for all the pots. I had a big brush fire and got almost everything burnt, and I'm spreading all the composted leaves as mulch. There's a lot more walking room now. I'm going to spray fertilise all the bins now. At this point it couldn't hurt and might help. Nice lady pic javi. I've only seen one lady so far, at the woods feeding on toothworts.

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javiwa

For you, Jay:



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha ha! I almost spit my water all over my iPad. Javi, you had that coming. No burning brush around here. We have had the Red Flag warning for a week now.

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javiwa

It was just a matter of time, Iris....

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It certainly gave me a good giggle.

My mockingbirds are growing up!

what is this one? I feel I should know. My schweinitzii sunflower in the cage behind it. Looking good.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Friendly reminder: Look before you pick up your water hose!


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javiwa

Oh, geez. PSA of the Day for sure!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It was probably thirsty and wanted a drink. What kind of snake is that Iris? I need a pic with a rattler in my hand. They might help keep the lizard population down.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Just another black rat snake, but it sure startled me. It was perfectly aligned on top of the hose when I first saw it.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I saw a bunch of painted ladies before (I think), they didnt stay still long enough to photograph or let me get very close but the coloration looked right. I think I have some real wild strawberry growing too.

The mosquitoes are out now too, and they dont care about my insect repellent. Im going to have to wear long sleeves and pants, and a net over my head to work in the weeds back there.

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javiwa

Skip: We actually spotted the painted lady the evening before, but it was far too skittish to allow me within 15 feet. Not sure if it had just gotten used to me the next morning, but I spent a number of minutes slowly stepping towards it when I grabbed those ^^ shots. I'm the absolute mosquito magnet of our family, and these days I don't go out without at least 30% DEET spray on my clothes, and wiped all over my face, neck, etc. In this heat, yes, I'm dripping sweat within the first minute of being outside, but at least I don't have that much of the chemical on my skin. Yesterday, I must have missed just the tiniest spot, and the mosquito found it: came indoors with a fat lip, and DH wondered who I got into a fight with (and lost!). :) Our local grocery store always has a big sale on bug repellant Memorial Day weekend, so I always stock up.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Its funny, I used a DEET free mosquitos repellant that I usually use when Im hiking and camping in upstate NY. It normally works well but the mosquitos here are not impressed. I have a couple cans of 40% DEET repellant but try not to use it too often.

Jay (or anyone) what are these plants? They look like something you would know

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

That’s what I thought about the plant I posted yesterday. I thought even I should know. Going to put the one from the day before on Name that Plant later. Saw the first little hornworm on my tomato. Skip, did you try the strawberries?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My Zinnias are starting to flower. Since there aren’t many yet, they are crowded.


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javiwa

Nice, Iris. Coicidentally, a Gulf frit hung about for a while this afternoon, laying eggs on the passion vine. I had zinnias all over last year, but they were ignored -- maybe the wrong varieties (Profusion and Short Stuff, I think). Someone on a butterfly garden FB page highly recommended California Giants (seeds from WalMart), but they're out of stock. :/

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

This whole thing in the flower bed in front of the house started out with 3 little seed packages of mixed Zinnia 20 years ago. Didn’t have to buy any since then. It’s amazing what kind of odd ones show up sometimes. I really need to dig out my caterpillar book out of the boxes (my husband doesn’t do speedy jobs like your does). Looks like one of these unicorn caterpillars, right?


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice butterfly and caterpillar activity, another odd one. I didnt try any of the strawberries I'll leave them for the critters.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Skip-isn't that Hackelia?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yes Dandy I think you are right! I have had those annoying sticky seeds all over me to confirm it it too.

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javiwa

What a variety of critters, Iris. I'd never even heard of a unicorn cat.

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javiwa

Just never gets old, seeing these Monarchs. But for the first time, she's visiting my A. perennis! Also saw a honeybee crawling around the buds, so with all this activity, pollination's gotta be happening.



And this critter's been hanging around all weekend, finally roosting on our rooftop just now. There are actually two frequenting our backyard rooftops, annoying the heck out of the blue jays. Likely a Yellow Crowned Night Heron....very cooool!



We're thinking the anoles and possibly tree frogs are bringing these inland.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's good you have some anole predators now. Pretty busy, potting, burning, planting, pulling, ect, ect!

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javiwa

^^^ Chop-chop defined!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

How cool, Javi! Day 24 without rain. Or so the weatherman says. I hope we will get some from the tropical system this weekend. Some of the bigger trees are getting yellow leaves. Jay, progress pictures, please!

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javiwa

When I first saw the one heron this weekend, I was kinda worried that it might be sick: seems far from its habitat, and my yard certainly isn't marshy. But as Jay mentioned, DH thinks its a sign they're interested in the four-legged, green bounty. Now that I've seen two (and they're still making rounds among and between the houses), it's a safer bet they're not ill. Hoping you get some, but not too much as the system brushes past.

With our temps nearing 100 this weekend (and for days to come), I've resorted to ugly: makeshift shade cover for pots/trays holding seedlings -- Calotropis procera, whorled milkweed from late-season water germination experiment, lemon & fig, A. syriaca I'm trying again, and an A. variegata I'm trying to keep alive -- can one have too many variegata? :)

Old curtain sheers come in VERY handy. Sorry for the fuzzy shot. Yes, through the window screen. I've had enough 'outside' for today. (I'm such a liar: I dart in and out all day long til sunset.)


Now if I'd only stop rooting cuttings, etc. :)

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I love all your genius ideas! From coffee filters to curtains. Oak getting Fall color.

My Baptisias are not looking so great either. The broom moth caterpillars are still at it.

and they got company

you are probably all getting tired of my bug pictures, but my little spicebush guys are as adorable as puppies.


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javiwa

Never ever tired of your pics, Iris. Keep them coming -- love em!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I never get tired of the bug pics either Iris

I went back to the prairie. They cut down all the trees and they destroyed all the Ribes plants that were growing there. It was the only place where I knew R americanum grows. They left other invasives like motherwort alone.

There whorled milkweeds are growing out into the trail. They will get run over or stepped on.




The ponds look bigger without the trees.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Any idea who and why is doing this? Can you catch them in the act and ask if they mind if you rescue some plants? Seems like such a shame.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I dont get tired of any of the pictures! Always something interesting.

Hope that drought breaks soon, Iris.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The workers that maintain the park are doing it. I think they didn't know what it was. Being a plant enthusiast or native plant lover isn't required to get the job. I like it better without the trees tho. Thought I saw a comma flying around.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

If it's supposed to be prairie, there can't be any trees, would be my guess.

Saw the bear today in my backyard. I wasn't fast enough to get the camera ready and he wouldn't stay and pose for me, but got this one anyway. He/she is very big. I heard that folks down the road from me had their bird feeders ripped down. Mine are up 15' so not worried. But glad I wasn't down by the river at the time. Now I'm going to have to be more careful in the future and always look around.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, a bear! This is one critter I have not seen in my yard. And I am fine with that.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's what you get when you grow all those berries Dandy.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The broadleaf mountain mint is starting to flower.

Any idea what this is? Flowering in the lawn despite the lack of rain. Well, the flowers were in the morning. It was already wilted by 4:30. Very pretty.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, how is your weather? No idea where in Texas you are, but a bit worried anyways.

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javiwa

I'm in the burbs ~ 25 mi SW of downtown Houston. No need to worry as the ugly part of the current storm is passing just to the east of us....which means we now have nice RAIN!



Naturally, I had already gone and hand watered all my beds, but that's how it works with my yard: if I wait for an impending storm and not water, I get zero. If I want it to rain, I need to have run all my sprinkler zones AND hand watered the beds within 12 hours. Cuz, you know, I have THAT much control over the weather. :p


I really don't think we'll ever get hit harder than Harvey walloped us, but DH needs me to stop saying that.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am glad to hear that. There was the big, red blob on the map when I watched the news. Might get up to 4 inches of rain between tonight and Sunday.

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javiwa

Fingers crossed! I planted my impulse-buy salvia, cuphea and coneflower yesterday/today, so they'll appreciate a few cloudy days to get situated. That bed is getting pretty crammed, but I knew the plants were pretty root bound by now, and it would just be an uphill climb getting them to do well in pots. I DID find a bare spot, so tossed in a bunch of zinnia seeds from last year's flowers -- they'll be ready for the fall migration. :)

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris I think thats Chicory, Cichorium intybus.

Happy you are getting rain. I found a guy on craigslist selling 55 gallon food grade barrels for $10/ea thinking of building a rain barrel setup.

I was reading more about seed germintion and this guy says to wait up to 4 years! https://tomclothier.hort.net/page12.html (4 year comment at end)

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javiwa

That's very good information, Skip -- thanks for sharing. I saved it as a pdf for future reference. 4 years?! Sorry, but that'd have to be some special seed for me to keep pots moist for that long...I don't think I have the attention span. Good luck with the rain barrel -- would love to see progress shots, once you get started.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you, Skip! I was browsing around and was just going to ask if this could be it. I admire all of you seed starters, waiting patiently for months for something to sprout. But 4 years? Yikes. No wonder some plants are so expensive and hard to find. I do have some seedlings of the Sedum Seastar coming up. Dandy linked the seed sale a while ago. Of course they were so tiny, I just kind of sprinkled them in a pot. Not the proper way you all go at it. So now I am going to have to divide them.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


If I have to wait 4 years I'll have to build scaffolding. The cottonwood cotton kind of shoots down that idea. I wish I had a big prepared seedbed where I could sprinkle all the ungerminated bins and then sort it out later. Yes to chickory it's all over up here.

I kept watering and feeding this milkweed last year to keep up with the Monarch cats. Now it looks like its on steroids.

I just planted this Apios in a big pot yesterday. It's already climbing.

Calotropis procera with flower buds.

Something is eating the Amorpha fruticosas, but I can't find anything.

I'm starting to fill this area with natives.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

No problem Iris, I only knew that one because it grows in my yard near the street later in the summer.

I sowed some Holly seeds in a container outside that will take at least 2 years to germinate, I plan to just ignore it until one day it is full of seedlings. Seems a grit covering over the seeds is a recommended practice by that author.

Javi I will probably be too excited not to share any garden related structures I build on here, although I probably wont get a free day for projects any time soon. I should mention I SHOULD add a gutter onto my house and fix the siding and fix the sump pump line and kill the weeds and stain the deck before I can get to any fun extraneous projects.


Jay you should build a well vented greenhouse tunnel for all your seeds! Or get some insect netting and drape it over your bins to keep the blowing seeds out.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, this is looking great! No little leaf pockets on the fruricosa? My husband did want to mow last weekend, but I rather had him work on our bedroom project. Otherwise I would have missed them. Didn’t see the point since the grass looks mostly dead. Plus it was and act of solidarity and civil disobedience. Somebody posted on our HOA Facebook page about a found dog. Another suggested this certain neighbor probably lost it along with his mower and weed whacker. Lots of others liked it. It’s my favorite property to walk by daily with my dogs and in no way looks messy to me.

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javiwa

Haha...love it, Iris (solidarity & civil disobedience).


Jay: Your procera looks fantastic! How old is that one, and how large of a pot is it in?


Skip: Nahhhh...do the fun one first. ;)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, I'm wondering about a couple of the shrubs you sent me.

I thought this was labeled snowberry, but it doesn't look like the snowberries around here.

I'm pretty sure this is Diervilla lonicera.

This is a coralberry that I just got. Symphoricarpos orbiculata.

This is a snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus

I thought this was labeled Vaccinium. What is it?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Jay-the last one is Viburnum triloba. I did not send any Snowberry, but did send Winterberry(5), and Diervilla too.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Ok, they are winterberries. I think they were labeled. Cool! I have winterberries! I didn't realize how tall they got. I'll have to rething their placement. I have this Smilax on steroids. Do you think it would look cool climbing up this oak? I want to limb this oak up a bit.


Next things to add are bottlebrush grass, Solomon's seals, woodland spiderworts, wild geraniums, wood poppies, wood asters, clearweeds, more violas, snakeroot, bellflowers, ect, ect, ect!

Maybe better to move the bins to the other place sooner than later and avoid the cotton? We just had huge downpours. Everthing is going to be really flooded now. The Tithonias need to go into the ICU. In the future I'm setting a limit on the number of seeds that I winter sow. 25 sounds reasonable. I have some floating row covers laying around somewhere.

Dandy, the Diervillas just leafed out and are getting flower buds already. Is that how they usually do it? I coppied and saved the seed sowing links, at this point I need all the pointers I can get.

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javiwa

Iris: I hope the clouds opened up over your house. The front edge of the storm woke me up early this morning, and it was quiet this past hour. Oh, boy, we're in for it now. We're just on the north edge of that huge, red blob in lower left, and it's moving our way.

Could get very floody this morning. I hope my new plant roots can handle it.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Jay-the Diervilla is a great dry-shade type plant and I'm surprised yours took to transplanting so well. I did label everything so you must have lost the tags in your hurry to get into the ground.

Good idea on limiting the nr of seed pots! I didn't want to say anything at the time, I just thought you were overly ambitious. In my own case, I over do it too and my main problem is where to put the new seedlings each year(I'm out of room!). I have a separate protected seedling area for the 1st year, then move them out the 2nd year(or later).

I think I did 45-50 small seed pots this year, two of which(Desmanthes illinoiensis and E. "Chyenne Spirit") are just about ready for transplant. And all of the Aschlepia seeds you sent have germinated too. Yeah! By 4th of July, any non-germinators get put aside and saved for over-wintering to try again for next year. I decided to keep the pots covered with white dish towels this summer in order to keep weed seeds out. I think it's ok to let them dry out cuz it prevents moss from growing. And nature allows seeds to go thru the entire wet/dry cycle too.

This year I'm going to try something new: My berry seeds will be collected and immediately refrigerated so they get cold striation right away. I might even try selling them on eBay too. Could be a nice cottage industry for winter.

I'll be sending you some Solomon Seal sometime too.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have vollunteer Desmanthus everywhere. It's a weed. There are only a few things that are germinated that a big enough to be potted up. It is what it is. We just got drenched and are supposed to get more later.

Do comma cats roll?

The tick hotel is coming down.


Pretty seedpods too.


.

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javiwa

Jay: Hopefully the water will drain off in between soakings. We've had steady rain since morning, but thankful some of it has been light. However, it only takes a few minutes of torrential to put my bed underwater -- it was always a low spot in the lawn anyway, despite my attempts to bring up the soil level:


I need to stop looking out the window.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My Calycanthus germinated and are almost ready to be potted.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I still didn’t get any rain. Maybe later this afternoon. Ran away with my daughter to take a walk in the park. Pictures later.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Iris-tell your daughter about the evil "Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp". She needs to do something about them! Could make her rich and famous too.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Will do. Are you already having problems this year? I didn’t even know they existed until you mentioned them.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I can't tell yet. I only found out what was happening by posting on Name That Plant two years ago. I was quite astounded.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I found this milkweed. I don't think it's syriaca. Might be pururescens, rubra, or speciosa.


A legume. Maybe Amorpha fruticosa.

Nabalus bolting.

A thistle.

Penstemon.


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javiwa

Strikingly beautiful thistle shot, Jay.

They're baaaaack!!! :D Enjoying the temporary swampland that is my yard right now - love it!


Sorry if the pic is a tad blurry: shot through my window (so, yeah, they're hanging out ~ 10' from where I sit) -- I didn't want to frighten them. They've been here the past hour and have already taken a tour around the yard.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Love the birds, Javi!

Jay, speaking of Amorpha. Saw this at the park today. Looks like Amorpha and has little skipper pockets. It’s about 6 feet tall. Doesn’t look anything like my Fruticosa. Any idea? It wouldn’t be the elusive Glabra, right?


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Saw a lot of the big invasive ones even I recognize, like Silk tree and Tree of heaven at the park today. It was still a nice walk. Plus we had cake.

There seemed to be miles of water primrose. I have no idea how they would even start to try to manage that.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

A few close ups.


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javiwa

You mean a 'Happy Birthday, Iris' cake? :)


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Thanks for all the awesome pictures Iris and javi! I love seeing other places. You fixed up your yard so well that it's drawing all that bizarre wildlife javi. I'm not sure if that legume is a Amorpha. What's the difference between Sennas and Amorphas? Sennas die back to the ground and Amorphas don't? I'll look into it later. Iris what is the plant in the very last picture?

There are 5 Calycanthus floridus seedings. One is hiding behind another.


Like I said it is what it is.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Not really. Since we went to avoid the birthday hoopla. More fun than cooking for a dozen people in the construction zone that is currently my house. Plus we did that last Friday for my husband’s birthday. My daughter insisted on at least taking cake. Would have taken my husband, but he had to go to Mexico. Walking the 5 miles, I earned some cake :)

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javiwa

I should say you did, Iris -- glad you found some quality time, sans hoopla.


Jay: Seedlings look great! OK, what's your method of teasing out the ones you want to transplant, and keeping the roots intact? Or do I think seedling roots are more fragile than they are?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That legume is likely Robinia pseudoacacia, you can see a thorn on the right in the picture. Enjoying the pictures all around!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, none of the Senna I know have a real wooden stem. I have a seedpot of this one. I am not sure what the last one is. I do know the mimosa (and of course played with it a bit) and the running cedar. There was a lot of jewelweed. Good thing since there was also a lot of poison ivy. Still no rain here. Have to check what the weather man has to say for himself.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dang. It looked so different than the black locust tree I know from my brother in laws yard. He actually punctured his tractor tire last week with one of the thorns. But I just looked and silver spotted skippers would eat them.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

To me it looks a lot like the black locust sprouts and saplings in my yard. Is the last one Chimaphila maculata?


My common milkweed is looking pretty good I think

I think this is a hollow stem joe pye I planted last year

Aster cordifolius and Aster macrophyllus right center (much taller than expected), Clethra ruby spice is the shrub, and i think thats Monarda in the middle front. All rhizomatous thugs, lets see who wins. There was some white bug slithering on the aster leaf, maybe thrips.

Today was one of the hottest days of the year most of the tree seedlings I planted are looking a bit yellow. Meanwhile the 50,000 maple seedlings everywhere look fine.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Your milkweed is looking great!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I thought your Monardas all died. Your milkweeds look nice. How I seperate seedlings depends on different things like how badly they are tangled. If not I gently nudge them apart. If they are more connected I shake/ vibrate the clump to shake them loose from each other. If they are badly tangled or I'm ultra paranoid I'll shake the roots loose immersing them in a bucket of water. I only have a few seedlings that I'm confident will pot up ok. At the woods there's a carpet of maple seedlings that never grow because of no light.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The Monardas I planted in the front by the tree all died and the seeds never germinated. I dumped 3-4 freebie seed packets up there and planted a couple live plants last spring, hope I dont get hit with a million surprise seedlings one year. This one is a suspected Monarda still not sure until it flowers, maybe the results of dumping seed. Its been mowed a few times the last couple years. The "bush clover" by it turned out to be yellow sweet clover so this might be something else too.

I will have to try your method of separating seedlings on the pipevine soon.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My Monarda fistulosa grows fast from seeds. It does look like Monarda. I checked and I have about 5 Thermopsis that germinated.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

My Amorpha fruiticosa is a woody shrub that looks like somebody just stuck a stick in the ground. I don''t think it's all that attractive. But the Amorpha canescens is a forb that dies back each fall. It still hasn't emerged yet. It is supposed to have one of the deepest root systems in the prairie, up to 25' long. It is weirdly attractive looking.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

My Thermopsys are about 3' tall already and looks to bloom inside of an month or so. They really do stand out on their own, very stately looking, and doesn't get out of line.

I think I'm going to have eradicate every Cup Plant as it is getting too hard to control.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Skip-your Creeping Charley is creeping me out!!! (just kidding)

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I pull it by hand but it grows back relatively quickly. What can I really do? I have to get a thatch rake to thin it out in early spring when its roots are weak and everything else is dormant. The correct steps for renovation would be to spray the whole yard with a broad spectrum herbicide this summer, seed some temporary grass seed, apply a preemergent in the spring, then spray the whole yard again in the summer, and then seed and plant something permanent. Or I could remove all the top soil with a sod cutter or bobcat, bring in clean soil, and start the permanent seeding, but $$$. The whole process doesnt really make any sense with my neighbors and their invasive jungles on the property line. I think the one neighbor behind me has reed canary grass growing in the ditch now.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's just like my yard. There is creeping charley everywhere. I can keep it out of beds, but it's always growing up to the edges of the beds. It's not that bad, it moves too slow to do much damage. It's not even worth trying to eradicate by erasing out. I figure the more natives I grow the less room for charley. I think these plants growing in this thicket by my house are a Thalictrum species for sure. There's garlic mustard in there too.


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javiwa

Anybody here ever grow a spicebush? Am contemplating adding this to my garden, and have the perfect semi-shady spot.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have a couple of small ones. They have been there 3 years. Still waiting for them to take off. Just big enough now for a few caterpillars.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Skip-there's always napalm!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Creeping Charley is like somebody living with you who does not benefit you in any way! When you're walking through the doorway and they are standing there, you just shove them out of the way. Creeping Jenny can be a downright bitch and strangle your perennials. Too many creeps and weirdos in my yard lol. I'm planning on having so many natives there won't be any room for creeping Charley.

Javi, I ordered a spicebush from the nursery but they were out of stock. I think I'll buy bulk seedlings of it in the fall. I tried growing one years ago, but dug it out after 3 years because it wasn't growing. Then, after talking to Iris I found out they don't really take off until the 4th year. I really want one now after seeing the cat on Iris's bush. There wasn't any kudzu in those pictures? I think there is another Lindera closely related to benzoin, that may or may not do better in stifling, roasting heat of Texas. The sharpee washed off some of my milkweed bins. I didn't have numbers or labels etched in them. I don't know if any of my ovalifolia seeds have germinated or not, because I don't know which bin they are in lol. Hopefully we know enough milkweed people now to get help with any seedling ID's. I think I might take it easy today to rest up and then start tackling the barberry and the front yard. There are a lot of potted plants waiting to go into that area. Plans change every second with the latest developements, but I'm liking it! Time to go move the pots and a major move to save the grass. All this must create worm activity, there are tons of robins. That's what's scary about Sunday's weather forecast, it says tons of rain. They never say 'tons' of rain. Not what I wanted to hear. I'm sorry you're so dry down there Iris. I wish I could have sent you a lot of this rain!

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javiwa

3 years, Iris?! What a test of your patience -- but, then, isn't that just gardening through and through? Did you start them as seeds? I posted an inquiry on our local NextDoor to see if anyone locally has a spicebush that I might take cuttings from, in trade for whatever I might have to offer. Only if you get a chance and it's not blistering hot, would you mind sharing a pic? TY.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, once Glechoma hederacea gets into a lawn it's near impossible to get rid of it. A lot of people around here get stressed out because it flaws their perfect monoculture lawns. I like that it at least creates some diversity. And you can make tea with it or add it to salads lol. I feel the same way about plantains, dandylions, violets, squill, ect. I hate crabgrass, I have to pull it, and of course something like 3' dock doesn't look good in the middle of the front lawn. lol

It's a very early nectar source when hardly anything else is blooming. There aren't many early blooming native ephemerals left. This ,on the other hand, is everywhere.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, mine started out as 12” inch tall rooted sticks. I bought 8 over the time, just four of them are alive. One was the deers fault, one the lawnmower and two just withered away. They are in different locations, so you would think at least one is placed in a good spot. Umbrella for scale, it at least started to drizzle a bit. It’s still occupied.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, you should do an intensive search of the property to eradicate any emerging oxalis or portulaca! lol I'm letting a clover grow with the Sedums on the sides of the patio. A lot of Oxalis sprouts in there and Oxalis looks a lot like clover, so you have to be very thurough. I'm getting these other weeds everywhere. They are either pigweed or 3 seeded mercury, I don't know, but they are getting annoying. There's a lot of chickweed in shady areas. The east side of the house is chickweed city! I have a pile of hosta and daylily corpses that won't die. I'll have to chop them up with the anvil shovel. They aren't worth dulling one of my several machetes over lol. I'm getting a 'root slayer' shovel like right now!!!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Javi, I was thinking about the way you package and send plants and was thinking you would be good at designing those childproof/ adultproof containers lol. It only took took me about 45 minutes. You're an inspiration!

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javiwa

Thanks so much, Iris -- that drizzled-on umbrella is a happy sight, as are the chewed leaves.

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javiwa

Hahaha...funny - and thanks, Jay. When I used to send care packages to my kids in college, they always tore in with much anticipation to see their mom's latest over-engineering feat! ;)

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javiwa

Sorry if this duplicates: my post from 5 minutes ago vanished. My visitor returned today - catching rays. I hope this pair sticks around for good!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

There are big, white heron/egret birds down by the canal here. They always fly away before I can take their picture. Has anyone else seen or heard of the mayapple subspecies called spotty dotty? Just to prove how strange life can be, I just noticed that 1 ginseng sprouted. I took Joe Hollis's advice and threw about 60 seeds in that bin. They aren't supposed to germinate for another year. So, tho lots of things still haven't germinated, there are still nice surprises like the Calycanthus, Thermopsis and what I'm hoping is a bunch of Tephrosia virginiana.

https://www.google.com/search?q=mayapple+spotty+dotty&client=ms-android-verizon&prmd=simvn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwie-q_podXiAhWEiOAKHfxGCX8Q_AUoAnoECA4QAg&biw=320&bih=530

A lot of my plants are getting nibbled on. I was hoping for that!

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javiwa

I can't get very close to these herons, either: that's why these pics are shot through window glass. Just gorgeous birds, and I feel so fortunate to have them here, if even for a little while. I believe it's a Yellow Crowned Night Heron, juvenile-ish.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I got a whopping 0.01 inches of rain so far. Sun is out. The Hop tree that looked almost dead by being destroyed by the deer is doing really well. Even though it’s more of a shrub.

Its always fun to see what the Passion flowers will look like.

and elsewhere


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javiwa

0.01 :*( Pic 1 - :) Pic 2 - :) Pic 3 - :*(

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Orchid alert! Went to the local arboretum today to get my fix of Buckthorn annihilation and was informed there were Stemless Lady Slippers in bloom up in the woods. I never knew this species even existed until seeing them. Also saw some Yellow Lady Slippers too but no pictures.

I also ended up taking home with me two Blue Bead Lily plants. They were horribly embedded in the roots of a small Buckthorn(a true story!) so had to save them some how.

--------- Stemless Lady Slipper ----------------


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javiwa

Wow...very cool!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Nice pictures

How's your weather javi? They mentioned Houston in the news. Oh, I saw s painted lady nectaring on Glechoma hederacea, but it was too fast.

For the red admirals. Laportea canadensis and Pilea pumila.

And I thought Laportea canadensis didn't grow around here.

A new park!


Hydrophyllum appendiculatum

Can anyone tell if this is one of the native Euonymus species? They were all short, maybe because of deep shsde, and they seem to spread by creeping rhizomes.


Menispermum cansdense


Thalictrums


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javiwa

Coming right at us...this one's louder than the one that blew through yesterday:


At least we had 24 hours for the yards to drain -- sun was out most of the day, and butterflies took advantage. I think a single Monarch wore herself out laying eggs for what seemed like hours.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, the Lady Slippers look awesome! Jay, you seem to have an endless possibility of places to visit around you. How nice is that? Stay safe, Javi! Our weatherman is still very exited about our weather. Can’t imagine what he would do working in your area. I had to join Facebook since this is where our Homeowners Association Group is now. Daughter kept me up to date before, but with her leaving for 6 month, I guess I have to do it myself. Decided to follow the weatherman. He has been posting updates/ videos at least every hour. Didn’t look at them, but jeez.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Awesome orchirds Dandy!

Not sure about that Euonymus Jay. In the pic there is one stem thats woodier than the others but its hidden by leaves, if it has wings on it then its E. alatus. Maybe its Euonymus obovatus. Looks like a nice park.

Good luck Javi, better than drought right.

The local weatherman on Facebook exaggerates sooo bad. Theres always going to be the worst storm since Katrina or we're going to get 20 feet of snow, and maybe 1 out of 10 times it materializes.


The grass is growing, dont look too closely, you'll see more Creeping Charlie.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Your lawn looks like a golf course compared to mine. Things seem to be growing really quickly in your yard. Just stepped out to look at the weather and a deer was eating a potted Texas Star hibiscus 6 feet from the door on my walkway. That’s going too far. I almost had a heart attack.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Oh I walk toward them while clapping my hands slowly and grunting like a gorilla when they pull that in my yard, that scares them off. An air horn might be fun too.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha. That would be a sight to see. The deer “hissed” or however you describe it at me though.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I had 3 Rudbeckia laciniatas and 3 Rudbeckia trilobas and the deer ate them down to the ground. What is it with them and sunflowers? Skip, what is the white flowered plant next to the R. laciniata? That outhouse plant is a monster lol. Nice orchids Dandy. I never see any wild ones in the woods.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Thats another viburnum nudum "brandywine".

The deer wouldnt leave my ninebark and sunflower alone the last 2 years, but since we put up the fence, it seems to redirect them to the back. I also sprayed liquid fence on the plants early in the year which gave them a chance to grow, the deer dont like the old leaves as much as tender new growth.

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javiwa

Hissing dear and gorillas and air horns...oh, my! Sounds like I'm missing out on all the fun! ;) Last night's incoming storm caught me by surprise, so I spent 1/2 hour scurrying around and getting my seedling pots/trays under cover, etc., etc. The system skirted just south of us, so we got was booming thunder and lightning. Just as well, as the Wednesday deluge will last us a little while. (Yes, Skip: MUCH better than drought!)


Time to get back out there and put the sheers back up: we've got blazing sunny days until Monday! Happy Friday, everyone.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s finally raining here! And it should last until at least Monday. Guess we will see if it going to be too much of a good thing. Dogs already looked at me like I am crazy expecting them to go out.

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javiwa

Yay! Everything is going to perk-up and green-up, come Tuesday, I bet. Phew. As Skip mentioned, better than drought. :) Get those chicken boots by the door!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, you are finally getting rain. I hope it helps and gives you a little break! Javi, I'm so glad you're ok. You get some crazy weather! I started going over the bins with the list and I discovered a backup purple milkweed bin and a 4th variegata backup. I now have 2 decent looking purple milkweeds. I hope I can keep the purple ones alive. I'd love a whole big colony of those. How are your whorled milkweeds javi? I have about 4 little seedlings. Yesterday was hot and the tropical milkweeds were a little wilted, but the HB milkweed was just laughing at the sun. Mine are getting ready to branch out. I do have some Elephantopus that germinated, but they are teetering on the brink because of all the moisture. No Tephrosia germinated but other legumes have. I have little similar looking things germinating in all the bins, these seeds had to have been in one of the componants of the potting mix, either the kellog or coco peat. Whatever they are, they are staying little and not interferring with the intended seedlings. If they do start to grow into something tall it might make saving the bins unfeasable. And of course, now there are trillions of cottonwood seeds. I'm leaving the bins out at the other place this fall. The perks of having a massive 300 year old cottonwood tree.

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javiwa

Discovering your back-up milkweeds: serendipitous indeed! I think my whorled are doing better, esp the ones in the bed (now that Danny clued me in on how his thrive in even more extreme S.Texas temps than mine endure -- keep the soil moist at all times). I'll wait til this weekend's upper 90s temps pass before I plant the two newest seedlings beside them. Hope to start a little patch so they can keep each other company.

I shot this the other morning...so odd that these MWs, which are in a morning-to-2pm bed, were sulking around 11 a.m already, even the HB on the right.


I'd expect that of the HB as this is its first couple of months in the yard, but the curassavica came back quite robustly from last year. This was prior to the latest storm, so I don't believe the ground was too wet at all.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

oOps! Too much soap in the washer again lol!

go with the flow (snow)!

My ginseng!


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javiwa

WTH, Jay? :)


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

What on Earth, Jay?

my trusty chicken boots are in use. Misjudged the length of the break in the rain walking the dogs. It started pouring halfway in. Things are already perking up. My new Apios are coming up. The leaves don’t look anything like the older one. Going to take some pictures later.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Thats all the cotton wood seeds or whatever. I saw a video where someone takes a lighter to it and it burns off

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That sounds cool! I'm going to try it now. I'm a pyromaniac. My catnip wasn't growing and then I saw the neighbor's cat eating it. I was thinking maybe sunflower cages? For the Rudbeckias lol.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Older Apios

the new one. I can’t recall if the first leaves on the older one looked different

my common milkweed is nibbled on in a different way

they are back! Ha, ha, this milkweed is a goner


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javiwa

Oh, no. :(


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Don’t worry, there is plenty. I love these caterpillars once they get all hairy.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

So, do you think the new Apios looks like it is supposed to? I am always a bit sceptic buying from Etsy. The weather forecast might call for some new chicken boots.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, my Apios seedlings have leaves like that. Maybe the smaller tubers start out that way. I'm going to repot mine.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you!

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javiwa

Timely, your comment about Etsy, Iris. A local nursery apparently as the plants in stock for $34.99 -- I don't need/want this plant THAT badly. Found seeds on Etsy, 10/$2 + $3.50 shipping. Seems like a decent price, right? But I emailed the vendor just to verify whether these seeds needed CMS, and this was the reps reply:



Every other site I've perused says these seeds do indeed require CMS. So, while this person may have their info wrong, that still doesn't mean the product is as advertised (right?). Thoughts, anyone? Iris: what have your experiences been with Etsy purchases? $5 is not a large amount to take a chance, obviously -- it's just the thought of potentially getting ripped off, and "they" win yet again. I'm always suspicious of five-star ratings.




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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Javi, if you search for spicebush on gardenweb, you'll see a lot of people found them fussy to grow. Your best bet I think would be to get one from a local source. A spicebush from a different climate is probably not going to appreciate the heat down there.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

For the most part, everything goes well buying plants from Etsy. Biggest doozy were some spicebush plants I ordered. They were dormant. Once they got leaves it was clear they were not spicebush. The seller kept insisting they are. Just the rare swamp kind or something. Even took Name that Plant here a while to figure out the little sticks were bladdernut. I am still not sure my sweet potato vine is what it is supposed to be. It’s branching out, but doesn’t look anything like a vine.

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javiwa

Thanks for the advice, Skip and Iris. I just assumed a Lindera Benzoin would be the same, regardless of where it came from (i.e., different climate from mine). I obviously have a lot to learn. And esp to your point Iris: I don't know that, even if the seeds sprouted, etc., I'd know a spicebush from a pecan until ~ 5 years' time.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have ordered stuff from them before, maybe they will have the spice Bush available soon.

http://www.butterflybushes.com/butterfly_host_plants.htm

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javiwa

Thanks, Iris -- TX is on their 'no ship' list.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Oops.Sorry!

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javiwa

Haha..no, it's fine. Spicebush is just my obsession of the week. If it happens, it happens. :)


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javiwa

My daily installment of "Hacks to Amuse Iris". :) I noticed a few weeks ago my A. perennis (full sun 8am to 2 pm) leaves were growing in as burgundy-green. I placed the curtain sheers in front of them so they get directly sun only from noon to 2; filtered sun from 8-noon. It's made a huge difference! The mother plant has just been looking pale, though blooming (which the Monarchs have loved). So, I decided to get it out of the sun for a few days. I'm already worn and overheated from running around all morning, so didn't have the patience to cut/sew/prep a new sheer panel. A nursery tray (ours gives them away for free) + plastic bag jammed onto a bamboo stick will do for a few days. This at least gives the bags one extra purpose in life before it heads to the grocery store recycle bin.



I can't tell if my newly planted salvia's leaves are curling from the sun and/or adjustment to transplant, so I gave it a little help -- sans plastic bag.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

When I buy seeds and plants from etsy I read about the sellers and read any reviews or ratings. There are good ones and bad ones. My first experience buying from them was bad. I ordered a copal incense burner and it took forever. Then they said they would send me complimentary myrh incense for the hassle but they never did, but I haven't had problems ordering seeds and plants from them, except when I wasn't paying attention to the sellers and I ordered seeds from Asia and it took 3 months to get purple milkweed seeds which were the backup for the purple milkweed seeds that I lost with a bunch of other rare milkweed seeds and then I ordered purple milkweed seeds a 3rd time as backups because I doubted I'd ever get the seeds from Hong Kong lol ! So for all that I now have 2 very scrawny Asclepias purpurescens seedlings! 1 hallii gerninated. I have hirtella, latifolia, stenophylla, sullivantii, viridis, viridiflora, asperula, arenaria, tuberosa, incarnata, variegata, verticillata, humistrata, ovalifolia? And dogbanes.

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javiwa

That's a long road to travel for purple MW, Jay.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I bought Spicebush bare root plants from a seller in Mich. and they didn't survive the winter. All 25 dead. So I contacted the grower and asked about the genetics of the original seeds, as in what zone did they come from. He didn't seem to know. But lesson learned(again), zones are very important for me. Previous bad experience with Button Bush seeds from Missouri. Took me five years to figure out they would always lose their buds in my climate and never have buttons. Seeds came from southern area. For species that colonize large zone ranges, they may be the same genotype but they are only acclimated to their specific climate.

Javi-you're going to cook your little plants in plastic bag aren't you? A pillow case would be much better I think. And further more, turn down the heat! It's been in the 90's here due to high winds coming straight up from Houston for last three days. I think y'all have your ac fans going all the time down there and it's blowing the air up here! We are not used to this heat and high humidity too!!!


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javiwa

Don't worry, Iris. I don't have any of the plants inside the plastic bags -- they're serving as an opaque layer to let some sunlight through. In Pic 1, protected milkweed is to the left of my contraption. Trust me, if I had a fan that powerful, I'd be blowing it at ME. ;)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Now I can't post photos no matter what I try. The first Caltropis flower opened. The 2 Calotropis procera cuttings have rooted and are getting leaves. I cleared the potting soil to expose the broken stem of the 2nd Calotropis so hopefully it will start growing new shoots, then I'll have 4 Calotropis procera. Time to start potting up the little milkweeds into plastic solo cups. All the important plants that have germinated have to be taken out of that slow draining mix asap. I'm going to use my older garden as nursery beds for growing out all these new species. I'll also maintain all the plants over there that I don't have spaces here prepared for yet. I will mostly have a couple or few of each species, not enough to make an impact. Only now am I realizing that I need large quantities of certain plants like waterleafs and wood nettles. I just realized that stinging nettle, Urtica dioica isn't native. It's in green on bonap, so I thought it was, but it's not native. I'm trying to collect all the native nettles. Laportea canadensis, Boehmeria cylindrica, Urtica chamaedryoides, Pilea pumila, Pilea fontana, Pilea microphyylla. Maybe if I sting myself with nettles it will redirect the itching of my mosquito bites lol.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha, Javi. Is there anything you can’t put to good use? Jay, I feel your pain with the mosquitos. Hope you will figure out the picture posting. I want to see!

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javiwa

Oh, we really need to see the procera flower. :)


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javiwa

"Free" is a very good incentive for me, Iris.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)




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javiwa

Beautiful!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

How pretty! The flowers remind me a bit of my hoyas. They are happy to be outside.


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javiwa

Oh, and I sooooo told myself not to ever be tempted to go down the hoyas rabbit hole! So, pretty, Iris.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well, they were presents 6 or so years ago. Every winter inside the house they would get some sort of aphid problem that made everything sticky. Now they are banned to the garage from November to April. Seem to handle it better. I really don’t have room for any more tropicals. Didn’t start raining today until 3, so I got some weed pulling done. No pulling out the wild pansies!

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javiwa

Oooo...outdoor aphids are bad enough -- cannot even imagine them inside my house.

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javiwa

I don't know why, Jay...call it a closed mind on my part, but I never expected to see other than Monarchs landing on the Gomphocarpus.



What a beautiful little creature. Ever see how they shimmy their wings separately, back and forth? Will try to get a video.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well. I am spending a lot of time watching this. Some might call it wasted time, It is quality time for me.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The hairstreak butterfly is beautiful. My violets are getting eaten, but I couldn't find any cats. I saw a big, black butterfly flying very fast. Could have been a swallowtail or mourning cloak. None of my sicklepod seeds germinated, so I'm getting ready to sow a bunch more. I'm doing the hot water treatment.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I can’t believe your sicklepot seeds didn’t germinate! They are growing everywhere. I have a single seedling coming up in the pots I had for my indoor seed starting. I had just left the ones that didn’t work outside. I used a sharpie to label them, so I have no idea what it is supposed to be, it’s too faded to read. There aren’t that many possibilities. Maybe it’s another Man of the Earth! Could also be a weed. Hard to tell at this stage. It’s also really soggy. We had 3.25 inches of rain so far. More to come in the afternoon.

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javiwa

Sounds like downpours are intermittent -- just what you need, right, Iris? :)

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The grass certainly feels for squishy than crunchy by now. Javi, do you grow the latifolia milkweed with it being more of the western type? Just wondering if it is slow growing by nature or if it is my location. It’s the third year for it and still so small.

Soggy lotus and soggy caterpillars. They are already starting to get a bit fuzzy.


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javiwa

Iris: I haven't yet grown latifolia. But I just joined a Houston-area FB Monarch/Milkweed group and have asked one of the admins about her experience: she mentioned having germinated this MW before. Will let you know when she replies.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Only 2 of my latifolias have germinated.

The penstemons are blooming!

A beautiful native honeysuckle?

I thought the Allium cernuums had flowered already. What I thought were seedpods were flower buds.

I never thought I would ever be lucky enough to run into one of these rare, special, native Clematis in the wild.

I just did. And I'm still here!


.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Here are a few pictures from the nearby park

Sweetfern Comptonia peregrina growing at the edge of a field:


Field seems to be mostly grass and milkweed, but probably a lot of Aster, Eupatorium and Solidago will show up later.


Understory is all blueberry, clethra, smilax, and a few ferns. Almost no herbaceous plants

Sedges, not sure what the large leaved plants are

Mountain laurel

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Also made a trial capillary bed (wicking bed)

I wrapped the white pipe in filter fabric, then put 2" of 3/4" crushed bluestone in the tub, then added 2-1/2" of coarse sand.

You pour water into the tub, and the water will drain out of the pipe but stop draining when there is 3" of water left in it. That leaves an inch and a half of sand above the water level.

Now the water will wick up into the trays and containers and I dont have to water them. http://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/2003guidelines/group3/CAPILLARY_BEDS_AND_WET_BEDS.htm 

https://agsci.oregonstate.edu/sites/agscid7/files/horticulture/osu-nursery-greenhouse-and-christmas-trees/onn130414.pdf

Im going to try this one out and if it works well, maybe build a larger one. Apparently you can vary the water table level for different plants. Moisture loving plants you can have the water table an inch below the surface of the sand. For Mediterranean type plants you can lower the overflow pipe so the water table is 2" below the surface of the sand.

You can also take a bottle, fill it with water and stick it in the sand upside down. Like one of those pet bowls, it will replenish the water when it goes down. A larger bed would use a float valve.

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javiwa

Love that, Skip! ^^

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Field trip, everybody! Love all the pictures! Skip, let us know how well this self watering tub works.

I thought my clematis didn’t come back this year. Turns out I just lost it in the jungle of other vines. Noticed it flowering about a week ago.

Looks similar to yours, Jay, doesn’t it? Of course I have no idea anymore what mine is.

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javiwa

^^^ Pretty, folks!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Iris, its Clematis viorna, same species as mine. It was growing about 10 feet from a Clematis virginiana. I found a new park/ rookery very close by. They are old quarries that filled with water.

Coreopsis and Silphium.

parking lot

ohio spiderwort

heathy looking syriacas

Something in the morning glory family Convolvulaceae.

heathy looking pokeweeds

noid

noid

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)












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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

How nice! How big was the catalpa? Just wondering how big mine have to get to see some flowers.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't know, maybe 20 feet tall? It's a Northern Catalpa. You probably have the southern one. I wish I could single handedly eradicate all the buckthorns but it's not humanly possible. I'll take pruners with me next time.

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javiwa

Sharing my happy for the moment (cuz the day is young!): Gray hairstreak on purple duranta.



Jay: I realized the Gomphocarpus flowers aren't as fragile as I thought -- touched one just now. Boy, are they ever gorgeous -- wish I had one closer to the house so I could stare out my window all day!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I like their flowers too. The hairstreak is my favorite butterfly now. They use legumes as hostplants. I only had 3 Acmiapin americanus germinate. I just poured hot water on a bunch more seeds. Still sowing seeds even now. I probably won't get the variegata tubers. It's too late in the season and I've spent enough. Some of these 40 + seedlings have to make it.!

This front area where the barberry was is a bigger nightmare than I thought it would be. Somebody set down black plastic and then dumped about a ton of rocks on top of it. I just dug out the hackberry tree. This could end up being a week long project which kind of sucks because I have 10 million other things I need to do and all the other things I need to do not related to gardening OMG HELP!!! Once this nighmare is fixed, it will feel like smooth sailing.

MY annuals, Zinnias, Cosmos, Blanketflowers were big enough to put in the small bed with the tropical and swan milkweeds.

.The annuals in their containers. Too many left, need more beds, and there are more annuals still not big enough to put in the ground so quite a few more, but only for sunny situations.

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javiwa

I'll take progress shots of my variegata tubers, and you can live vicariously through those. :) I absolutely adore these hairstreaks -- am getting very good at spotting them as they flit about and land. Noticed an apricot-colored sulphur the other day, and two are in the garden now. Tried to take pics, but they're appearing yellow (like the standard sulphurs I usually see) -- so, not quite post-worthy. :p



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Love your progress shots! There is always room for another flower bed, right?

Javi, what a beautiful, colorful picture! Do you get the great purple hairstreak where you are? I only see a few of them, and it is usually later in the year when the goldenrods are flowering.

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javiwa

It's coming together beautifully, Jay.


Iris: I hadn't ever heard for the GPH, but will definitely keep my eyes open. DH and I are overwhelmed by the diversity this spring, and are confident the garden will be even more a-buzz in a month -- then, later in the summer when the red porterweed have gotten much bigger, and the cassias will be blooming. Cannot even contain our excitement and anticipation.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yay for diversity! So happy for you. Your work is paying off.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm going to need another bed for all the annuals still left over. Kind of hard to see any butterflies with so much cotton flying around. I think the Tithonias are going to make it. They sre greening up. There are 45 bins with nothing germinated. Most bins have 2 species sown in each, so at least 90 species didn't germinate. Many other bins have only one species that germinated, so maybe I've gotten 50 percent germinstion. Add to that the milkweeds and annuals and that's still probably over a hundred species. I'll have accurate numbers once I pot up everything and count it. The barberry is backbreaking work. I spend some time on it and then go do easier things for a while. I'm tempted to pay someone to dig out all these shrubs lol.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Thought I would contribute a few photos today.

Lonicera dioica-a little past peak I think


Dogwood-unknown at this time


Gerainium maculatum and Zizia aptera


Mayapple blossom


Bugs eye view of Mayapple forest


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

These are great! Are they yours or did you take a field trip, too? I really have to look into the Mayapple. So pretty.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It feels like I pulled hundreds of cypress vine seedlings once again. Lots of distractions, things were buzzing even though it was really cloudy. Found this brand new one

I am still worried that my ipomoea pandurata is not what it is supposed to be. To me, it looks more like my Four o’clock than any vine. The image searches are not helping much, but I don’t think the leaves are heart shaped enough. Looks like it gets flower buds. Guess that will tell more. What do you think?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Nice pics Dandy! You must be maybe 3 weeks behind me. Those were blooming a while ago here. I think any plants sent to you from the south get a longer recovery period. Could I drill holes in buckthorns and pour poison in them? Down the road they planted crownvetch which turned out to be invasive, and now the crownvetch is being invaded by teasle, garlic mustard and poison hemlock.

Lupinus perennis, Gillenia trifoliata, and Amorpha fruticosa.

Calycanthus floridus

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Thanks for the nice comments. These are in my own yard area. I was worried about the Mayapple not surviving here but so far it's hanging in with the best of them, They are all my own seedlings from two years ago. I created their own little woodland garden area, along with Blue and Black Cohosh, Goatsbeard, Trillium, Bloodroot , Dolls Eyes, and a few more I guess.

Mayapple is supposed to be a deer resistant sub for Hosta.

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