Archive | Natural World

White Snakeroot

Autumn Savanna

Autumn Savanna  Many people tell me that they would love to have a prairie garden, but they have too much shade. My answer?  You can have a savanna or woodland garden with a diversity of forbs and grasses every bit as as ravishing as a prairie–just with different plants. Last week I described and showed […]

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Solomon's Seal

Blue Blossoms in September

Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a source of delight.  John Ruskin  BLUE BLOSSOMS IN SEPTEMBER  I’m going to take a detour from the traditional autumn asters and goldenrods into the less common Bottle Gentian and Blue Lobelia, both in bloom in September with brilliant sapphire blossoms. The Chicago Botanic Garden […]

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Monarch Butterflies and Milkweed

    MORE ON BUTTERFLIES     Everyone knows that Monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on members of the milkweed genus and their caterpillars only eat milkweed leaves. There are, however, several species of milkweed that are more suited to gardens than the common roadside milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). If any of you have seen […]

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I Love Sedges

I Love Sedges! “And what,” you may ask, “ is a sedge?” A sedge is a grass-like plant that has solid triangular stems as opposed to the round, hollow stems of grasses.  “Sedges have edges” is a popular aphorism, that cleverly describes the difference.   It is not always true, but it is often enough […]

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Jacob's Ladder, Shooting Star

Native Flowering Trees

Native Flowering Trees While imported Chinese and Japanese Crabapples and Callery Pears dominate the May landscape, native ornamental trees are not only equally showy, but contribute to the environment.   The first to bloom is Wild Plum (Prunus americanus).  Seen in roadside thickets, along fencelines, or sometimes growing in the open, its snowy blossoms are […]

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More Spring Woodland Wildflowers

More Spring Woodland Wildflowers The emerging purple stems of the Blue Cohosh (Cauliphyllum thalictroides) are notable, while the early yellow flowers are rather insignificant.  It follows closely on the heels of the woodland anemones mentioned in my last post.  It grows in similar circumstances, in rich woodlands, frequently on north-facing slopes.         […]

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