Saturday, July 23, 2016

Another nocturnal symphony

Late July in the Carolinas (and the South, in general, as well as the Mid-Atlantic states) bring the summer chorus of insects: field crickets, cicadas, and katydids.

I'm hardly an expert, just an appreciator, of their sounds. A friend, back home in Iowa in summer for unanticipated reasons, some years ago, said she missed the night sounds. 

I hadn't thought before about how the chorus was specific. 

But now I'm thinking about a garden blogger friend in Indiana mentioning on her Facebook feed about how loud the night sounds were recently, so maybe there's a rural aspect, or it's tree frogs, too.

Regardless, I'm glad to listen to the chorus tonight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Habitat gardening

About to leave for the Cullowhee Native Plants conference tomorrow, I'm reminded of how habitat gardening (as a concept) preceded some of the current thinking about creating functional landscapes that are ecologically balanced, including mostly native plants, as well as similarly adapted non-natives.

I've totally updated my Designing with Plants presentation to be a Designing with Native Plants version -- interesting to see that I had a lot more examples of design from my garden-visiting images, but plants are plants. My own style, as is my gardening companion's, is totally reflective of natural plant communities in both feel and function, but I'm constantly aware as I think about this, that we're bringing our understanding of plants and plant communities to the woodland garden, pocket meadow, and house-side plantings.

Plants as a creative medium pose a changing and dynamic palette as we create our gardens as gardeners -- nothing remains the same over time, so our hands as gardeners shape the design elements, too, whether we're naturalistic gardeners, or neat and tidy ones.

Pollinator habitat and Wild Ones signs
I loved this garden tended by a long-time Wild Ones member (in Minneapolis), visited prior to the Fling, along with another similar garden.

This roadside planting appeared in a previous post, too.

native curbside planting in Minneapolos

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lovely to return home

After a great Garden Bloggers Fling in Minnesota, it was lovely to return home to a flourishing vegetable garden and a flowering pocket meadow in front.

Fresh green beans and tomatoes from the garden were part of our dinner tonight, and there will be eggplants and greens tomorrow, too.

The Fling is such a fun event -- what's not to like about visiting gardens in the company of other garden bloggers (aka garden enthusiasts!)

She posted a wonderful montage of her favorite photos from the Fling.  Hopefully, they'll be visible.

We had fun.

An enchanting gate

A welcome from a sedum wreath framed the entrance into a peaceful shady garden.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Busy flower visitors on swamp milkweed

There's been such a tremendous diversity of insects visiting flowers in the country gardens we've visited here in Minneapolis so far during the Garden Bloggers Fling. It's really remarkable compared to what I've been seeing in my urban garden in WNC.

A fellow pollinator enthusiast noticed this too. Maybe we live in the equivalent of pollinator deserts.

Finally, I've seen a monarch this season!

And there were bumblebees everywhere, of all sizes, not to mention the flower flies, butterflies, etc.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A pollinator-friendly "boulevard" strip

This was the front edge of a delightful native plant garden in Minneapolis, visited courtesy of a new friend, who spent some time with me this morning sharing two friend's native plant gardens with me, in addition to a great prairie restoration, and a demonstration prairie- style planting.  More gardens to come, as the Garden Bloggers Fling is starting shortly!

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