After the heavy hitters of late summer are past--the Hibiscus, coneflowers, bonesets, et al--it's easy to think the season of native wildflowers is over, but this fall has been a surprise in the beauty and variety that nature held in reserve for these sweet autumn days.
Monday, October 19, 2020
Friday, October 09, 2020
As autumn has evolved, so have the bouquets that appear on counters and tables in our house.
The yellow is autumn Helenium, and the long strands in the back are white vervain, which looks scraggly in the garden, with tiny white flowers barely noticeable, but in a vase takes on an artistic effect.
We have so many flowers in the garden that no matter how many end up in vases, there will still be enough to produce seed for new plantings elsewhere.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
watermeal, in the genus Wolffia, which includes what wikipedia calls "the smallest flowers on earth."
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Even now, as the flowers begin to fade,
In my mind, though not in the garden, I pair the nonnative Autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) with the native virgin's bower (Clematis virginiana), which also has white flowers and a sprawling habit. An easy way to tell the two apart is the leaves, which are toothed in the native, rounded in the nonnative. The native's flowering comes earlier in the summer and lasts a week rather than a month.
Friday, September 04, 2020
Around mid-summer, I begin wondering how the monarchs are doing. Last summer, in 2019, they were more numerous than usual in the Princeton area, and as I googled for news of their numbers in 2020, it was with the expectation that their population was on the upswing. Surprisingly, their overwintering numbers in the mountains west of Mexico City were down dramatically. The count comes out in March, just before they begin their journey north, and was down by half compared to the winter of 2018/19.
The low count this past winter was due in part to less than favorable migration weather last fall. Warm weather in the north delayed migration southward, and a drought in Texas left little nectar for the monarchs as they funneled through Texas on their way to Mexico. From Princeton, that flight is about 2500 miles, powered by the liquid sunlight of nectar.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Rose mallow hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos)