Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This nice white iris is a re-bloomer that showed
up in the south gnome garden last week. The newer
cultivars are fun.

Asters in the Wildflower Garden

These are a different
color purple and are very tall - over six feet. They are
close to invasive so I have to thin them out so they don't
take over.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don's Asters

These are asters that I bought locally
and they have continued to come back very well yearly.
For the last few years I have divided them and put them
in the field circle in front of Abby's much taller asters.
My efforts went astray this fall for as soon as the darker
purple asters bloomed rabbits gently ate all the the fresh

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Abby's Asters

This is aster week. New world asters
(Asteraceae) have since the 1990's been re-classified on the basis
of morphologic and molecular studies to other genera including:
Almataster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurubia,
lonactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostoma, Seriuocarpus, Symphyotrichum.
My opinion is that for the next several generations only the
taxonomists will utilize these genera and we will continue to call them asters.
Aster is Greek for star.
These perennial asters were a gift from my neighbor and garden master Abby
many years ago. They arise on very stout stalks and fill a half-circle in the field.
They grow over six feet in height and last for over a month.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


These flowers are grown from seed on the berm
and some are taller than me. When dead headed they
grow for months.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


After a summer rest my verbena has begun to
bloom again. I love it. Also vervain. In Nicholas
Culpeper's 1652 The English Physitian it was said to
act as a galactogogue. It was also mentioned as one
of the original 38 Bach flower remedies and was
prescribed for "over enthusiasm".

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

White Snakeroot

Eupatorium perfoliatum Also boneset and
thoroughwort. This is invasive in my wildflower gardens and
I have been pulling it out for the better part of 3 weeks. It is
poisonous to animals especially cows where this can be significant
because it can cause milk sickness in humans. In cows a mild
case is called the trembles and results in trembling of the muzzle
and legs. In humans who drank the milk of affected cows
milk sickness claimed the lives of thousands in the early 1800's,
the most famous of which was Abraham Lincoln's mother. The toxin
is a fat soluble alcohol named tremetol.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Purple Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii The name is confusing
since it is named after English botanist Adam Buddle and which
should have translated to Buddleia. Linnaeus however wrote
it as Buddleja and never changed it. Armand David was a French
naturalist. Butterflies flock to these bush/trees. I started with 2 and
now have 6 (3 in the wildflower gardens just appeared).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Red Clover

Trifolium (Latin for three leaves). Also
trefoil. In the pea family. Historically, farmers were said
"to be in clover" as a compliment as clover was planted
as a natural green manure after harvesting a crop and
meant that the farmer was finished for the season. In
my wildflower gardens I am in clover all the time.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Vernonia, in the sunflower family. So named
because of its strong stem which is difficult to pull out.
Another beautiful purple. Some say that a weed is a flower
whose value has not yet surfaced.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Lamiaceae This is a new cultivar and has
produced a large plant, When crushed the leaves have
a fragrant smell and the resultant oil produces Oswego Tea.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Branching Cone Flower

I found this strange cone flower
in the wild flower garden.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Moon Flower

Ipomoea alba Also moon vine. This fast
growing vine appeared unbidden in a container on the
back deck. We thought it was going to produce gords.
It produced gorgeous white flowers that open in the
evening and last one night. This is a species of night
blooming morning glory.
Ancient mesoamerican civilizations used this plant to
convert the latex from the Castilla elastica tree and the
guayule plant to produce bouncing rubber balls. The
sulfur in the morning glory served to vulcanize the rubber
predating Charles Goodyear's discovery by 3,000 years.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Also sword lily. I have a mature
stand of purple and red gladiolas at the
edge of the field.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Red Mushroom

This red mushroom on a dead tree stump caught my
eye as I was weeding the wildflower garden. Can you
identify it?