Thursday, August 25, 2011

(Belated) Wildflower Wednesday: Why a Rain Garden is Great

A lot of native wildflowers are in bloom here, which is a welcome change from some years where this time of summer is rather dull.

Tall coreopsis (C. tripteris) is finally blooming (a little later than usual)...

...this 2-year-seedling Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum) is looking good (unfortunately its parent plant is having a tough go of things this year)...

...'Blue Fortune' agastaches are blooming profusely...

...and the big-leaved asters (Eurybia macrophylla) have been putting on a show for a few weeks now. These are always the first asters to bloom, well ahead of the traditional flowering time we associate with asters.

But the wildflower stars right now are undoubtedly the blooming rain garden plants, cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) and obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana).

Despite a brief period of drought, the rain garden plants have shown their resiliency. We've had periodic torrential downpours, and the extensive root systems of these forbs and sedges are clearly holding, or at least reaching, this moisture well after the rains have passed.

Even a new blue lobelia (L. siphilitica) is blooming (which is good since the blue lobelia in my front garden is really suffering, I think from being physically pounded by flooding rains multiple times).

I haven't witnessed any hummingbirds at the cardinal flowers this year, but that'll happen when you're gone all day five days a week. I like to think that in my absence that hummingbird I saw last year (and maybe its friends) are nectaring at the beautiful red blooms!

I may be a little tardy with this post, but I didn't want to miss Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail at Clay and Limestone!


garden girl said...

Glad your lobelias are holding their own Rose! This week the hummers seem to be absent here too. I was wondering if they'd already started migrating. Then again, it's been a busy week, and I haven't had much time to sit outside and watch for them.

'Blue Fortune' sure is a profuse bloomer. I'm amazed how much the bees love them.

Rose said...

Your rain garden is quite a success, Rose--yours is a perfect example of why natives work so well in one. We haven't had the pounding rains that you've had in recent months, so my natives are doing better than anything else in the garden with the little moisture we've had. Sorry you haven't seen any hummers lately--I think they're all visiting me:) I have a different cultivar of agastache, and they love it!

Gail said...

Pounding rains are devastating to plants~So sorry...I do wish that there was just a fair distribution of rain! I could use some and poor TX and OK are fried dry. Love your wildflower show and I am always glad you join the celebration. gail

Sissy said...

Wow, look how far your rain garden has come, Rose! I have seen 1 hummingbird here, but I don't exactly have a lot of hummer friendly plants going on, so I hope you get to see more. I can't imagine they don't love your cardinal flower, once they find it!
I hope you are able to enjoy the rewards of all your hard work on your raingarden!

Patrick's Garden said...

Isn't Joe Pye Weed majestic in its structure. I just love it in the landscape.

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