Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Harebell blooms along the retaining wall

With its distinctive flowers, shaped (in my opinion) like one of those tasteless bonnets they make babies wear in Easter photos, perched atop grassy stems, Harebell is a hard one to miss. It is a widespread flower, predominant in both North America and Europe, where they are known as Witch's thimbles on one hand and dedicated to St Dominic on the other. It is one of the many flowers attractive to hummingbirds (they generally go for purples, blues, and reds), and a variety of pollinating insects.

Harebell is an extremely hardy flower, growing quite well in a variety of lighting conditions, and in both nutrient-rich and poor soils. I have heard that most harebells do not do well in damp soils, but I have seen the Minnesotan varieties growing quite well in seasonal wetlands (those growing next to our pond do quite well). They are fickle when it comes to flowering. I've seen one specimen bloom for only a week in June, while another (not eight inches away) may explode with blooms from late Spring to early Autumn.

Weather's taken a turn in the last week, pitching up into the mid-upper 80's with the sort of humidity that makes just about any shirt feel a few sizes too small.

Garden Report:

Wildlife Spotted:

  • American Toad

  • Baltimore Oriole

  • Black-capped Chickadee

  • Blue Jay

  • Cedar Waxwing

  • Chorus Frog

  • Cottontail Rabbit

  • Crow, Common

  • Goldfinch

  • Grackle, Common

  • Gray Catbird

  • Gray Squirrel

  • Hairy Woodpecker

  • Loon, Common

  • Mallard Duck

  • Mourning Dove

  • Northern Cardinal

  • Nuthatch

  • Pileated Woodpecker

  • Purple Finch

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker

  • Red Squirrel

  • Red-winged Blackbird

  • Robin, American

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird

  • Sandhill Crane

  • Tree Swallow

  • Virginia Opossum

  • Wood Frog

Natives in Bloom:

  • Aborted Buttercup

  • Blue-flag Iris

  • Canada Anemone

  • Columbine

  • False Indigo

  • Harebell

  • Prairie Ninebark

  • Spiderwort

  • Prairie Smoke

  • Swamp Buttercup

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