If you haven’t had a chance to visit the prairie meadow recently – take a walk and check it out. There are so many flowers in bloom! (Be sure to wear insect repellent – there are mosquitoes.)
Last winter we planted the seeds of 73 different native flowers, and 9 native grasses and sedges. This year I’ve found 27 of those flowers blooming, and 5 or 6 “volunteers” – native flowers that we didn’t plant, but came up from seeds that were in the soil. I haven’t seen any of the grasses, but grasses and sedges take longer to get established – we should see more of them next year.
While I was standing at the edge of the prairie a few days ago, a flock of birds was twittering in the trees and searching for bugs in the prairie. I saw (and heard) Chickadees, Cardinals, several different Flycatchers that I couldn’t identify, and lots of warblers: Common Yellowthroats, Black and White Warblers, Wilson’s Warblers, and a Red-eyed Vireo. So look for birds as well as flowers at this time of year!
I also saw a few migrating Monarch butterflies and lots of honey bees and bumblebees.
Bumblebee on a Sneezeweed flower
The northern, drier half of the meadow has lots of Evening Primrose. It’s a fast growing plant that shouldn’t be so prominent in later years. But it provided plenty of flowers this summer, and it’s still blooming.
This is a view of the southern, wetter half of the prairie. This is where most of the flowers are right now.
Here are the flowers I found there this week.
Common False Foxglove
American Burn Weed – this is one of the volunteers. It’s a plant that comes up after burns or other disturbance, and will probably disappear as the prairie becomes more established.
Another volunteer – Canada Goldenrod. It’s native, but pretty aggressive. (We’ll have to keep an eye on it to be sure it doesn’t become too dominant.)
Fleabane – another of the volunteers
Jewelweed – another volunteer
Joe Pye Weed
New England Aster – not quite in bloom yet
Smartweed – a volunteer
Smooth Blue Aster – with honeybee
I call this Sweet Everlasting – I don’t like the more commonly used name: Cudweed – and the plant does have a very sweet fragrance
Tall Swamp Marigold
White Snakeroot – another volunteer. This one is somewhat weedy, especially in shady places. I think once the prairie gets more established, we won’t see so much of it.