Happy mid-summer from Wisconsin! Now that we have an additional year in our new space, we’re starting to transform our yard with a variety of new plants as I’ve noted earlier. It’s a slow, albeit rewarding, process for sure; there’s only so much we can do in a day/week/month, particularly when life and weather can intervene. The pace also allows for some thoughtful reflection: I know I’ve re-imagined our layout plan numerous times, but it will gradually fall into place.
We’ve been marveling at all the new flowers- some in the garden and some in the yard, and I wanted to share some Wisconsin summer with you wherever you are…
Runner beans on a tomato cage- something has been snacking on them, unfortunately…
More from the garden- radish flowers
Some Tristan strawberries-to-be (doing exuberantly well in a pot)
Milkweed (We have been pleased to see more butterflies than Monarchs in our yard, as well!)
A prickly pear cactus flower (I somewhat recently found out that prickly pear cacti are native to Wisconsin!)
Non-floral color- a Wisconsin sunset. Good night to all!
We just purchased a house with some additional outdoor space, and we are reaping lots of color in our first growing season here! I plan to add plenty to this blog about some of our gardening projects around the new place as we dream them up.
As I have been maintaining our greatly increased lawn space, I have been fortunate to notice more than a few bumblebees in the area. As a gardener, this is definitely a major positive. Honeybees and bumblebees have been facing some tough times. Colony collapse disorder is very real, but not fully understood yet (though there are some possibilities). I don’t know that we currently plan to have a hive nearby or take a beekeeping class yet, but at the least, some of our field will stay as it is. A few more native wildflowers may make an appearance, as well.
(The honey is a bonus!)
Certain invasive plants and animals receive greater media and government attention (for good reason). In our part of Wisconsin, the Emerald Ash Borer has been one of these species. Similarly, I recently came across a news clip about giant hogweed as an invasive plant in Michigan. What I did not realize was the danger in even trying to get rid of it:
This plant is also on one of Wisconsin’s lists, which also include some aquatic and wetland plants. Invasive species will vary by location, but the potential negative impacts are similar: native species can be affected. Wisconsin has Administrative Code NR 40, (the invasive species rule) which “makes it illegal to possess, transport, transfer, or introduce certain invasive species in Wisconsin without a permit”. The counterpoint to this is the benefit of researching, planting, and promoting native species. As planting season has arrived/is arriving, take a few minutes and make yourself aware of your region’s invasive and native species. Report any invasives you find. It could save you and your neighbors some trouble. And watch out for the giant hogweed!
Some additional national resources: