Monday, July 25, 2016

Plant geek: coneflowers for days!

 When we first bought our house, the landscaping was virtually a blank slate. We were lucky enough to have established trees, but the rest of the place was taken back to almost nothing because of the reported overgrowth of the yard when the renovation started. We tackled the chance to plan what we would plant in the existing beds and where we might install additional flower beds.

One idea I really valued was incorporating plants native to Kansas. This ideas was part sentimental and mostly practical. I grew up in the country and we rarely watered our flowers and plants, let alone our lawn. If you were plant, in order to survive, you needed to be hardy.

I carried that same philosophy forward. We have little time to water plants frequently and it seems like a waste of money to constantly water.

I had this dream of planting the native flowers and Jeremy really wanted something that would add some color to the south side of the driveway. The answer - a mix of native plants that have morphed over the years. Remember, only the strong survive. More accurately, only the plants that were planted in a place with the right amount of sunlight and moisture survived. Gardener's error or luck plays a large part in the failure (or success) of anything we have done.
 The coneflowers this year have been spectacular! I am not sure we have had blooms in this deep purple color.
 A perk of these native plants is their ability to attract insects and birds. We usually have bees and butterflies surrounding this bed. On day last fall, I saw a small bird picking the seeds of out the center of blooms.
This summer, we have been overrun with iridescent insects. They are strangely beautiful and also unnerving because they like to dive bomb you when walking through the yard.

Other than the occasional weeding and thinning out of the beds, these native plants are low maintenance and offer a lot of beauty.

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