Thirsty Thursday

Brrr. This old squirrel is feeling the change in the weather this week, and if I meander down to one of my ponds, you can even hear it. When the wind comes down on us, it rustles through these dried cattails.

The plant’s seed heads are about matured, as you can see from the cream seed fluff poking out.

That downey fluff can be quite useful–Native Americans used it to line moccasins and start fires. Cattail is one of those natives that like wet roots. You might see them growin’ in a roadside ditch.


Thirsty Thursday

Well, folks, that was quite a storm we had a few days ago. The little backyard pond closest to us had been low for water for a few days, but within minutes the water rose.

I saw even the rain garden area had filled.

Then during the few minutes I watched, the raingarden flooded out of its banks.

I poked around to the point the humans left for it to overflow and sure enough, water was flowing out.

Looks like it’s going to be wet for a bit. That will make a few plants very happy after this dry spell.

Cardinal Flower and Blue Lobelia

I, that’s Ol’ Wally, asked Nutmeg to give me another day on the Nutwork to show off the plants blooming in the rain garden.

Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, is looking right pretty now and I’m not the only one noticing. The hummingbirds are making regular forays in to the bright flowers. I just couldn’t catch them at it.

The Blue Lobelia plants put in at the same time are farther back in the shade and not blooming yet, yet ironically, a few popped up in another part of this garden.

This species is gettin’ the same amount of sunlight, perhaps more, and yet is more compact than the native red species, only about two feet high.


Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis, is a native type of Impatient species growing along the nearby streams and in moist places. The grows new each year from seeds and gets quite tall, 3 to 5 feet. Miz Flora says the flowers can be overlooked, so wanted me to give you close views.

Hummingbirds do not miss the hanging flowers.

Many folktales tell of being able to cure poison ivy by rubbing your skin with broken Jewelweed stalks. Miz Flora says she can’t verify that, not having bare skin.


Thirsty Thursday

Hope you folks are having a good day after that bit of rain we had earlier this week. It reminded Ol’ Wally here to go back to the pond to check on a plant that the humans did not buy. This sedge grew here on its own and is thriving when the rain garden floods. Sedges look like grass, but if you look close, or in your case, feel, the stem with your fingers, you’ll discover it’s not round. A sedge has a triangular stem.

Like grasses, sedges are terrible to identify, so I can’t tell you what this one is exactly. Miz Flora is leaping around calling it a carex, but I can’t be so sure of that. It is bloomin’, as I told that youngster Hickory, though he probably won’t think too much of this ‘flower’ he sees it here.

Yep, the sedge’s flower is that brushy thing on the side of the stem.

Thirsty Thursday

Ol’ Wally here with your water plants update:

Appears to me the filling of that little pool is too wet for one rain garden plant. The Swamp Verbena, Verbena hastata, wilted a week ago in the deep water, then slowly crumpled up. The gardeners here moved it to a dryer location, but it looks all in.

However, Miz Flora has, as usual, decided to differ with me.

“You should have taken a closer look,” Miz Flora said. “When they dug it up, the root ball was covered by an inch of mud that slid to the bottom of the rain garden pit.”

“And why would that make any difference?” I asked her.

The roots couldn’t breath when the pool dried up.”

“They couldn’t breath if the pool didn’t dry up. That plant is supposed to be able to tolerate standing water. Swamp Verbena.”

“It’s the mud, I tell you.”

“Nope.” I chittered at her. “Defective stock. It was raised in a dry pot, so it’s only used to dry earth.”

“Then under your premise, it should revive planted on dry land,” Miz Flora said.

“Yep, it should.”

She twitched her tail and chattered, “We’ll see.”

Hold on. Did that ornery woman just turn my reasoning around on me?  I tell, you she’ll make me want to run into the street yet.

Anyhows, here’s a bloom from the iris she told me was Yellow Water Iris. Let’s see how she likes me posting that.