Garden Diary - July 2012

Sunday, 29 July 2012
A Roadside Mini-Meadow

I was driving home from here to there on a road less travelled - well, actually, I'm not even sure I've ever been on it before. Thank you GPS. And as I was zipping along I saw this marvellous planting around a mailbox. Typically a mailbox is adorned with clematis, maybe a ring of hosta or daylilies. This one, however, has a little meadow all its own, a mini-meadow. No ornamental grasses tough, which are the major component of grasslands from meadow to savanna to steppe. But that's O.K. What's included?

Prairie coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, which is also popular in perennial borders.

Brown-eyed Suan, Rudbeckia triloba

And then there is this yellow daisy. Of which there are so very many. It has with opposite leaves.
Without taking time to key it out I'm going to guess it is false sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides.

Sunny flower, all right. It makes a nice display along the road with the sky blue flowers


of chicory, Cichorium intybus, another composite and a relative of endive that thrives along
roadsides. Mown down by maintainence crews it manages to flower though reduced in stature.
Occasionally I find a plant with pink flowers. The deep tap root makes it difficult to transplant.

Phlox, Phlox panniculata, is another sturdy plant that reseeds in a determined attempt
to create a monoculture unless you regularly deadhead. Do so right after flowering and
there will be a second flush of bloom. Typically a bright pink, white is also common.

Put it all together - the various daisies of summer already mentioned, mauve Joe Pye weed,
and what I suspect are the fall blooming New England asters, Aster novae-angliae. Clearly
I'll have todrive down this road again and see what else comes into flower in this mini-meadow.

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