24 hour beauty…

Equisite Day Lily (Hermocallis) in bloom outside a Chicago condominium. What stopped me in my walk was the proliferation of blooms. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Daylilies come in numerous colors and shades. Years ago I added some prized Daylilies to my garden only to have them devoured by local Deer. They like their taste better than their beauty. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Brilliant in colors and size. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Nature’s bouquet of abundance. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Leafing out…

This time of year the leaves are new on the popular Sea Grape tree/shrubs. The “grapes” will follow later in the season. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

These Sea Grape trees had weathered leaves from the nearby ocean setting. New leaves were yet untouched by the salty winds. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

New Sea Grape leaves are reddish; mature leaves are green. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Shocking brilliance…

Ixora Nora Grant (Ixora coccinea) is one of the most popular shrubs in southern Florida. These balls remind me of the northern Snowball bush; but this plant’s balls burst out in bright tropical color. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Compact, dense blooms found at the Morikami Japanese Garden, but prominent all over Southern Florida.. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Berry bounty…

Unsure of the specific Palm variety here, but the berries were prolific and in all stages of ripening. Also unsure if these are edible. They were part of the foilage in the Bonnett House Courtyard, Ft. Lauderdale Florida.

Palm Tree rich with hanging clusters of berries.Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

‘Tis the season for berries. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Native abundance…

“This plant is a native, and with true American perspicacity and enterprise has forged his way from

magenta obscurity to the most prominent place in the floral world.”

‘My Garden’ by Louise Beebe Wilder, 1916

Phlox abundance. May you see the wonder all around you. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Inexhaustible loveliness…

Bougainvillea vine seems to ceaselessly bloom and is therefore a popular choice to establish on garden arbors. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Awe-some entrance to Butterfly World. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Popular by many…

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) is a part of the prairie terrain in Chicago’s Lincoln Park outside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The blooms with prolific, pollen-laden anthers caught my attention. If a plant could scream, “Here I am, come visit me” this is what it was silently yelling to passing insects.

Popular with more than insects, during the American Revolution, the leaves became the alternative tea source replacing British varieties. New Jersey Tea has been a long time medicinal choice of Native Indians and a current favorite of herbalists. What will remain unmentioned is that is part of the Buckthorn family whose members include the Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), an aggressive European invader.

 

New Jersey Tea prolific native survivalist, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

New Jersey Tea prolific native survivalist, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

New Jersey Tea in full bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

New Jersey Tea in full bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

 

prolific ways of the prairie…

Summer on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Summer on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Portrait shadow on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Portrait shadow on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Awesome, open, stable, prolific, clean, diverse, and untamed. These are all words that help explain a prairie. Some have mistaken a prairie for a weed patch. This particular prairie is a restoration project, roughly five years towards maturity. The diversity of summer prairie blooms is event on this low hill, a good place to test plant identification skills. With any luck this prairie will survive for hundreds of years; dormant seeds can lie wait decades when poor conditions occur; roots grow many feet deep insuring survival during drought and fire. In addition to the plant species that make a prairie a prairie are wide open blue skies with a few wispy clouds, masking the reality of strong blowing winds animating the plants beneath.

Bee Balm copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Bee Balm copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) (which like most flowers does attract bees) was plentiful this late July evening, partly because it tends to colonize. Considered native by some naturalists and “introduced” by other, its origins are the Eastern United States and has since spread to the Midwest, providing more fuel to restoration dialogues. What time period does one choose as a restoration point when restoring “native” lands?

Full of peace, secluded, ever-changing, mature, subtle diversity, and safe. As I review these images I think reflect on my garden, perennial beds home to some native species; twenty-seven years in the making. My garden is loosely organized. Living across the street from a forest preserve I purposely chose to keep my garden casual in design. No squared off lawn edging, no crisply trimmed shrubs, no formal brick division between lawn and perennial beds. The perennials have chosen to re-seed outside of designated planned spaces, reinforcing the casual design plan.

Preserved garden by forest preserve copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Preserved garden by forest preserve copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg