Kentucky Plants And Wildlife – A Day In The Kentucky Woods

Kentucky Plants And Wildlife – A Day In The Kentucky Woods
April 23, 2017
 

   Kentucky Plants And Wildlife – Since the weather was gorgeous this year during spring break, we took the grandkids for a day of adventure in the Kentucky woods.  (You know this has to be better than having them sit in front of some video game.)

    Middle Creek Park in Boone County Kentucky is a really nice place to just enjoy a walk in the woods.  The kids discovered lots of surprises in the woods.  You’d be surprised at how observant they really are.

    We found yellow trillium and purple trillium.

 

    We found ‘Blue-Eyed Mary’s’!  I had never seen these before and guessed they were probably some type of viola.  Wrong!  These wildflowers, apparently, thrive in low moist areas in woodland; and that is exactly where we found these.  There was just a beautiful blue and green carpet of these covering the woodland floor.

 

    We found a ladybug resting on a dried brown leaf.

    Aidan found a box turtle and wanted to take him home.  He probably would have changed his mind after carrying him around for while, but I explained that the woods was a really good home for him.  I suggested that saving one of those little turtles from a pet store was perhaps a better idea.  He agreed.

   As Aidan and Will walked along the creek, Will commented that Aidan was walking a little too close to the edge and might slide down into the creek.  A few seconds later, he was in water up to his knees.

  Then, there was Will’s nonchalant comment, “See, I told you.”

    After pushing his wet pants up to his knees, he felt he was already wet, might as well enjoy it.

   Aidan found these fossils and told us how he had learned about what they are on a school field trip.

 

   We found a fiddlehead fern.  The new growth of most ferns is called a fiddlehead.  The name fiddlehead is simply because the new fronds look like the decorative scrolled end on a fiddle.

 

    We saw wild blue phlox growing on the woodland floor.  Wild blue phlox grow in woodlands, wetlands, and along the edges of fields by the woods.  The petals are usually a blue or blue-violet color.

    The Virginia Bluebells,(Mertensia virginica), were blooming. They are easily recognizable because the little individual flowers have five petals that are fused together onto a long tube and they bloom in clusters.

   We saw bleeding hearts and these tiny white flowers, which we’ve identified as’Cleavers (Balium Aparine)‘, also known as Goosegras.  I love the leaves on this plant.

 

    These are some of the cutest little flowers!  They are called Dutchman’s Breeches, (Dicentra cucullaria).  These flowers resemble old-fashioned pantaloons hanging upside down.

 

   Star Chickweed, (Stellaria pubera), grow 6 – 12 inches high.  What appears to be ten petals on these are actually five petals, which are deeply partially divided into two.  The stamens are tipped with dark anthers that almost look like colored polka dots against the white flowers.

 

    And, of course, we saw May apples.  When the May apples are up, so are the morel mushrooms but we didn’t see any of those in this woods, unfortunately.

    

   The kids could not resist crossing the creek on this moss covered fallen log.  

    Aidan’s observant eye caught sight of several snails.  He was mesmerized by the tiny little creatures.  It’s amazing what you can find in the woods, isn’t it?

 

   The kids enjoyed fresh air, a long walk through the woods, and learned a thing or two on the way.  Frankly, I learned about some unfamiliar wildflowers, too.  Kentucky Native Plants And Wildlife – A Day In The Kentucky Woods and it was a memorable time for all.

 

 

 

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Another Day In The Spring Garden – Flowers

Another Day In The Spring Garden – Flowers

April 30, 2016

    Another day in the spring garden and the purple bearded irises are beginning to bloom.  Three years ago, Dave brought a clump of these irises home from a ditch along the railroad track.  The clump was divided and planted in three different spots in the landscape.  Looking for the name of this particular iris, I came across a website for iris lovers, and they actually trade and sell rhizomes. ►www.historiciris.org

   This site catalogs irises. There are so many, it is overwhelming, but I never had a clue there were so many old varieties.   I think this particular variety is ‘Alcazar’, but I am not sure.  I have posted the question on my Facebook page if you know for sure what this variety is, share on my Facebook page

 Another Day In The Spring Garden - Iris Blooming on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

      We had some of this same purple variety at home, where I grew up in southwestern Indiana, but I never knew the name of it then either.   The previous homeowner had planted them.

   There are three other varieties of iris in the garden.  One is a lovely periwinkle blue and another is a deep, almost black, purple.  Two of the periwinkle blue irises bloomed this morning!

 

   The giant dark purple irises have buds now.  Soon there will be huge blossom on those!

 

   The other is a dwarf peach colored iris, but I am not seeing buds on it and it is usually the first to bloom.  Thinking it is going to have to be moved because of crowding from other perennials, I have a spot in mind.

 

  It was a beautiful day yesterday, a perfect day for weeding the gardens. With watching grandkids, and neglecting the gardens, I felt like the weeds were getting away from me. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be clouded with rain and thunderstorms.  Knowing this, I worked as hard and quickly as possible yesterday. At the end of the day, I was pretty happy with the progress made.

   The columbines are really blooming profusely this year.  There is only one variety of columbine in the garden, Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Winky Red’.  

 

   When I was out this last week, I picked up a dahlia bulb, “Tahiti Sunrise.”  This dahlia is supposed to grow to about two feet tall and bloom profusely.  I can’t wait to see the flowers, which are supposed to be six inches wide!  The blooms are bi-colored in red and yellow.

 

   Some of the dahlias from last year are already popping up in the gardens.  I love the gorgeous blooms from these flowers.  

 

   Another day in the spring garden, I love the gorgeous spring flowers!

 

  Another Day In The Spring Garden - Iris Blooming on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com
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Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide

Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide

April 12, 2016

    Caroline Gilbert recently helped create a beautiful guide about spring flowers for FTD.  It matches 42 spring flowers to the 10 spring Pantone colors, so you can find the flowers that are right for your own home and garden.

   If you are not familiar with Pantone, it is a system for locating, matching, and referring to specific colors.  It is ‘the global authority’ on color.  It was originally designed for graphic arts but is now used by designers of floral, fashion, and home industries.

 Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   I hope you enjoy her introduction, which follows, and all of her beautiful pictures.  They leave me wanting all of them!  What a helpful guide this will be in choosing flowers for your very own garden!  Be sure you read about the flowers and see the rest of the pictures from the guide here. ►spring-flowers

   Spring is such an exciting time! The weather gets warmer and colorful flowers are all around. One of the best things about spring is all of the different flowers that are in season. To help inspire you to plant or decorate with something new this spring, FTD created a spring flower and Pantone color guide. It takes the ten colors from Pantone’s spring 2016 color palette and matches them to popular spring flowers.

 Spring Flowers  Pantone Color Guide

   This color palette is a great mix of soft and vivid colors. If you’re a fan of light pink Rose Quartz, grow peonies, cherry blossoms, or dogwoods. If you prefer vibrant colors like the bright yellow Buttercup, try daffodils, freesias, of pansies. For more inspiration, check out the mood boards below.

Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

    As you know, most of the floral posts on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.comare of flowers from my own garden, but these mood boards were so breathtaking, I wanted to share them with you.  These will make you anxious to look at your garden, and visit the garden center, with a new perspective!  Enjoy this Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide!

 Spring Flowers and Pantone Color Guide on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

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Hallelujah! It’s Spring – Spring Flowers

April 3, 2016

    Hallelujah!  It’s Spring!   The cherry tree was in full bloom this week.  Today, the wind is blowing so hard that most of the petals have been blown away.  Sometimes, the white petals almost look like snow flying through the air.

 

    The hyacinth’s are still in bloom and the daffodils are, too, but near the end of their blooming season.  Last year, the miniature daffodils were just beginning to bloom on March 30th.  This year, they have already bloomed and gone.  

 

   The forsythia is really gorgeous this year with cascades of bright yellow flowers on the branches.  (It’s actually our neighbor’s forsythia, but it faces our garage door and we get to enjoy it.)

   Remember we planted butterfly weed early last fall?  Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on this plant, a North American milkweed.  I have been checking daily since everything has been coming up and had almost lost hope, but there it is!  It is planted just a few feet from the butterfly bush.  The lavender butterfly bush alongside the butterfly weed, which has flowers that are flat-topped clusters of bright golden yellow petals, should be a striking combination.  

 

   I am pretty excited about this new plant and the thought of more Monarch butterflies.  This Monarch butterfly was on the butterfly bush a couple of years ago.

    The bad thing about the butterfly weed is that the caterpillar eats the leaves.  The plant will be chewed up some, but that seems a small price to pay.  Hopefully, the grandkids will be able to see the life cycle from the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, to the butterfly.  They will be in awe.

 

   The tiny violets are blooming right now, too.  This is really early for some of these plants to be coming up in Northern Kentucky.  I want to cut a bunch of these and make candied violets before they are gone.  

A recipe for candied violets can be found here. ►Candied violets.

   This ‘Pink Champagne’ Clematis has been growing here since May of 2014.  It is only the first week in April and there is a multitude of buds on this plant! 

 

   Never having had any clematis before, I had no idea how to grow these or what to expect.  The stems at the top of this plant looked dead and I had considered trimming it off, but refrained.  Thank heaven I did!  Look at all the growth in the past two weeks!  There are a lot of stems coming up from the bottom, too.

 

    This is a picture of a blossom from last year.  The blooms are a bright fuschia color and the blossoms can be six to eight inches across.  Last year they were about six inches.  They seemed small in comparison to a lot of the clematis I have seen before.  This early start has me anticipating a big pop of color soon.

 

   This has to be my favorite season of the year.  Watching all of the beautiful flowers and anticipating waves of colorful blooms for the nest few months is exciting.  Hallelujah!  It’s Spring!

 

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Easily Make A Beautiful New Wreath To Greet Spring!

Easily Make A Beautiful New Wreath To Greet Spring!

March 2, 2016

DIY Spring Wreath

     This DIY Spring  Wreath was inspired by the changing weather.   You can ‘Easily Make A Beautiful New Wreath To Greet Spring!’   As spring approaches, watching the flowers pop up through the mulch excites me.  (You know I love flowers!)  Here in Kentucky, the hyacinth and the Easter lilies are growing.  Some of the Easter lilies are as much as 8-inches tall already!   We needed a new wreath to greet spring this year!

   I had bought this grapevine wreath awhile back with a completely different idea in mind, but if you craft, you know how that goes.  This DIY wreath is pretty simple and relatively inexpensive.  At Joann’s Fabric and Craft Store, I saw the dogwood branches.  I thought they would look pretty with a big pink bow since there was a touch of pink on the edges of the petals.

 

   I love the purple flowers, although, I am not sure what they actually are.  They are similar to salvia, but the flower head is shaped differently.  If anybody knows, please comment at the bottom of the page.

 

    Only 1 of the sprays of dogwood was purchased.  There were several stems on it and they were cut from the spray.  All of these spring florals were forty percent off of the original price.  The dogwood ended up being six dollars.

 

   I bought two of the purple flowers, which ended up being $1.79 each.

The white berry bush was $7.99.  So all of the flowers for this were a grand total of fifteen dollars.

   In the picture, you can see how the flower base was created.  Don’t you love the asymmetrical look on so many wreaths now?  I think it is so pretty and so many wreaths are just over done like the people did not know when to stop!  I know you have seen them!  Isn’t there just something to be said for ‘understated elegance’?

 

   You can also see in the picture above that I left the stems on the purple flowers, (At some point, I might want to disassemble and use these again.), and curved the stems to the shape of the wreath.  These were left intact.   No flowers were cut from the original stems. As the wreath progressed, I realized those stems sticking out on the left side was too much and they were gently bent back more toward the wreath.

 

   After wiring the stems onto the wreath, the berry bush was cut apart at the base of each stem.  They were placed around the purple flowers to reinforce the gentle curve.  The area on the upper left was purposely left a little bare for the bow and all the flower stems were placed curving to the left or the right.

   The dogwood stems were then wired to the wreath on top of the purple flowered stems and around the white berry stems.

 

   The most important thing to do when using silk flowers is to bend and move the stem, the leaves, and the flower heads, to create a more natural looking flower.   Straight and stiff right out of the box at the store, they don’t look natural.  It’s always satisfying when someone comes to the house and thinks that a faux arrangement is made up of real flowers.  The simple trick is manipulating the stem to mimic a real flower.  

 

   The pink bow is made from two and a half-inch wired ribbon.  The ribbon I use is from Sam’s Club.  They have spools of ribbon at Christmas and Easter.  There are 50 yards on a roll.  The last time I bought some, it was $6.99 a roll.  That is crazy cheap!

To pin this now, click here►DIY Spring Wreath.

 

   For under twenty bucks, this DIY Spring Wreath might be another one of my favorites.   Hopefully, this inspires you to Easily Make A Beautiful New Wreath To Greet Spring!

 

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