Today marks the end of the annual celebration known as Blue Week here in the Oak Openings region of northwest Ohio. Blue Week is an event of the Green Ribbon Initiative, a consortium of local organizations working to protect the biological diversity of our area. I serve on the boards of two nonprofits who are members of the Green Ribbon Initiative (Toledo Naturalists’ Association and Wild Ones Oak Openings Chapter). I wrote more about Blue Week two years ago in this post, if you’d like to read about the significance of the Oak Openings ecosystem.
When I started my native garden project, I was eager to have wild lupines growing in my yard. These native flowers (Lupinus perennis) are the iconic symbols of Blue Week, and the reason for the timing of the celebration each year. I was given six tiny lupine plants in the fall of 2017 after I’d volunteered at our Metroparks Toledo native seed nursery. I planted them in the sandy soil of my garden and watched all but one of them die over the first year. The surviving plant didn’t bloom last year, but just look at what it’s doing now!
I’m overjoyed to see this plant thriving in my yard, and am encouraged to try to add more of them. Luckily for me, a local nursery is selling them now, and I was able to get a few more. I put them in the ground several days ago, right beside the existing lupine. Unfortunately, a small rabbit has made a home in my garden and he ate all four of the new lupines a couple days ago. But there are still a few tiny leaves on those new plants, so I’ve fenced them off and will see if they can make it.
That naughty bunny also found my sky blue aster to be tasty, chewing several inches off the top of the young shoots about a week ago. I think the aster will be okay too, but that bunny is lucky he’s cute enough to make me tolerate his ravaging of my plants.
This afternoon I spent some time in my backyard trying to photograph this interesting plant to help you see how beautiful it is. So I’m going to stop with the writing and just show you the pictures. Enjoy!
And finally, this is what it looks like when you find a larger number of lupines together. This was taken at one of our local metroparks.
Beautiful images, Kim! I love the way rain creates magic in the gardens. Everything, including insects, takes on a spectacular sparkle with water.
Just saw a plant in full gorgeous bloom at the E. 17th Ave Freeway Entrance ramp on the fairground side in Columbus. Nothing to eat it there. You can make a raised bed (you can cut out a cushion and add soil or use a hollow tree slice) in a moist to wet place. this cuts out the animals.
A handsome plant any way you look at it. I remember being up north and watching a moose in a ditch eating them. It was quite a sight. Rabbits eat everything in my garden which is quite annoying. Fenching and foxes are the only deterrents unless you like fried rabbit.
Lisa, I’ve had success with Liquid Fence, as long as I remember to re-apply it after a rain. It even (usually) stopped deer from eating my garden when I lived in an area with high deer-density. It’s pretty stinky when first applied, but the smell fades quickly and it’s even safe to put on vegetables. You might try it before resorting to fried rabbit, LOL.
Beautiful. I hope the bunny finds something else to attract its attention away! Here we often have kangaroo nibbling our plants so I have done some companion planting using something called ‘society garlic’ in between a few things and now they leave it alone. It’s a bit garlicky smelling up close but it does have a lovely blue flower on it sometimes so it is fine.
I imagine kangaroo can cause more damage just from their larger size, so I guess I’m thankful I’ve just got a little bunny!
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