Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Walk Through the Meadow

Since we're touring the garden we can't leave out the meadow can we?  The grasses have long since dried and spring flowers have changed to fall.  In the last week the asters started to bloom.

The large flowered white aster with the yellow button

The tiny white Aster lateriflorus or Calico Aster with its horizontal branches and pink buttons changing to yellow.

And the large purple asters.  They flower with such abundance and everywhere I look there's another plant.   How lucky we are that this lawn turned meadow should be so full of this quietly beautiful flower.

Also flowering in abundance is goldenrod.  Last year there was not a single plant in the meadow and I wondered how that could be since the hedgerow is full of goldenrod.  Perhaps the plants just needed an extra year to grow as they are showing up in great numbers now.

Another plant I don't recall seeing last year in the field is this funny plant.  This year it is turning up everywhere on the property it seems.  I suspect it is Hemp Nettle, a weed introduced from Europe.

Although I noticed this next plant last year it seems to have covered more ground this year.

Common toadflax is another invasion from Europe, brought in as an ornamental plant.

I have really struggled to identify this next bloom.  I found a group of them hidden in a shaded patch tucked between my neighbours hedge and the roadside.   

They appear to be a double flower and are quite pretty.  Does anyone have ideas about what it might be?

As it happens I discovered this bloom's identity is while looking for something else!  It is an ornamental plant from Europe, traditionally used in cottage gardens.  Saponaria officinalis is often called Bouncing Bet.  This particular flower is a double form called Rosea plena.

In that same secluded corner is my native Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana.  This plant has grown by leaps and bounds since being planted last spring and is beginning to put out tiny yellow flowers now this fall.

And what would a trip into the meadow be if I didn't show you the progress of my little red oak?

I simply cannot believe how much this tree has grown this year.  It is close to the size it was when we first bought it last spring.  After being gnawed to bits by voles this past winter all that you see here is brand new growth.  That's several feet of new growth in one season.  Truly truly astounding.


  1. That little red oak will be a huge tree in the future, and that is the amazing thing. Meanwhile it is so rewarding to see new growth each year as it starts its 300 year journey in your meadow.

  2. So glad you tree recovered after being eaten by voles! It will be a beautiful tree. Love all the meadow plants. Asters are one of my favorite.

  3. I don't know what that pink flower is, but it sure is pretty! It could be an ornamental that self sowed through wind/birds. Has fall already started for you? Only one of my fall blooming asters are flowering right now. It's been so cool and rainy thanks to Tropical Storm Lee, it feels like fall! I'm not quite ready to give up on summer, yet.

  4. Oh, I love Golden Rod. Made a fall wreath with it for my front door a few years ago. Pretty meadow blooms you have.

  5. I see a lot of toadflax up here and never realized it was an invasive brought from Europe. I just assumed it to be a pretty wildflower and never knew it brought to be an ornamental for gardens. Glad you mentioned all this. I am not that knowledgeable about weeds (wildflowers) and like learning more.

  6. So much loveliness in your meadow - and wonderful to see your oak thriving despite being gnawed on.

  7. Love that pink flower, but I also don't have any idea what it is.

    There is so much beauty in a meadow :)

  8. Laurrie - I have my fingers crossed this tree makes it 300 years. If only I can stop the rodents from eating it away each winter.

    Holley - The red oak really is so lovely. I'm eagerly anticipated the red leaves coming in the next month.

    Johanna - me too :)

    TS - I'm in denial about fall because I still have so much spring work to accomplish! But the truth is there was a shift this week and the temperatures are decidedly colder. I have even seen a maple or two with some funny coloured leaves *big sigh*

    Tufa - I never would have thought of using goldenrod for a wreath. What a great idea.

  9. Donna - I like the challenge of identifying the plants in our field because often what I think is a wildflower often turns out to be something else. It's something I'm struggling to learn more about all the time.

    Janet - All I can think is that root must have been in great shape to sprout a whole new tree in the last couple of months.

    Kyna - I'm always amazed at the number of plants out there. I seem to find something new all the time.

  10. I love your little red oak! And what a lovely meadow.