Monday, July 5, 2010

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary – Field Trip #1

If you can’t stand the heat, go on a field trip. I tried working in the garden yesterday, honest. It was one of those days, though, where making breakfast made you sweat buckets. So, I decided to get out of the kitchen and my garden since I really wasn’t up for perma-sweat two days in a row. I packed a picnic and went on a couple of field trips.

First stop – Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. It’s close, and as I said in an earlier post, I haven’t been there since the third grade. Interestingly, two other women on the “History Tour” had the same comment!

I walked the garden twice – once on my own and once with a guide. I was surprised at how many more things I saw with the guide. Because everything is so far ahead this year, all of the woodland and wetland plants – including the Lady Slippers -- had already bloomed. The prairie, however, was just getting going! I saw a few plants I’d never seen before and am considering adding to my gardens.

Prairie coneflower is the first on my plant wish list. I thought these flowers looked like delicate ballerinas. Their cone is more thimble shaped than cone shaped and the petals drape gracefully rather than protrude stiffly from the cone. Lead plant is the second plant I’m considering. It has interesting foliage and the flowers seemed iridescent moving from deep purple bases to orange tips. The third plant on my wish list is chicory! Yes – the plant whose root was/is used as a coffee substitute. The flower is very much like the annual bachelor button and can get as tall as 3 ½ feet. The pale blue is a fantastic contrast to the yellows and pinks in the prairie right now.

I’m definitely going back to this garden – and I’m not going to wait 40 years to do it.

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