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I associate cool, rainy, cloudy weather with Memorial Day weekend, but that's not what we got this year. It's 7 p.m. on May 28 and it's still 85 degrees and sunny. The thunderstorm last night delivered .10 of an inch of rain, not much.
The native plants in my yard are well adapted to the curve balls that the climate throws here in Burnett County, but I'm sure they'd love a little rain. In spite of the dry weather, things have greened up and started flowering. The east yard looks much better than it did a month ago. The green is provided mostly by the oak sedge (see my previous posts) and wild strawberry plants, which are an amazing ground cover plant for this area. There are plenty of other plants in this shady part of my yard, but the sedge and the strawberries are the most prominent and the most durable.
Here's a closer look at the wild strawberries. Best things about the strawberry plants: the deer don't bother with them, they produce fruit you can eat, and they're cute!
When I first planned the yard, I figured bushes would look best against the foundation, so that's what we planted -- snowberry and dwarf bush honeysuckle, both native to this area. Unfortunately, the bushes haven't done that well and I'm not sure why. This growing season, my main goal is to transplant bracken ferns (Pteridium) from our woods and then buy a few more ferns to fill in the big gaps left by the pathetic bushes. Below is a photo of some the ferns I've planted so far; the bracken is the one with the bare stem and the fronds toward the top (it's the fern you see all over the woods here) and the fern in the foreground is so far unidentified but it seems happy!
And below are a few more photos of the flowers blooming right now. The first is birdfoot violet (Viola pedata); the second is wild lupine (Lupinus perennis), a plant that spreads readily by seed, but not by transplanting. And the last is a protected plant in the state of Wisconsin, the lady's slipper (Cypripedium acaule). I photographed this pink lady's slipper in a nearby secret location. Someday I hope this beautiful native will bloom in my yard, but it needs just the right ingredients, and that's a story for another blog post.
Happy Memorial Day!