Archive for September 2009

Logging the Hours

September 29, 2009

As a Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer, I have pledged to spend at least 40 hours per year volunteering for the great outdoors. In 2008 I unfortunately failed miserably at reaching this goal. This year I am again struggling to log in that many hours, but I think I can still do it! I will need to devote most of my Saturday mornings to volunteering.

So far this year I have:

  • chaperoned kids on a snowshoeing/animal tracking excursion
  • pulled invasive species: burdock and garlic mustard
  • planted native grasses and flowers on a steep hillside overlooking the Mississippi River (then my legs hurt for 3 days!)
  • collected acorns for planting this fall
  • planted rain gardens at a school

If you are interested in habitat restoration in Minnesota, here are some organizations that host volunteer events. I hope to see you at some events this fall!

Crater Lake

September 21, 2009

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, June 21, 2009. And I thought Minnesota winters were long!

Slow But Sure

September 4, 2009
Plant it and they will come.

Plant it and they will come.

The end of summer is here, so an update is due regarding the native plants garden I started this May. Some species are growing strong, others are just hanging in there. Maintenance consists mostly of saving the little seedlings that get buried under wood chips, plus keeping everything watered.

Great Blue Lobelia

Great Blue Lobelia

Notes from the field:

  • Prairie Blazing Star: The monarch butterflies appeared the first day of the first bloom. If you plant it, they will come.
  • Great Blue Lobelia: Blooming strong and the bees love them.
  • Cardinal Flower: Blooming bright red. A few white flowers appeared, which can happen.
  • Pussy Toes: Spreading nicely.
  • Solomon’s Seal: All the stems broke off almost immediately. I wonder if they’ll re-appear next year?
  • False Lily of the Valley: I am nurturing just a few leaves the size of my fingernail.
  • Columbine: Shriveled up, but now is making a come-back.
  • New England Aster: Getting ready to bloom.
  • Grasses: Doing well; have bloomed with little tiny flowers.
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Bishops’ Cap, and Baneberry: Needed more shade so I moved them.
  • Everything else: Slow but sure.

Last week I couldn’t help myself and purchased 21 more plants from the blogger at Urban Natives. I never used to be a gardener, but now I suspect I have found a new hobby.