Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Garden List 2014 Update: June 3

Here's my updated Garden List from my round of plant identifications last week :) Every time I identify a new plant, I'm always amazed at the diversity we have in our back yard. I've been asked by a couple people how I manage to "fit" all of these plants in the back yard, so here's where I need to come clean about a few things. Ahem...

...my name is Jen, and I hate pulling weeds.

We have a very unique garden at home that is unlike every other in the neighbourhood. It's not because the back yard is a wasteland that is completely neglected; it's nearly the complete opposite. I would bet that we (and by "we" I mean my Dad who is the resident gardener) spend more time on our garden than anyone else in the neighbourhood. It takes a lot of work because we have...no lawn. Well, we've got a bit of a lawn in the front yard, but the back yard is 100% gardens (plus a pond). This means we have A LOT of room for weeds. A lot. But you know what? It's pretty awesome. There are some areas that are naturally weed-free (or at least have minimal amounts of weeds) like the whole north east corner of the garden. There are some plants that manage to escape through fences from each of the neighbours, but that area stays remarkably weed-free. Some hostas, an iris patch, some bleeding hearts, a flowering dogwood, a spruce, a couple of cedars, the requisite daylily (in every single corner of the garden, it seems) and a fir tree. Other corners of the garden, the ones that get much more sun, are a little...unruly. That's where I'm finding most of the diversity of plants, so that shouldn't be at all surprising! In the southwest corner of the garden there are so many plants you have to be careful where you step for fear of not crushing one of the many I haven't collected yet. In that area we have some REALLY COOL native plants that are not yet in flower (so I won't spoil the surprise by adding a list here; stay tuned to find out what they are once they start flowering and are collected for my Garden List!), some of the typical ornamental species that are found in many gardens in North America, and...weeds. Some have spilled over from the neighbour's house, others have been carried in from the rain, and yet more just magically find their way into the yard other ways. It's a pollinator's paradise...I've never seen so many bees and other flying insects in my life! Two weekends ago when all of the violets were out in all their glory I had to be careful where I stepped to avoid all of the bumble bees. Oh, and dragonflies. They LOVE that corner of the garden (that's also the corner with the pond, too, but dragonflies love to sun themselves and that's the sunny corner).

Now that that confession is out of the way (whew! I feel better!), on to the garden list! I forgot to include the legend last time of what all of the colours and symbols mean, so here it is this time:
- Plants in bold text are new to this iteration of the Garden List (numbered from the bottom up so new plants will always be at the top)
- Plants in green text are species native to northeastern North America (specifically, southwestern Ontario)
- Plants with an asterisk (*) beside their name are invasive in this area (again, specifically southwestern Ontario)
- Any plants that I've already blogged about have links included

Cheers :)

Jen's Garden List 2014: 
44. Annual blue grass (Poa annua)*
43. Mouse-ear chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum)*
42. Thyme-leaved speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia)
41. Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis)*: read all about lily-of-the-valley HERE and HERE.
40. Great Solomon's-seal (Polygonatum biflorum or sometimes called Polygonatum commutatum or even Polygonatum giganteum): read all about great Solomon's-seal HERE.
39. Bugle (Ajuga reptans)*
38. Red oak (Quercus rubra): read all about the red oak HERE.
37. Common or umbrella liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha)*: read all about the umbrella liverwort HERE.
36. Sweet woodruff or sweetscented bedstraw (Galium odoratum)*: read all about sweet woodruff, aka master of the woods, HERE.
35. Woodland Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema atrorubens or sometimes called Arisaema triphyllum): read all about Jack-in-the-pulpits HERE.
34. Freckled violet (Viola sororia 'Freckles')*
33. Purple plum (Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud')
32. Fivestamen chickweed (Cerastium semidecandrum)*
31. Terrestrial water-starwort (Callitriche terrestris)
30. Yellow alyssum (Aurinia saxatilis or its other name Alyssum saxatilae)
29. Yellow rocket or winter cress (Barbarea vulgaris)*
28. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)*: read all about garlic mustard HERE.
27. Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis): read all about lungworts HERE.
26. Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)*: read all about dandelions HERE and HERE.
25. Fortune's spindle (Euonymus fortunei)*
24. Violet lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor 'La Grave')*
23. Northern blue violet (Viola septentrionalis)
22. Creeping wood-sorrel (Oxalis corniculata)*
21. Bleeding hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis): read all about bleeding hearts HERE.
20. Field pansy (Viola kitaibeliana)
19. Moss phlox (Phlox subulata): read all about moss phlox HERE and HERE.
18. Mountain rock cress (Arabis alpina subsp. caucasica)*
17. Norway spruce (Picea abies)*: read all about the Norway spruce HERE and HERE.
16. Tulips, at least 2 different unknown varieties (Tulipa sp.): read all about tulips HERE.
15. Hyacinths, at least 3 different unknown varieties (Hyacinthus orientalis): read all about hyacinths HERE.
14. Daffodils, 2 different unknown varieties (Narcissus sp.): read all about daffodils HERE in my blog post about plants of the Chinese New Year.
13. Judas ear (Auricula americana; a fungus)
12. Common violet (Viola papiliomacea or Viola sororia)*
11. English violet (Viola odorata)*
10. Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)*
9. Eastern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis): read all about the Eastern white-cedar HERE.
8. Corn speedwell (Veronica arvensis)*
7. Wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
6. Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis): read all about the Eastern hemlock HERE.
5. Siberian or wood squill (Scilla siberica)*
4. Variegated lesser or dwarf periwinkle (Vinca minor 'Agenteovariegata')*
3. Purple lesser or dwarf periwinkle (Vinca minor 'Atropurpurea')*
2. Bigleaf periwinkle, greater periwinkle (Vinca major)*
1. Hoary/hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)*

A purple bugle (Ajuga reptans) growing neatly in the corner of the garden, now completely covered in purple flowers.

The yellow alyssum (Aurinia saxatilis) cascading over some rocks. If you don't want it to cascade, you can prune it back after it's done flowering. Who knew?! 

Our purple plum (Prunus cerasifera) in flower. I'll have to pay more attention this fall to whether we have fruit; they're edible and from what I hear quite tasty!