© 2019 Carol Yamada

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JULY

Flower of the Month

Groundcover

the bits between the fancy plants!

Groundcover is a special treat for all of the creatures in my habitat. I've seen deer, rabbits, bees and butterflies appreciate clover in their own way. It's a plant you can let grow an extra few days in your lawn like a pop-up food truck and then cut it down when it's scraggly.

Keeping flowering ground covers in our beds instead of bark chips helps lower the temperature of the ground and serves as free mulch and fertilizer for the beds, a win-win for everyone!

Flowers that stay low, bloom repeatedly and can be chopped easily are clovers, heals-all, borage (in the photo above) and meadow foam. 

Since I'm trying to create a new garden, I'm paying close attention to what is already growing in the yard that is beneficial to pollinators.Using the app Seek, I've found all sorts of goodies growing in my backyard. Wood Avens, Geum urbanum  is sold in England as a pollinator plant. It's in the deep shade of my yard next to Deptford Pink, Dianthus armeria which marches through the grass very gently.  The soggier ground fills with Indian Strawberry, Potentilla indica a tiny native berry that glows deep red in the shade. 

Last week while watching goldfinches happily devour seeds from a tall grass growing in the yard I began to wonder what wild plants I have here already that are doing the job of feeding the birds and pollinators, plants I have for free! These are a few of them. I already know they thrive here, and that they're part of the bigger picture of what 'works' in my yard beyond my own understanding. So for now, they stay!

top, a mixture of clover, Heal's All and a borage flower that fell over and is blooming from a buried stem.Bee: A B.vosnesenskii on clover with huge pollen bags.

Middle: Indian Strawberry and Wood Avens. Lower left, an alder bug wading through a yarrow blossom covered in yummy pollen. Bottom, a Deptford Pink recognizable with white spots on its petals. .