As the fall colors begin to fade, our local trumpeter swans remain to squeeze every possible day out of our ice-free season. Docks now begin their long dry land vigil, waiting for the next open water season. Diving rafts pulled out onto last summer’s grass, look out onto misty water, now rapidly cooling as cold air presses any remaining warmth from our lakes. The only blooms now are plastic pin-wheels in wilted flower pots.
The prairie blazing star is beginning to show color, the cup plants are blooming, and the vegetable garden is maturing. Finally, a big rain has blessed our parched summer. Yes, the season is changing. Many signs now as the days shorten and our mum crop in the greenhouse is beginning to bud.
Now is the time of summer to see some of the native plants that send up unique and beautiful flower spikes. The dazzling Lead Plant is now in full bloom. There is also the graceful beauty of Culver’s Root, the rugged Hoary Vervain, and beautiful displays of Wild Lupine.
We now have a very good stock of most native plants in our greenhouses. It’s time to get the lead out and plant those pollinators.
We are now re-filling our greenhouse benches with lots of native plants for summer and fall plantings. We were happy to have a 4-H group of young gardening enthusiasts come to see how we propagate and grow in the greenhouses here at Glacial Ridge Growers. They each took home a plant to grow for the summer and got to see the fall mums in their formative stage as the 4-H’ers anticipate their fall mum sale fund-raiser.
May has been very busy at the Greenhouses here at Glacial ridge Growers. With April not being very conducive to gardening, we have had plant sales compressed into a shorter time. It has also been a spring of compressed bloom-times for some of our native plants. Prairie Smoke, re-twigged dogwoods, wild lupines, and baptisia are all currently blooming. Enjoy them while you can.
Gene R. Stark
A teacher, farmer, trapper, and greenhouse grower. He writes about the outdoors and the people and culture of rural America..