One Patch. Twelve Times: July and August

August 27, 2018

By: Barb Holtz

As summer slips away, I find my keeping up with that one patch slipped away as well. So today you get a two-fer! July and August are when the prairie truly comes to life. We can settle in knowing the brightest and best will parade across the earth bringing color and form to the landscape.

The jump from June to July growth is remarkable. Tallest plants are ready to rule but the shorter take advantage of the still open prairie canopy. Culver's Root and Rattlesnake Master, Brown-eyed Susan and young Queen of the Prairie sprinkle white, yellow and pink among the green.

The heat of the summer counts as nothing to these beauties. The dense, green undergrowth protects and retains moisture and roots go deep, deep, deep to supply water from below. These plants were made for this and more as temperatures soar into August and early September.

Enter August...a cloudy day boding rain and wind. A closer look finds sturdier stems topped with bloom. Ironweed, Compass Plant and Cup Plant give my favorite complement of yellow-gold and deep purple. Swamp Rose Mallow flashes pollinators a bullseye of fuschia, beckoning bees into their store for tasty pollen and sweet nectar. Hang out and do your thing, knowing or not that the visit benefits bee and blossom.

As stems soar, bees, butterflies and birds need not rummage low among the leaves. Flowers are top shelf, easy to view and visit.

July
Rattlesnake Master
Queen of the Prairie
Culver's Root
August
Swamp Rose Mallow
Swamp Milkweed
Compass Plant