You can tell the native plants BELONG here because of the way they thrive.
We chose the wild senna for the cool shape of the leaves. We had no idea that it would grow taller than me the first season (I’m 5’3 so it’s not a huge feat, but still).
If you live in the Twin Cities, please let me know if you’d like one of these giants for your own garden. I’ve got babies all over the place and I’m happy to share. Be ready for a soundtrack of contented buzzing – the pollinators are coming in droves.
Every time I see one of these huge puff balls, it brings me back to my 70’s childhood. We used to have to stop the car so my mom and grandma could climb into the ditch to pick them. Back home, they were given the AquaNet treatment and put on display.
While I was out photographing the prescribed shoreline burn at Lake Nokomis, the little prairie garden near my house was cooking up its own surprises. I did a double take when I spotted the little magenta buds of prairie smoke. And I was glad to see a heartening display of green shoots poking out from the charred spots. The fresh colors seem so especially vibrant this time of year.
Despite the fresh beginning that the New Year brings, come January (in the north country), it can feel that the world has been dead for quite a long time. The landscape appears monochromatic, rather bleak. I turn to the seeds – always full of hope – the subtle grays, browns, and shades of white that form the winter palette – and take heart in the knowledge that every winter eventually turns to spring.
Each time I visit the prairie garden, something new is in bloom. On this day, the wild indigo was just beginning to open. Like fingertips to the sky, the emergent blooms remind me of a good, whole-body stretch, reaching, reaching. There is a sense of potential, of surging wild and pulsing indigo on the rise.