Chelone lyonii, Pink turtle head – A lovely native species offering autumn blooms

The beautiful Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’ also goes by the common name of pink turtlehead. It blooms from July straight through to October, so it’s a terrific addition to any garden.

Chelone comes from the Greek word meaning tortoise because each blossom obviously resembles, without too much imagination, a turtle’s head.

A great perennial for late summer colour that doesn’t much like excessive heat, it will tolerate full sun if its feet are kept cool. The flowers are primarily pollinated by bees, but the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will often visit them as well. The foliage of this plant is known to be bitter so it’s avoided by Deer and other herbivores. In my own experience the deer have yet to touch the Chelone, so this species is something to cheer about by any rural gardener!

Lucky to have this plant in my garden due to a lovely share from another local gardener, in the six or so years since it’s established, the plant has multiplied from one single flowering stem into more than a dozen. With its strong stems, the clump doesn’t flop over after a rainstorm.

It’s worth noting that there’s a white flowering species called Chelone glabra that I’d like to get my hands on! A host plant for the endangered Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly, and like their pink cousin they too will thrive in damp locations and shady glades.

It’s my hope to collect many seeds this year. I’ll be able to offer them online at my Etsy shop. The pollinators did their jobs well, seed heads are forming, and with a little luck the mild weather we’re currently experiencing means they’ll ripen before the first hard frost. Then I can get my hands on some! Culture/Info:

  • Foliage: Herbaceous smooth-textured.
  • Requires consistently moist soil.
  • Propagation Methods: By dividing the root-ball or from seed.
  • Direct sow outdoors in fall or early spring.
  • Stratify seeds if sowing indoors.
  • Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds.
  • Non-patented native perennial
  • Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Thanks for visiting. Happy Autumn! : )

What’s growing in the July garden on a WordlessWednesday

Happy Earth Day to my fellow earthlings! #ED2017

Gaillardia aristata

Today is the day we celebrate our beautiful planet. Many of us participate in the health and well being of this tiny speck in the universe we call home. Be it animal, vegetable or mineral – we’re all connected!

Logic tells me that since there is only one Mother Earth, we all benefit, especially future generations if she’s respected and taken care of.

For this Earth day post I thought to offer a few suggestions, on what might seem like small things we can do in our own neck of the woods. When these good deeds are added up, we can all help save energy and help the environment.

Trout Lily

In honour of Earth Day, I happily spent some time in the garden. Was able to plant 2 types of heirloom peas, along with Russian red kale, and some other hardier heirloom veggies in our raised beds. It’s still a wee bit cool here in Haliburton County, but considering what day it is and that the sun was shining, having dirty fingernails seemed obligatory. 😉

So, really every day should be Earth Day!

  • Please don’t use pesticides or herbicides in the garden, ever!
  • Purchase products with less (or recyclable/recycled) packaging.
  • Turn lights/TV/computer off when not using them.
  • Use LED light bulbs
  • Plant flowers native to your area in the garden for pollinators and wildlife.
  • Build a composter
  • Shop locally & seasonally
  • Eat locally grown food, and grow your own!
  • Buy organic household products when you can.
  • Reduce/Reuse/Recycle
  • Feel free to add to this list..!

Happy Earth Day!