This morning I returned to the wildflower prairie at McLean Teddy Bear Park located here in Allen County, Ohio. There is definitely some overlap in flora between this prairie and my neighborhood wetlands. Gray-headed coneflower and sawtooth sunflower are well-represented at this prairie, too.
There is a much greater diversity of flowers at this prairie. Weather permitting, I’m hoping to capture more of the parade of different blooms as the season progresses.
The neighborhood wetlands are thriving in the wake of recent heavy rain. Gray-headed coneflower and its drooping petals are dominating that landscape. There were thousands of them in bloom as I walked through the wetlands this morning:
I also spotted chicory, which blooms in abundance around here, both in drought and heavy rain:
Every year when I first see chicory, I remember the summer of 1988, when so little rain fell that I worried it might be the only plant to survive. That was the summer my dad began working as a church groundskeeper, but the drought gave him no reprieve from mowing. The chicory was so abundant it could be mowed.
So far the summer has established a pattern of cloudy weekdays with sunny weekend mornings. I could use more sunshine during the week, but I hope the Saturday and Sunday light persists.
I’m so pleased that my rose mallow hibiscus plant has started blooming. There are hundreds of buds on this single bush, and it has grown six feet high by five feet wide.
The garden was truly pleased with this week’s substantial rain. Most of the plants have increased their height and their blooms. My sunflowers climbed a foot higher and added canopies of leaves. They will not bloom for another month or so.