Carroll College, Helena Montana

Gardens

Carroll Montana Native Plant Garden

On July 13, 2012, hard-working volunteers from across the campus, along with our fabulous Grounds crew, planted our native garden with over 200 plants of 32 different species. Landscape designer and artist Kari Brittain was on hand to teach, direct, haul plants, and realize the planting scheme. Many thanks go out to both the Kelsey Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society and the Last Chance Audubon Society for their generous support of this project.

The garden, located in front of the Corette Library, covers about 1,200 square feet. A gravel path bisects the plot, giving garden aficionados access to the interior. Visit throughout the year to see how it grows. Check at the Corette Library main desk for a list of established wildflowers, grasses and shrubs growing in the garden. Our plant list is also included at the bottom of this page. Questions? Send us an email: green@carroll.edu.

Garden Notes

All photos in the garden notes are taken in the garden on the day of the post, unless otherwise noted. We update the notes every couple weeks April through October.

May 25, 2016

• To our surprise and delight a paintbrush plant is blooming in the garden. We think the paintbrush is either from seeds we planted a few years ago or a stowaway from one of the plants we aquired at a nursery. Also sporting blossoms today are the flax, cinquefoil, geraniums, pussytoes, penstemons and prairie smoke.

Paintbrush

Paintbrush
Species to be determined

Penstemon

Little Flowered Penstemon

Penstemon procerus

Cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Potentilla fruticosa

 

May 12, 2016

• The garden is awash with beautiful blue flax blossoms today. Also blooming are the geraniums, pussytoes, penstemons and prairie smoke. Some of the prairie smoke flowers are going to seed. The snowberry, Wood's rose, and elderberry shrubs are thriving, and the milkweed plants are well out of the soil.

Geranium

Sticky Geranium

Geranium viscossimum

Pussytoes

Littleleaf Pussytoes

Antennaria microphylla

Prairie smoke

Prairie Smoke

Geum triflorum

flax view

Prairie Flax

Linum lewisii

 

April 29, 2016

• We are back in the garden with the coming of spring. Plants are thriving in the warm and wet weather and flax, pussytoes and prairie smoke are in bloom. Our resident lady bugs bring a flash of red to garden this afternoon.

Flax

Prairie Flax

Linum lewisii

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke

Geum triflorum

Overview

Garden Overview

 

October 30, 2015

• In the garden today most of the the dotted gayfeathers are going to seed, the elderberry and snowberry shrubs still hold berries, and a few flax blossoms are braving the chilly autumn nights. A few blooms also remain on the rubber rabbitbrush shrubs, and, while not up to summer standards, the blanket-flowers are thriving with new flowers emerging and existing flowers flourishing. Today, among the dried stalks of milkweed, we noticed a few blackeyed Susans that seem to have been in bloom for a while.

snowberry

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

blanketflower

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Ericameria nauseosa

 

October 15, 2015

• The dotted gayfeathers, rabbitbrush and snowberry shrubs, blanket-flowers, and flax are still in bloom this week, and the snowberry and elderberry shrubs continue to sport berries. The colors and textures in the garden are beautiful and interesting this afternoon and the smattering of blooms and berries rewards garden explorers.

flax

Prairie Flax

Linum lewisii

rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Ericameria nauseosa

overview

Garden Overview

 

October 2, 2015

• Still in bloom this week in the garden are the dotted gayfeathers, rabbitbrush and snowberry shrubs, blanket-flowers, and flax. Fall colors are emerging as the milkweed leaves are turning yellow. A few berries remain on the elderberry shrub.

Snowberry

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

Elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

blanketflower

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

 

September 18, 2015

• Fall is a beautiful and interesting time in the garden. The dotted gayfeather are now in bloom (finally!), and the rabbitbrush and snowberry shrubs, blanket-flowers, and flax continue to adorn the garden with flowers. The milkweed pods continue their show of opening seed pods.

dotted gayfeather

Dotted Gayfeather
Liatris punctata

flax

Prairie Flax

Linum lewisii

milkweed

Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speciosa

 

 

September 4, 2015

• September rain is bringing much-needed moisture to the garden today. In bloom, and a little soggy this afternoon, are the rabbitbrush and snowberry shrubs, blanket-flowers, and flax. The milkweed pods started to open a couple weeks ago and we are still enjoying the wispy white results.

milkweed

Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speciosa

blanket flower

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

 

 

August 10, 2015

• On this beautiful August morning the rabbitbrush is beginning to flower and the snowberry shrubs, blanket-flowers, blackeyed Susans, and flax continue to bloom. Light green berries on the snowberry shrubs, blue berries on the elderberry, and pods on the milkweed also adorn the garden this week.

rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Ericameria nauseosa

snowberry

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

milkweed pod

Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speciosa

 

July 31, 2015

• Continuing to flower in the garden are the snowberry shrubs, blanket-flowers, and blackeyed Susans. The flax blooms are making a small comeback, giving us a smattering of blue in the garden this afternoon.

blanketflower

Great Blanket-flower

Blossom
Gaillardia aristata

blanketflower

Great Blanket-flower

Seed Head
Gaillardia aristata

blanketflower

Great Blanket-flower

Gone to Seed
Gaillardia aristata

 

July 16, 2015

• The garden is a bit dry, but beautiful, today. Still flowering in the garden this week are the snowberry shrubs, blanket-flowers, blackeyed Susans, elderberry, and coneflowers.

coneflower

Narrow-leaved
Purple Coneflower

Echinacea angustifolia

sage

Big Sagebrush

Artemesia tridentata

blanket

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

 

July 9, 2015

• It is still dry in the garden this week, and the recently emerged petals on the coneflowers are fading fast. However, the snowberry shrubs are now sporting blossoms, as are the blackeyed Susans. The elderberry's blossoms and green berries continue to adorn the garden, and some blooms remain on the blanket-flowers, although they have started to go to seed. The milkweed are looking rather dry and are starting to form seed pods. The sagebrush are thriving.

Snowberry

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

Susan

Blackeyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

 

June 24, 2015

• No significant rain has fallen on the garden for a couple weeks, so our soil is getting a bit dry. A few flax flowers still adorn the garden, and the milkweed, blanket-flower, harebell, stonecrop, and rose blossoms are out. The elderberry shrub holds both fragent white blooms and green berries today, and the coneflower petals are emerging.

Junegrass

Prairie Junegrass
Koeleria macrantha

Coneflower

Narrow-leaved
Purple Coneflower

Echinacea angustifolia

Elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

 

June 18, 2015

• While the flax blossoms are fading this week, the milkweed flowers are flourishing. The elderberry shrub is festooned with fragrent white blossoms and a few blanket-flowers are fully out. The harebell, cinquefoil, rose, stonecrop, geranium and pussytoe plants continue to bloom. Our grasses are still in seed and lend a wonderful texture to the garden.

Blanketflower

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

Milkweed

Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speciosa

Wildrye

Basin Wildrye
Leymus cinereus

 

June 11, 2015

• Several new flowers have made an appearance this week. Rose, stonecrop, milkweed and elderberry blossoms are now open. The blanket-flower petals are just starting to emerge. Blooms remain on the harebell, cinquefoil, flax, penstemon, prairie smoke, geranium and pussytoe plants.

Rose

Wood’s Rose

Rosa woodsii

Stonecrop

Stonecrop

Sedum stenopetalum

Milkweed

Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speciosa

Blanket flower

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

 

June 4, 2015

• Our grasses have begun to go to seed, starting a delicate show in the garden this week. The stonecrop buds are on the verge of opening and the harebell, cinquefoil, flax, penstemon, prairie smoke, geranium and pussytoe flowers continue to fill the garden with color. Some of the prairie smoke blooms are going to seed.

June grass

Prairie Junegrass
Koeleria macrantha

Stonecrop

Stonecrop

Sedum stenopetalum

Ricegrass

Indian Ricegrass
Oryzopsis hymenoides

 

May 29, 2015

• With warm spring days and frequent rain, the garden is flourishing. New this week, the harebell and cinquefoil plants are sporting blooms. The flax are still filling the garden with flowers, along with the penstemon, prairie smoke, geraniums and pussytoes. The bees are hard at work as usual.

Harebell

Harebell

Campanula rotundifolia

Cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Potentilla fruticosa

Penstemon

Little Flowered Penstemon
 and a Bee
Penstemon procerus

 

May 20, 2015

• The flax plants continue to bloom a sea of blue in the garden this week, and the penstemon, prairie smoke, geraniums and pussytoes also continue to flower.

Flax and Bee

Prairie Flax and Bee

Linum lewisii

Sage

Big Sagebrush

Artemesia tridentata

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke

Geum triflorum

 

May 15, 2015

• The geraniums are blooming this week, along with the penstemons, prairie smoke and pussytoes. Flax flowers continue to fill the garden with cool-blue beauty, and beginnings of the elderberry blossoms have emerged. This spring the wildlife is again choosing young blanket-flower leaves as a favorite treat.

Geranium

Sticky Geranium

Geranium viscossimum

Pussytoes

Littleleaf Pussytoes

Antennaria microphylla

Elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

Overview

Garden Overview

 

May 5, 2015

• Prairie flax adorns the garden with beautiful blue blossoms today. The penstemon flowers are also out, along with the prairie smoke and pussytoes. Our grasses and shrubs are green and thriving and the milkweed shoots are pushing up through the soil.

Prairie Flax

Prairie Flax

Linum lewisii

Penstemon

Little Flowered Penstemon

Penstemon procerus

Pussytoes

Littleleaf Pussytoes

Antennaria microphylla

OverviewMay2015

Garden Overview

 

April 17, 2015

• Winter is over in Helena and plants in the garden are sprouting leaves and even blossoms. As usual, our prairie smoke was the first to bloom, sporting flowers all the way back in March. We are looking forward to a summer of beauty and surprises.

Prairie smoke

Prairie Smoke

Geum triflorum

Pestemon

Little Flowered Penstemon

Penstemon procerus

Geranium

Sticky Geranium

Geranium viscossimum


 

Garden Notes from Previous Years

Click on the links below to download a PDF of the garden notes from 2014 or 2013 and September 2012

2014 Garden Notes

2013 and September 2012 Garden Notes

 

Established Plants in the Garden

Click here to download a list, with pictures, of established forbs and shrubs in the garden.

Click here to download a list, with pictures, of established grasses in the garden.

Forbs

Littleleaf Pussytoes

Antennaria microphylla

Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speciosa

Harebell

Campanula rotundifolia

White Prairie Clover

Dalea candida

Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower

Echinacea angustifolia

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

Sticky Geranium

Geranium viscossimum

Prairie Smoke

Geum triflorum

Dotted Gayfeather
Liatris punctata

Prairie Flax

Linum lewisii

Little Flowered Penstemon

Penstemon procerus

Thimbleberry

Rubus parviflorus

Blackeyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Stonecrop

Sedum stenopetalum

Small Soapweed Yucca

Yucca glauca

Shrubs

Kinnikinnick

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Big Sagebrush

Artemesia tridentata

Curl-leaf Mountain-mahogany
Cercocarpus ledifolius

Alderleaf Mountain-mahogany

Cercocarpus montanus

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Ericameria nauseosa

Creeping Juniper

Juniperus horizontalis

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Potentilla fruticosa

Antelope Bitterbrush

Purshia tridentata

Wood’s Rose

Rosa woodsii

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

White Spirea
Spiraea betulifolia

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

Grasses

Basin Wildrye
Leymus cinereus

Bluebunch Wheatgrass
Elymus spicatus

Prairie Junegrass
Koeleria macrantha

Idaho Fescue
Festuca idahoensis

Indian Ricegrass
Oryzopsis hymenoides

 

 

Native Garden Installation Slide Show

In pictures, the July 2012 installation of our native garden.

 
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