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. 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 and holds over 220 plants of 32 different species. 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 the forbs 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 usually update the notes weekly April through October.)

October 10, 2014

• The blanket-flower, blackeyed Susan, harebell, cinquefoil, and flax are still in bloom this week. One of the rose bushes is showing fall colors and the bees are still busy among the blanket-flowers. While we have no yucca blossoms to report as of yet, the plants seem healthy (and sharp). In a repeat of last fall's drama, we are waiting with baited breath for the the dotted gayfeather plants to flower.

harebell

Harebell

Campanula rotundifolia

blanket flower

Great Blanket-flower

and a Bee
Gaillardia aristata

dotted gayfeather

Dotted Gayfeather
Liatris punctata

yucca

Small Soapweed Yucca

Yucca glauca

 

September 19, 2014

• Today the Indian ricegrass sports seed heads, a distinct and pretty addition to the garden. In bloom are the blanket-flower, rabbitbrush, blackeyed Susan, harebell, snowberry, Maximillian sunflower, cinquefoil, and flax. The milkweed seed pods are still opening and light-green berries are making an appearance on the snowberry shrubs.

ricegrass

Indian Ricegrass
Oryzopsis hymenoides

snowberry

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

 

September 11, 2014

• The blanket-flower, rabbitbrush, blackeyed Susan, harebell, snowberry, Maximillian sunflower, cinquefoil, and flax are in flower this afternoon. The milkweed seed pods have opened and fulfilled our high expectations for drama. The rose hips have matured and the elderberry is sporting loads of ripe and ripening berries. Fall is beautiful and interesting in the garden; stop by to see the changes for yourself.

blanket flower seed head

Great Blanket-flower

Seed Head
Gaillardia aristata

milkweed seed pod open

Showy Milkweed
Open Seed Pod

Asclepias speciosa

rose hip

Wood’s Rose
Hip

Rosa woodsii

 

August 26, 2014

• This week in the garden the blanket-flower, rabbitbrush, blackeyed Susan, harebell, snowberry, geranium, Maximillian sunflower and flax plants are blooming. Cinquefoil blossoms have returned and the milkweed pods are not yet open.

harebell

Harebell

Campanula rotundifolia

cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Potentilla fruticosa

garden overview

Garden Overview

 

August 11, 2014

• A few blanket-flower blossoms, having been passed over by our blanket-flower-munching deer, are finally emerging. Also in bloom are the rabbitbrush, blackeyed Susans, white prairie clover, harebell, snowberry, geranium, Maximillian sunflower and flax. The elderberry berries are ripening to a frosty blue.

blanketflower

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

snowberry

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

 

August 1, 2014

• This week the rabbitbrush, blackeyed Susan, white prairie clover, harebell, elderberry and flax are still flowering and geranium blossoms have returned. The Maximillian sunflower also continues to bloom and little snowberry flowers are opening. Our milkweed seed pods are forming and we are looking forward to cracking one open when the pods mature.

geranium

Sticky Geranium

Geranium viscossimum

sunflower

Maximilian Sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani

milkweed

Showy Milkweed Pod
Asclepias speciosa

 

 

July 25, 2014

• The rabbitbrush flowers are emerging and the narrow-leaved purple coneflower petals are fading fast. The blackeyed Susan, white prairie clover, harebell, and flax are still in bloom. The elderberry now sports not only blossoms but also green berries. Last Friday we settled seven Indian ricegrass plants into the garden.

rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Ericameria nauseosa

harebell

Harebell

Campanula rotundifolia

elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

 

July 15, 2014

• After a long dry spell, the garden plants are soaking up rain that fell last night. This week blackeyed Susans, white prairie clovers, and narrow-leaved purple coneflowers are blooming, along with milkweed, elderberry, harebell, stonecrop, and flax. The geranium and blanket-flower plants have been eaten down a bit by campus wildlife and are not carrying blossoms.

black-eyed susan

Blackeyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

white prairie clover

White Prairie Clover

Dalea candida

coneflower

Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower

Echinacea angustifolia

 

July 2, 2014

• As we enter the hot days of July, the milkweed, elderberry, rose, stonecrop, harebell, cinquefoil, flax, pussytoes, and penstemon continue to flower. We are still waiting for the blackeyed Susan and narrow-leaved purple coneflower petals to emerge. Grasses are in seed.

flax

Prairie Flax

coneflower

Narrow-leaved Purple
Coneflower

basinwildrye

Basin Wildrye

 

June 23, 2014

• The milkweed are flowering this morning and provided a warm welcome to a group of middle-schoolers who were exploring the garden. The blue elderberry, rose, stonecrop, harebell, cinquefoil, flax, pussytoes, and penstemon continue to bloom. The blackeyed Susan and narrow-leaved purple coneflower blossoms are starting to emerge.

milkweed

Showy Milkweed

blackeyed susan

Blackeyed Susan

garden tour

Giving a Tour of the Garden

 

June 19, 2014

• The blue elderberry blossoms are open and pleasantly fragrant, and flowers on the rose, stonecrop, harebell, cinquefoil, flax, pussytoes, and penstemon continue to bring beautiful color to the garden. The geraniums have been eaten recently but are already sporting new leaves, and, as usual, we are happy to see ladybugs in residence.

Elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Harebell

Harebell

lady bug

Ladybug

 

June 11, 2014

• The rose, stonecrop, and harebell flowers have emerged and the cinquefoil, geranium, flax, pussytoes, and penstemon continue to blossom. The prairie smoke have started to go to seed, as have our beautiful native grasses.

rose

Wood's Rose

stonecrop

Stonecrop

june grass

Prairie Junegrass

 

June 2, 2014

• This week cinquefoil shrubs and a geranium are blooming in the garden, along with the flax, pussytoes, penstemon, and prairie smoke.

cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil

geranium

Sticky Geranium

pussytoes

Littleleaf Pussytoes

 

May 22, 2014

• The garden is beautiful this morning. The flax, pussytoes, penstemon, and prairie smoke are blooming in the warm May sunshine. This week we added a birdbath, a charming piece created by Carroll fine arts professor Ralph Esposito. Swing by the garden this month to check out our new water feature and our ever-changing native plants.

flax

Prairie Flax

penstemon

Little Flowered Penstemon

prairie smoke

Prairie Smoke

bird bath

Bird Bath

 

May 15, 2014

• This week in the garden the shrubs are green and leafy. The pussytoes are blooming and the penstemon flower buds are emerging. Plus, ladybugs are crawling around on our sagebrush. Yeah!

pussytoes

Littleleaf Pussytoes

penstemon

Little Flowered Penstemon

sage ladybug

Big Sagebrush and a Ladybug

Overview

Garden Overview

 

May 2, 2014

• The Wood's rose, snowberry, and cinquefoil are leafing out, and the beginnnings of blanket-flowers are pushing up through the soil. Plus, flower buds are emerging on the pussytoes.

 

Aptil 17, 2014

• The prairie smoke has been on the wildlife salad bar since last week, but we expect it to bounce back soon. New green growth continues in the garden, including new leaves on the rubber rabbitbrush.

stonecrop

Stonecrop

elderberry

Blue Elderberry

rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

 

April 11, 2014

• Spring is finally here and plants are starting to come up in the native plant garden. Flowers buds are already out on the prairie smoke, and the penstemon, flax, stonecrop, sticky geranium, and harebell plants are growing. The blue elderberry is sporting new growth from the base and leaves are sprouting on its branches.

prairiesmoke

Prairie Smoke

penstemon

Little Flowered Penstemon

geranium

Sticky Geranium

 

November 7, 2013

• As most of our fall flowers have faded, today we'll focus the garden notes on what is green in the garden, rather than what is blooming. (The gayfeathers still sport blossoms.) Green and healthy-looking in the graden this morning are the penstemon, prairie smoke, yucca, sagebrush, stonecrop, and pussytoes. The curl-leaf mountain-mahogany, an evergreen shrub, features dark green leaves as usual. The snowberry leaves are turning. Except for the basin wildrye, the grasses feature green leaves, as in the photos of the Idaho fescue and prairie junegrass with the October 4 notes below.

penstemon

Little Flowered
Penstemon

prairie smoke

Prairie Smoke

yucca

Small Soapweed Yucca

sage

Big Sagebrush

mahogany

Curl-leaf
Mountain-mahogany

snowberry

Common Snowberry

 

October 30, 2013

• Many of last week's blooms have faded in the face of this week's wintery weather. The dotted gayfeather and the pussytoes are still sporting flowers, and the spent blossoms of the rubber rabbitbrush shrubs lend the garden some interesting texture.

liatris

Dotted Gayfeather

Pussytoes

Littleleaf Pussytoes

Rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Overview Oct 30 2013

Garden Overview

 

October 22, 2013

• Again this week a few flowers are blooming in the garden on the blackeyed Susans, dotted gayfeathers, maximilian sunflower, great blanket-flowers, prairie smoke, pussytoes, and snowberry and rabbitbrush shrubs. A harebell blossom is also hanging on today despite recent frosts.

Gayfeather

Dotted Gayfeather

Snowberry

Common Snowberry

OverviewOct222013

Garden Overview

 

October 16, 2013

• This week the blackeyed Susans, dotted gayfeathers, maximilian sunflower, great blanket-flowers, prairie smoke, pussytoes, snowberry and rabbitbrush shrubs still sport a few flowers.

Blanket-flower seed head

Great Blanket-flower
Seed Head

Dotted gayfeather

Dotted Gayfeather

Maximillian sunflower

Maximillian Sunflower

 

October 7, 2013

• Today in the garden we still have a few blooms on the blackeyed Susans, dotted gayfeathers, maximilian sunflower, great blanket-flowers, harebells, prairie smoke, pussytoes, snowberry and rabbitbrush shrubs. Bees seem to be concentrating on the blanket-flowers this afternoon, the geranium leaves are turning red, and the flax is back with another single flower.

Snowberry

Common Snowberry

Pussytoes

Littleleaf Pussytoes

flax

Prairie Flax

 

October 4, 2013

• The blackeyed Susans, dotted gayfeathers, great blanket-flowers, harebells, geraniums, prairie smoke, pussytoes, snowberry and rabbitbrush shrubs, and white prairie clover still have blossoms this week. Stonecrop plants have pushed up through the landscaping bark to make yet another appearance in the garden. The maximilian sunflower, which has been in bloom since the last week of July, continues to flower.

Blanket flower

Great Blanket-flower

Cone flower

Seed Head of the
Narrow-leaved
Purple Coneflower

Wood's Rose hips

Wood's Rose

Idaho fescue

Idaho Fescue

June grass

Prairie Junegrass

Stonecrop

Stonecrop

 

September 26, 2013

• This week the the blackeyed Susans, dotted gayfeathers, great blanket-flowers, harebells, geraniums, snowberry and rabbitbrush shrubs, and white prairie clover continue to flower in the garden. The elderberry berries have ripened and more prairie smoke blossoms have opened. We also found a little pussytoes plant in bloom this morning.

Elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Harebell

Harebell

Garden overview

Garden Overview

 

September 19, 2013

• The blackeyed Susans continue to brighten the garden this morning, as do the dotted gayfeathers, great blanket-flowers, harebells, geraniums, snowberry shrubs, and white prairie clover. We also managed to find another single flax blossom. The elderberry fruits are finally turning from green to blue. More blooms on the rabbitbrush are fading, but enough flowers remain to keep the bees busy.

snowberry

Common Snowberry

elderberry

Blue Elderberry

rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

 

September 9, 2013

• We found only a single flax flower in the garden this morning. The dotted gayfeathers, blackeyed Susans, prairie smoke, great blanket-flowers, harebells, geraniums, snowberry shrubs, and white prairie clover continue to bloom this week. Most flowers on the rabbitbrush shrubs are still going strong, but a few have started to turn a little brown.

gayfeather2

Dotted Gayfeather

sticky geranium

Sticky Geranium

Blackeyed Susan

Blackeyed Susan

 

September 4, 2013

• The dotted gayfeather is in bloom, at last. The blackeyed Susans, prairie smoke, great blanket-flowers, flax, harebells, geraniums, snowberry and rabbitbrush shrubs, and white prairie clover continue to flower. Even as summer is winding down, the garden is filled with interesting and colorful plants. The bees are working steadily on our late-summer blossoms.

dotted gayfeather

Dotted Gayfeather

blanketflower94

Great Blanket-flower

white prairie clover

White Prairie Clover

rubber rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

 

August 26, 2013

• Species blooming in the garden last week are still in flower today, and the dotted gayfeather buds have not yet opened. This morning in the garden we spotted a rabbit hiding under the rubber rabbitbrush.

rabbit

Rabbit

gayfeather

Dotted Gayfeather

geranium

Sticky Geranium

sunflower

Maximilian Sunflower

 

August 19, 2013

• Today the blackeyed Susans, great blanket-flowers, flax, harebells, geraniums, snowberry and rabbitbrush shrubs, and white prairie clover are still in bloom. The rose hips are ripening, sagebrush plants are popping up in the garden path, and we are waiting with bated breath for the dotted gayfeather buds to open.

woods rose hip

Wood's Rose

rubber rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

sagebrush

Big Sagebrush

 

August 12, 2013

• The Maximillian sunflower is sporting a plethora of blossoms this week, and the blackeyed Susans, great blanket-flowers, flax, harebells, geraniums, snowberry and rabbitbrush shrubs, and white prairie clover are still in bloom. To our delight, the prairie smoke have started to flower again. 

prairie smoke

Prairie Smoke

garden overview

Garden Overview

 

August 8, 2013

• This week the blackeyed Susans, great blanket-flowers, flax, harebells, geraniums, Maximilian sunflower, and rabbitbrush shrubs are still in bloom. The flowers on the narrow-leaved purple coneflowers are almost spent and milkweed blossoms are gone, but the white prairie clover is recovering and blooming after being eaten down a week or two ago. The snowberry shrubs have been in flower since the week of July 12 and are still going strong, and the elderberry now sports little green berries. Last week we laid new bark in the garden to cover a few drip irrigation lines and bare spots. 

common snowberry

Common Snowberry

white prairie clover

White Prairie Clover

 

 

July 29, 2013

• A volunteer native plant, the Helianthus maximiliani or Maximilian sunflower, is blooming in the garden today. (We celebrate when a volunteer turns out to be a native plant instead of a weed.) Also in flower are the narrow-leaved purple coneflowers, blue elderberry, blackeyed Susans, great blanket-flowers, harebells, geraniums, and milkweed. A few rubber rabbitbrush flower buds are just opening. Our white prairie clover blooms have been eaten, but we are looking forward to other blossoms from this plant. The flowers on the flax seem to be making a bit of a comeback.

sunflower

Maximilian Sunflower

rubber rabbitbrush

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Flax

Prairie Flax

 

July 22, 2013

• This week a white prairie clover is just starting to bloom. Flowers on the narrow-leaved purple coneflowers, blue elderberry, blackeyed Susans, great blanket-flowers, and harebells are still open. The geraniums are recovering well from their time on the wildlife salad bar. The flax have mostly gone to seed and the penstemons and shrubby cinquefoils have faded. Our rose bushes are sporting hips and ladybugs. While some milkweeds bear blossoms old and whithered, others feature new buds ready to open. Stop by the garden to see all the changes in person.

white prairie clover

White Prairie Clover

geranium

Sticky Geranium

rose hip

Wood's Rose

ladybug on rose

Wood's Rose

 

July 8, 2013

• The narrow-leaved purple coneflower is in flower this week, along with the blue elderberry. Flowers on the milkweed, stonecrop, blackeyed Susans, great blanket-flower, harebell, Wood’s rose, shrubby cinquefoil, flax, and penstemon are still open. The pussytoes are going to seed and the prairie smoke seems to be finished blooming. The grasses still have seed heads.

purple coneflower

Purple Coneflower

blue elderberry

Blue Elderberry

basinwildrye

Basin Wildrye

bluebunchwheatgrass

Bluebunch Wheatgrass

 

July 1, 2013

• Stop by the garden this month as all the mid-summer colors emerge. The milkweed, stonecrop, and blackeyed Susans are now blooming, joining the great blanket-flower, harebell, sticky geranium, pussytoes, Wood’s rose, shrubby cinquefoil, flax, and penstemon. A couple prairie smoke flowers are still out; we missed listing those in the June 24 note below. The narrow-leaved purple coneflower and the blue elderberry are almost in flower. The Idaho fescue seed heads are well-turned from green to gold. The seed heads on the prairie junegrass are also golden now, with the exception of those on one bunch, shown in the photo below.

showy milkweed

Showy Milkweed

blackeyedsusan

Blackeyed Susan

stonecrop

Stonecrop

prairie junegrass

Prairie Junegrass

pussytoes

Pussytoes

 

 

June 24, 2013

• This week the harebell, sticky geranium, pussytoes, Wood’s rose, shrubby cinquefoil, flax, and penstemon are still blooming. Petals are emerging on the great blanket-flowers, and we are keeping a close eye on the milkweed, which looks like it will blossom soon. The prairie junegrass, basin wildrye, and bluebunch wheatgrass are still in seed. As usual, our bees are busy.

Great blanket-flower

Great Blanket-flower

Milkweed

Showy Milkweed

Woods rose and bee

Wood's Rose

 

June 17, 2013

• This week we have a harebell blooming, along with sticky geranium, Wood’s rose, shrubby cinquefoil, flax, pussytoes, and penstemon. We also caught a bee in action today. (All photos in the Garden Notes are taken in the garden the day of the post, unless otherwise noted.)

Bee

Little Flowered Penstemon

harebell

Harebell

harebell2

Harebell

 

June 10, 2013

• Flowers on the sticky geranium, Wood’s rose, and shrubby cinquefoil have opened, and flax, pussytoes, penstemon, and prairie smoke are still in bloom. Grasses are in seed and beautiful.

sgeranium

Sticky Geranium

Wood's Rose

Wood's Rose

Shrubby cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil

 

June 4, 2013

• Flax, pussytoes, penstemon, and prairie smoke are blooming in the garden today. The sticky geranium flower buds are about ready to open. A few kinnikinnick plants look like they had a hard winter, but they are coming back. Most plants are thriving, and we are looking forward to a summer of new growth and discovery. Stop by to explore the native garden in person.

geranium

Sticky Geranium

flax

Prairie Flax

garden

Carroll's Montana Native Plant Garden

 

September 2012

• Please join us for an open house at Carroll's native plant garden on Friday, September 14, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Check out some of Montana's beautiful native plants right here on campus. Members of the Carroll Green Team will answer your questions, give you a tour, and provide ice cream to the first 20 or so visitors. The National Weather Service says campus temps will reach 85 degrees tomorrow. The garden is located in front of the Corette Library.


• We replaced 24 plants this month, adding:

Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
Dotted Gayfeather, Liatris puntata
Little Flowered Penstemon, Penstemon procerus
Harebell, Campanula rotundifolia
Sticky Geranium, Geranium viscossimum
White Prairie Clover, Dalea candida

and removing, because they are not native to Montana:

Blazing Star, Liatris spicata
Rocky Mountain Penstemon, Penstemon strictus

Plants in the Garden

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

Click here to download a list, with pictures, of 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 cinerus

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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