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 update the notes every couple weeks April through October.

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

 

October 22, 2014

• Blossoms in the garden are scarce, but the blanket-flower, blackeyed Susan, and flax still carry a few flowers. Berries on the snowberry and elderberry shrubs brighten the garden as usual this fall, and resident bees are hard at work.

Great blanket flower

Great Blanket-flower

Gaillardia aristata

flax

Prairie Flax

Linum lewisii

Snowberry

Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

 

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

 

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

 

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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