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.

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

 

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

 

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.

 
1|1|/files/files/resources/Slide show/