May 15, 2024

Woodland Blooms for
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Trillium group

It's a joy when the native woodland plants take the stage for their brief spring performance. While some of these photos were taken a few days ago, and the blooms are fading a bit, it's time to celebrate them for May's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Trillium grandiflorum

The Trilliums seem so joyful and bright, with plenty of rain and sun this spring. And the temperatures have been cool to comfortable, which has kept them blooming longer. Great White Trillium (T. grandiflorum) is plentiful, and always takes center stage at this time of year.

Trillium recurvatum

Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum) appeared here only a few years ago, and I'm thrilled to see it returning each spring since. Some of its other nicknames are interesting: Toadshade or Bloody Butcher.

Trillium erectum

Red Trillium (T. erectum) also has some other fun nicknames: Wake Robin, Purple Trillium, Bethroot, or Stinking Benjamin. It's appeared in the back woodland for many years, but the patch appears to be expanding--yay!

Podophyllum peltatum

Then, we have the Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum), which create an excellent groundcover, with beautiful flowers under the foliage. Conventional wisdom is that when the leaves are horizontal and the plants are blooming, it's time for Morel mushrooms. I've never found any Morels here near home (although we've found some up at the cottage).

Galium aparine

Catchweed Bedstraw or Stickywilly (Galium aparine) is pretty, even if it sticks to your clothing as you pass by. I like the way it blends with the ferns.

Viola sororia 1

Viola pubescens

Viola sororia 2

Several species of Violets (Viola spp.) are still blooming. There are so many in the woods, and I welcome them since they compete well with the non-native, invasive plants.

Viburnum trilobum

The Highbush Cranberries (Viburnum trilobum) are approaching peak bloom time (several days after this photo was taken). The flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.

Asarum canadense

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) has fun little flowers under its foliage. This plant has expanded at the woodland edge, which is wonderful because it also competes well with invasive plants.

Hydrophyllum virginianum

Some Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) plants are blooming...but I think they're even prettier just before the buds break--so delicate and fuzzy.

Arisaema triphyllum

And, of course, it's always a thrill to find Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) flowers. They help define the native woodland, and it's fun to observe insects attracted to them.

Soon many of these plants will fade and/or go dormant with the coming heavy shade and heat of summer. So it's fun to celebrate them now. Thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! What's blooming in your garden?

May 06, 2024

Simple Scents of Spring

vase 1

It's time for In a Vase on Monday, the meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Today I have a very simple contribution, but it smells heavenly. The scents of Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) combined with Lilies of the Valley (Convallaria majalis). The aroma is almost too much, but I couldn't resist.

Convallaria majalis
Convallaria majalis

Syringa vulgaris
Syringa vulgaris

vase 2

I added a bit of Convallaria foliage for structure. Sometimes simple is OK, especially when the scent is the highlight of the collection.

Check out the other vase entries at Rambling in the Garden. Have a great week!

April 26, 2024

Woodland Awakenings

Viola spp.
Violets (Viola spp.)

The native plant growing season has begun, and many old friends await in the "wild" area of our property. This is the time of year to delight in new discoveries and welcome reunions. It seems appropriate to celebrate these woodland wildflowers, and the trees that protect them, on this Arbor Day.

Some ephemerals and wildflowers are blooming, while many more will burst forth in the days ahead. Here are just a few fun finds during the past few days:
Trillium recurvatum
Prairie Trillium (T. recurvatum)

Trillium erectum
Red Trillium (T. erectum)

Trillium grandiflorum
Great White Trillium (T. grandiflorum)

Mertensia virginica
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Polygonatum biflorum
Smooth Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)

Podophyllum peltatum
Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum)

Allium tricoccum
 Ramps (Allium tricoccum)

Hydrophyllum virginianum
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)

Enemion biternatum
False Rue Anemone (Enemion biternatum)

Asarum canadense
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Anemone quinquefolia
Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia)

Arisaema triphyllum
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

This is a special portion of the lot that we leave to nature. We don't plant or plan it (with the exception of a few Virginia Bluebells I planted several years ago). We simply remove invasive species--Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides), and a few others--and let it be.

More reawakenings will greet us in the days ahead. It's always a treasured, magical portion of the growing season.

April 15, 2024

One of Each Daffodil in a Vase

bouquet 1

It's time for In a Vase on Monday, and I thought it would be fun to combine one of each variety of Daffodil (Narcissus spp.) blooming in the garden. Daffodils of various types have been blooming here since early March, and they continue to put on a show. Most of these were from a Colorblends mix I planted years ago, and they continue to flourish. I'm not sure of the variety names, and I don't know if this mix is still available, but there are many mix options. Here they are in no particular order:

daff 1

daff 2

daff 7

daff 6

daff 5

daff 3

daff 4

Since I set those in the vase a few days ago, other slightly different ones have bloomed:

daff 8
Similar to one in the vase, but with orange and yellow petals in place of salmon.

daff 9
Similar to the dramatic, central flower in the vase, but with larger orange petals.

I can't be sure, but it seems like some of the original varieties have hybridized: There are just so many variations. Has this ever happened in your garden?

bouquet 2

It was fun to hunt for this combination. I'm linking in with Cathy's "In a Vase on Monday" meme, over at Rambling in the Garden: Head on over to see all the creative arrangements of beautiful plants!