Yesterday, while walking through the woods, I decided to take a deer trail down to the creek on my neighbor’s property. Not 20 feet down the trail I found a beautiful little wildflower that I had not seen before. Thanks to the Maryland Native Plants Society I was able to identify it as the Cut-leaved Toothwort or Pepper Root (Dentaria lacinata). This is a charming Spring wildflower that flowers at the same time as Spring Beauties and Bluebells. You never know what you are going to see beneath your feet. I looked around and there was only this one little plant that has colonized (by roots presumably) an area right on the deer path). I can see that it’s going to get trampled but I just can’t bring myself to lift this plant and take to safety on our property 🙂 I guess the only thing to do is to buy some for myself from Lazy S or some such place that specializes in wildflowers.
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
It is prime time for Daffodils around here. Everyday has its mandatory viewing and smelling. Whether it is on a cloudy night just before a thunderstorm…
or as a massed grouping on the hillside,
or on the dining room table in one of Beth’s flower arrangements with the western sun streaming in
or just one by one in personal encounters with perfection. Here are some of the best of this year’s crop so far.
I think it is especially rewarding at this time of year to see the plants that you had long given up on turning out to be actually a vibrant part of your garden. Last year I planted a number of wild flowers in the woods hoping that one or more might survive. So far it is turning out that many of them are now part of a woods that is becoming a haven for wild flowers. The latest additions are Spring Beauties. I actually planted 10 of the Claytonia Siberica from Sunshine Farm and Gardens. But in the process noticed a little Claytonia Virginica that I had purchased from Lazy S last year. And that one has just come into bloom.
Another pleasing arrival to the woods this year is the Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). There are many colonies in local woods and along the roadsides but I didn’t feel right digging from those any more than I would dig up local wildflowers. I had tried previously planting from plants ordered online but nothing had appeared. This year I found not one, but two Mayapples coming up in the woods. Whoopee! Once started they should spread freely spread their little umbrella colonies in our woods.
And another special surprise in the yard was a plant I bought from Lazy S last year and then totally forgot about — Anemonella Thalictroides. The common name is Rue Anemone which accounts for the Meadow Rue like leaves and the small delicate white flowers that resemble Anemone Sylvestris.
It is wonderful to see a new surprise in every day’s walkabout the grounds…
Well before any of our Cherries or Apples come into bloom the Apricot puts out it’s blossoms, testing the cold spring nights. They come without leaves and with startling red calyxes that contrast with the pure white petals and yellow stamens. Though the advertised purpose of the Sweetheart Apricot is it’s almond-like nut we find that both the nut and the fruit are modestly useful at best, but the flowers…
This is the time of the year when the little bulbs get to strut their stuff as they accelerate their flowering to finish the important tasks before the trees start casting shade about. I confess that I’ve had to struggle to keep the names straight because I rarely label all the little guys in the fall when I’m planting 25 or 50 of them and then come spring I wish I had given myself a few hints as to what little beauties are appearing. I have to give the main prize to Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa) which are on task to naturalize all of our seven acres…
There are also pink and white versions and all of them lift their faces to the sun, unlike their more bell-like cousins the scillas.
The Scillas also naturalize well and we have several small colonies around the yard and in the forest.
One particularly cute addition this year is the Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’ which is about half the size of the other Scillas but does have the nice attribute of facing upward with the flowers with a lovely shaded pink color.
Another new addiition for us is the Muscari neglectum which has come out before the other Muscari and is much taller with a very dark purple-black color to the emerging flower.
And I can’t resist sharing the emerging flower from the Sharp-lobed Hepatica which I thought had died and gone to flower heaven. It’s so much fun to discover that these hardy little plants have just been recuperating and are ready to share flowers again.