Fireflies Spotted!

How could I pass up passing this on? If the parade of ice cream going up and down the street didn’t prove it was summer—the cool temperatures the last few days certainly didn’t—these surely do.

Fireflies resting on Solomon’s seal (Heronswood). Photographed June 28, 2017.

Fireflies used to be a mid-July treat, but they are moving into June. These are the only non-botanical fireworks I have.

A Cool Respite: Solomon’s Seal

It is not yet 9:30 a.m., but it is 81°F. Ugh. The heat index is 84°. Many plants are taking on the faintly blue cast of water stress; we have not had enough rain to thoroughly wet the sidewalk under the honey locust so far this June.

Time to look at a lovely, well-hydrated green. There is something singularly cooling about those flowers.

This is a Japanese Solomon’s seal, Polygonatum latifolium ‘Heronswood’ in full bloom. Photographed May 20, 2017.

[Corrected on August 17, 2020. I incorrectly passed on the erroneous information I received at the nursery when I purchased this lovely plant. It remains one of my favorites.]

Twinleaf Revisited

The twinleaf has revealed its true self. It looks like a cigar-smoking little alien, doesn’t it? This is twinleaf at its silliest. How many plants can you say have a well-defined silly stage?

Twinleaf seedpod, just popped. Photographed June 10, 2017.

But this toothy stage is hard to catch—from the time the first pod pops until the last seed is gone is less than 24 hours. Here is a seedpod very carefully clipped and held so that you can see its full seediness.  Continue reading “Twinleaf Revisited”

A Geranium Surprise

I was out deadheading—I tend to deadhead while I am drinking my second cup of coffee. It’s a good way to allow the tasks of the day to get themselves in order while you do something mindless, but the curly bits sticking out from the geraniums, Geranium maculatum—the cranesbills—got my attention.

Here’s what I found.

Geraniums going to seed. The pod on the left has already tossed its seed, but the one on the right has not. Photographed June 8, 2017.

What a hoot. As the cranesbills dry out, the outside face curls up and flings the seed out of those little cups into the world. That explains how they arrived in my yard—they really did jump ship.

Looking Back on May Flowers

May is always remarkably busy in the garden. It goes from largely native spring ephemera to the big blowsy traditional flowers that people associate with old-fashioned gardens: roses, peonies, bleeding hearts and allium.

But before talking about those more traditional plants, perhaps in the next post or two, I would like to talk about Iris cristata. Today, the foliage is doing its ground cover duty, but at the beginning of the month, the Iris cristata were just leafed out and showing flower buds. Continue reading “Looking Back on May Flowers”