The previous post dealt with mostly traditional, old-fashioned flowers. This one will cover the native ephemera and Iris cristata, which is native to the US, but not to Michigan, although it thrives here. Oh, yes—and a tiny volunteer rose—I have no idea where it came from. Continue reading “Mostly Native Spring Ephemera”
May is the showiest month in my garden. A lot of flowers bloom, including many natives. Which one is my favorite? The one I am standing in front of at that moment.
Take Dutchman’s breeches, for example. It’s in the same family as bleeding hearts, but far more ephemeral. They started breaking ground the first week of April, were blooming by the beginning of May, and completely gone by the end of May. That’s just two months of the year aboveground.
We are roughly two weeks behind where we were last year, based on last year’s photographs. Everything I mention in this post was in bloom at this time last year. The weather changes so much from year to year that I cannot tell you which year is closer to normal—or if there is a normal any more.
Weather aside, I love spring ephemera and will search for them doggedly from mid-March on as long as it’s not pouring rain. They are mostly very small, so I have to actually walk away from the window, go outside, and exercise my eyes looking for changes. Changes are rapid, so there is plenty of incentive to go outside frequently.
The purple period marks the transition from spring, with its columbines and Baptisia, to early summer, with its roses and peonies, and irises bridge the seasons.
The planter box at the end of the driveway runs south to north; just north of it, the Alpine columbines are coming into bloom. Right behind them are the rather asparagus-looking Baptisia flower buds; the highly divided leaves to their right belong to the geranium Johnson’s Blue, which is just budding up. The last plant wraps around the outer edge of the entire bed; it’s crested iris, which was at its peak Saturday.
The space under the witch hazel was rendered very sparse by the Scilla bifolia purge last year. The Diamond Tiara hostas survived being lifted, put aside, and put back. The hyacinths that have been there for decades survived being rearranged. The Scilla bifolia seedlings that had the temerity to sprout have been removed.
Time to look at the rest of this rather bare flowerbed and scout for new residents.
We’ve had a very chilly April. While I have not heard anyone mention Alberta clippers lately, I see that the winds still seem to be sweeping down and over through western Canada. I wrote about what I hoped was the final April snow on April 10, which would have been roughly average. We had more snow on April 17, and a week in there somewhere with daily flurries. It’s only 43°F right now, and it’s late morning. The garden is moving slowly, but despite the temperature and some very hungry rabbits, there are flowers blooming.
Continue reading “Four Plants, Three Weeks: Budbreak to Bloom”
It’s been just a few chilly, rainy days since my previous post on spring ephemera, and the changes are dramatic. Yesterday brought wet snowflakes that melted on contact; I’m hoping that was our April snowstorm. We did not get the 1–3 inches that the meteorologist postulated, but the ground is quite soggy. There will be no plant rearranging this weekend. Revisiting the same plant species as in the previous post, I find bigger plants and lots of flower buds. Continue reading “Spring Ephemera Are Changing Rapidly”