A Lot Can Happen in a Week

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.

Dutchman’s breeches, left, and twinleaf , right, erupt from the ground with flower buds. Photographed on April 3, 2022.

Continue reading “A Lot Can Happen in a Week”

Three Quick Transplant Stories

Why on earth would I be writing about transplanting in the middle of the dog days of summer? This is not the ideal time to move plants, unless they are irises, but it is the time to note what needs adjusting in the fall. I moved these plants in mid-June. It couldn’t wait any longer, but ideally you want to move plants while they are dormant, preferably in the spring or fall when temperatures are more moderate, and especially when there is a promise of rain—my favorite time to rearrange plants is the day (or morning) before rain is expected. Continue reading “Three Quick Transplant Stories”

Twinleaf’s Busy Season

It’s been just over a month since I spotted this year’s twinleaf. It probably came up a couple of days before I captured it.

Twinleaf unfurling. Photographed on March 30, 2021.

Within a week, it was blooming!

Twinleaf in bloom. Photographed on April 4, 2021.

The flowers do not last long.

Twinleaf that has lost all its petals. Photographed on April 9, 2021.

These nascent seedpods will spend the next month or so maturing. Meanwhile, last year’s seeds have sprouted and the baby twinleaf plants are peeking out from under their parents’ leaves.

Twinleaf seedlings in the shade of their parents. Photographed on April 17, 2021.

For now, we are in the only sober and serious phase this plant has: growing those seeds. If you look carefully, the swelling seedpods are hiding in the foliage.

A ripening twinleaf seedpod, hidden from easy viewing. Photographed on May 6, 2021.

As you walk by, there is no obvious activity.

Twinleaf. Photographed on April 30, 2021.

It’s all very discreet, until the seedpods are ready to pop. That’s when twinleaf enters the botanically rare, but wonderful, silly phase.

Twinleaf Pops Into Action

Twinleaf just delights me, and this spring I caught them just as they broke dormancy. Like many other early spring flowers, the flower comes first, and leaves follow as the plants emerge from their capsules. Clearly, flowers are their first priority.

A wiggly row of twinleaf just breaking dormancy. Photographed on April 5, 2019.

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Red Flag Warning and 83°F on May 1!

I mentioned that I thought it was rather dry in my previous post. I was quite surprised when I checked the weather Monday night and discovered a weather alert—a red flag warning. I have several cities listed in my weather app, so I thought I must have somehow switched to Arizona. No! Not Arizona—it was my hometown, as well as the rest of southeastern Michigan. Due to high winds, extremely low humidity, and high temperatures, there was a serious risk of fire starting and then spreading very easily. A red flag warning means no outdoor burning.

I watered the hostas that I had rescued and replanted when I removed the Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea.’

Meanwhile, my magnolia has bloomed. The house, partially in deep shade in this photograph, was such a distraction that I photoshopped it into a uniform blur. These flowers really were dancing in the sun.

A photoshopped image of 4 flowers; the flowers were unretouched, but the background was blurred to uniformity
Magnolia stellata ‘Leonard Messel.’ Photographed on May 1, 2018. The background was photoshopped since most of the house was in deep shade.

Continue reading “Red Flag Warning and 83°F on May 1!”

Four Plants, Three Weeks: Budbreak to Bloom

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”

Cloudy and 37°F. Again.

We have been stuck in a cold and dreary weather pattern, and I have been poking around for days looking for something beyond Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’ and snowdrops when the sun peeks out.

Early Spring Bulbs

This year, the snowdrops bloomed first. The squirrels have done a pretty good job of spreading them out.

Photograph of a clump of snowdrops that have bursted through leaf cover and bloomed.
Snowdrops under a woody Caryopteris. Photographed March 25, 2018.

The Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’ have survived the extremely heavy layer of leaves that I put on their bed in the hopes of tamping down their exuberance.

Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’ in bloom. Photographed April 2, 2018.

They are really beautiful, but their multiplicative tendencies are positively alarming. They are blooming in the lawn under the silver maple and in a big mass under the witch hazel. Continue reading “Cloudy and 37°F. Again.”

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”

Spring Ephemera Are Changing Rapidly

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”