You’ll find the usual spring bloomers here now: quince, viburnum, and pieris; purple flowering scilla and phacelia; ‘Jane’ magnolia; celandine poppy; stinking hellebore; variegated solomon’s seal; various azaleas and epimediums; many wildflowers. There’s so much color, scent, and new life, it’s hard to decide what to include in this month’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posting.
After much dithering, I narrowed my list to seven native plants. They return every year and I love them all. Starting with Little Brown Jugs, I’ll work my way up to ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud, which occupies the first layer of the tree canopy, still well below the oaks and tulip poplars towering above.
Low on the forest floor is the delightful Little Brown Jugs, Hexastylis arifolia. The tube-shaped jugs or urns are actually flower sepals that are fused together to form a vase-shaped calyx. The urns are so endearing — they remind me of baby birds waiting for the next feeding.
Next is squirrel corn, which has flowers shaped like pantaloons. It’s the feminine counterpart to Dicentra cucullaria or Dutchman’s britches.
Rue anemone is so delicate, I’m surprised there are any left in our woods. Deer, voles, and chipmunks pretty much decimate Thalictrum habitat around here.
There are lots of trilliums here, but just a few wake robin or erect trillium. The vibrant flower color contrasts beautifully with yellow, white, and soft blue hues of other early-blooming wildflowers.
The shade of a nearby ‘Nana Gracilis’ falsecypress is getting too deep for this double-flowering bloodroot. Although bloodroots last a short time, I’d love to see a big drift of them at the edge of the woods.
Fothergilla gardenii is just beginning to leaf out. Who needs leaves with gorgeous, fragrant flowers like these?
‘Forest Pansy’ leaves are soft shades of purple when they emerge; they’re so pretty contrasted against newly-green leaves of deciduous trees in the background.
I am a little concerned about the health of this ‘Forest Pansy’. Many branches on one side seem to be dead. Also, a lot of the tree’s flowers are clustered directly on the limbs — more than what’s normal for a redbud.
Our soil is rich and moist and a prime freeway for voles. They’ve destroyed larger trees than a redbud, most notably a treasured blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica) which died several years ago. I still haven’t gotten over that. Oh well. Life goes on in the garden — this year in splendid fashion!
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Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day each month.