What’s in Bloom Today?
Violets–Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) and Confederate Violet (Viola priceana) grow in the garden and the lawn. They are considered weedy and some people try to rid their lawn of them, but I consider them delightful wherever they are.
Dog-tooth Violets or Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum) are abundant now. Karen transplanted a few from her garden into mine 2 or 3 years ago and they have thankfully spread rapidly. And wonder of wonders, two of them bloomed this year.
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) can be quite aggressive in the garden, but the Red Trillium (Trillium recurvatum) can hold its own. Not in bloom yet, its spotted decorative foliage give it interest all season.
The conspicuous, fragrant, lemon yellow bells dangling from the arched stems of Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) are delightful. The 10-15” tall stem appears to perforate the shiny bright green clasping leaves. In nature, it is found in rich mesic woodlands and savannas. I planted three clumps several years ago in my shady patio garden, but two of them have deteriorated quite a bit. I’ll plant some Carex rosea amongst it and see if the water holding root system of the sedges will rejuvenate them.
My Mother-in-Law shared some Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans) from her garden when we moved into our newly built house in 1960. I brought some with me each time I moved, sharing it with my daughter Nancy, as well; so some of what I have are descended from that first gift. The leafy clumps are decorated with clusters of nodding, china-blue cups that seed themselves cheerfully throughout the garden. One can almost imagine that the pinnately compound leaves resemble a ladder.
I have 3 Redbud (Cercis canadensis) in my yard–2 in the patio area and one in my back savanna garden. An understory tree, in the wild it’s found in mesic woods, particularly along streams and rivers. This and its sister tree above grow in the shade of a Black Walnut tree with Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and Carex sprengellii at its feet.
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are the showiest of the spring ephemerals. Its pink buds turn into nodding clusters of sky blue bells on 18” to 24” stems that bloom profusely until mid-May or, in a cool spring, even longer. In the wild, it is found in mesic woodlands and wooded floodplains, although on home grounds it will seed itself about in drier and sunnier situations.
My mother bought pansies every spring and I continue the tradition. They used to come only in shades of purple, but now they are even more colorful. It still holds true that one must pick off the spent blossoms every day in order to keep the plant blooming.
What’s blooming in your gardens?