Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday's Woodland Walk

                                    Wild Columbine - Aqueliga canadensis

Its hard to believe that it is mid April already! The weather has been perfect for planting and doing yard work.  The leaves are beginning to unfurl and the plants along the woodland path are beginning to rapidly fill in.  There are so many things in bloom right now that I'm not sure where to look first!

Pink Bleeding Hearts, Yellow Celandine Poppies & White Trilliums
In the foreground, are the lacy leaves of Dutchman's Breeches (Soon to disappear!)

Blooming in large colonies in different areas of my path are Wild Oats. They have one inch creamy yellow bell shaped flowers dangling beneath unstalked leaves. One might easily miss these 6-12" gems if not looking carefully. But I think they are charming!

Wild Oats - Uvularia sessilifolia

Wildflowers can sometimes be challenging even for the best of gardeners! For me, there have been several wildflowers that have been difficult to establish in my garden.
However, it makes them even more special to me as I walk along and spot them in bloom!

The Trout Lily is one of those baffling wildflowers that I patiently waited for 23 years to finally have one bloom!! Needless to say, I was doing the happy dance all day! Something my kids didn't appreciate!
Growing up, these amazing small 4-10" trout lilies grew along the banks of a woodland stream that ran through our property. Each spring they carpeted the banks with their beautiful clear yellow, lily-like flowers, and purplish brown mottled leaves, only to quietly disappear by the summer. I always loved them! I knew it may take up to 4-7 years for them to bloom, but 23 years! When transplanted along my path, they quickly grew like wildfire giving me a sea of beautiful leaves but no flowers until 2 years ago when I saw one little yellow flower blooming in the middle of all those leaves!! I couldn't believe my eyes, but here's the picture that captured that glorious moment!

Trout Lily (Dog Tooth Violet) - Erythronium americanum

This lovely plant has two common names. Many people refer to it by Trout Lily because it blooms at the beginning of Trout season and their leaves look similar to brook trout swimming under the water of rippling streams. Dog Tooth Violet, refers to the tooth-like shape of its white underground bulb.

Wild Columbine - Aquilega canadensis

This striking perennial wildflower jumps out at you with its gorgeous one to two inch red and yellow nodding flowers! Hummingbirds love to visit this native wildflower for its nectar from its long backward pointing spurs or tubes. Certain insects and Hummingbirds use their long tongues to extract the nectar as they hover below the blooms.
I often see columbines in rocky areas tucked inbetween rocks or cliffs when I hike. It grows one to two feet, is a short lived perennial (usually lasting for 3-4 years), and should reseed itself.
I have experimented planting this wildflower in many different areas of my woodland path, only to be disappointed that it has never reseeded itself for me! So every couple of  years I find myself purchasing another plant or two. I really hope this one will like its spot and reseed for me! There is also a yellow form of this columbine which is just as beautiful, but equally difficult for me to keep in my woodland garden! If anyone has a tip on how to get it to reseed let me know!

Wood Anemone - Anemone quinquefolia

Another beautiful little gem of a plant! I love its one inch clear white flowers and delicate leaves. It grows to about 4-8" on slender stems that often will tremble in the breeze, giving it another nickname called Wind Flowers.

 
Miterwort - Mitella diphylla

This wonderful wildflower is another native plant that you may just walk by without taking a second look! Nestled in front of two rocks along my path, this is slowly spreading into a nice little colony!
If you look closely, it has amazing tiny white fringed flowers(1/6") that bloom along a slender stem. It grows to 8-18", mine grow more like 10-12"tall. The fruit capsule is the shape of a bishop's miter or small cap releasing small black seeds. Sometimes people call it Bishop's Cap!

 
Virginia Bluebells - Mertensia virginica

I couldn't wait for my virginia bluebells to spread into a large area where my native Rhododendrons are growing.  I love their beautiful pink flower buds that turn into gorgeous blue trumpet-like flowers. They are so pretty blooming along my woodland path! They grow 8"-2' and have gray/green leaves that die back and go dormant until next spring.

You might be asking yourself what type of plants do I have after all these wildflowers go dormant? All kinds, is my answer! Just wait and see how the the woodland flora takes over, quickly covering the dying ephemerals. By mid-summer, one would never know there were wonderful native plants lying dormant, just waiting to wow me with their spring show again next year!





2 comments:

Faerie Moon Creations said...

What lovely photos!!!! I especially like the columbine. Thanks for sharing such beauty! Theresa

tkdesigns4u said...

Your welcome Theresa!
At this time of year. I love carrying a camera with me! Everything is just so beautiful!
Tracey