Monday, April 16, 2018

Small wonders revisited

Houstonia serpyllifolia, not Forget-me-nots
Dear friends,
I originally wrote this posting in 2012. Boy have times changed since then. The wildflowers I photographed in March of that year are three weeks late in 2018. And another freeze is expected tonight. Still, it was nice to reminisce about my first spring in the mountains. And whether they appear in March or April, I will always find them charming.

In a recent newsletter, the folks at Gardens of the BlueRidge report the very warm winter has caused most of their plants to go into a tizzy. Apparently many species are flowering up to three weeks early and because of the warmth, the bloom period has been very short.

Their Bloodroot and Virginia Bluebells have come and gone. The Trilliums appeared early and were quickly devoured by grateful deer. Aside from the Toad Trillium (which apparently Bambi doesn’t care for), all other varieties for 2012 are gone.

This was all very interesting because I had no clue what to expect or when. This will be my first spring in the mountains so I wasn't sure when most of our native wildflowers bloom. Every day has been a treat because there is always something new popping up.

Halberd-leaf Violet
In an earlier posting I wrote about stumbling across the Halberd-leaf Yellow Violet. Since then I’ve discovered we have bunches of them all over the property – I’ll certainly recognize the distinctive leaves next spring.

I’ve also found two other tiny violets, a white one no wider than ¼ of an inch. The other is a bit bigger with purple markings, but I can’t find it in any of my wildflower books.

Another wonderful discovery was a swath of Forget-me-nots growing down by the stream. This native New Zealand flower of the genus Mycostis sylvatica is regarded as a symbol of remembrance, love, constancy and undying hope.

Upon further review, the jaunty blue flowers aren’t forget-me-nots at all, but Bluets, a member of the Madder family. They are sometimes called “Innocence” or “Quaker ladies” because the flower shape resembles a Quaker lady’s hat. They can grow in open grassy areas, woodlands and along streams.
Didn't know the name in 2012. It is a Confederate Violet

No matter what you call them, these delicate blooms are a welcome addition to my garden.

And with so many new wildflowers making their appearance this time of year, I can’t wait to see what’s out in the woods tomorrow.


WashingtonGardener said...

Love those Confederate Violets! Folks around here weed them out, but I encourage them among the pebbles and rocks in my pathways.

Lynn Hunt said...

I love them too, WashingtonGardener! They are one of my faves in the spring parade of blooms here in the mountains. Other folks have asked for one or two plants because they don't have them in their neck of the woods. (Can't imagine weeding them out.) Incorporating them into your pathways is a terrific idea! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunil Patel said...

Hello Lynn, I hadn't realised you'd moved to the mountains so recently (even though it was six years ago, it still feels recent). It must be nostalgic to go over this first spring post again.

Lynn Hunt said...

It does bring back so many memories, Sunil. It was my first spring ever in the mountains so every day was new experience!Guess I'm an old hand now!

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