May Day Flowers
In a recent post I shared my mixed feelings about leaving home for a short vacation at a time when so much is happening so fast in the garden. Upon my return, would I feel that I had missed out on some crucial moments?
Rather than being tinged with regret, my return to the garden felt like a joyful reunion. Buds were bursting, color was popping, the air seemed thick with chlorophyll. Let me show you a few of the plants that filled my heart with the greatest gladness (with the exception of the tulips; the next post will be devoted to them alone).
The first thing I noticed was that the entire front garden was dotted with the golden four-part flowers of Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum). Actually, some of these blooms were showing where they had not been invited. I love this plant, but it does seed itself around an awful lot. I will have to dig some out before the seed heads appear.
I like to combine Celandine Poppy with False Forget-Me-Not (Brunnera macrophylla).
Or with Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), another plant that inspires me to dance with happiness (or would, if I didn’t have bad knees).
You can never have enough of Virginia Bluebells, so it’s good that this plant also spreads by seed. Unlike Celandine Poppies, though, it is a spring ephemeral.
Here’s a nice big patch by the back porch. I know I showed pictures of Virginia Bluebells already this year, so I apologize if I’m being repetitive. Actually, the same is true of most of the flowers in this post. But now that they have come into their full glory, they deserve more attention, don’t you agree? Of course you do.
So very sweet. The flowers look a bit like they are wearing billowing blue skirts.
The Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum) is more floriferous this year than it has ever been. I was afraid the blooms might come and go while I was absent, but the cool weather has made for longer-lived flowers.
As the name suggests, Clove Currant has a spicy sweet fragrance. I placed this shrub by the sidewalk so that passersby could enjoy it. This weekend I was told by several dog walkers that they took great pleasure in the scent.
There are robust patches of Great Merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora) blooming on the side of the garage and in the back garden. This is a really underused plant. I love the dangling yellow flowers, and the foliage makes a really nice ground cover in moist shade.
Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) also makes a nice ground cover, but in sun. Very easy to grow, more people should try it. Wait until you see the seed heads.
Combines beautifully with Grape Hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum). Who knew?
There’s also a nice clump of Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum) in the back garden. I’m always pleased when it makes its reappearance.
And I was delighted to see that the Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) had emerged. I was afraid that I had killed them by mistake, especially when it seemed everyone else’s Bloodroot had already bloomed. The flowers are gleaming white, not bloody at all. You’ll see.
Well, that’s it for now. My only complaint is that last weekend the weather was mostly miserable. Monday morning was beautiful, but once again I had to leave for the week. By Friday, though, there should be another joyful reunion with the garden.