Posts Tagged spring flowers
Recent Blooms (mostly)
Posted by piedmontgardener in Favorite Plants, Native Wildlife, piedmont gardening on April 17, 2015
Is it just me, or is Spring flying by even faster than usual this year? I am running from dawn to dark and still my gardening to-do list continues to grow exponentially. In the last few weeks, I have at least been taking a few pictures, which I’d like to share today. All but the latest blooming daffodils are done now, but the one in the above photo was so pretty a couple of weeks ago that I just had to share it.
The above photo is also from two weeks ago, when the fern fiddleheads were just beginning to rise out of the swamp. The shiny leaves all around them belong to Atamasco lilies, which last time I checked, were not yet blooming.
It took a warm spell to finally coax them from their winter hibernation spots, but the Green Anoles have now resumed sunning themselves on my front deck.
The Solomon’s Seals are now well up and blooming profusely, but two weeks ago, their fat reddish buds were just emerging from the soil.
My Bloodroot flowers were badly damaged by our 18-degree cold spell this spring, but a few late bloomers managed to save themselves for warmer days.
My patch of Mayapples grows larger every year, as does the patch of Bladdernut shrubs at whose feet these spring ephemeral wildflowers grow.
I took this long shot because I liked the way you can see this year’s flower buds emerging above the branches while last year’s fruits still dangle below them.
The above photo and those that follow were all taken on April 12. Weather and time constraints have prevented more recent shots, but a promised upcoming dry weekend will once again provide time for photographs, I hope.
The Redbuds are mostly past their blooming time now, but a week ago they were still spectacular.
The magnificent dogwoods on my property are a bit ragged from recent rains now, but they were perfect a week ago.
The above was an early blossom. Now my yard is covered in the blooming stalks of Eastern Columbines. I’ve long known these are a favorite of hummingbirds, but only this week did I learn just how sweet the nectar is. Sally Heiney, a Horticultural Technician at the NC Botanical Garden, insisted that I taste the nectar hiding in the long spurs of these flowers. It was delightfully sweet! Sally tells me these flowers are a lovely addition to salads, and I hope to try some that way this weekend. Thanks, Sally!
My early-blooming deciduous magnolias were also casualties of the 18-degree cold snap, but like the Bloodroots, a few of this tree’s blossoms opened after the cold had passed, yielding a perfect parchment-colored blossom.
Alas, most of Elizabeth’s blossoms and buds looked like this. So sad.
The Florida Anise-trees are blooming profusely. The yellow flecks are pine pollen. Thankfully, the rains have washed all that away — for now, at least.
The Golden Ragworts continue to spread and bloom. They’re becoming a ground cover in their area, which is fine with me.
My thanks to Wonder Spouse for taking the above photo. These flowers are small, and I always have trouble persuading them to pose for me. I love our naturally occurring patch of Pawpaw trees beside our creek. They are the only larval food of our native Zebra Swallowtail butterfly. And I’ve already spotted a fresh Zebra flying around the yard this year! They are gorgeous.
My Pinxterbloom Azaleas are in full bloom now. They were just getting started when this shot was taken on April 12.
I love this native shrub for its clusters of yellow-green flowers that call to every pollinator for miles, and for their Chinese lantern-like green fruits that form after the flowers are done.
I am thrilled that the trilliums I added to my north slope garden a few years ago continue to re-emerge and bloom every spring for me. Nothing speaks of spring more eloquently than trilliums.
And that’s enough for today, I think. Next week, I’m planning at least two posts. One will be my annual post in observation of Earth Day (April 22), and I’m hoping to also add one on April 24 for Arbor Day. Until then, I’ll be weeding and digging and planting as fast as my creaky joints will let me. The weather seers have promised me a dry weekend, with heavy rains returning for Sunday night into Monday. That will be perfect timing — assuming all my little green charges are safely tucked into their permanent summer beds by then.
Happy gardening, ya’ll!
A Turkey — with Flowers
Posted by piedmontgardener in Favorite Plants, Native Wildlife, piedmont gardening on April 23, 2014
For the last two days, a male turkey — Tom to his friends — has spent his days patrolling our floodplain for savory morsels. He must be finding plenty, judging by his size. Tom is not a petite bird.
I apologize for the fuzzy photos. I took these this afternoon when I tested Tom’s tolerance by stepping quietly out onto my back deck to take these candids. He never even looked my way, but I was trying to stay in the shadows and be very quiet.
My trusty reference books tell me that wild turkeys in my area are usually nesting about now. The females do all the egg-sitting on nests they build right on the ground. During that time, the males keep away, probably to prevent predators from having too easy a time finding the nest. We figure Tom here has been banished by his harem until the chicks are able to move about on their own.
Look at the size of that foot! I suspect his nest-sitting harem is not too far away. I hope he’ll bring wives and chicks to forage on the floodplain when they’re ready. Of course, it’s getting trickier to take these long shots, now that the plants are leafing out with enthusiasm.
Flowers are busting out all over too. Here are just a few of the plants I found blooming today.
This is just a sample of what’s blooming right now. You really can’t beat my area this time of year for flower power.
But it’s not everyday a Tom turkey joins the party. He’s an example of why Wonder Spouse and I have worked so hard to enhance the native microenvironments on our five acres. We never know who might stop by for dinner.
Happy Spring, y’all.