After another round of slushy snow on Wednesday and Thursday, today is bright and warm, so it’s been hard to stay focused on work. Needing a break, I pulled my wellies on after lunch for a quick walk to see if any of the woodland natives had “endeavored to persevere” through our extremely cold winter. I hoped to discover a sign or two of Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot), my favorite spring ephemeral, but couldn’t find a trace.
Surprisingly, however, many of the Trillium cuneatum (sweet Betsy), which I rescued from a nearby area of development last spring, are up and already in bud. There’s still no sign of other, established trilliums.
Erythronium americanum, commonly called trout lily for its speckled foliage, is even further along. One bud has apparently been eaten by a critter, but the rest are within a few days of opening. The plant, given to me by a friend from her garden in 2013, has bulked up since last year.
I also found foliage of Tipularia discolor (cranefly orchid), easily identified by the dark coloring on the underside of its leaves. The foliage will die long before flowers appear in late summer.
I often refer to the terraces that extend down to the Reedy River at the rear of our property. In the upper right-hand corner of the photo below, you can barely see the retaining wall that supports the back garden. And just to the left of the photo is a second, but shorter, retaining wall.
Each neon-pink flag marks a spot where an herbaceous plant grows. Though unsightly now, they help me remember where it’s safe to add new natives, and they’ll be removed when the area is better established.
The garden surrounding the house contains many non-native ornamentals, while the terrace closest to the river cannot be kept clear of non-natives because of periodic flooding. The woodland shown here, about a quarter acre, is a haven for native plants only.