Tag Archives: Sweet Betsy

Bloom Alert

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.

Trillium cuneatum (sweet Betsy)

Trillium cuneatum (sweet Betsy)

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.

Erythronium americanum (trout lily)

Erythronium americanum (trout lily)

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.

Tipularia discolor (cranefly orchid)

Tipularia discolor (cranefly orchid)

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.

Woodland between house and river.

Woodland between house and river.

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.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day—February 15, 2013

I saw my first (and probably only) snowflakes this winter on Saturday, February 2, but the precipitation turned to rain within the hour. The Upstate has had plenty of gray days and moisture since January’s Bloom Day posting, with temperatures fluctuating from the 20s into the 70s. I’ve heard, but haven’t been able to confirm, our most recent cold weather destroyed much of this year’s peach crop. Fingers crossed the sad news isn’t true. More cold is on the way this weekend, however, as Saturday’s forcast predicts a low of 24 degrees F.

Even still, there are blooms in the garden. The vignette below is inspired by Ellen HoverKamp‘s stunning botanical photgraphs in Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations by Ken Druse, a favorite Christmas gift I simply can’t put down.

Vignette inspired by Ken Druse

Vignette inspired by Ken Druse

Flowers include several Camellia japonica (top) and various Helleborus hybrids (bottom). The rosette of yellow near the center of the photo is Edgeworthia chrysantha (Chinese paper bush), and the yellow fringe at the bottom is Hamamelis mollis ‘Wisley Supreme’ (witch hazel). The pansy is ‘Dynamite Wine Flash’, while the smaller viola is ‘Sorbet Antique Shades.’ The early yellow daffodils draw attention to the ‘Gold Dust’ Aucuba japonica (aucuba), and the slightly smaller leaves of variegated Gardenia jasminoides (gardenia). The red-veined foliage is Rumex sanguineus (bloody dock), and the silver-veined is Saxifraga stolonifera (strawberry begonia).

Even better, here’s what’s blooming or almost blooming in the woodland.

Erythronium americanum (trout lily)

Erythronium americanum (trout lily)

Trillium cuneatum (Sweet Betsy)

Trillium cuneatum (Sweet Betsy)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

To discover what’s blooming in gardens around the world, visit the host of Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.