Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wildflower Wednesday in the Land of Ice and Snow

Ah yes, spring!  Where the robins wear toques* and skates.  (*A tight knit hat that skiers wear. Canadian pronunciation rhymes with "look".  Say it with me:  "Look, that robin is wearing a toque!") This is a shot of my bird bath this a.m.  

But in spite of the very slow spring and the foolish cold, there are enough bits of life in both my garden and on the Cherry Hill Trail of the Royal Botanical Gardens to warrant participation in Gail's most excellent Wild Flower Wednesday.

Carex grayi blooming under and through the leaves in a section of garden I've yet to tackle.  So many of the Carex family stay green over the winter.  This particular one has very cool seed heads produced mid-summer.

Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot one of the first of my spring ephemerals to bloom.

Podophyllum peltatum  or Mayapple - one of the coolest looking natives.  It definitely needs room to spread, but in the perfect spot, it's fun to see how it progresses and shape-shifts.

Trillium grandiflorum, our provincial flower.  Hopefully I'll see some blossoms this weekend when it warms up a bit.

Dicentra culcullaria and not-yet-in bloom Mertensia virginica. 

Asarum canadense just waiting for warmth.  Notice how so many of the woodlanders' leaves look like capes.

And the most valuable Prunerus vertus 'Garant'....will let you know how they work after an unintended stay in the garden for a couple of nights.

Now to the flowers on the trail.  As you can see, they're not obvious yet:

If you walk too quickly, you'll sail by these little treasures.  Look at the closest tree - draw a line toward you between 5 and 6 and you'll find....

Anemone hepatica

In damper sections there are these pretty yellow flowers:

The early stages of Symplocarpus foetidus Skunk Cabbage.

One of many.

In addition to the flowers and beginning of spring, there were little snakes looking for warmth.

And bandits sleeping off the night before.

So I'll leave you with one of the last pictures from the trail, and a little tease of what's to come in the months ahead:

when the flowers and greenery will be everywhere!


Lea said...

A wonderful series of photos!
Amazing how much is blooming when the weather is still so cold.
Happy Wildflower Wednesday!

Diana Studer said...

that little Anemone is exquisite!

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

LOL. Gotta love the Prunerus vertus! Yes, they are extremely valuable. It looks like we have many of the same spring ephemerals. My Trilliums are at about the same stage, but my Bloodroot bloomed for about a day and is going to seed now. Spring ephemerals are sweet!

Kathy said...

Thank you for the correct pronunciation of toque. I'm afraid I previously rhymed it with bloke. We have the same native plants blooming at about the same time. Is the first yellow one marsh marigold? I don't know what the second yellow one is.

Barbarapc said...

Hi Lea, We've been promised warmer weather starting next week. Cannot come soon enough. We're already to burn our winter-wear!
Diana, it's something I'd always grown in my garden next to the front steps - my confirmation that spring was on the way. Was so happy to find a little patch along my walk.
Beth, I almost missed seeing the bloodroot in bloom - aside from pulling leaves away in some of the other beds - I haven't been doing the morning-coffee-stroll - not nearly as much fun when it's this cold. (Do hope those pruners still work as well as they had, they had become my favourites - just a little lighter than my #2 Felco.)
Kathy, you are most welcome. I forget that most people still call them ski-hats - one of the clues that I'm originally from Montreal when I start talking about toques. The first yellow flower is probably a marsh marigold (caltha palustris) - although much smaller than it would normally be - may just be the cold - my natives are smaller this year and the second (shame on me for not digging a bit more to check out the leaves to help with the ID - I'm thinking those we see belong to something else) looks like colts foot (Tussilago farraga) said...

I'm wondering if the other yellow flower is colt's foot? As for how to pronounce toque, I'd say it rhymes perfectly with nuke Not that you'd want to nuke a toque, particularly if someone was wearing it.

I miss the mayapple. When we lived in Oakville some 25+ years ago, a huge patch grew in a section of the garden we called the Dell. It was pure magic to see it emerge. I've tried several times to establish it in my Quebec garden, without success. Pat Webster

Barbarapc said...

Pat - ah yes, correct as well! the English pron. Nuke rhyming with Tuke. I prefer the more confounding-coureur de bois pron. harkening back to my roots. We used to have heavy clay soil in Montreal. It's so sandy here and I'm thinking that's part of the success of my May apple? If you are sliding through Town on a trip, give me a call and I'll pull up a piece of mine for you The original plant was from a friend's Zone 4-5 garden, so it would certainly be worth a try. B.

Hannah said...

I hope all your ice melts soon, and it's great that your spring flowers are popping up, Barbara. I'm trying a couple of new Carex this year to see if they will fill in and hold down the weeds. Your Virginia Bluebells look so healthy, the slugs really go after mine so the 3 leaves are full of holes. I hope they get strong enough to bloom.

Jennifer said...

Gosh that last set of shots is a dramatic transformation! Oh to have a little green already. I'm in Nova Scotia and it snowed the other day! Where oh where is spring!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Barbara,
You have more ephemerals than I do. A friend gave me a start of a trillium that she got from someone in another state, if my memory is correct. I think it just lived a couple seasons. I may have had some bloodroot for awhile, too.

It is fun to see the seasons unfold in different places. My Virginia bluebells are finished blooming already. We are seeing more and more coming up, and plants growing, even though it has gotten pretty cool here over the last week. I'm thinking it was a couple of inches of rain we got, too.

Yes, Virginia waterleaf can be a spreader. Mine don't behave themselves on their own. They get help from me in the form of deadheading, and digging up the plants on the edges to share with others.