The calendar page has turned to reveal Wildflower Wednesday, brainchild of dear friend and travel companion Gail of Clay and Limestone. The trouble with this meme at this time of year is that the early bulbs which usher spring into the Fairegarden are not natives of our region. But every plant is native to somewhere, correct? This little batch of earlies are wildlings in the moist, rich climes of England, a place near and dear to our hearts.
Photo: February 18, 2011 home
Snowdrop ( Galanthus nivalis ) White nodding flowers from Feb – March. Plant in a dry or damp shady area as part of a woodland or spring meadow setting.
Photo: April 14, 2009 home
Without realizing why, the wildflowers of England hold great appeal to me and have been planted widely here. Not only are they fabulous and beautiful, the magic in them is strong, being listed in most sources as part of the beloved crops of the wee folk, the garden fairies. Little bells make excellent hidey holes, sleeping bags, umbrellas and general festive decor for the many balls and cotillions put on by the fey.
Photo: Stockton Bury, England, May, 2010
Bluebell ( Hyacinthoides-non-scripta ) Blue scented flowers from April – June. Ideal for a dry shady, woodland setting.
Imagining fields of these mood altering flowers instead of the smallish clumps that are growing here, and having seen some of them firsthand last May during the Two Innocents Abroad tour, click here to view those posts, produces daydreams of the highest caliber.
Photo: April 17, 2009 home
Summer Snowflake ( Leucojum aestivum ) White flowers like large Snowdrops in April/May. Plant in moist or boggy areas.
Early and ephemeral, disappearing after the foliage recharges the bulbs for next year’s show, even the lowly are prized. The truth of it is, with the wisdom that maturity brings, the more lowly the plant, the more revered it has become.
Photo: April 19, 2010 home
Came with the property, Star of Bethlehem ( Ornithogalum umbrellatum ) Clusters of white star shaped flowers in April/May. Suitable for a dry spring meadow.
obsession with delight in the natives of a far away land is due to the preponderance of English gardens displayed in books and magazines to the closeting of our own US natives for so many years. English cottage garden style is the epitome of what a garden means to many, although the tall grass prairie and seed head rich meadow natural look is becoming more popular. Those styles, prairie and meadow are alive and thriving here, but they belong to the seasons of summer and fall more than spring and late winter. In late winter flowing into the glories of April in our zone 7a garden, bulbs rule.
Photo: April 3, 2010 home
Snakes Head Fritillary ( Fritillaria meleagris ) Chequered red/purple to cream nodding flowers in April. Plant in a bright area in a damp soil that will not dry out.
The common Cowslip might be the most revered of the Europeans that we grow. Started from seed many years ago, one of few success stories in the annals of seed starting disappointments here, the growth rate has been such that division has been possible. A small swath is ever expanding in the fairy garden, joined by the true English bluebells to form a gentle reminder of those memorable moments from across the pond last year.
Photo: April 16, 2010 home
Primula veris Clusters of tubular yellow flowers on stems raised above rosettes of mid green leaves.
This most welcome blast of yellow comes from the small in stature but large in presence daffodil formerly thought to be Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’, but it more likely is the species found in Western Europe and the British Isles, Narcissus pseudonarcissus. Our meager skills at plant identification cannot tell for sure which is the true name, but knowing this darling grows wild in my ancestral earth (Northumberlandshire) brings a smile. There is no daffodil that can compare to the abundance of bloom and prolific procreation it exhibits here. Wooded lots that have never seen human habitation in recent history display rivers of yellow in waning winter, easily spied amongst the bare branches of deciduous denizens.
Photo: March 24, 2010 home
Wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)
“When daffodils begin to peer … why then comes in the sweet of year” sings Autolycus in Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale.
Every flower is a wildflower somewhere, naturally occurring. Gardeners may try to bend them to their own human will, still the the wildness remains. Sweet.