March 2011 Wildflower Wednesday-Here And There

Bloodroot -Sanguinaria canadensis

Spring is officially here in the Fairegarden, and that means the ephemerals of the season are gearing up for their time in the sun, until the trees leaf out, that is.

Others keep on blooming for many months, often right up until the first frost of fall, like the Dicentra eximia. Few plants are as generous with blooms as these native bleeding hearts with the ferny, friendly foliage.

These violets may not be natives but they are most certainly wildlings. Some are solid blue-purple, others are white with the darker veining. They have world domination in mind here, but aren’t they so sweet?

Gail of Clay and Limestone, the author of this meme, persuaded me to bump natives to the top of my want lists, with admirable persistence, I might add. She knows how to wear me down! Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica is a flower from my childhood in Oklahoma. We used to pick them from the lawns where they dotted the green carpets along with the dandelions and violets. The foliage is very tiny, grasslike as are the flowers. It is by sheer numbers that they attract notice, not yet in my garden setting, but someday, I hope.

Speaking of dandelions, Taraxacum officionale, shoosh, don’t let my husband The Financier hear that they are being allowed to flower! I admit to liking the yellow mopheads, an ingredient in the icing of very fine mud pies and cakes made long, long ago.

A true native with a cute nickname, Trillium cuneatum has emerged from the mossy leaf litter in the part of the garden referred to as the Wildflower Corner. Once under the generous shade of the large red maple tree, Ferngully, the residents of the corner have suffered as the Ferngully replacement tree and others have slowly grown to provide the desired protection from a zone 7a sun. It was rough going the first few years as the leafy canopy was suddenly removed to overexpose the delicate inhabitants. It was hoped that a flower would emerge from the mottled leaves in time for the fourth Wednesday of March.

Aha, through the magic of local nursery visiting, just to see what they have, no purchases made, yet, the Sweet Betsy, aka Wake Robin flower was captured for your viewing pleasure! Ours should be along shortly.

In the protected environs of the heated greenhouse at Meadowview Nursery just outside Knoxville, a wildflower corner was discovered.

The joy was difficult to suppress when these beauties were also spotted. Oh, and the flowers were nice, too. This nursery is the go to for glazed containers, such an array and the prices are reasonable.

Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica can be found growing in moist shade amongst the rich humus in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, among other places, like fine nurseries.

Opening here in the fairegarden soon!


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29 Responses to March 2011 Wildflower Wednesday-Here And There

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It is so exciting seeing all of these wildflowers blooming. It won’t be long and our forest will be abloom.

    Thanks Lisa. How wonderful for your forest to soon be full of sweet flowers! Anticipation makes them even sweeter. πŸ™‚

  2. Looks like you are an early bird, that is posting in the wee hours of the morning. Hey I like the Trillums, they are unusual. But the bluebells are really cool! Want some.

    Hi Greg, thanks for visiting. You are right about me being an early bird, it is always still dark outside when we get up around here, but the posts are scheduled to go live automatically, just in case I sleep in! Bluebells are cool, they should be open soon. πŸ™‚

  3. Layanee says:

    I do love the ephemerals. Perhaps because they are so fleeting of flower and presence. You cannot beat the blue of a Mertensia can you? You have quite a nice selection of wild ones in your garden. So many plants, so little room.

    Hi Layanee, thanks. I do have a large variety, sometimes I forget they are even here, especially with the ephemerals, here one minute, gone the next, like the Bloodroot. The Mertensia is a fave, that color is the best. We are lucky in the diversity that will grow here. πŸ™‚

  4. gail says:

    Dear Frances, What a wonderful showing of wildflowers. You know I am tickled pink that you are enjoying them so very much…Isn’t it good to find a great container supplier and then to discover they also sell desirable plants! Have you been over to Sunlight Nursery in Andersonville, TN yet? I so want to go, xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. I have not been to Sunlight, but give them plenty of business online! We will go to Meadowview when you visit. πŸ™‚

  5. Saw a few ephemerals yesterday, but now they are snow covered. I have to go see if any of their heads are popping out. Thought we were headed your way with violets, snowdrops and robins, but winter dropped in for a long visit again. Pretty flowers, Frances. Love those bluebells.

    Hi Donna, I am sorry winter returned to hide your pretties. They will show soon, I am sure, and the robins, too. The bluebells are one of my favorite wild flowers. If only we a little shadier and wetter in this garden, they would do much better. We appreciate them for showing up at all! πŸ™‚

  6. Rose says:

    Lovely images, Frances! How fortunate you are to have a nursery that also sells wildflowers. Ours have nothing on sale yet other than a few pansies. I don’t have any wildflowers blooming yet here, although I have seen the foliage of Taraxacum emerging quite a few places, including unfortunately, the garden:)

    Hi Rose, thanks. The wildflowers at the nursery was a total surprise, have never seen them there before, hooray! I would love to see all the nurseries work on adding more natives, and explaining to customers how beautiful and important they are, rather than go with the same old same old, or new fancy name introductions from the big growers.

  7. One says:

    The joy is difficult to suppress. You are absolutely right. Flowers surrounded by rocks are very beautiful.

    Thanks One. Joy is for releasing! And we do love rocks, our part of this state is nicknamed Rocky Top. πŸ™‚

  8. Janet says:

    I love Virginia Bluebells. Such a sweet little trumpet.
    I think Knoxville is a little far to go to get some pottery– but will keep it in mind.

    Hi Janet, thanks for stopping by. If you ever come over this way again, do drop in to Meadowview and Fairegarden. πŸ™‚

  9. Patsi says:

    Thinking about picking up some new plants but it’s just too soon. Maybe next month.
    Things are looking bright in your neck on the woods.

    Hi Patsi, soon you will be able to get those new plants. I have several new purchases waiting in the greenhouse/sunroom until it is safe planting out time. I couldn’t help it, had to buy some. πŸ™‚

  10. Leslie says:

    Those bluebells are so sweet! I like dandelions too…and their clocks are pretty as well. They’ve gotten a bad rap as far as I’m concerned.

    Thanks Leslie. If only the dandelions were hard to grow, people would love them and even pay dearly. They are just too dang easy. They look very nice with the white and purple violoets at the moment. πŸ™‚

  11. My Kids Mom says:

    We began our Great Ivy Removal Project last week and before taking the massive bottle of Round Up to it, I discovered trillium intermingled with the ivy. Tons of it! We postponed the spraying until we could dig up several dozen pots of trillium to transplant (at least temporarily) to another shady spot.

    I hadn’t known it was a bulb/rhizome, so hopefully some will return next year after we’ve killed off all the ivy. I’m hoping the spray will kill only leaves and let the bulb stick around for another year. If none shows up, I will begin to move some of the transplanted patch back. Two days after moving them, many are happily blooming in their new home. A good sign!

    OMG Jill, please please please do not spray roundup there!!!! I hope it is not too late to stop you. PLEASE DO NOT SPRAY!!! Dig up the ivy, I have done it several places and it is not as difficult as you might think, the roots are fairly shallow. Save the trilliums, every single one, they are precious!!!
    πŸ™‚ I copied this response and sent it to you in an email.

  12. The Fairegarden has a good start of Sanguinaria. I love how they open wide to the sun. I’ve nearly forgotten the joy of visiting a garden center and looking at plants & pots. I just can’t wait!
    Your violet looks like a native to me. I have those growing in my lawn.

    Hi MMD, thanks. I have the single bloodroot from Chickenpoet and her kids, a double from Christopher and seeds from you! I treasure every single plant of it, for so many reasons. The violets are cute, but are not the type sold as wildflowers or native that I have seen. My wildflower book is not sure where they originated, may have crossed with natives at some point. They are thugs, actually. πŸ™‚

  13. Marguerite says:

    As soon as I opened this post I knew I would like it. Bloodroot is one of my favourite flowers. Like you I’m becoming entranced with Gail’s claytonia. I may have to plant this pretty flower in my garden sooner than later.

    Thanks so much for those kind words, Marguerite! The bloodroot is super short blooming here, depending on the weather. Like many things, if it heats up quickly, like this year, many things will last only a day or two. The Claytonia is wonderful, it is spreading already here, only planted last fall. Do give it a try. πŸ™‚

  14. Alistair says:

    Trilliums are one of my favourite woodlanders. When I saw the leaves of your Trillium cuneatum I thought at first it was Erythronium lilac wonder. Just spotted this one in my garden this morning.

    Hi Alistair, thanks for visiting. I love the Erythroniums, have a couple here, too, but not Lilac Wonder. Will have to check that out! πŸ™‚

  15. Phillip says:

    I was in the woods this morning on my mother’s property and there were trilliums all over the place. I’ve love to get some bluebells started there.

    Cool, Phillip! If the Trilliums are happy, the bluebells should do well there. Good gardening! πŸ™‚

  16. Laurrie says:

    I do love seeing the delicate little ephemerals popping up in your garden. Just to let you know: My post today includes a link and reference to your “Wall Project” post wherein you found a way to battle voles, and I am going to have to do the same. Thanks for your great step by step info and pictures showing me how to build a narrow vole-banning bed. Garden bloggers are the best resources!

    Thanks for the heads up, Laurrie, and the linkage! I like when others let me know that a linkage has occurred, sometimes WordPress misses them. Good luck in your battle against the voles, you bed is/was lovely before the attack! πŸ™‚

  17. debsgarden says:

    I thought bleeding heart would disappear in the summer heat, and now you tell me dicentra eximia blooms all summer! Is it too good to be true for zone 7b? Now I have another native on my wish list!

    Spectabile disappears here, Eximia is tough as nails and even self sows! Yes, add it! πŸ™‚

  18. Lola says:

    Frances, I thought I recognized the blood root. I tried to grow it in N.C. also I had wild violets all over the place. A couple trillium’s too.
    Did you know that wine can be made from the bloom of the Dandelion? It is amazing the things that can be done with plants. Love it.

    Hi Lola, how fun that you had these wildflowers. The blood root can be tricky to get started and disappears so quickly, not so the violets! I have heard of dandelion wine, but never had any, or eaten the greens either but know they are good for you. In the old days, people tried every way to use the plants growing around them. I still know someone who will taste a plant in order to identify it! πŸ™‚

  19. Eileen says:

    What memories! I had a garden of Bloodroot in my old old house, do miss them and I have never had them since.


    Hi Eileen, that sounds like a fabulous garden! I had another house with a woodland garden full of wildflowers, and Morel mushrooms that I miss terribly. Perhaps you can get some bloodroot going where you live now. If I can grow it on this sunny dry slope, I’ll bet you can as well. πŸ™‚

  20. You are ahead of us! πŸ™‚ But, I just found the tiniest little Virginia Bluebell! (Yea, Spring!)

    Hi Shady, hooray for the sighting of the bluebell! We are usually ahead of you in the spring, this year we are ahead of ourselves! πŸ™‚

  21. David says:

    Wow! These are all so wonderful. Yes, I’ve had quite a new perspective on letting the ‘little natives’ grow in my garden thanks to Gail and her beautiful persuasions.
    Happy Spring!
    David/ Houston Texas

    HI David, thanks for visiting and for climbing aboard the Wildflower Wagon! Gail is very persuasive, she never gives up! Thank goodness. Happy Spring to you as well. πŸ™‚

  22. Oh, those sweet woodland beauties! Not that I’m knocking Texas bluebonnets, Frances! But I still miss the hundreds of Virginia bluebells we used to see at Allerton Park near Champaign.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Hi Annie, so nice to see you here. At our other TN home, we had a mass of the bluebells amongst many other wildflowers, it made my heart sing every spring, so I know your feelings. But the bluebonnets are nothing to sneeze at, unless one is allergic of course! πŸ™‚

  23. Kathy says:

    If you don’t already see a bud in the center of that trillium, I don’t think you will have a bloom. The ones I have in the Secret Garden don’t bloom every year.

    Hi Kathy, thanks for that. I will have to go look closely at the trilliums. Some do have buds already, but I think they are the luteums, which are usually ahead of the others. I had to change my post idea to the Betsys after seeing those at that nursery. πŸ™‚

  24. zen says:

    What a gorgeous set of natives! I agree completely about the sweetness of the world domination of the violets.

    And i can’t wait to poke my nose into a Sweet Betsy – to me they smell exactly like a cross between Sweet Apple and New Car Plastic.

    Hi Zen, thanks and welcome! Those violets, I finally have given up trying to removed them, there is no defeating them. I do pull the ones that are growing smack dab in the middle of another, highly desirable plant. When Sweet Betsy opens here, I am going to give it that sniff test! πŸ™‚

  25. Carol says:

    I love seeing all the little wildflowers of spring… low to the ground, one has to get down on your knees to really see them. But be careful not to kneel on any garden fairies!

    Thanks for that warning, Carol. Though our knees are relatively small, there are all sorts of tiny creatures and plants we don’t want to crush! πŸ™‚

  26. Sharon says:

    I clicked on a link to a blog titled ‘Cherry Tree And A Little Help Please’. I don’t know why when the link opened it said


    Looks like you have a problem here sir/madam. You sure you have the right place? Maybe you got a little lost? Maybe you’re looking for something you’re not supposed to find? Either way, just go search for it, it can’t hurt.”

    I’m now curious about the cherry tree. Those Blue containers are perfect for your garden! My Daffodils are finally blooming, as well as the crocuses and a pink hyacinth.

    Hi Sharon, I accidentally clicked the wrong button while writing a new post about our cherry tree. Instead of save, I hit publish, then quickly rescheduled it for next week. I am sorry for any confusing this may have caused.

    Hooray for your bulbs coming along, and I do adore hyacinths. πŸ™‚

  27. commonweeder says:

    YOur spring flowers look so beautiful! I got to see spring flowers yesterday at the New Orleans Botanic garden. Roses! And lots more. I hope the snow at home is gone next week when we return.

    Thanks Pat, and how fun for you to be in warm New Orleans! I hope your snow is gone when you get home. πŸ™‚

  28. You know I love those Virginia bluebells. I’ve also thought about doing an ode to the mighty dandelion, and I just might.Happy Wildflowers my friend.~~Dee

    Hi Dee, thanks so much and happy wildflowers back at ya! The bluebells are exquisite, and we have to admire the vigor of the dandelions. πŸ™‚

  29. chickenpoet says:

    I do so remember making mudpies and decorating them with dandelion heads; on the side of the shed that got the sun & you could see in the basement window. That was my bakery. Love,CP

    Dear Chickenpoet, making mudpies is something all children should be encouraged to do. I remember your *bakery* well. That was a sunny and happy place, by that old shed. I remember there being hens and chicks in the window well, growing in the extra sand from the addition construction.

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