Wildflower Week

It was a good year for the dogwoods.

Ample rainfall and stretches of cool days in between the sunny, high temp ones extended the bloom time of my favorite trees.

Spring wouldn’t be the same without our native Cornus florida. Many pink ones have been added here, dotting the hillside.

The native whites dwell happily under the tall pines, along with a Forest Pansy redbud, a red leaf cultivar of the pinky purple flowered native trees that blooms in tandem with the dogwoods. The white dogwoods are returning now, seedlings reaching blooming size after a devastating scourge of Anthracnose felled most of the mature specimens several years ago. It is a gladdening sight, the white bits amongst the woodland edges.

Perhaps, if forced to do so, our pick for the favorite wildflowerflower might be the native Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis.

While I have always loved the red lantern flowers, this particular plant was a passalong gift from offspring Chickenpoet’s boys, MA and GA one year for my birthday. It is a treasure beyond measure and has even produced a couple of seedlings, now blooming size. Spread the wealth!

There are several trilliums growing here, we like to add them as they become available in various nursery forays. Some years they bloom, sometimes not, but Trillium luteum is the most reliable to produce its yellow clasping flowers each spring.

The newest addition of the three leaf lads, or lassies as the case may be, is the bent trillium, T. flexipes. A recent plant sale at the University of Tennessee arboretum was a wonder of wildflowers on offer. A very cold and windy day resulted in the breakage of one of the two bloom stalks on this plant while in transit. At least one survived to be photographed after it was planted safely back home.

This little beauty shows itself during the winter months, going dormant during the summer. Before blogging began, but after blog reading had started, I emailed a photo of this plant to Nan Ondra. She found the name, but it has been lost here in the crashing of computers since then. Does anyone know it? I believe it is a fern of some sort.

The ephemerals of springtime in the limited woodland area in the Fairegarden are most precious. The vagaries of weather can upset their delicate sensibilities. 2011 was a good year for the Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, seen growing under the now large enough to provide shade Japanese Maple tree, Acer palmatum ‘Peaches And Cream’. Let us hope that portends good things for the rest of the growing season and beyond.

It has been determined that rather than just the one usual day, the fourth Wednesday of the month set aside for celebrating wildflowers, thanks to my dear friend Gail of Clay and Limestone, this entire week will be devoted to singing the praises of the native blooms and foliage. This may be considered part one. Stay tuned for parts two and three! Feel free to join in the fun, adding your links to Gail’s page.

Part two: Wildflower Week Continues
Part Three: Wildflower Week Finale


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19 Responses to Wildflower Week

  1. gail says:

    Dear Frances, Good Wildflower celebration Week! Hasn’t it been a splendid Spring and I can see the evidence in your garden, too. It’s as if the flowers have all decided to serenade us after the gardening year we’ve had! I love T luteum~it’s such a sweet Trillium and can it get tall! Columbine has outdone itself this year~So it’s not just in my garden! It’s a star! Happy Wildflower Week! xxoogail

    Dear Gail, Happy Wildflower Week to you, my dear friend! Thank you for being such a strong advocate for these plants, both small and large. You have changed my perception of what needs to be growing in my garden. πŸ™‚

  2. Ewa says:

    I also love cornus – its a guest here in this part of the continent.
    I planted in my garden cornus controversa. C. florida was out of reach, now I am out of space πŸ™‚

    Dear Ewa, I am so glad to hear of your love for my favorite tree, and that it will grow for you. Cornus controversa is not familiar to me, but it will be researched so I can better picture it in your lovely garden. πŸ™‚

  3. I went to Gail’s site, thank you for the nudge. She has a great idea and I would love to join, but the wildflowers are not out yet in our area. I saw the first dandelion leaves yesterday in the lawn. We have a bit of waiting to do, but I always look forward to them on the farm and the vacant city lots. They attract so many critters.

    Thanks for visiting both of us, Donna. When your wildflowers come into their own, do take some shots and share them. This is our time for the most numerous showings, too many for just a single day. πŸ™‚

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I would love to get my hands on some of those trilliums you have Frances. They are gorgeous. I don’t even see the yellow ones in the forest here. WOW.

    Thanks Lisa. They are native to our mountains and manage to live in our less than perfect environment. I do like the yellow ones, they show up well in the lush. πŸ™‚

  5. Randy Emmitt says:

    Love the pink dogwoods! We used to have one, but it was ripped out due to the addition and I could not decide a new location for it. Been finding dogwoods and redbuds planting themselves and becoming nice trees here. I too like the columbine.

    Thanks Randy. Some years are better than others for them. We have several, including 7 on the slope behind the main house. One died last year so now there are 6. Slow growing, but oh so pretty. There is one under the tall pines, along with several self sowns, not yet blooming size but getting there. πŸ™‚

  6. Layanee says:

    It is still a bit cool for the wildflowers to be blooming yet. You always provide a preview of what will soon be in bloom here through your beautiful photos. I just noticed the foliage of a trillium yesterday which was quite warm. I don’t have many, just a few. Yesterday was the first 75F day we have had so more to come.

    Hi Layanee, thanks for visiting. How nice for you to have both warm days and trilliums coming up. We only have a few here as well, but I like to show them on the blog so it seems like we have lots. πŸ™‚

  7. Kathy says:

    We are on the very edge of Cornus florida hardiness. There is one growing wild along the road about a mile down and it looks like it’s struggling. I always loved them as a kid.

    Hi Kathy, thanks for stopping by. When we lived in PA, they barely could survive the winters there, but all of my gardening friends had them. All struggling.

  8. The dogwoods are glorious! Someday I will take a trip to Tennessee to see them in bloom. My Mertensia just started blooming yesterday. There’s really nothing quite like that shade of blue.

    Thanks MMD. Do come here in April, mid month would be good. We would show you a good time! You are so right about the Mertensia, hard to describe that shade, it goes with everything. πŸ™‚

  9. commonweeder says:

    Your dogwood is just beautiful! I would love to be in Tenessee in the spring. I couldn’t resist any longer and bought a pagoda dogwood and I am looking forward to enjoying it for years. I have a wild purple columbine, too, but nothing is blooming here. Yet.

    Thanks Pat. The Kousa is a beauty. My neighbor has one that is magnificent, blooms later than the natives so never gets frost bit. Wild purple columbine sounds delightful! πŸ™‚

  10. Donna says:

    I have and love so many of your wildflowers..the yellow trilliums are tall and stunning and one of my favorites…wonderful week long tribute

    Thanks Donna. I am so glad you grow some of our natives, they are good garden worthy plants. We are glad to not have to narrow down which wildflowers to feature, everyone gets their star turn. πŸ™‚

  11. patientgardener says:

    Lovely pics – I wish Trilliums were native here in the Uk. My first one has flowered this year which I bought at the Malvern spring show last year, I will be buying some more at this year’s show. Its a pity you wont be there

    Thanks Helen. We wil be at Malvern in spirit, reliving the fun with the many photos we took there. Thank you for the most enjoyable time ever! The trilliums do well in England, we saw them beautifully grown in several of the gardens we visited. Good luck with yours and have a great time at the show. πŸ™‚

  12. My Kids Mom says:

    Frances- I don’t recall if you are a seed swapper. My deep purple and almost-white purple columbines are almost done blooming. I will be checking on the seeds regularly so that I can catch and help “self-sow” the seeds. Would you like to swap some seeds of those for some of the red?

    Thanks for the kind offer, Jill. I am awash in the purple, blue and blue/white columbines, as well as pinks. There is only this plant of the canadensis, and one I dug and took to Asheville and one other tiny one. I suggest you go to some local garden club type sales. I have seen lots of wildflowers at the ones I have attended recently. πŸ™‚

  13. Lona says:

    What a beautiful Dogwood Frances. I like the Trillium’s too. Have a wonderful week.

    Thanks Lona. You have a great week as well. πŸ™‚

  14. Rose says:

    The virginia bluebells are so lovely! I do enjoy Wildflower Wednesday–I’ve learned so much from these posts, and learned to appreciate many fleeting blooms I hadn’t bothered to notice before. But I certainly would notice your dogwoods–beautiful!

    Hi Rose, thanks so much. I learn from the posts of others about wildflowers as well, a subject about which I know not nearly enough. And yes, the dogwoods are quite noticeable this year. πŸ™‚

  15. Lola says:

    Love those pink Dogwoods. I saw one in Tn that looked almost red. It was so pretty. I would love one here.

    Hi Lola, thanks for visiting. There are supposedly red and pink, I have both. The red is a somewhat darker shade of pink.

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  18. You certainly have some beauties there! Your Columbines look especially impressive. Sometimes they seem kind of leggy to me, but yours are full and beautiful. Happy Wildflower Week!

    Thanks for visiting. These little native columbines are much shorter than the hybrid mixes, less than half the height. Happy Wildflowers! πŸ™‚

  19. Racquel says:

    Your pink Dogwoods are stunning Frances, they are a nice change from the typical white I see planted everywhere. Those Trilliums are so sweet too! πŸ™‚

    Thanks Racquel. The Dogwoods had a good year, we love the pinks, and the whites! The Trilliums are treasures, blooming only a short time here, very small. We love those little guys! πŸ™‚

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