Wildflower Week Continues

The wildflower fun continues here at the April Fairegarden. Black Jack in the pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum, a passlong from dear Christopher of Outside Clyde, brings joyful memories of visits to a mountain paradise in Western North Carolina. His father, Robert, who had the wisdom to buy the parcel of land long ago recently passed away. Christopher wrote the most eloquent of eulogies that can be seen by clicking here-The House My Father Built. It was an honor to know this fine man, who was also a very fine gardener.

Part of the fun of growing wildflowers that are native to your area is seeing the wildlife they attract. Hummingbirds have been seen feasting on both the near vine of Lonicera sempervirens and the vine on the arbor, Bignonia capreolata ‘Tangerine Beauty’. Alas, no photos. Yet.

Woodland Phlox divaricata comes in shades of blues.

This new purchase is nearly white, P. divaricata ‘May Breeze’. It sits atop the deck wall waiting to be placed to best advantage.

Another close relative to the woodland phlox is PPPP, championed by Gail of Clay And Limestone, the inventor of Wildflower Wednesday, the fourth Wednesday of each month that is set aside to show off the wildings throughout the year. All those Ps stand for practically perfect pink Phlox pilosa. This very plant originated in her lovely garden! Thank you, my dear friend.

Please ignore the white handkerchief looking Clematis ‘Candida’ growing on the shed and focus your attention to the grand Hemlocks, Tsuga canadensis now showing chartreuse tips of new growth. A line of these native trees form a hedge along the back property boundary, doing an exemplary job of hiding the chain link fence and providing privacy.

Diligent searching will reveal the artistry of the baby cones, hiding on the underside of the branches.

This golden leaved cultivar of our native elderberry, Sambucus canadensis ‘Aurea’ is not really all that gold. But it is a favorite of the birds who find both shelter from the hot summer sun and sustenance from the dark blue berries that will cover the branches after these flowers bloom.

Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’ shows another colorway in these native plants besides the white and blue flowered types that are also grown here.

Not all weeds are wildflowers, but some are, like the common fleabane, Erigeron philadephicus. Most of these are pulled out, for there are few plants more prolific in self sowing, but we always allow a few to bloom and set seed. The pollinators love these complex flower heads and the white and pink flowers add to the overall garden appearance.

Emerging fern foliage is one of the most dramatic displays in a spring garden. Cinnamon fern, Osmunda cinnamomea comes forth with astounding beauty and form.

Thus ends part two of Wildflower Week, April 2011. Stay tuned for the grand finale. The rest of the story can be found on the link below:

Wildflower Week
Wildflower Week Finale


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20 Responses to Wildflower Week Continues

  1. That Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a stunner! I also really like the hemlock tree and its cone is spectacular. Looking forward to the grand finale!

    Hi Karin, thanks. Jack really is quite lovely, if a somewhat small guy. I have to get down very low to take his portrait! The hemlock cone is the opposite, I should have gotten on a ladder for its closeup! πŸ™‚

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  3. Randy Emmitt says:


    Carolina Moonlight finally this year have impressed me, ours is full just like yours. Been wanting to replace the blue type for years, seems no one carries it, only Carolina Moonlight.

    Hi Randy. All of the Baptisias are looking better than ever this year, but especially Carolina Moonlight. None of them are stars in the garden, more like backup singers. The white is impossible to photograph for me, but I love those black stems. πŸ™‚

  4. Eileen says:

    It has been a long time since I have had my woodland garden, but I do enjoy seeing many old friends on your site. My son’s favorite plant was Jack In The Pulpit when he was very young. The Phlox covered that whole south side of my home and the woods beyond. I was a young new gardener at the time and I don’t think I appreciated all of this beauty. I only wanted to be able to grow tomatoes!

    Hi Eileen, thanks, your woodland garden sounds magnificent! I have seen photos of large sweeps of the woodland phlox, but never been able to grow it like that. We do evolve as gardeners, don’t we? πŸ™‚

  5. Ewa says:

    How can I ingore that clematis? especially, that you’ve tried to push attention away πŸ™‚
    what variety is this?

    Good morning, Ewa! The photo is so washed out of the white clemmie, C. ‘Candida’, but the focus was supposed to be the hemlock trees. Candida is growing on a purple flowered rose, Veilchenblau that will be blooming soon and be showcased in a blog post of some sort. I hope to get a clearer shot of the rose with the white handkerchiefs growing on it! πŸ™‚

  6. commonweeder says:

    Your photos are so beautiful, and you have such variety. The spring woodland is a wonderful site for wildflowers. I hardly have any woodland near the house, but we are planting a windbreak this spring and I hope we can encourage some wild flowers as well.

    Thanks Pat. My woodland area is at the far corner of the property, and hardly a woodland since the large maple ferngully is gone. We struggle to keep these little treasures going. May you have good luck with yours. πŸ™‚

  7. Rose says:

    The trilliums always amaze me; yours is lovely, Frances, but even more special because of its connection to Christopher and his father. I enjoyed seeing the hemlocks and the elderberry, too; there is always something new to see in your garden!

    Thanks Rose. Plants from friends always have special meaning, and Christopher has been very generous. The hemlock cones are nearly invisible, very tiny but so beautiful with the blue and green. We have to keep our eyes open or many magical things might be missed! πŸ™‚

  8. Marguerite says:

    Frances, your Black jack photo is absolutely wonderful. These plants are so unusual and so pretty and I really like the striping on this particular one.

    Thanks Marguerite. They are little things, so far in my garden, but very photogenic. πŸ™‚

  9. Kathy says:

    That is an especially attractive Jack in the pulpit, I must say.

    It is, Kathy, and even more special since Christopher dug it for me from his beautiful mountain. πŸ™‚

  10. debsgarden says:

    My goodness! I started reading this post, and before I knew it, I had spent over thirty minutes researching baptisias. There are several native to Alabama, and now my wish list has grown longer! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Thanks Deb, my job here is now done! HA Baptisias are good native garden plants. There has been some breeding done to make some interesting colorways, too. I like them all. πŸ™‚

  11. patientgardener says:

    Oh how I wish my Arisema would flower instead of producing vast leaves only! As for Baptista I have one but it isnt a very robust plant and has never flowered since I bought it – maybe it needs to find another home

    Hi Helen, thanks for stopping by. I don’t know the secret to bloom on the Arisaemas, perhaps yours is a variety that gets a gigantic flower and has to build up steam to produce it. As for the Baptisias, they take a while to get going, some years are better than others.

  12. gail says:

    Frances, What a spectacular showing of our marvelous wildflowers~I love jack-in-the-Pulpit! Gorgeous plants~How wonderful to see them blooming and remember such a kind and good gardener. I also appreciate fleabane. (Btw, your photo makes me think of Sid the Sloth from ‘Iceage’. Who is a favorite character). Now, I am going to go back and study your photos a bit more~PPPP does looks splendid with the spirea! I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that you love wildflowers! xxoogail PS Thanks for the linklove.

    Thanks Gail. The Jack is a very special plant, I am glad it is happy here. The fleabane has its place, and like so many of the native weed/wildflowers here, most get pulled. We never have to worry about running out of them, like the violets. Thank you again for the PPPP. It is also next to a Husker Red Penstemon, the dark foliage is the perfect foil.

  13. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    So many lovely natives Frances. Ilove the hemlocks. Those cones are beautiful.

    Thanks Lisa. Those cones are very tiny and difficult to even see. I accidentally found them when photographing the new growth one year, not seeing them until uploading the images. πŸ™‚

  14. I too have been captivated by the arising fern fronds. They look like something different every day. That Arisaema is quite the treasure.

    Hi MMD, thanks for visiting. There is nothing like the emerging fiddleheads, and gifts of plants from dear friends. πŸ™‚

  15. Sheila Read says:

    You have a gift for capturing the beauty of nature. I love the photo of the cone and the ferns emerging. Stunning. I, too, am a big fan of phlox – a charming and long-blooming plant.
    I hope you see (and photograph) the hummingbirds soon. I’ve seen them a couple of times this spring, but they don’t yet seem to be regular visitors.

    Hi Sheila, thanks for those kind words. I will be trying to capture the hummingbirds on pixels this season. We see them often, as there are many flowers here that appeal to them, and we have a feeder next to the house for a closer look. πŸ™‚

  16. Hope all is OK in your immediate neck of the woods. I,ve just been reading about the recent bout of tornados.

    Thanks for the good thoughts, Rob. There was much death and devastation in this area due to those strong strongs. We are safe and with no damage here.

  17. Lola says:

    Love Jack. Never saw one with colors like that.
    Did you ever make a pie with the Elderberries?
    My DIL did. They have 2 trees in their back yard.

    Thanks Lola. There are never any berries left for humans from the elderberry bushes, the birds adore them. I don’t mind at all. We have plenty of food to eat. πŸ™‚

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  19. Joan Carroll says:

    The unknown flower in your camera appears to be celosia, cockscomb. Look forward to reading your blog every week.

    Hi Joan, thanks for reading. I appreciate the help, but don’t believe this plant to be a Celosia. Those are not hardy here and would not be blooming until much later in the season if self sown. The leaf, which I did not show properly, suggests that is a geranium of some sort. Thanks anyway! πŸ™‚

  20. Frances, I so enjoyed this. I’m sorry I missed out on Wildflower Week, but I am living vicariously through you and Gail. Cheers!~~Dee

    Cheer and pip, pip, Dee, thanks for visiting. We look forward to reading about your exciting travels! πŸ™‚

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