Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Forest Floor Springs To Life
It seems that snow cover was deep and continuous just a few days ago. Unseasonable early warmth ended the snow quickly and perennial plants are now rapidly appearing. Shooting star was purchased from cultivated stock several years ago. Apparently foraging rodents have no taste for it as the emerging bright green shoots are numerous. Its dried stalks were allowed to drop seed at will so we will be looking for more of these close by. The three leaved plant is a wild columbine that grows here like a weed. Its numbers will have to be kept in check.
Fringed polygala is evergreen but at this time of year its leaves are reddish. The green leaves speckled with brown are new. Trout lilies corms were inadvertently moved with the polygala and they are also highly prized. We will see no lily flowers until each plant presents two leaves. A number of years must pass as the corm reforms itself deeper and deeper in the soil each year. Expecting no flowers yet, we were thrilled just to see the single leaves. Another look is needed to see if we have twins yet.
Aconite frequently blooms while surrounded by snow. This year the depth of the snow cover held the plant dormant until the snow was gone. Clear bright yellow flowers like this lift my spirits now.
This bleeding heart has been modified from its natural wild form. More compact and covered with deep bright flowers, we find it to be an improvement over its close by wild cousin. The dark green oval leaves belong to a weed that remained unseen because of its early appearance.
This squirrel corn remains despite its inadvertent disturbance several years ago. Now Becky is called in to closely watch my weeding activities here early in the season.
Many of these plants are woodland natives but appear here in our artificial shade garden. A single locust tree provides both the shade and the fallen leaves and stems. We will complete the filling of the wild shade garden with natural soil washed from the woods and diverted into a collection area near the lane. The more demanding wild flowers will be replanted in this more natural soil.