We have slowly come to realize that many native perennial plants need time to adjust to a new home. In the recent past new Giant white trilliums have been unreliable to accepting their new home. Some show no above ground growth in their first year with us. Small flowerless plants sometimes appear in their second year. Our harsh early spring weather really hammered many of our plants. Yesterday we were cleaning up some weeds and finally took a close look at our collection. Huge plants are absent but there are new plants growing close by older plants. It is not hard to see the possibility of an impressive group of pure white blossoms on display here next year.
Cardinal flower apparently has always been mostly absent in this part of NYS. More that one century ago, Roxbury native John Burroughs described his difficulty in finding at least a single flowering plant. Our weather is the problem. These plants overwintered as new growth. Their emergence from the snow cover saw beautiful light green tender rosettes. Given time to adjust to typical early spring cold snaps, these plants would survive. Here we get winds from the south raising temperatures into the 60's followed by hard frost. Our habit is to cover these plants with Chrysanthemum stems following snow melt. Still the bitter cold blackened these leaves. We were certain that these plants were dead. Clearly they are alive and we will soon see their brilliant red flowers. A nearby group did not experience that success. More than half of them are now gone but seed is on the ground. Plants from seed will not flower this year.
Fragrant ladies tresses grew here for several years. It is a southern plant and we felt lucky each year that it produced flowers. It did send up several shoots this year but a severe frost ended them. We will leave this ground alone after we remove the garlic mustard because it might be possible for us to see desired growth next year.