My six for this week are yellow, purple, and promising of good things to come. Before I start, though, I want to remind readers that they, too, can join in Six on Saturday by going to the site of the Propagator and following the participant guidelines. While there, look at the comments on the current post and follow links to other fantastic gardens.
1. The buttercup (Ranunculus) reminds me of my childhood, when my grandmother would pick one, hold it under my chin to reflect light off of the petals and on to my skin and declare, “Yes, you like butter.” The featured photo above illustrates the shininess of those bright yellow petals. I don’t know what species has come up so abundantly in the garden this year; there are literally hundreds of them. But, they are wildflowers and most likely one of the many species native to North America. Something I just learned about buttercups, though–decades after childhood–they are poisonous to cattle and humans. Fortunately, I have no cattle and will be mindful not to make a Ranunculus salad, so I’m willing to keep some around to set off the blue of the garden furnishings.
2. Another North American native is blooming in the wooded part of the garden. “Seek” an app by iNaturalist, identifies this thistle as Texas thistle, or Cirsium texanum. A few of these come up every year, giving a spot of purple color to the understory.
3. Woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) is another purple North American native that is just beginning to bloom. Unfortunately, it is not as abundant this spring as it has been in the past. There are, though, several plants yet to flower.
4. The next selection, Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), is yet another purple bloom, but certainly not a native. Neither is it from Siberia, more likely originating throughout a large range of Europe through Central Asia. It is just beginning to bloom in the iris bed among the now fading yellow irises.
5. Limelight hydrangeas are number five and constitute a success story. The two of the plants on the left below come from cuttings I rooted last spring, overwintered indoors, and planted earlier in the spring. They are growing vigorously, as limelights do. The third, still in a small pot, stayed outside. Once it, too, finds a spot in the ground, it will likely grow just as quickly.
6. The final entry is, I hope, the beginning of another success story, this one written by nature. In last week’s post I noted that, in the process of removing some large storm-toppled trees, a “road” was carved by an excavator through the wooded part of the garden. A number of wildflowers, including rudbeckias and Carolina lilies, were compacted into the soil by the machine’s tacks. Below are two photos taken along those tracks. In one, if I am not mistaken, black-eye Susans are making their way back through the soil. In the other photo, some Solomon’s seal has appeared, along with liriope and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), both of which are hardy and certainly hard to destroy. Admittedly, these photos were taken on the median ground between the actual tracks, but they do promise repopulation of the understory floor.
On that promising note I’ll close for this week. I hope everyone is staying healthy and enjoying exercise in the garden.