I want to remind my email followers again to click on the blue title of the post to switch from email to the web to see the featured photo and get a better layout. And I want to remind all readers to visit the page of The Propagator for a feast of photos and guidelines to join in on the Saturday postings. And, now for my six this week.
1. Last week I mentioned that crocuses were just beginning to bloom, but they are now well along. I really don’t have much to say about them other than, as seen in the featured photo, they have beautiful petal design and a wonderful saturation in color.
2. To the far right of the photo above, Leucojum aestivum, which goes by the common names summer snowflake or Loddon lily can be seen. Although not a US native (it is native to Europe), it has become naturalized in the Eastern US. I planted some bulbs this fall because they remind me of snowdrops. To date, not all bulbs by far show signs of coming up, maybe due to some creature that did quite a bit of pawing around in this garden spot in the winter.
3. Number three for today is another non-native, periwinkle, ground myrtle, or Vinca minor. I say it is a non-native, but it has been in the US for centuries, first introduced as an ornamental in the 1700s from Europe. The same source that gave me that tidbit of history also says it has the common name of flower-of-death because “its vines were woven into headbands worn by dead children or criminals on their way to execution. Unfortunately, it may deserve the same name in North America, as the extensive mats it forms on forest floors can choke out native wildflowers and other plants.” That source is the Brown County Woodlands Project (Tennessee) that states its mission as protecting the Brown County Hills from the devastating effects of invasive plants. In truth, a fellow Master Gardeners calls periwinkle miniature kudzu. Certainly, it can be invasive. However the patch I have is serving as a needed ground cover where I pulled up a more noxious patch of English ivy last year. In spite of its tendency to mat and march out in all directions, periwinkle can be attractive this time of year. In the second photo below an advancing tendril is sharing its space with a bluet.
4. This week I was a briefly confused by coming across what I thought was one of my favorite perennial wildflowers, rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides), with strange leaves. On closer look I realized that it was sharp-lobed hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba,) coming up through dwarf cinquefoil. Then I noticed on the wooded hill several other hepaticas fighting their way through strangling ivy that went wild last year. The center photo below illustrates how detrimental invasives can be to natives, especially native wildflowers. I cleared this hill of ivy and honeysuckle a few years ago. Looks as though another vine pulling is well overdue
5. Not a native, but not invasive either, forsythia is just beginning to bloom. The largest of several bushes I have is the one enjoying the most sun and is the one most showy at the moment.
6. My final entry is not a plant. It is a small solar fountain for a birdbath. I’m not at all certain what this life-span of this thing will be. Still, it is fun while it is working, and the birds and squirrels seem to like the moving water. It floats freely; consequently, I had to secure it with fishing line so that it stays pretty much in the center. Otherwise it tends to spirt water over the side. The rock helps keep it positioned as well, but it is there more to provide a perching place for small birds than for anything else.
This fountain does not work when there is no sun. So, here is wishing abundant sun for us all in the next week. Be well.