Monday, March 22, 2010

What’s Blooming around Home

It’s still too early for a lot of spring flowers in the Boston area, but the great weather (after the recent flooding) this weekend got me out to look at the garden a little more closely. Most of the visual excitement is around the naturalized, non-native bulbs like Chionodoxa, Scilla and crocus. I was pleased to see how many bees were visiting what I believe to be these white Chionodoxa. (I am a little uncertain here because of the blue anthers – anyone have an alternate ID for this plant? It would be much appreciated.)  For next year I think I will try for more native spring flowers like Bloodroot, Dog-tooth violets and the Camas Lily, Camassia quamash.

These white flowers pictured above are actually Scilla mischtschenkoana, White or Early Squill.

While not open yet, the male catkins of my Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina) are getting plumper and have become noticeable. Also the hairs on the reddish branches really catch the afternoon light and make them glow.

Another sign of spring is when the Yews release tons of yellow pollen. This is the first year that I have really looked closely at the flowers. I noticed a difference between the flowers of two of my (unknown) cultivars. Also now is a good time to do some structural pruning on these to let more light in and stimulate some growth on the interior.

 What I am most pleased about seeing was the return of what I believe to be a Spring Blue-Eyed Mary from some seed that I had sown 2 years ago. I’ll keep a close watch on this seedling and let you know what it grows into.

Another pleasant surprise was a clump of Strawberry Spinach (Chenopodium capitatum) that overwintered. Normally this is considered to be an annual, but this plant did not mature last year, so I expect that it will finish out its lifecycle this year with some bright red berries. Check out the link for a seed source and more information on this native.

One thing I have noticed with some of the native annuals that I have tested is that those that do not flower and seed the first year will over-winter to complete their life cycle the following year.


Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Spring is certainly starting to waken your garden. The Siberian Squill is a stunning blue...I don't think I've seen that before.

Curtis said...

Siberian squill is an excellent little bulb for planting within the drip zone of deciduous trees. It can leaf out and bloom before the canopy gets too thick, then it essentially disappears until next year. It is also a godd naturalizer, in the Northeast, anyway.

Laurrie said...

I had never noticed flowers on the yews before, but I saw those little tan structures on mine last week. Didn't know what they could be, and even started to be concerned. Of course they're blooms! Of course. Good to know.