Wildflower Wednesday, March 2014

I don’t quite know how I’ve missed this wildflower party before now, given my appreciation for wildflowers and native plants in general, but while reading Shirley’s most recent post at Rock-Oak- Deer, I realized her excellent profile of wildflowers was part of a bigger picture.  Duh.

Thanks to Gail at clay and limestone for hosting the monthly celebration of wildflowers of all sorts.  Though it’s my first post and a day late for this month, I’m in.

My Golden Groundsel (Packera obovata), is blooming and so cheery on this gloomy, wet day.  It’s an early blooming, tough little shade-loving perennial which  brightens up a woodland setting.


For more information about Golden Groundsel, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Database page.

I have Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) popping up all over my gardens.



The original couple of transplants were pass along plants gifted to me, so I’m not entirely positive that what I have is the S. occidentalis, though I think it is.  Check out the pages on Spiderworts or Tradescantia in the Native Plant Database and see for yourself how many are native  and available throughout North America.

The Columbines are finally starting their spring show–later this year than in the last few years.  I  have both the Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinkleyana),


and the native Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),


plus hybrids of the two.


Finally, the Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is in total bloom mode.



So far, we don’t have many butterflies or hummingbirds, but no doubt they’ll find this plant soon and feast, feast, feast.  This is a must-have vine for any gardener wishing to provide a food source for a variety of critters, insects and birds alike.

Thanks again  to Gail at clay and limestone for this chance to focus on and appreciate the  plants we have, native to where we live.


Pretty Lady

Although my gardens are greening up nicely this cool March, I still don’t have much blooming.  Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis ) are soaring from their fleshy foliage

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and soon there will be more Iris blooms, but mostly the garden remains on a flowering strike due to our lingering cool  winter and effects from our last hard freeze. This past week though, I’ve enjoyed a treat each time I visit my back garden. The Lady Tulip (Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha) welcomes me each day in varying poses and wardrobe changes.  In the morning,



these ladies haven’t quite awakened. Remained wrapped in their rosy red robes against the crisp mornings,


they aren’t quite ready to face the day.  But, as the sun warms, Lady Tulips open, bit by bit,



revealing their bright, yellow dresses for dancing in spring breezes.


Tulips delight in the warmth of the afternoon sun,


before enfolding colorful petals toward the end of the day.



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I bought these bulbs two years ago at Barton Springs Nursery.  It was an impulse purchase, the kind I prefer to avoid, but succumb to that day.  Last year, these tulips  bloomed, but the show was limited and not particularly impressive. I complete forgot I planted the bulbs until last week when the happy tulips reappeared.   I’m guessing that 2014’s cooler temperatures are why Lady Tulips are reveling in spring this year.

I’m not complaining.

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This year, Lady Tulips define spring in my slow-to-awaken garden.