Each year as we prepare to leave South Carolina, Eileen and I wonder, why did we choose to leave in the middle of April? Nice weather rules in South Carolina!
As soon as we arrived back in Pennsylvania and made sure the house remained intact, we took a walk in the yard. Yes, there were branches down and lots of weeds to be pulled. But, all the years of work by Eileen to plant native spring ephemerals paid off.
Right now, the showiest and shortest lived, the bloodroots, Sanguinaria canadensis, glisten white in several locations. The small patches seem to be cropping up in new areas. Already some of the flower lay bare and naked the petals scattered on the ground after having flowered, been fertilized, and now prepared to go to seed. Soon those seed wrapped with a packet of fat called an elaiosomes, will be carried down into the
ground by ants. The ants eat the fatty parts and pitch the seed to the side where safe under the ground, new plants can grow.
We also planted a cultivar where the stamens have been modified to look like petals, making this variety a challenge to pollenate, but it is still spreading in our yard.
The Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, fill the corner of the yard under the eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis.
We like how this plant with its large showy leaves and beautiful flowers is slowly spreading.
In the front where a Norway maple, Acer platinoides shades the yard preventing much grass to grow, we encourage moss and bluets, Houstonis caerulea; also known as Quaker Ladies. Growing thick they carpet the area with their pale blue flowers.
Under the weeping cherry, Eileen planted some daffodils and spring
beauties, Claytonia virinica, a small white flower with pink candy stripes. Long ago, the daffodils succumbed to too little light, but the spring beauties love the dense shade and growing in the patchy grass.
Now I remember why we come home at this time of the year, it is to enjoy this wonderful time when so many flowers boom so profusely and the spring ephemerals, which will be with us for such a short period of time, put on their show.
The streets are alive with color from the forsythia, magnolia and cherries.
If you have read this far and wish to know more about these plants and other animals commonly found in our area, let me know either with a comment or an email reply. I would be willing to branch out into that realm for my blog. Those posts would be more informational (and I love worthless facts and tidbits of information) as opposed to experiential. For example, a posts might talk about how the plants or animals were first classified (“discovered by European scientists) or how they were used historically. Let me know if it is of any interest.
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