Saturday, April 30, 2011

Garden in the Woods again

Garden in the Woods is a sanctuary of native plants in Framingham outside Boston where I'm taking a class in identifying wildflowers. We are still working on our spring ephemerals - flowers that bloom only for a short time in early spring, before the trees have leafed out and shade the forest floor. 

I haven't seen many of these plants in "real life", out in the wild.  I hope to do that in the future when I have more time to explore on my own. For now, the Garden sanctuary helps me to get an idea of their season and habitats and just being there is a treat, every time I go.

Hobblebush is not a spring ephemeral - it's a native Viburnum shrub, 
but it is one of my favorites, and today it was finally in bloom.

We saw some Wild Ginger flowers, hiding under the leaves close to the ground.

Lovely lovely violets peaking through the dead leaves

and a Leatherwood shrub, that I triumphantly identified all by myself, using the wildflower guide.
Anemone Nemorosa - or very very similar. This is the Anemone that I choose to name my blog after. In Sweden it's a blissful sight in spring, covering forest floors under the birches and the pines, shining white after the long dark winter.

Delicate petals, pink on the outside.

This one I also identified by myself! Shooting star.

Spicebush in bloom! I have a spicebush - it's about a foot tall and 
didn't flower this year. Maybe next year?

I have no idea who this is. My insect book didn't help me a lot.

Mapleleaf viburnum buds. I will repost when it's blooming.

Fragrant Sumac Buds 

In this hole a busy bumblebee went in and out. Was she building
a nest or already laying her eggs?

 The small and cute Leatherleaf shrub with long tangles of delicate flowers.

 Marsh Marigold


There were lots more to photograph but my camera battery ran out. Next week will show other little darlings.

Every day is a miracle now

Inside a tulip universe

The lilacs are getting more sun this year since we took out the crazy backyard bamboo, and there are many lovely buds.

My Oakleaf hydrangea was suffering from all the snow that was shoveled on top of it, but is now leafing out. I sooo hope it will bloom this year. It was given to me for free provided that I dug it up and transported it to my home. It was a major project and I am so glad that it have survived.

The columbines are ready for Hummingbird visitors, although a neighbor who knows a lot said they probably won't arrive until June.

Joe Pye weed is finally coming up, red and fuzzy

and all my sunflowers from last year are generously re-seeding

A Rhubarb flower will eventually grow up to 5 feet on a tall stalk. You are supposed to cut them off to encourage more edible stems, but I usually keep a few since they are very impressive, and very attractive to pollinators.

In my garden plot I grow Currants. This is the flowers of the White Currant bush - so many this year:

And here are the Black Currant flowers. I make juice of the berries and tea from the leaves.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Norway Maple flower fell on the ground. Lots of little ants sipping sweetness.

 Too yellow.

pond resident
Hazelnut - the tiniest flower

 And the prettiest?

Salmon colored tulip. Can't get enough of them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring everywhere

After this winter we can't get spring fast enough. Even now it still feels painfully slow when temperatures creep low at night and we have cold and windy days. The prognosis for the weekend is solid rain.
Still, spring is on its way, and today I went to a Botany class at one of my favorite places in this world: New England Wildflower Society's Garden in the Woods, to see for myself. The class is a series of 5, aiming at identifying wildflowers using Newcomb's guide. I've had the book for quite a while but never done any serious ID-ing with it - it can be so intimidating. But one of these days I will have to brave it, take it with me on a walk and see what I find.
Today we had an instructor to help us, so it was easily determined which Hepatica that was Round-lobed and which was not. The round-lobed proved to be a sweet encounter since it is the one that we in Sweden call BlÄsippa, one of our most treasured spring harbingers.

Here is the sharp-lobed. And the names refer to the leaves, not the flowers. I was so happy to see the flowers that I didn't remember to photograph the actual leaves.
We also saw the little Dutchman's Breeches. 

Virginia Bluebell was a new one for me - not quite blooming yet.

Bloodroot was starting to show, both flower and leaf.

The flowers we looked at today are called Spring Ephemerals. They grow on the forest floor and take advantage of the short window of time after the snow has gone and before the trees leaf out and block the light. At this time of the year they have the sun rays to themselves and they quickly set bloom, leaf and seed before they're hidden in the shade again, where they go dormant until next spring.

Hobblebush is about to bloom. I will be sure to check on it by next week's class. Of course, Hobblebush is a shrub, not a wildflower, but its bloom time coincided so well with my class that it got included anyway.

Yellow Troutlily

And Mayapple leafing out, not yet in flower. It looks like a small palmtree.

A new one for me was this Oconee-bell. Very pretty as it spread on the ground.

Whip-poor-will flower! Trillium cuneatum. Truly unique.

Pennsylvania Sedge - beautiful up close.

Ferns unfurling.

Even at home I have spring beauty around me. This tree in my neighbor's yard have this gorgeous red leaves that will eventually turn green.

And since I still stock my bird feeders there are some newcomers. A flock of these adorable little Chipping sparrows have returned safely from their winter residence. 

This grackle male is trying to impress a lady in the next tree

this Norway Maple, which really has beautiful flower clusters, even though it's a really bad invasive.

 In my backyard I am growing my own little woodland garden.
I planted some Dicentra - Wild Bleeding heart, hoping they will spread under the lilac bushes.

I am also preparing for another migrant who is expected to return any day now. The Ruby-throated hummingbird usually comes back to Massachusetts in April, and I planted these especially for the hummers:
 Wild Columbine, a favorite for early hummer birds.