Friday, May 2, 2008

Wild Flowers in the Garden

I so love wildflowers. One great thing about them is that they are so adaptable. Ih ave planted some in some of the difficult areas of my garden and they perform so well. I try to incorporate as many as I can not only because of their ease of cultivation but because they are so beautiful. Some of the first to bloom in the garden is this Hydrophyllum appendiculatum or Appendaged Waterleaf. This beauty comes up early in spring when most other flowers are still trying to dodge the frost. When you get a nice clump of them growing the blooms look almost surreal. They are such a pale shade of lavender that I often wonder if there is any color to them at all. Then when it warms up the foilage, that is shaped like a maple leaf but is sort of hairy, dies back and you forget they are even in the garden until the next spring. Of course Jack-in-the-pulpit is a favorite of many. This shy guy stands tall in the pulpit just waiting for some gardener to come around to admire his spathe. They are slow to reproduce but when you get a few growing they are such fun to come upon. There are fancier versions of this flower. This is the common variety around here.
Golden Alexanders is a wild flower that you can depend to live in most any soil in most any conditions. It is of the carrot family. You can tell by the umbles. This brilliant yellow is such a welcome sight during spring. It is sometimes the first bright yellow after daffodils that graces the garden. It is easy to control by deadheading but if you want more just leave the heads on and it will fill an area in no time. I couldn't get a close up today due to the wind that is blowing continuiously.
Our little stand of May Apple is blooming up a storm. They are such a cheery neat looking group. The blooms however are difficult to see as they are under the umbrella of the foilage and they point down.
I have never tried to put one in a vase but as lovely as it is I might try this to see how it would do as a cut flower. That way you could enjoy it easier.
Another wild flower that you have to get on hands and knees to appreciate its bloom is Wild Ginger. Our little clump is blooming up a storm. Can't see the bloom... lets look a little closer...
Their blooms look almost like orchids to me. Too bad they are in such a place you have work so hard to see them.
The Solomans Seal in our garden is slow to emerge. I have never understood why. In the forest around here they are out and some are even in bloom. Here under the apple tree where it grows it is taking its own time coming out. I can't wait to see its little dangling blooms. They are worth waiting for.


  1. What a wonderful variety of wildflowers you have, Lisa. The Jacks are my faves, we had most of your plants at our other TN home that was an acre of woodland. Ahhh, so refreshing in the spring. You must have mature trees for those to thrive so.

  2. Yes, we have quite a few trees in our little garden Frances. This is why I have lots of shade plants.

  3. I had to laugh when I read you have a "little" patch of Mayapples. Watch out - they'll be colonizing the whole garden before you know it. Every spring I have to yank out a ton of them, but I wouldn't want to do without them either. For some reason, my Jacks are producing lots of little corms just screaming for division, and I started with just one.

  4. My May Apples are restless too!

  5. MrMcD, I have only one adult Jack and there are 3 other newbies. I think we "weed" this area too good sometimes. I don't mind if the May Apples roam around. They are easy to control as you mention.

    This is ok Jim, I can think of worse invaders.

  6. Such amazing photos of these wildflowers that you have! Looks like a stunning garden for sure!

  7. Surprises under every leaf! :c)

  8. I love wildflowers also and when I finally get home I am looking to see if we have any of these.
    I waved toward your house as we were traveling north through IL.

  9. I have a few "shady place" wildflowers planted under my deck. The Dutchman's Breeches are finally almost blooming. Jack in the Pulpits have yet to make an appearance. I like the May Apples too--they were just starting to come up last week in the woods where we turkey hunted.

  10. I absolutely love the wild flowers Lisa, you know I am a fan.
    The only one I am familiar with is your Jack in the pulpit....we have similar and call it Lord and Ladies....well we would wouldn't we!!!! I will try and get a decent photo if I can.

  11. What an interesting collection of wildflowers you have. Only Salomon's Seal is growing in my garden, but is still a little plant. Your other ones I first have to look up in my books, as I don't know the translation (Jack-in-the pulpit, a funny name!).
    BTW, thank you for your nice comment. I guess there will be still many topics to write about for another year ;-) !!
    Have a good time Lisa!

  12. I felt as though I was taking a walk in the woods! ;-) Beautiful tour of plants.


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