Spring in the Gardens

It’s finally spring!  I took a walk in the gardens – on May 4th – and took some pictures of the flowers and insects I saw.

Most of the blooming flowers are in the woods, and most are native ‘spring ephemerals’.  These are plants that bloom in the early spring so they can take advantage of the sun before leaves come out on the trees.  By mid-summer, when the floor of the woods is much darker, they’ve finished blooming, and sometimes even their leaves have withered away.

Virginia Bluebells

 

White Trout-lily

 

This is one of several Trilliums we have in our woods.  It’s called Red Trillium or sometimes Wake-Robin and is native to eastern and northeastern North America.  It’s not actually native in Minnesota, but it’s planted in many gardens here.

This is Showy Trillium – not quite open yet.  This one is native here.

Prairie Trillium or Toad Trillium – another Minnesota native.  This one isn’t quite open yet – the flowers are dark red, but they stay erect and with the petals held together even when they’re blooming.

 

Mayapple – also not quite in bloom.  The stalks with two leaves are the only ones that bloom.  The bump you can see between the double leaf is the flower bud.  Soon the leaves will open up like umbrellas, and the flower will nod beneath them.

 

Wild Ginger – the dark red flowers are hidden at the base of the leaves.

 

Jacob’s Ladder – also not quite in bloom.

 

Hepatica

 

Bellwort – another one not quite in bloom yet.  With all the warm weather we’ve had this week, I think they’re probably all blooming now.  Go outside and take a look!

Some violets – I’m not sure of the species.

 

Violet with an early pollinator – a bumble bee

 

Here are a few non-natives – some in the woods, and some in the gardens.

Siberian Squill – sometimes called by its Latin name: Scilla

 

Striped Squill

 

A beautiful purple lily – does anyone know what it is?  Or maybe a Hyacinth?

 

Hyacinth

The woods are beautiful on these early spring days – if you haven’t had a chance to see them recently, try to take a walk there sometime soon.   New flowers open every day, and new bees and butterflies are starting to come out in the warm sunshine.  I saw a few Green Darner dragonflies over the prairie, and a pair of House Wrens in the woods.

Marcie O’Connor
May 9, 2011