Spring Ephemerals 2017 & Garden Adventures

I took a walk around my apartment community after working on the garden this weekend, and some of the Spring Ephemeral flowers were up a bit early! My apartment community was built on an old farmstead, and in the border between the community and the other apartments next door is a narrow strip of old fencerow. Its only 10 – 20 feet across in most places, but it still whispers woodland to itself and is home to many Michigan wildflowers and several interesting feral plants that have continued growing long since the humans who planted them stopped tending them. These feral plants include: 2 apple trees, a pear tree, a sweet cherry tree, strawberry patches, black raspberries, raspberries, and various flowers such as: lily of the valley, daffodils, tulips, poppies, tiger lilies, periwinkle, and many more.

Here are some of the early bloomers I saw this weekend:

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A surprising carpet of Blood Wort blooming in the underbrush. At the very bottom of the picture you can see the distinctive leaves of Trout Lilies, but there weren’t any flowers yet.

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Blood Wort closeup

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Spring Beauty was also carpeting the area.

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Spring Beauty closeup

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Vinca Minor in bloom – better known as Periwinkle!

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The Cherry Tree is in bud!

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Found this vine that had grown over a tree stump and looked creepily alive!

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I have lived in my current apartment for 6 years, and I planted these daffodils right away. This is the FIRST YEAR they’ve ever bloomed!! YAY!

Spring Ephemerals

Today was my personal celebration of Spring. Its slowly creeping tide of green can finally be seen outside my door, and the highlight of the season for me is the arrival of the spring ephermerals. Those stunningly beautiful flowers that are only here for a week or two each Spring, and then are suddenly gone again.

Here in Michigan, many of them are woodland flowers. Luckily for us, Mother Nature takes a wide view on what counts as a woodland. Even just a few trees are enough to make habitat for a surprising array of flowers! Here is my patch of woodland:

Just a strip of trees between two apartment communities

Just a strip of trees between the two apartment communities, net even really green yet.

The leaves and the bugs arrive together.

The leaves and the bugs arrive together.

A few faithful old friends have arrived:

Woodland Violets

Woodland Violets

A Yellow Trout Lily

A Yellow Trout Lily

A cluster of White Trout Lilllies

A cluster of White Trout Lilllies

A few new friends I don’t know the names of:

Very brilliant blue on a vine with deep green glossy leaves.

Very brilliant blue on a vine with deep green glossy leaves.

A carpet of delicate white flowers.

A carpet of delicate white flowers.

A bush with brilliant fuchsia buds that opened to pale pink blossoms.

A bush with brilliant fuchsia buds that opened to pale pink blossoms.

And some of my personal favorites:

Clusters of delicate fern foliage topped by fancy little pant like blooms. These are Dutchman's Breeches!

Clusters of delicate fern foliage topped by fancy little pant like blooms. These are Dutchman’s Breeches!

A close up of a single stalk. This is a dicentra related to Bleeding Heart.

A close up of a single stalk. This is a dicentra related to Bleeding Heart.

And the ones I look for every Spring - the Trillium Grandiflorum or Great White Trillium!

And the ones I look for every Spring – the Trillium Grandiflorum or Great White Trillium!

Finally, to end my walk, I spotted this and used my zoom very carefully to capture her photo:

Mother Blue Jay sitting her nest!

Mother Blue Jay sitting her nest!

Enjoy your Spring, and all of life’s ephemeral pleasures!