Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower

Our weather for the first week in April has been fairly warm, so now flowering shrubs and spring ephemerals are at the earlier end of their flowering range.  Unfortunately this means some woodland spring flowers don't last very long.  According to TPP's data base, there are seven species of Trillium that flower in our gardens.  The earliest flowering if the aptly names snow trillium; it's also the smallest and hardest to find locally.  This is another fairly early flowering trillium, T. cuneatum, often called Sweet Betsy. Don't know why.  The leaves are the mottled type and the flower is termed sessile. in that there is no stalk, pedicel, below the flower. The dark maroon flowers stand several cm above the whorl of three leaves.  There is a Trillium sessile that is similar but smaller all the way around.  Not sure why we don't have one.  

Friday Fabulous Flowers - Peak Blue


Once you get  a bed of Scilla siberica  established you will basically have it forever.  Someone planted some of these little bulbs sometime during the last eon and then ignored them, allowing them to continue to seed themselves until the entire lawn is blue with their flowers.  The first bulbs to bloom were back in early April  but then it took another 3 and a half weeks for them to reach peak flowering, peak blue.  This is a true harbinger of spring.  Unfortunately it will takes several more weeks for the leaves to die back, before what passes for a lawn can be mowed.  The leaves contain a sort of mucilage and if mowed while still fresh the result is a green slime. To rid a garden bed of the bulbs just about requires than the soil be sifted though a screen to remove all the little bulbs because the blue can overwhelm other small plants like some of Mrs. Phactor's species tulips which are all a bit on the small side.