-Ralph Waldo Emerson.
In corollary, every year while i anticipate and watch the arrival of spring's first plants, I wonder how I can perennially wonder so much.
Sightings Sunday and Monday April 11th and 12th:
In the woods and forested ravines:
- carpets - not in bloom but leafed out: trout lily, wild leek, Virginia waterleaf
- colonies - wild ginger and bloodroot in bloom, Mayapples leafing out
- small clumps and scatterings - red trilliums in early bloom; squirrel corn (a Dicentra similar to Dutchmen's breeches) is leafed out looking like muted silvery highlights. Visible still leafing-out scatterings: false solomon's seal, red and white baneberry, downy yellow violet, big leaved asters and zig-zag goldenrod (those latter two won't even bloom until late summer, so i find it interesting to know they begin their leaves so early / come out to catch such early sunlight)
- Red elderberry aka Red-berried elder Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens (S. pubens) flowers just arriving.
Along the Lake Ontario shoreline and bluffs:
on a coastal shoreline at the toe of Scarborough bluffs. It's also a
suggested indigenous plant for a Green Roofs in Toronto (TRCA)
- in bloom - buffalo berry/soapberry (note: in conventional horticulture, you'll see varieties of it called Russet Buffalo berry. BTW: Silver buffalo berry Shepherdia argentea is NOT native here), wild strawberry and pussy willows (yup, i just wrote "pussy willows" like i am 10 years old. i already own a well-field-worn copy of the ROM's Shrubs of Ontario, and as singularly indispensable and illuminating as it has been for my native shrub IDs, it's only given me less confidence in my ability to distinguish Salix species)
- silverweed leafing out
- horsetails sporing
- exotic Coltstfoot in bloom. no surprise: it's always the 1st early flower i see along the lake. it guides into warmer shoreline pockets and exposed steep sloped till and clay niches. and always makes me wonder what used to fill those microclimates / niches?
I also notice that the squirrels have officially naturalized Scillia into every garden bed i tend. i don't quite know what to make of that. i mean, i don't have native Spring Beauty plants to replace them with. Squirrels. those little tricksters. Gardening: to be at the mercy of the designs of squirrels. I trust the ants so much more than the squirrels...
Red maples have been in bloom for a few days, in yellow and red flowers (so are the invasive Norway maples: those greenish-yellow flowers on so many street trees right now. Soon they'll leaf out earlier and more densely than our native maples, their dense shade depriving our spring woodland ephemerals and understorey shrubs of sunlight).
Just noticed Poplar catkins in bloom this morning along the lakeshore: including cottonwoods, balsam poplars & trembling aspen.
- Should also be able to find our locally uncommon Spicebush Lindera Benzoin in bloom right now in High Park. I plan on buying a few this year for my woodland garden beds.
- In GTA naturalized areas such as the Brick Works, Fragrant Sumach Rhus aromatica shrubs and Redbud Cercis canadensis (small trees with pink-purple legume flowers) are both grown out of range (native to southern Ontario, but not to GTA), and should be in bloom soon if not already.