10 April 2010

Hepatica, early spring

Sharp-lobed hepatica
on the paler and pinker side of hepatica's
white -> periwinkle blue hues

phe·nol·o·gy: "phenology has been principally concerned with the dates of first occurrence of biological events in their annual cycle"

Here in my garden near the lake in Toronto, Sharp-lobed Hepatica began blooming on April 2nd this year. Wild Ginger blooms began the same day too. The crimson petal tips of my Red Trillium have also been showing, but haven't opened yet. Expecting bloodroot to open tomorrow. Just about all the spring woodland ephemerals in my garden are either crowned or leafing out.

It's an early spring this year.

But at this point anything could happen: from +23c last week to -1 and snowflakes last night. The possibility of repeated freeze-thaws makes me edgy. Makes me anxious for the plants and insects ... craziness, like imagining bundling them in tailor-fitted knitted wool cozies :), or covering the newly germinated fragile green (hepatica? wild blue phlox? downy-yellow violet? The local ants have their own garden design plans i'm not privy to) in cloches (but not going to do that either: maybe i'm an field grown purist? i know i like my plants to be road-tested / grown in the realities of my yard's climate, weather). So, instead, I'm keeping all the leaves and mulch on the ground as is (besides, putting those in yard waste bags to be hauled away is effectively like removing your soil, its biota and plant nutrition from your land) and even leaving up last autumn's hollow stems for any insects still finding refuge or developing in there, and, mentally crossing-my-fingers against any killer frosts.


Steve Willson said...

I've got the same weather concerns here. We've had highs in the 80's and now there have been two days with heavy frost. The plants growing around the house are on their own and I hope, providing me with an idea of what they go through in the wild on a daily basis. It's disappointing when they suffer hardships, but I think I learn a lot from each event.

Rosemary said...

So beautiful! Thanks for posting.

shawn said...

I've been wondering if bloodroot was blooming in Toronto yet. I already saw it April 5th while I was away for easter near milton/guelph but I didn't see in toronto last year till April 24th.

native plant girl said...

Steve W:
hi! hey, love your yellow violets (we call them Downy yellow violets up here). yeah, seeds are dead easy. once they start producing in a few weeks, they continue all season, right into fall = you've got a good chance at catching them! they're super easy and reliable too: i sow them immediately into the soil, and they come up the next year. thanks as always for the good reading and pics!

hey you! you coming out to downsview again this year? as you probably noticed, the 1st bloodroots i saw were on sun april 11th. and i agree, lifeisgood: good for you! :)

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