Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Spring Flowers!

I can't get enough of spring flowers! I just love them so much! Here are some photos of flowers in bloom in our yard right now (and a couple of spectacular ones from the garden of Frank Cooper).

Let's start with what I call the "ash bed" -- a group of bulbs and plants encircling the big old ash tree on the west side of our property.

In these photos, you can see white bell-like blooms of the fritillary, Fritillaria meleagris, small yellow anemones (Anemone ranunculoides), and some Darwin tulips.

Here are some of the white fritillaries surrounded by the blue forget-me-not flowers of the big-leaved brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla), an easy and lovely shade plant.

The white fritillaries also come in a charming checkered purple color. The fritillaries are bulbs that are planted in the fall. I've seen pictures of great drifts of the checkered ones in Oxford, England.

The brunnera bloom early, and then the leaves continue to grow bigger and wider during the summer, looking quite a bit like hostas. They seem to be undemanding and spread slowly in moist shade.

At the other end of the ash bed are some more Darwin tulips.
Some of the tulips look very different from the inside and have marvelous markings and contrasting colors.
Taking photos of tulips is addictive. I can't stop!
And they are even more spectacular close up!
These pale yellow ones have a very thin line of red around the edge.
Although they are starting to finish up now, the blue anemones (Anemone blanda) are still showing their charming daisy faces.
There are a few Darwin tulips in places other than the ash bed, such as these along the side of the wired-in run that forms the lower half of the "cat patio."
The short, small species tulips from which all the hybrids were developed are especially charming. Here in a raised bed is a cluster of Tulipa tarda, a "tardy" or late-blooming species tulip.

In the north yard, the snowflakes (Leucojum aestivalis) are blooming in profusion.

The snowflakes look a little bit like the snowdrops, but they are later, quite a bit taller, and have green markings on the edge of each nodding white bells. The bulbs are small and nice when planted in groups.
Our north yard is shady and includes some Chinese dogwoods, large rhodondendrons (in bud now), and a finely cut small Japanese maple that is starting to color up.
On the west side of the north yard is a large old pin oak, and we've planted wildflowers and ferns around the base of the tree. The yellow Celadine wood poppies (Stylophorum diphylum) that are also in our south yard at the base of a large maple are blooming under the pin oak.
 There is also a white bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba') there. We have some of the pink bleeding hearts in the south yard as well. They are in the same family of plants as the wild bleeding hearts of the Illinois woods, called "Dutchman's breeches" for their upside-down pantaloon shaped flowers.

Of course, lots of daffodils are still going strong, like these near the west fence gate along the driveway.

One of my favorite white daffodils is the Thalia, a late-blooming narcissus of the "triandis" type. It is delicate, elegant, and fragrant.
Speaking of beautiful white flowers, I was absolutely thrilled to discover that I had evidently planted a double bloodroot in the pin oak bed and that it bloomed for the first time, with two flowers.
But to show you the double bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex') at its glorious best, you must see the incredible clump from Frank Cooper's garden:
 Frank's pink rhodo (Rhododendron 'Weston's Pink Diamond') is spectacular this year as well.
Each day brings a new plant into bloom in the spring -- that's part of why it's my favorite season, full of excitement, hope, and renewal!


  1. What a wonderful garden - and what a great flower expert you are! I very much enjoy your posts!

  2. I just love spring with all the flowers and beautiful weather,,,thanks for sharing..beautiful pictures..

  3. Susan, beautiful. I especially love the bloodroots..that pure white gets me every single time!