Spring is here

It feels like spring has been here for so long, but really, it’s just that the snow has been gone for so long. Plants started popping out of the ground several weeks ago, but they didn’t do much until the last week because we’ve had several freezes and even a couple of snow flurries as recently as two weeks ago.

goldenrod seedling with frost on many leaves

In the meantime, I’ve already been to Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis three times! I had to get a glimpse of some flowers – like my favorite, bloodroot, which for some reason does not grow in our yard (despite my attempts every year).

four open regular-sized bloodroots and one much smaller

Finally, after some warm temperatures, there are a couple of blossoms in our woodland garden, too. (Much more on those another day.) Can we say that spring is truly here? I really think so – though I’m trying to be realistic and remember that it snowed the first week of May, four years ago.

golden alexanders seedling with lots of small leaves

I’ve been so antsy to get out into the garden, but I’ve been holding off so I don’t trample the ground where bees are hibernating. I’ve been mostly keeping to the edges of the garden and peeping as far as I can see – but I just can’t resist taking a closer look any longer. Bees are out now, anyway.

Purple coneflower:

many old stalks with several small leaves

Stiff goldenrod:

two large new plants

Cup plant:

medium-green toothed leaves right at the ground

Spiderwort:

two dozen plants that look like wide grass

Bee balm:

two dozen short plants with leaves unfurling at the tops of the stems

Turtlehead:

many very small, thin leaves standing straight up

I think yellow coneflower, yarrow, and purple giant hyssop will compete this year for the plant that has spread the most:

coneflower - small green leaves, in a wide line instead of a circle

yarrow - many light-green leaves that look like little ferns

hyssop - four small clumps of the same type of plant

Phlox – which came out of the ground very purple, a phenomenon that an Instagram friend says is due to a pigment that protects plants from UV rays. It has already begun to turn green:

very small deep purple seedlings, and the same plant two weeks later, much larger and green

Several unknowns, including this one in the jack-in-the-pulpit spot that I fear is invasive creeping bellflower:

three short green plants with long wide toothed leaves

Is this the year our cardinal flower finally succeeds?

tightly packed green leaves five inches wide

We seem to have our first failure of the year, pasqueflower, which I have not spotted where it should be. But soon, we’ll have more flowers than we can keep track of. Spring is the most wonderful time of the year. (No need to remind me of that statement in six months, when I will claim – again – that autumn is the most beautiful time of the year.)

Is it time to remove the dead flower stalks and debris from last year, like on this sedum? Or is it still too early for hibernating insects that may be sleeping inside?

sedum leaves that look like flowers, with old stalks rising between them

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2 comments on “Spring is here

  1. Hmmm…. not sure that’s cardinal flower. I could be wrong, but mine is shinier and the leaves are shaped a bit differently. Plus the clump looks just too darn big to be possible. As far as the possible bellflower… possibly. Hard to tell the scale. The one on the right does look like it the most.

    • Crystal Colby Mulry says:

      I’m not convinced it’s cardinal flower, either – I probably shouldn’t have included it. But I don’t remember anything in that spot last year. Can’t wait to see what it turns into!

      I am pretty sure on the bellflower, though. As it’s grown more over the last few days, it’s looking more and more like the other leaves that are marching down the hillside and through other gardens – and those turned into bellflowers last year. I need to decide whether to take action now, or wait until after the nearby flowers (jack-in-the-pulpit, trillum, etc.) bloom. Any advice from a longtime fighter of creeping bellflower?

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