Whether from all of the rain this spring of from or simply being a year older, many of our flowers are significantly bigger than last year. Quadrupled in size since 2013, in some cases.

Snowdrop anemone: 2013 vs. 2014. This plant has a new location this year.

snowdrop anemone comparison: 2013 vs. 2014

Columbine: 2013 vs. 2014. The garden in the background has expanded, but this plant is in the same location as last year.

columbine comparison: 2013 vs. 2014

Iris: 2013 vs. 2014. This is the biggest of four iris clumps. We didn’t divide them at the end of last summer, like we have in previous years.

iris comparison: 2013 vs. 2014

Plant sources: Linder’s (snow anemone), Bachman’s (columbine), Roseville Arboretum plant sale (iris)

Our yard’s first bloom of 2014 isn’t pasque flower or even dandelion. It is spring beauty.

One spring beauty flower

These ephemerals weren’t on my wish list when we visited Prairie Restorations last year, but it was late summer so my mind was filled with dreams of purple prairie clover and blazing star. Plus, I had never before seen them for sale.

But as soon as we came across the spring beauty section, I knew I needed to have them. I remember learning about all the local wildflowers in fourth grade and then searching for these short-lived, pale pink-striped blooms to pick to decorate the backyard climbing tree. No matter that the six-packs for sale looked like only dirt; I knew that because it was August, the flowers and even the leaves were long gone for the season but would come back.

Two spring beauty flowers

The “dirt” went into our shady garden, and uncharacteristically, I didn’t think of these native wildflowers again until I took the first trip to the backyard this week to see what survived the winter. My disappointment over not seeing bloodroot and trillium were forgotten when I saw one tiny pink flower, which has now turned into three, with many more buds getting ready to bloom.

Three spring beauty flowers

What a pretty spring surprise.

Spring beauty and more


The snow is gone (for now, at least), so I was hoping that today would be a good day for a state park hike, despite the weather forecast. No such luck: the rain started Saturday night and continued most of the day on Sunday.

But how can I be upset about rain? As all school kids know, April showers bring May flowers!

I’m looking forward to what this week’s rain will do to the flowers that are already emerging:

pearly everlasting shoots
Pearly everlasting
sedum shoots
turtlehead shoots
coral bells shoots
Coral bells
yarrow shoots
New England aster shoots
New England aster
hollyhock shoots
lilac buds

The lilac leaves are a good example of a Finnish word I learned today: hiirenkorvat, or spring buds.