Not every flower in our garden is bigger than last year. While the snowdrop anemone, columbine, and iris quadrupled in size this spring, our candytuft is about half the size it was in 2013.

This one is my fault. At the very beginning of spring, I got a tad overzealous in trimming away the foliage that I thought was dead. When it was too late, I realized my mistake. See the difference from 2013 to 2014:

candytuft comparison: 2013 vs. 2014

It’s not easy for me to practice patience, but I’m learning.

Plant source: Gertens

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