Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Garden of the Seasons: Little Pleasures of Spring

        The first weeks of May are the best of times in many ways. Including the pleasure of looking closely for that fine class of small blossoms that grow close to the ground on plants that hug the earth and take their share of sunlight before the bigger boys grow over them and tend to hog it all.
         One of these ground huggers (or 'covers') blossoms with the abundance of tiny purple circlets you see in the top photo. I have never been able to learn their name. Recently, the suggestion "Pennyroyal" was offered. Nothing I can find online has put the matter to rest for me.  
         Speedwell is another all-purpose name. Plants sold under that name include those in the second photo down, showing vertical stalks with lines of trumpet-shaped pale blue blossoms. But also the significantly different plant structure seen in the second to last photo on this page. A dense scatter of single blossom, again a light blue, among attractively shaped leaves. 
         The third photo down pictures a patch of lily of the valley with spear shaped leaves mixed in among the low mass of sweet woodruff. Both of these plants produce delicate white blossoms. The lilies blossom a single stalk with tiny bell-shaped flowers. The mat of white flowers of the sweet woodruff are shown in the sixth photo down. 
       Common violets range in color from dark purple to light violet to the nearly white flowers with purple spots pictured in two photos here.  
        Another prolific low growing, blue flowering, ground covering plant is the Forget-me-not, seen below growing amid the spear-shaped leaves of daffodils and daylilies.  
           The last photo in this group, and the only one with pink flowers is the low phlox which truly illustrate the concept of "ground cover" for a few weeks each spring.