Friday, April 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, April 2011

Once again it's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Looking back at my April Bloom Day post from last year, I can see that spring really is coming along more slowly this year, it's not just my imagination. Last year I had a couple of native blooms for April 15: Waldsteinia fragaroides (barren strawberry waldsteinie faux-fraisier) and Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells, mertensie de Virginie), but there's no sign of them today, not even foliage (which worries me). I do have some flowers blooming today at least: [Photo: Chionodoxa forbesii.]

Chionodoxa forbesii (glory of the snow, gloire des neiges). [Photo: Primula hybrida.]

The Primula hybrida (primrose, primevère) which my landlords got as a disposable houseplant a couple of years ago is a bit of a mess, but at this time of the year I am grateful to see any flowers at all!

Behind and to the right you can see a bit of foliage from our native Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower, tiarelle cordifoliée). I think it kept its foliage all winter (hard to know for sure what's going on under the snow). It's sending out runners like a strawberry! I will be very happy if it spreads. [Photo: Puschkinia libanotica.]

The Puschkinia libanotica (snowdrift, scille de Liban) is not "drifting" at all. I wonder how long it took the neighbours to establish this beautiful mass of snowdrift? Since this isn't native, I guess I should be glad it's not prolific since that means it's less of a risk to wild areas. [Photo: clump of Scilla siberica.] Scilla siberica (Siberian squill, scille de Sib√©rie) is continuing to spread. I didn't realize at the time we rescued it from a neighbour's garden that it is an invasive species here in Southern Ontario and my landlords' kids would be upset now if I tried to remove it—not to mention that it is very difficult to remove. I will be deadheading. If you don't have this in your garden, don't plant it!

Behind and to the right of the scilla you can see some Aquilegia sp. (columbine, ancolie) foliage. The columbines in the front yard haven't bloomed yet and I can't remember if they are our native Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine, ancolie du Canada) (my favourite flower) or the non-native Aquilegia vulgaris (also nice, and the bees like it). Maybe this year I'll find out!

Barbara Pintozzi at Beautiful Wildlife Garden wrote about using non-native minor bulbs to attract pollinators. I was hoping that the local bees and friends would visit these early flowers, but I haven't seen one! Fellow Torontonians, have you seen pollinators visit early non-native flowers (like crocus, squill, winter aconite, etc.) in your garden? Or are they just too early?

Thanks to Carol from May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Be sure to visit her and check out what's blooming today in gardens all over the world!

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