All month I've been looking forward to Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail at Clay and Limestone, since things are finally starting to happen in the garden. But then Gail went and declared this to be Wildflower Week! Even better! So here is my Wildflower Wednesday/Week post:
What are these crumpled, not-yet-unfurled leaves? They're the greatest groundcover to grace my garden: wild ginger (Asarum canadense). These are passalongs from Mr. McGregor's Daughter (who also posted about this plant recently).
I have issues with groundcovers. I've tried woodland phlox (P. divaricata), lamium, and sweet alyssum in the sunny front border. But nothing takes! Instead I end up with blotches of plants or, in the case of the alyssum that I attempted to grow from seed, nothing at all. Not so with wild ginger! I have these planted in what is definitely the most challenging spots in my garden: dry shade between a box elder and silver maple where they fight against not only tree roots but the remnants of lava rocks that were piled 3" deep by the previous owners. Despite all the loads I've hauled out of these borders, there are still rocks worked well down into the soil thanks to years of downright stupid landscaping.
And yet these wild ginger are thriving! I initially received a few clumps (which I neglected to water and afflicted with some of the worst transplanting treatment one can give to plants). Over the past year, and now again this spring, they've started spreading and are almost reaching the stage where one could call a plant a true groundcover. Their thick, hunter green, heart-shaped leaves are a lovely backdrop, and I've been amazed at their drought tolerance. I'm planning to add many more clumps (assuming I have to given how well they're doing already).
If you have groundcover issues and need something for dry shade, look no further: wild ginger! (There is a European variety as well but I've never grown it and can't attest to its attributes.)
In other wildflower happenings, the pasque flowers are looking a little wilted from the cold and rainy weather, but their foliage is starting to unfurl and the second plant (not pictured) is in bud too. I'm absolutely loving these flowers and I'm considering planting more in place of crocuses. The fuzziness on the foliage is also suggesting to me that these really are the North American species, Anemone patens multifida. It's hard to tell because they're so similar to the European variety.
A golden alexander (Zizia aurea) is also about to bloom! Late April is a little early for these to flower, but hey, this plant is obviously loving life. My other zizias are well short of the flowering stage, but given all the moisture we've had lately I hope they're getting charged up for a great spring.
Pennsylvania sedges (Carex pensylvanica) in the rain garden are in full "bloom," looking like miniature yellow feather dusters.
And lastly, one of my prairie smoke plants (Geum triflorum) is budding, just the littlest bit. I'm afraid these plants are not getting enough sun in their current location, but since they're only in their second year I'm not going to make a judgement on moving them quite yet.
So much else is up and growing that it's much too much to name here. Despite spring's reluctance to show up, the garden is moving ahead anyway!