The back area of our lot abuts part of a wildlife sanctuary. It’s a sort of wing or peninsula off of the main property that juts up into our street; it’s a few house lots deep. Just big enough to provide privacy and the comfort that no one will build behind our old house.
The cherry, maples, oaks, and a few hickory trees do an excellent job of shading that back part of my yard and my neighbors’. Unfortunately, they are frustrated lawn makers and fight a non-winnable battle against the shade. Being it’s a sanctuary, they have little chance of seeing enough trees removed that their lawns would thrive. Within months of buying the property, I conceded the victory to the woods. I’ve never been a big fan of lawns anyway.
My kids started digging a pond, and I began planting native plants tolerant of the partial and deep shade that we had there. Each year I add a few plants as I find appropriate species in the catalogs and nurseries that cater to those looking for native plants. So it’s not unusual that I pace spring by the emergence of springtime plants and flowers. This year I discovered that my photographic collection is detailed enough from past springs that I could state that we were over a week behind last spring in my tiny neck of the woods.
So what’s emerging today, April tenth?
The petal-less flowers of the Spicebush are swollen but not open. Last year they were in “bloom” on April first. Preparing for later bloom are:
- Trillium – the first trillium leaves have popped up,
- Wood Phlox has sprouted.
- Anenome fringed leaves are showing.
- The bronze and green leaves of Trout Lily are on display.
- The leaves of Canadian Ginger got caught in yesterday’s hail storm, but they should still do well. The Canadian Ginger has a lovely little flower that hides beneath its leaves.
I’ll be checking daily now for the blooms. However, some of these plants, like the Trout Lily, are ephemeral – the plants disappear not too long after they bloom. So, if you want to catch them, you have to observe them daily.
I know many who look at me and say, “Spring in New England? You’re nuts!” But in many ways, it’s the best one. You just have to be patient.