Spring tinies

These last two days have been so spectacular — soft, sunny, and warm — that I can’t stand the thought of anyone being stuck indoors. I know I’m lucky (in a previous life I worked in a windowless office) and I wish you all could be out here with us. (If it’s any consolation, I’m inside now to work on this. But the door next to my desk is wide open and the greenhouse is behind me. I’m totally lucky.)

I had to include the above daffodil pictures in this post — they’re on their way towards peak — but before they blare every trumpet I feel justified in focusing on the spring tinies. Ephemerals like the trout lily (Erythronium americanum) that has speckled the Bosquet and every garden and is just beginning to bloom; tiny primroses (Primula veris vulgaris), and European ginger (Asarum europaeum) blooming almost invisibly in the Rock Garden; weird octopus’ garden foliage and buds of Muscari armeniacum ‘Valerie Finnis’; and the innocent-looking flowers and newly emerged foliage of butterbur (Petasites japonicus). There’s no indication that in 2 or 3 weeks time the butterbur’s leaves will be as big as tea tables…

(Click on any picture for a showier show and/or mouse over for captions.)

Speaking of innocent-looking, we started taking out, dividing, and moving around perennials that have grown close together in the Idea Garden. Everything is still so tiny that it’s hard to believe they’ll ever be shoulder height (some of them) and a lot of them look exactly alike (to me) at this stage. It was like a memory test to remember what’s what. And in fact it was hard enough for me to distinguish between the mountain mint (Pycnanthemum verticillatum) — which we want to replace with a showier P. muticum — and the Monarda fistulosa ‘Claire Grace’, planted side by side that I had to resort to the sniff test. Mountain mint definitely smells mintier… And we had to do some fancy footwork to avoid stepping on all of the perennials still so tucked in that we can barely even see them. But this is the perfect time to start to play musical perennials. We can even get away with stashing The Unplanted in bags in the shade for a week or two (I don’t mind making daylilies and rudbeckia wait even longer) until we figure out where they’ll live next.

Please tell me you were able to get into your garden to dig into (or just enjoy) spring’s tinies. (I’ll feel better if you have.)

5 thoughts on “Spring tinies

  1. Oh yes, I have been in the garden and neglecting reading blogs. I will divide as soon as we get a bit of moisture. It is dry in the garden and the vernal pool which is normally a spring standard in the back field is missing this year. Still, it has been a slow spring until today when temps hit 70+. I am not anxious for hot weather. The flowers leave so quickly.

    Layanee, apparently I have been neglecting reading my own comments let alone other blogs! And since you wrote that, haven’t we had a beautiful spring?! But it’s still dry-dry. -kris

  2. A friend and I just divided Amsonia tabernaemontana (Blue Star Flower) that was untouched for 10 yrs. A word to the wise, if you plant this make sure it has plenty of room and don’t wait 10 yrs. to divide! In fact never divide it! Gonna pay tomorrow!

    Carolyn, I’m totally with you. It once took me the better part of a day to divide one bruiser! Never again. And since you’ve reminded me I’d better move the little ones I planted in my own garden right next to the fence! (What was I thinking?) But isn’t it just the prettiest plant… -kris

  3. Back in the garden! I peer at the earth wondering what is emerging, too and think…oh yes…I forgot that I planted that there. It’s like a puzzle unfolding every day. Best time of year. Dreams of glory.

    Ginny, That’s so true. I love imagining the garden’s future and looking forward to how it will surprise me! -kris

  4. Not yet! We just got hit with a spring snowstorm. It’s been warmish so maybe it will melt quickly. But no sign of daffs or even anything tiny yet. But thanks for the pictures! We know it’s coming.

    Pat, I can’t even imagine snow right now! I hope your spring comes soon!! -kris

  5. Planning to visit this week just wondering if the daffs are blooming yet. We were there this time last year and the tulips were beautiful!

    Nancy, the daffodils are peaking this week. –I took those pictures last Tuesday! (and I hope to post an update today –the15th) -kris

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