Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring delights -- Nature's Palette

Unless you know what you're looking at, the scrubby patch pictured above doesn't look like much. Still, I was excited to spot it this morning, wandering around the garden in my housecoat and slippers with my cup of tea. I've been watching this spot for the last few weeks, wondering if and when the trillium will emerge through the salal, and trying to remember if this is, indeed, the spot where it pops up each year, a vestige of the woods that used to cover our island. The blooms brighten the green for weeks before darkening to deep pink until the whole plant, leaves, blooms, and all, dies back and remains dormant 'til next spring. Because of this trillium, I leave the salal alone, although I try not to let it take over too much of the surrounding garden -- salal might look scrubby, but it's the original very efficient ground cover, and its edible berries once provided welcome food for indigenous peoples. And if I started to dig it out, I'm afraid this serendipitous trillium bloom might sulk and abandon me forever.
Look at that combination of the palest yellow, the creamy white, and that rich dark green (and I also might include the tobacco-chestnut colours of the dead leaf to the left) -- can't you imagine that played out several different ways in clothes or in your livingroom?
The same colours, with more emphasis on the browns, here twisting to burgundy and rust, in this epimedium -- I love the daintiness of this flower and the way it contrasts with the rather robust leaves (here looking a bit worse for the wear after the winter; they'll soon be replaced by the new spring growth).
Here's another variety of epimedium just thinking about blooming -- here the greens and browns are just barely punctuated by the pale yellow for a much darker, but still interesting, palette.


  1. How lovely. Thank you for feeding that lust for a little bit of spring, even if only vicariously.

  2. My latest post is a tribute to your garden photos...and my subtle hint that Spring should hurry up and arrive already - it's mid-April.

  3. Thanks Mardel and Thomas -- I'm sure it's almost here -- the plants seem confident anyway!


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