Spring has Sprung!
Jeanne DeBenedetti Keyes
Although flowers such as daffodils (Narcissus sp.), snow drops (Galanthus sp.) and hellebores (Helleborus sp.) signal the start of spring, you know that spring is well on its way when fritillarias, trillium and other early spring treasures, push their way out of the soil and spread their fresh, new leaves. The purple and white checkerboard of Fritillaria meleagris make excellent companions for bright yellow narcissus in a shady spot.
It is so fun to watch beauties, such as this False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum), first poke out of the soil as a brown or green, nondescript spear of fleshy plant material that looks somewhat menacing like an alien life- form releasing itself from its pod. The next day the leaf pulls away from the stem, and then the day after that the leaf slowly unfurls and grows into a fully formed adult leaf. The young leaves of this mayapple (Podophyllum pleianthum) have barely unfurled but are already reaching for the sky.
Not to be undone, the trees and shrubs are quickly catching up. As I look out my office window, I see bright, green fuzz of baby leaves on all of the trees, glistening in the light, spring rain.
Photographed by author in her garden.
Top right photo: checkered lily (Fritillaria meleagris)
Middle right photo: mayapple (Podophyllum pleianthum)
Bottom left photo: wake robin (Trillium)
Bottom right photo: false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum)