Wildflower Wednesday: Spring Ephemerals

Deep in the forest, across the creek, there is an area that will soon be underwater, once the trees are cut down and a new dam is built.

There is where I looked for some spring ephemerals, flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow. As I walked through the woods, I wished I had spent a few minutes before hand looking through a wildflower book to refresh my memory not of blooms but of foliage.

I'm sure I probably passed up some "good stuff" not currently in bloom, but I didn't have much time so I went after the obvious flowers.

Normally, I would not walk into a forest, find some flowers, dig them up, take them home and plant them in my garden. No one should be doing that!

But I know the owner of the forest, and I looked only in the area that in a few months will be the bottom of a new lake.

I did all right, coming home with these flowers...

Clockwise, from the top left, I found Jeffersonia diphylla (twinleaf), Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit), Phlox divaricata (blue woodland phlox), Enemion biternatum (Eastern false rue anemone), Viola spp. (white violets), and Trillium cuneatum (Trillium).

The pièce de résistance, however, may just be this moss-covered rock.

What gardener can resist a good rock like that?

Again, I repeat, I would not have dug up wildflowers in the woods if I did not have permission and the area was not going to be the bottom of a new lake in a few short months.

I was also careful to choose wildflowers that should not turn into thugs in my garden, though yes, I will keep my eye on that violet.

Once I brought the flowers home, I planted them in the only quasi woodland area of my garden, a shady spot beneath a Cercis canadensis tree (Eastern redbud). I planted them in a light drizzle and then watched as it rained for the next two days, ensuring that at the very least these plants won't dry out right away.

To remind myself where these flowers are, and so I don't accidentally plant something else there, I marked the area with some rocks. Eventually, once I've planted more plants in this tiny woodland garden, I'll remove that fairy ring of rocks.

This is in keeping with the garden design, which calls for this area of the garden to be under planted with spring ephemerals and then become a quiet, restful spot in the garden for the rest of the year.

I'm looking forward now to next spring, to see which of these flowers return to remind me of a quiet morning spent in the forest.
If you'd like to read more posts about wildflowers, visit Clay and Limestone to find links to other blogs participating in Wildflower Wednesday, which takes place on the fourth Wednesday of every month.


How fortunate you are to be able to get these wonderful wildflowers! I hope they do well in your garden!
Lucky you to have this opportunity. I hope they all take.
I agree with LIsa - Lucky you! I read this hoping you would talk about those little green umbrella like plants that are all over the woods right now...do you know what they are called? (I know...great description I gave you there...they are deep green about 3" tall, single stem with 5? leaves curling over like an umbrella growing in big drifts in the woods)
Commonweeder said…
A good opportunity, indeed. I love the term spring ephemeral, so evocative of spring itself.
Rose said…
What great finds you brought home, Carol! And how thoughtful that you actually performed a plant rescue, saving them all from being drowned at the bottom of the lake. I hope they appreciate their new home and reward you with many years of blooms.
Rose said…
Carol, I just skimmed through your previous posts and realized I completely missed the latest posting from the Garden Fairies, and I hate to miss any of their news. What a cute garden gate! I thought maybe the Easter bunny had left it for them, but how nice of the Hoosier Gardener. Hope you're planting that miniature garden for them right now...if it isn't still raining, that is.
rambleonrose said…
It's great that you rescued those flowers from the upcoming flooding. Those trilliums are pretty rare and at least now they have a chance. I think you'll be really happy with your woodland garden!
Kathy said…
I believe allenaim is referring to Mayapples. I am glad you got to rescue some native plants. I wish I had phlox and twinleaf growing in my woods.
p3chandan said…
Such a peaceful walk up the small creek and finding those lovely wild flowers. Not forgetting the moss covered rock, love it!
Alison said…
You are so lucky to have an area where you have permission to take wildflowers! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that they all not only survive and return next year, but also thrive and multiply.

I am jealous of that twinleaf, I've wanted one for a while.
Gail said…
Carol, You are going to love these wildflowers! I am always thrilled when my garden friends start adding them to their gardens~ These are really sweet ones, too. I wonder if there are any Spring Beauty corms hanging out in the soil you brought those home in! That will be a sweet surprise. Happy WW! gail
Oooh, that Arisaema is such a great dark form. Although the image is small, it appears that you brought home the true rue anemone, Thalictrum thalictroides/Anemonella thalictroides.
BTW, I agree with Kathy that Allenaim must be thinking of mayapples, Podophyllum peltatum, which I called "umbrella plants" when I was a kid. If you'd like some, I'd be happy to share.
Donna said…
I have these same wonderful woodland wildflowers growing in special places in my garden...I love their uniqueness and delicate flowers...happy to see you have found a special place in your garden for them as well..
Kari Lønning said…
Last year I started documenting the wildflowers as they came into bloom in SW Connecticut. It's a bit of a jumble, but there's a link on my blog. (There's also a link to my garden photo site- which I started for bloom day photos.)
Jess said…
Alright, you've convinced me, its time to start picking wildflowers willy nilly... (JOKING!)
I enjoyed your post. I hope the plants do well in your garden.
sb158 said…
Oh man, why must they drown such a beautiful area under a lake? Places like that are so rare nowadays, you'd think they'd want to preserve them. Sigh...
Diane said…
How great that you were able to save those plants from drowning! I think what you did was wonderful. And yes, I *love* the rock too!
Asha Ram said…
Lovely flowers! I hope they bloom several lovely flowers at your garden.
Glad you were able to rescue these plants before they were destroyed by the soon-to-be lake. Hope they do well and give you years of pleasure. :)