The Earliest Blooms

Cape Cod gardeners know what it is to be impatient. Every spring, we are the last area around to experience spring, and then it is a muted event. There is plenty to be done in the garden preparing for next year, but what I really want is to find flowering native plants in my yard. Especially since I am starting to see bees, flies, and other pollinators out looking for food.

So far this year, in addition to the non-native bulbs and forsythia, I have only seen three different plants in bloom. In order of appearance, like Broadway casts, here they are:

This sweet little violet popped up in a protected spot outside the shed door on March 21. Since then dozens of purple and white violets have appeared scattered over my Cape Cod lawn, and there have been a few small insects buzzing around them.

Three weeks later, on April 9, I looked up at the buds and flowers of the red maple (Acer rubrum), and again saw multiple buzzing insects. These early-blooming trees and shrubs are treasures because of the number of insects they support.

This past week, on April 19, the first of my planted native perennials bloomed. This is the barren strawberry (Geum fragaroides), and it is planted in the sun in corner of the protected bluestone patio, so I think it is advancing faster than the same plants elsewhere in the garden.

It won’t be long now before more of the spring shrubs and herbaceous plants start to bloom, but for now I’m celebrating what nature has given us.

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