Thursday, May 3, 2012

May day

Today is a lovely warm day. The kind that forces you out of doors just because it's here. What a wonderful change from the cold damp days we've been enduring of late. While I have been out in the garden cleaning up , and culling garlic mustard and just checking things out and making more revisions of revisions of plans, today was worthy of some photos.

I took this photo of a Comma butterfly (or so I believe) from my bedroom and I am glad I did as it flew away once I got within 10 feet of it. I am seeing a lot more butterflies in my gardens in the past few years and I like to think I had something to do with it. I have been planting native species in the back and trying to select ones that provide shelter or food for the animals. Of course this has its problems too but that is for another post.

The Red Admiral butterfly has never been a stranger to the garden, but this year seems to be a banner year as there are many more of them than I have ever seen. Apparently I am not alone is observing the increased numbers as they actually made the news a few weeks ago.

Beautiful and delicate Anemonella thalictroides never disappoint in the spring. Their leaves resemble those of the columbine. There is a double form which is pretty too but I have yet to find one. 

No one can beat Mother Nature for inspiring form and structure. Solomon seal is wondrous to watch unfold its layers. 

The Great White Trillium is Ontario's provincial flower. It grows in large numbers like a wave of white froth on the forest floor. Count yourself lucky if you get to see that marvel.

Another Solomon seal but this is the European variegated form. Gorgeous red stalks push themselves out of the soil and eventually turn green, but you can see the tint of red near the flower bud in this photo.

Redbud trees have become very popular in my neighborhood and it is easy to see why. Who would turn down this shock of pink in early spring.

The red buds before they open. The tree flowers on old wood, so don't do any major pruning if you don't have to.

My first Jack in the Pulpit or Arisaema triphyllum to flower in the garden. Another architectural wonder wouldn't you say? This family has all kinds of cool looking species but this one is native to North America.

False Solomon seal shares many of its structural qualities with its big brother but it follows its own path with a very different flower. While Solomon seal has little bells of flowers that hang down from the underside of the main stalk, Maianthemum racemosum creates a fluffy puff of flowers similar to that of astilbe.

And finally the unfurling fronds of the Ostrich ferm. These ferns are edible and in our neck of the woods are called Fiddleheads (and especially out in the Maritimes) and you can certainly see why they got that name. Lightly steamed with butter, yum.


  1. I saw a Comma butterfly yesterday for the first time in my garden. I did not know the name either. I like the way Solomon's Seal unfolds too. It is really an interesting plant. Ferns are my favorite unfurling plant though. They look so prehistoric.

  2. I seems a shame to eat those beautiful fronds. Or do they taste even better than they look?

  3. What a wonderful day in spring it is, with flowers blooming and butterflies visiting. The blooms are colourful and gorgeous!

  4. You've been busy. I love fiddlehead fern. I even showed a salad in a recent post. How do you prepare yours?

    1. Simply is the key. Clean the fiddleheads with water removing any dirt or remaining papery covering. Steam them in a double boiler or in a fry pan with water for about 10 minutes. Either lightly dress with melted butter or extra virgin olive oil. If you eat asparagus they are cooked in pretty much the same way. I love mine with a mushroom risotto.