My mission was simple: Find the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) in the BBG's Native Garden and photograph it for a (very short) story I am writing. My favourite, cloaked bloodroot picture dates back several years (6 April 2008!) and I wanted to catch the flowers open this time. For the last week I have been preoccupied with terrace gardens, so was unaware that the magnolias were in full bloom, here. They are slower, on the street. The air was vibrating with an undercurrent of scent. Put your nose right into a Magnolia stellata and breathe in.
It was a beautiful day. There were a lot of people.
Below, Anemonella thalictroides. Small fingernail-sized flowers. I do a lot of leopard-crawling...
In the Shakespeare garden, violets. A grey-haired mother asked her two little boys, Now what is the difference between a tragedy and a comedy? They gave a satisfactory answer, but I felt like saying, One's point of view? (I was photographing a nearby tulip.) Then she said, And tell me the name of a Shakespeare tragedy. To Kill a Mocking Turtle! piped one boy.
Above the lilac garden and below the overlook is a beautiful, steep terrace of periwinkle, muscari and small yellow daffodils. I had never noticed it before, and one forgets that periwinkle really is very pretty for this week or two.
Then the native garden.
Dicentra cucullaria, Dutchman's breeches, the most exquisite little things. Soon the hill will be full of them. The sense of urgency is now upon me. Every week, every day, brings something new. I feel like that rabbit: I'm late! I'm late! Actually, spring may be late. Last year I photographed the golden club in bloom a week from now. No sign of it this time, nor any water in the kettle pond. The dog tooth violets (Erythronium) are just spotted leaves. Last year, a delicate yellow carpet. But all the little spring things have begun. If I am very clever. I may catch them all.
A trillium and I forget which, but prehistorically stunning before it opens.
My bloodroot. I think I got the photos I wanted. They are heartbreakingly lovely. I get very tense and overexcited taking pictures of plants like this. It seems of paramount importance to get it right, and one feels that that in itself is impossible, because they are so right.
What's this? Clue: Tree. What wonderful buds! Is it a chestnut?
The private metamorphosis of May apples. I have never seen them emerge and had no idea that it is this covert. Each stem is usualy just one leaf, and this is how it unfolds. Impeccable design.
I also saw ramps, which I refrained from pulling up, spidery black cohosh, Confederate violets, skunk cabbage (no blooms) and abundantly flowering spicebush. No scent of spice, though.
Yep, I had a good time. More to come.