1 It's early May, and the apple trees are just beginning to flower. Soon they will look so vibrant against the backdrop of the green fields and woodland.
2 In bloom are the Virginia bluebells or Mertensia virginica. Their other common names are: Virginia cowslip, lungwort oyster leaf, and Roanoke bells.
3 These flowers have five petals fused into a tube, five stamens, and a central pistil. The flowers are usually blue, but white or pink occur, though quite rarely.
4 They are in the family Boraginaceae, which makes them related to other species such as Forget-me-not, Lungwort, and Comfrey.
5 Mertensia virginica is a perennial that is native to North America. Its buds are actually pink, but the flowers are blue. They can grow in any garden and bloom in early to mid spring and continue blooming through early to mid summer.
6 Bluebells will grow to a height of 18-24 inches tall, so they're great naturalization plants for use behind other, smaller ones. They do best in peaty, sandy soil, but once planted, they require very little maintenance.
7 This is Fritillaria meleagris, also known by its common names: chess flower, checkered lily, drooping tulip, or in northern Europe, simply fritillary.
8 The name Fritillaria actually comes from the Latin work fritillus meaning dice-box, likely referring to the checkered pattern on some of the flowers.
9 The flower has a checkered pattern in shades of purple or sometimes it's found in pure white. It flowers from March to May and grows between six and 16-inches tall.
10 These bell-shaped blooms live well in partial shade and abundant moisture. They are great for those gardens with less than well-drained soil.
11 My Yellow Magnolia Collection is looking very pretty. These bright, creamy yellow four-inch blooms appear upright on otherwise bare branches.
12 Magnolias are generally hardy in cooler climates, They prefer moist, well-drained, neutral or slightly acidic soil and plenty of organic matter. They will tolerate sun or partial shade.
13 There are about 80 different species of magnolia that are native to the eastern United States and southeastern Asia. they are easy to grow and are also relatively pest free.
14 Muscari is a genus of perennial bulbous plants native to Eurasia. Most may know it by its common name grape hyacinth. Muscari appears as spikes of dense urn-shaped flowers resembling bunches of grapes in shades of blue.
15 These beautiful flowers are planted as bulbs and tend to naturalize quickly in good soil. They prefer well-drained sandy soil that is acid to neutral.
16 These flowers are often found planted in lawns, borders, rock gardens, and in containers. All varieties of Muscari are also fragrant.
17 I have a lot of Muscari planted under my clematis pergola. In full bloom, they look like carpets of blue. They are also excellent in borders, under shrubs and trees, and as cut flowers.
18 Pulmonaria, or lungwort, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginceae. They are evergreen or herbaceous perennials that form clumps.
19 The calyx of the blue pulmonaria is five-lobed and slightly funnel-shaped. The color of the flower bud is often pink, which then changes to blue as it matures.
20 In my shade garden outside the Tenant House, I have lots of beautiful ferns. Every day it seems more and more and growing. A fern is a member of a group of roughly 12-thousand species of vascular plants that reproduce via spores.
21 Most ferns have what are called fiddleheads, or croziers, that expand into fronds, which are each delicately divided. Ferns do well in part shade or dappled sunlight, and require very little maintenance throughout the year.
22 Dicentra spectabilis, or bleeding heart, is a genus of eight species of herbaceous plants with oddly shaped flowers that look very similar to hearts. These flowers are native to eastern Asia and North America.
23 The flowers have two tiny sepals and four petals. They are also bisymmetric, meaning the two outer petals are pouched at the base and curved outwards at the tip. They are shade loving woodland plants that bloom in the cool of spring and stay in bloom for several weeks.
24 There wasn't a cloud in the sky yesterday. And, here in the Northeast, it is expected to be a mostly sunny Mother's Day weekend. I hope the weather is pleasant wherever you are.