Peak Spring

Hi River Roaders,

I think of the time between mid-April and mid-May as “Peak Spring” here in the Mid-Atlantic. Warbler migration is at it’s peak, and the number of wildflowers increases until the growing tree cover shades them out. Here are some images from the past week on our grounds.

If you take a walk in our Native Plant Garden now, you will see several areas covered with the yellow flowers of Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea). This wonderful ground cover is evergreen, blooms early in the year, and is aggressive enough to compete with English Ivy.

Although the Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) is considered evergreen, every spring the foliage renews, with new fiddle heads emerging. This fern is at the top of our new front path.

We have blue, blue/white, yellow, and white violets on our grounds.

We are lucky to have so many Eastern red bud (Cercis canadensis) trees on our grounds.

Most folks are attracted to the brightest, most colorful flowers. One of my favorite plants (and flowers) is star chickweed (stellaria pubera). We have several small clumps growing in the very back of our property. For me, the delicate, small white flowers, covered in the dew, are the essence of early spring.

I’m only aware of two toadshade (trillium sessile) on our grounds, although it is quite common down along the river. Another common name is Wake Robin.

I’m stumped by some of our flowering trees. I’m not sure what this is, but this small tree at the top of our drive is really pretty.

We have one Korean spice viburnum in our Memorial Garden. The first week that it’s in bloom, I find it to be the very definition of cloying (look it up). I think we have at least ten varieties of viburnum on our grounds, including all of the native species.

If you can, take some time to check out the Covid memorial on our front plaza, and take some time to wander our grounds.