Fairy Candles, Snakeroot, Bugbane, Black Cohosh, Actea racemosa, is abloomin’ now. This is a tall plant whose flower stalk can exceed six feet. It starts blooming at the bottom tier of flowers and proceeds upward. I started out years ago with just a few plants. Originally they were planted in the southeast corner of our lot. One morning years ago we were eating our breakfast on our rear porch. The sun came through the trees to the east and lit up the candles. That evening as we were having dinner on the porch the western sun lit up the candles. Fairy Candles: what a perfect name. How much better can it get? I was getting seedlings and decided to transplant some of them to the northern edge of our lot to act as a background. These have prospered and produced more seedlings. Now I have Bugbanes all over my lot. Those that crowd my paths get moved to more suitable locations.

A few years ago I bought a Cup Plant, It gets its common name because the two opposite leaves on its stalk form a cup that can collect rainwater. Birds and other animals can then drink from this cup. It is a big plant, growing up to eight feet sunflower blossoms. The original plant was sited in the back perennial bed. It produced seedlings and a couple of these seedlings were transplanted to the front bed. There they have thrived even more and attained their eight feet. I affectionately call them “My Monster Plants”!

Tick Trefoil is not one you would plant in a woodland garden, but I inherited some when I bought our lot. In the early years I tried to pull it up wherever I saw it, but in my older and wiser years I sit back and let it do its thing. It has small bright rosy flowers that add a touch of color to my woods. The flowers are followed by seeds (ticks) that cling to fur or trousers which is why I tried to rid my woods of it.

Ramps, Allium tricoccum, are a three season plant. They are one of the first plants to come up in the spring to take advantage of the light coming through bare branches. Then they die back like a spring ephemeral. But they in flower now have sent up flower stalks with an umbel of small white flowers – second season. These are followed by small black seeds that persist into fall – their third season.

The jury is still out on Masterwort, Astrantia major. I planted it in the back perennial bed and the small white flowers are not that appealing to me. Seedlings have spread to the front bed, some with pinkish flowers. These are more appealing. It does well and the dark green foliage is attractive. Perhaps I should try some of the many named cultivars. From Perennials.com I found this description. “Masterwort is highly regarded by floral designers for the unique umbels of starry flowers, a bit like a refined Queen-Anne’s-Lace in effect, but not at all weedy in habit. This species is quite variable, with flowers from white through to pink, to green or ruby red, surrounded by green bracts. Excellent filler plant for a moist area in sun or part shade. Easily divided in early spring. “

Green-and-Gold and Welsh Poppy. These are rebloomers that bloom in May and then sporadic bloom the rest of the summer. When I had just a few plants of Green-and-Gold I doubted that this was so, but now with hundreds of plants, I concur. I have a dozen or more in bloom as I write this. Welsh Poppy, Meconopsis cambrica, pops up in early May, sometimes a tad too late for the Garden Club sale. As often the case both common and Latin names are identical. Meconopsis being the botanical name for poppies and Cambria, the ancient name for Wales. I have the yellow-flowering form. I would love to get seed for the orange and red forms.

If you have been down to the Civic Center Plaza this past week, you should have noticed a flowering tree in the Peace Garden. It is a Japanese Stewartia with lovely camellia-like blossoms. It is one of the best of the flowering trees having several seasons of interest. Not only is it beautiful when in flower, but it also has beautiful peeling bark. Unfortunately, with the plantings around it this feature is obscured. I have a plant in my garden, but it is too young to flower.

Fairy Candles, Snakeroot, Bugbane, Black Cohosh, Actea racemosa, is abloomin’ now. This is a tall plant whose flower stalk can exceed six feet. It starts blooming at the bottom tier of flowers and proceeds upward. I started out years ago with just a few plants. Originally they were planted in the southeast corner of our lot. One morning years ago we were eating our breakfast on our rear porch. The sun came through the trees to the east and lit up the candles. That evening as we were having dinner on the porch the western sun lit up the candles. Fairy Candles: what a perfect name. How much better can it get? I was getting seedlings and decided to transplant some of them to the northern edge of our lot to act as a background. These have prospered and produced more seedlings. Now I have Bugbanes all over my lot. Those that crowd my paths get moved to more suitable locations. A few years ago I bought a Cup Plant, It gets its common name because the two opposite leaves on its stalk form a cup that can collect rainwater. Birds and other animals can then drink from this cup. It is a big plant, growing up to eight feet sunflower blossoms. The original plant was sited in the back perennial bed. It produced seedlings and a couple of these seedlings were transplanted to the front bed. There they have thrived even more and attained their eight feet. I affectionately call them “My Monster Plants”! Tick Trefoil is not one you would plant in a woodland garden, but I inherited some when I bought our lot. In the early years I tried to pull it up wherever I saw it, but in my older and wiser years I sit back and let it do its thing. It has small bright rosy flowers that add a touch of color to my woods. The flowers are followed by seeds (ticks) that cling to fur or trousers which is why I tried to rid my woods of it. Ramps, Allium tricoccum, are a three season plant. They are one of the first plants to come up in the spring to take advantage of the light coming through bare branches. Then they die back like a spring ephemeral. But they in flower now have sent up flower stalks with an umbel of small white flowers – second season. These are followed by small black seeds that persist into fall – their third season. The jury is still out on Masterwort, Astrantia major. I planted it in the back perennial bed and the small white flowers are not that appealing to me. Seedlings have spread to the front bed, some with pinkish flowers. These are more appealing. It does well and the dark green foliage is attractive. Perhaps I should try some of the many named cultivars. From Perennials.com I found this description. “Masterwort is highly regarded by floral designers for the unique umbels of starry flowers, a bit like a refined Queen-Anne’s-Lace in effect, but not at all weedy in habit. This species is quite variable, with flowers from white through to pink, to green or ruby red, surrounded by green bracts. Excellent filler plant for a moist area in sun or part shade. Easily divided in early spring. “ Green-and-Gold and Welsh Poppy. These are rebloomers that bloom in May and then sporadic bloom the rest of the summer. When I had just a few plants of Green-and-Gold I doubted that this was so, but now with hundreds of plants, I concur. I have a dozen or more in bloom as I write this. Welsh Poppy, Meconopsis cambrica, pops up in early May, sometimes a tad too late for the Garden Club sale. As often the case both common and Latin names are identical. Meconopsis being the botanical name for poppies and Cambria, the ancient name for Wales. I have the yellow-flowering form. I would love to get seed for the orange and red forms. If you have been down to the Civic Center Plaza this past week, you should have noticed a flowering tree in the Peace Garden. It is a Japanese Stewartia with lovely camellia-like blossoms. It is one of the best of the flowering trees having several seasons of interest. Not only is it beautiful when in flower, but it also has beautiful peeling bark. Unfortunately, with the plantings around it this feature is obscured. I have a plant in my garden, but it is too young to flower.