Thank you for providing us with Wildflower Wednesday on the fourth Wednesday of the month, reminding us to think about wildflowers for our gardens.
While I was out mowing today, I thought about wildflowers and what I might post about them. I mowed past some Black-eye Susans (Rudbeckia sp.) and considering posting about them.
Then I saw the big Joe Pye Weed (Euchotrium dubium ‘LIttle Joe’, formerly Eupatorium dubium ‘Little Joe’), standing over four feet tall and covered with bees.
|Joe Pye Weed with Boltonia asteroides|
I considered posts about Boltonia asteroides, Symphyotrichum novae-anglia, Solidago shortii and even Phlox paniculata. All are big, wonderful wildflowers for the garden. We wait all summer for them and its like a big carnival when they arrive. Color! Bees! Butterflies!
As I continued to mow, I asked myself why we don’t have such big colorful wildflowers in the spring.
In the spring, we marvel in the smallest wildflowers. The tiny scented blooms of the vernal witch hazel, Hamamelis vernalis. The diminutive Dutchmen’s breeches, Dicentra cucullaria, which peek out from the leaf litter in early spring. The pure white of a Bloodroot bloom, Sanguinaria canadensis.
We would never notice these tiny spring flowers amidst the exuberance of fall flowers, and I think this is by design. Mother Nature knows best.
Mother Nature gives us the big, bold, colorful fall blooms to fill us up and give us the energy to endure the cold bloom-less winter. Then in spring, she gives of the tiny, pastel flowers to slowly bring us out of winter lethargy, as she brings the garden out of its dormancy.
Mother Nature knows that after all the cold and snow and ice, it would simply be too jarring to walk out to the garden or the woods or fields on the first warm day of spring and be assaulted by masses of bloom. Instead, she starts us off slowly each spring with the eagerly anticipated tiny blooms.
I call this idea of why we have the blooms we have each season The Theory of Seasonal Wildflowers.
Of course, I’m sure many people will point out some big flowers that bloom in early spring, and others will point out tiny blooms of fall. That’s fine. It’s a theory, and I’ve based it on my own experiences, mulled over in an evening of mowing.
I guess what matters about my theory is that I like it. I enjoy Mother Nature’s ways, what she’s chosen to have bloom in the the early spring and what she’s chosen for early fall.
I like both seasons, for their own reasons, and I wouldn’t change a thing.