Saturday, May 28, 2016

Spring Wild Flowers

In the middle of May, when I was in grade school, my cousin and I would get off the bus and go into the woods to pick little bouquets of wild flowers to give to our Gram for her birthday. She was one of the sweetest people I've ever known and a perfect grandma. Of course I had another grandmother also, and the stark contrast between the two of them helped me to appreciate her all that much more! 

Every spring when the wild flowers bloom I feel like she's still here. Gram was quite a gardener and something of an environmentalist, she preferred organic fertilizers to chemical ones and refused to spray pesticides on her fruit trees. My dad thought she was hopelessly out of step with modern times.

Both my grandmothers lived on farms their entire lives and loved spending time in the woods. Even my very strict, no-nonsense grandmother was always ready to pack a lunch and take a few of her grandchildren for a picnic under the birch trees. We always had a good time as long as we were on our best behavior and there was no fooling around that ended up with someone falling in the creek.   

Naturally, since it was forbidden to go near the water we couldn't have been more attracted to it. Those picnics never lasted too long, I'm thinking that was maybe her plan to begin with, ha!

Trilliums were the one woodland flower we always left out of Gram's birthday bouquets because picking any parts off the plant can kill it even if the rest of it is left intact! It's amazing that they manage to survive at all considering how many humans and deer there are tromping around the forest. Thanks to a mild winter followed by a wet spring we're seeing lots of them this year. 


The most common color is white but they also come in a bi-colored pink and white, red and purple but they're relatively rare, some are endangered and protected. I recently read that the seeds are spread away from the parent plants by ants. Finally, a good reason to tolerate those little picnic pests!

The wildflower season passes in the blink of an eye in this part of the country. Since woodlands and lakes are also prime mosquito habitat getting to see them can be itchy. This year due to the unusually cold spring we've been experiencing the little buggers aren't hatching, though it won't last long.

These days I don't pick wildflowers but I can still hear Gram telling me to be careful when collecting blossoms for her bouquets not to accidentally pull up the roots! Maybe that's why I can't bring myself to pull out all the wood violets that are taking over my lawn. Wonder what she would say about that?

At least they're less annoying than dandelions.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you are having a great weekend!