A Three-Phlox Day

Spring is here and in full bloom. The frosty mornings are mostly behind us now and summer is looming large around the corner. But today, with temps in the mid-60’s and a cool breeze blowing, we are enjoying the glory of spring at its best. So much is blooming already, and it takes my breath away just to stroll through the gardens and woods and see all the happy plants and the insects they are attracting.

The columbines were the first early bloomers and have been especially prolific this year as they have spread on their own to every corner of the yarden….

Eastern columbine

These Eastern bluestars are beautiful this year – one we planted three years ago and that the voles have (thankfully ignored) and one that we transplanted from my dad’s yard to save it from the lawn mower :-).

Eastern bluestar

The coral honeysuckle has been a favorite of the few early arriving ruby-throated hummingbirds…

Coral honeysuckle

The first of my annuals – Cosmos – have just begun to bloom. I like to plant some annual flowers like cosmos and zinnias just to add some pop among the natives throughout the gardens…


Mr. EndlessSeeker has been eagerly waiting for this beautiful native Viburnum to bloom, and it is a beauty right now.

Viburnum dentatum in the front yard

But the natives that are most showy right now are the Phloxes. We planted three types of Phlox three summers ago and have struggled to keep them alive through drought and voles and rabbits and other stressors. But this is year three, the year they are supposed to LEAP (after sleep year 1 and creep year 2) and they have not disappointed. When we were in Yellowstone this winter, we learned about the “three-dog day”, which meant people hoped to see fox, coyote and wolves all in the same day. Well, we have a three-phlox day/week/month here as all three species we planted are blooming at once!

This downy phlox had a tough time with the sunny spot we put it in, but it has overcome and maybe benefited from some shade from the nearby bee balm…

Phlox pilosa – Downy phlox

I thought our smooth phlox had died long ago, with only straggling red stems showing above ground for so, so long. But this year it has come alive and is blooming with the most striking pink and white petals.

Phlox glabberima – Smooth phlox

Then, the most abundant of the phloxes here at Pokeberry Pines is the woodland phlox. We planted some out front where its shady in summer, and in several beds near the pollinator gardens, but the rabbits ate most of them. However they must have seeded enough to allow spread because they are coming up in places where we did not plant them. In our woods we have been pleased and surprised to find little clumps of them blooming alongside the ferns we planted from a friend’s yard. Those free fern clumps came with phlox and lilies and other goodies, too. (thanks M & M)

Phlox divaricata – Woodland phlox

So, as we mosey into the heart of spring, I hope you are finding joy in some bright blooms in your yard or neighborhood. We’re watching closely as the summer bloomers get ready for their showy days…like the Monarch Buffet out back…

Butterflyweed and Common milkweed preparing for the Monarchs to come…

Cheers and happy blooms….


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