Winterberry Farm Primitives

This blog is now devoted to gardening with native plants with a focus on those species native to the east coast of the United States. With an MS in Agricultural Science from the University of Delaware and my love of native plants, I hope to help folks see the beauty and necessity of using native plants in your garden instead of exotic plants. Did you know that our native song birds and native insects are disappearing as our local environments continue to change?
For those who come to this page to see my 'Winterberry Farm Primitives' blog can now be found at where I will post new additions to my online antiques shop at and discuss various subjects about primitive antiques.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Front Garden April 30, 2014

Today is the last day of April and it is shaping up to be a very rainy day. I can't get out into the garden so I thought I would go through the last set of pictures that I took in the front garden a couple of days ago. I was reducing their size and cropping pictures so I could post them in my next blog and what do I see but several pictures with these little seedlings in them. CLICK ON THIS FIRST PICTURE TO SEE A SLIDE SHOW OF ALL OF THE PICTURES IN THIS POST
You can see them in the lower part of this picture below the trillium plants. My first thought was 'What are these little guys?' I knew they weren't weeds and I knew they were important but I just couldn't place them. Late last night as I was getting ready for bed, it hit me. They were Thalictrum diocum (Early Meadow-rue) seedlings! Why is this so important, you ask? Thalictrum species are diecious which means that in order to get seedlings you need to have both male and female plants in your garden. Here they are in another part of my front garden and I can't wait for them to mature and flower.
What is so exciting is that I think I finally have conditions in my front garden that mimic a small woodland because once these gorgeous Thalictrum diocum seedlings mature, I will have a gauzy, hazy herbaceous layer under my trees and shrubs. In this picture you can see a little Thalictrum diocum coming up through the Viola labridorica sedling that flew in from somewhere.
I then decided to check out my other pictures to see what else I could find and here is a picture of one of my Porteranthus trifoliatus (American Ipecac) plants and I know when I go outside tomorrow to take pictures, I will find more of these wonderful plants coming up and hopefully I will also find some little seedlings too.
One last little plant that I just love is called Pussy-toes and it has the long scientific name of Antennaria plantaginifolia. It is a very slow growing tiny groundcover and is fabulous if left in place and allowed to grow at its own pace. As it grows and gently creeps, the middle begins to die out so you get a hole in the center of the mass. In this picture you can see the little white flowers that gives you an idea of why its common name is 'pussy-toes'
Have a great rest of your day and if you are on the east coast and getting this rain storm, remember....April showers bring May flowers so we should have a jungle out there next month!

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