Violet, Viola walteri 'Silver Gem' a cultivar they developed over the years.
The general crowd was mostly families, garden enthusiasts, photographers, and hikers. I also noticed a fair amount of what I assume are tourists. Every so often you'll hear someone speaking in an accent or other language. So there's a wide variety of people that attend.
The plant above is actually Camas. This is an example of a plant blooming sooner than it should. Normally they're flowering more towards June. Another thing about this plant though is Prairie Moon Nursery has started selling these plants as Wild Hyacinth. I just think it's weird marketing, because Hyacinths normally have a fragrance, and as the random person demonstrated, this plant does not.
It's also a good time to state that the lighting was a little harsh that day so some of my photos have this blown out look to them.
Tiarella cordifolia, and whatever Phlox this is.
This is also the first image I'll point out that shows off a style of photography I like. I'm not sure if it has a particular name, it's just a way I like to compose a shot. I was once told I have an eye for photography by a women who teaches camera work. Here we have the flower looking at you dead on, but also others to show what it looks like form side angles as well as a nice clump of them in the back. Instead of taking 3 separate shots I like to get it all in one.
Amsonia tabernaemontana, Eastern Bluestar, was actually labeled as Dwarf Dogbane. I've never herd it called that before. I have some of these in my yard and they were a passing hit with the recent butterfly migration. Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, American Ladies, and Eastern Commas and Question Marks all zipping by at light speed. It's amazing how they seem to fly faster than most birds.
(There were some nonnatives mixed in that really stole the show but the gardeners running the show were on hand to point those ones out and explain why they were there. The house and property, some 650 acres I think, were owned by the late Mrs. Du Pont Copeland. As devoted to native plants as she was she couldn't help but include a few of her favorites.)
Swamp Pink, Helonias bullata, is a threatened species that grows in wetlands. They have dozens of these plants all along the ponds but most were past their prime.
2009, 2010, 2011,
I think they're transplanting them from the patch to other spots in the gardens. Which is nice to spread the wealth. I tried planting them one year and while they survived the winter, they did not survive the next summer. Growing them in Moss or near water where there can put up with competition seems vital and I see that being the case the gardens there.
Dodecatheon meadia, were flowering very well this year. I saw more than I did last year anyhow.
Aesculus pavia. This is a tree but plants will start flowering very early in their life. Ones that were only knee high had flowers on them.
Aesculus parviflora, is a white flowering full sun counterpart. They flower over the summertime when hummingbirds and especially butterfly populations peak. They're an excellent shrub that few growers sell. The only downsides are the plant likes to spread by root suckers, and that the nuts they make aren't edible (might be toxic too) so don't eat them!
Calycanthus floridus, were blooming. And that really shows just how far ahead everything is this year. This is normally a summer blooming shrub! May should have been the earliest that this bloomed, and we're talking the southern part of Florida.
flood of new Heuchera species entering the market. Breeders of these plants have gotten a rainbow of colors out of the leaves which is why gardeners love them. Often though this comes at a price, and some cultivars don't do as well as others. I'm looking forward to the results.
I ended my trip by driving just down the road to a Native Plant Sale where I obtained 2 more Purple Milkweeds and a somewhat rare Franklinia alatamaha.
Shortly after this post they released a video that summed up the event.