Garden Photo of the Day

Sheila’s Spring Wildflowers

Fresh flowers and foliage from a springtime walk through nature

grass path through trees in spring

Hello and happy Monday, GPODers!

When I checked the GPOD inbox last week I was excited to see another person who had recently gone “plant watching” and shared some photos from a walk through nature:

Hello, this is Sheila Abair from Vermont. I had to share these wildflower pictures from a walk this morning. I can identify the trilliums and I think ostrich ferns. It was a beautiful experience. Hope you enjoy them.

From the pictures Sheila sent over, it’s clear that spring wildflowers are in full affect in Vermont, with flowering trees giving them some color competition. With plenty of plants still sprouting and putting out new foliage, I can only imagine how lush this spot is in peak season. But now that we’ve seen some spring landscapes from the Northeast, I would love to see what’s blooming in other parts of the country! If you’re enjoying the sights and sounds of nature near you, take some photos and let us know what you’re seeing.

lots of Trillium grandiflorum growing in woodland landscapeSheila was spot on with her identification of trilliumsHere, tons of the iconic great white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum, Zones 4–8) are sprinkled across the forest floor.

close up of Trillium grandiflorumAnd trilliums are just as stunning in a close-up. Trilliums are one of those natives that desperately deserve more love. Like many natives, trilliums have suffered from the impact humans have had on their natural growing environments, which has caused the population of several species to decline dramatically. While I’m happy to see these great white trilliums thriving near Sheila, there are still several species that are considered endangered. Learn more about rare, endangered trilliums from the U.S. Forest Service.

close up of Caltha palustrisOn a lighter, brighter note, these yellow marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris, Zones 3–7) are always a cheerful sight to see because there is an invasive look-a-like that can be mistaken for this cheerful native. Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) looks identical when seen at a glance, but it has more petal-like sepals (seven to nine, compared to the marsh marigold’s five to nine) and blooms earlier in the season.

close up of Anemone quinquefoliaJust like the yellow marsh marigold above, wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia, Zones 3–7) is part of the buttercup family. These delicate little plants usually have very slender stalks, which makes them tremble and dance in the breeze while earning them the nickname “wind flowers.”

Ostrich ferns behind a field of wildflowersAnd Sheila’s other spotting, ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 3–7), create a fantastic, fuzzy wall behind this field of flowers. One of those flowers is the dreaded dandelion. Lawn lovers despise dandelions, while others rave about their edible and medicinal nature, but should we be eradicating or cultivating this nonnative? I won’t get into the weeds (horrible pun not intended) on this debate, but drop a comment below if you’re a dandelion friend or foe.

grass path through trees in springFinally, a zoomed out look at the lovely path Shiela was exploring. Like a scene out of a fairytale, this tree-lined trail is a magical place to observe the wonderful world of plants.

Before Sheila shared these beautiful wildflower photos, she sent in photos of her incredible home garden. Be sure to check back in to GPOD tomorrow to see how she brings the inspiration of nature into her landscape.


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View Comments


  1. nwphilagardener 05/20/2024

    Dandelion foe!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 05/20/2024

    I love the magical path, it's beautiful!

  3. user-6824606 05/22/2024

    I feel like screaming when someone says we should embrace the dandelion. These are an invasive weed. Less short grass (aka lawn) and we have fewer dandelions.

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