Flower Poetry Fridays: Transplanted Flowers

Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney. Each Friday a new poem will be posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.


Greenhouse Flowers Await Transplanting
Greenhouse Flowers Await Transplanting

THERE’S many a flower that proudly springs
Amid the gaudy world’s parterre,
Caress’d by Fashion’s painted wings,
                  To Folly dear.

Whose flaunting petals woo the sun,
Heedless of Beauty’s transient lot,
But wither ere the day is done,
                  Unwept, forgot.

Yet some there are that bloom apart,
With meekly consecrated charm,
Whose gifts of fragrance cheer the heart
                  Like healing balm.

O’er the blest spot, where erst they grew,
The eye of Love its tears shall shed,
And Pain and Penury bedew
                  Their funeral bed.

But, neath an everlasting beam
They smile, where no dark cloud descends ;
Theirs was that hallow’d incense stream,
                  Which heavenward tends.

Unfading, lo ! they live, they bloom—
Transplanted by His culturing hand,
Who bade them seek beyond the tomb
                  A better land.

This poem seems totally religious with its comparison of the proud, pretty flowers and the meek, charming ones to non-believers and believers, alike.

Gaudy flowers adorn the formal gardens for all to see and walk among. They live a proud, mortal and fleeting life where fashion and image is everything. With no eye toward their ultimate future, their life is folly. Outward beauty doesn’t last, does it?

The transplanted flowers represent believers who look forward to life after this earthly world. They believe in The Everlasting Beam and in a heavenly future for themselves where they will bloom again.

But, there is still something here we can learn about flowers.

I liked this phrase, “gifts of fragrance cheer the heart“. It spells out one of the things that draws me to flowers and that’s their fragrances. It’s so cool to think of a good smelling flower as giving you a gift!

When it comes time to pick out roses for your garden, choose them by scent first.

Above all, take time to smell the roses!

Come back next Friday for the next installment in our series of flower poems from Mrs. Sigourney’s The Voice of Flowers, “Wild Flowers Gathered for a Sick Friend”.

Is Transplanting Natives Ever A Bad Idea?

From what was the tiniest clump of plant with about 4 posies, bluets that were transplanted have grown into a mass over a foot in diameter with several little satellite plants a few feet away from the mother plant. I can see how these little bluets could colonize the whole field!

Now, in transplanting these plants to a new location, have I done a good thing or a bad thing?

I’d say good, or great, as to the purpose of the flowers being near the house which was to watch them grow (education) and provide smiles (entertainment). So, good for the people in the vicinity that give a crap about flowers.

Others would see it as a weed interrupting the monotony of their (non-sustainable) green lawns. I, myself, vote for the addition of color and interest to the place.

From an ecological perspective was taking a plant that grew in an open field at a location 10 miles from here a wise thing? I dunno. Is transplanting any plant a wise move?

People have moved and taken plants with them on their journeys since forever. It’s nothing new. Ecosystems adapt to new inhabitants and life goes on, albeit somewhat changed on a local level. Sometimes those changes are so profound that reverberations are felt in much wider circles than the localized habitat.

The little plant was moved from a sunny field, which used to be forest at one time and adjacent to a river, so the seeds that started the mother colony must have come from somewhere else. Were seeds blown on the wind? Did seeds get deposited via a small mammal or birds wandering by? Maybe rain water running to the river brought seeds to this spot many years ago.

The size of the plant makes worries of potential invasiveness moot. Bluets may attain a height of 8 inches at the most, the flowers typically rise 4-6 inches off the ground, and it’s not a climbing plant so it doesn’t seem to have the qualities that are typically of concern regarding invasives.

However, the fact that a new plant is now growing where other plants used to grow means that it has displaced the old plants. When this sort of displacement happens on a large scale we worry about the potential loss of those species that no longer grow there.

In this case the plants being displaced by the new bluets are other weeds, moss and some grass, I suppose. Nothing really lost there.

But, it does bring up a question in general. We all get the sense that it’s a good idea, ecologically speaking, to plant natives vs. non-native plants, both for the survival of the transplanted plant and the lesser disruption to the existing habitat by moving in plants that could adapt to the local environment.

But what about transplanting natives? Is there a proper way to judge when transplanting natives is a bad idea? Curious what y’all think about that!

Trout Lilies in Abundance Near Forested Waters

The Trout Lily is a Spring Ephemeral plant that can still be found blooming in our neck of the woods, which is Central Pennsylvania.

Trout Lily Blooming Next to Bloodroot
Trout Lily Blooming Next to Bloodroot

The best place to look for them is near water in forested areas. Lowlands adjacent to creeks, lakes, and backwaters of rivers are the places where the trout lily makes its home. You’ll find Trout Lily blooming in the same habitat as the white-flowering Bloodroot.

(Photos taken 28 April 2015. Click on a photo to see a larger image.)

The right time to look for the yellow and maroon flowers of trout lilies is when the trees are just starting to make their new leaves for the year. The canopy will be mostly bare when these members of the Lily Family will be blooming.

At Little Buffalo State Park near Newport, PA you’ll find them along the Mill Race Trail where the trail is close to the creek. In some areas you’ll see a massive number of plants, like in the photo below. Trout Lily is one of the early spring-blooming plants that occurs in mass quantities.

Trout Lily Colony Next to the Creek
Trout Lily Colony Next to the Creek

The section of the trail that passes through the firebreak, where all the trees have been removed to protect the electricity right-of-way, is still near the creek but you won’t find the trout lily blooming there. The ecosystem has been radically changed by the tree removal so this location that receives full sun is now the wrong kind of habitat.

A close-up look at the yellow flowers shows maroon stripes on the back side of the sepals, which you can see looking down on the flowers. Also, the distinctive pair of mottled leaves tells us we’re looking at Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum.

Looking Down On Two Trout Lilies
Looking Down On Two Trout Lilies

Flower Poetry Fridays: King Frost and the Garden Beauties

Welcome back to Flower Poetry Fridays with Mrs. Sigourney. Each Friday a new poem will be posted from her The Voice Of Flowers.


King Frost Visits the Mountain
King Frost Visits the Mountain

THE Dahlia call’d to the Mignionette,
And what do you think she said ?
" King Frost has been seen in the vale below,"
And she trembled and shook with dread.

" King Frost has been seen in the vale below,
A marshalling forth his train—
Captain Gladiolus told me so,
And brandish’d his sword in vain."

Then the Snow-Berry knock’d at the Wood-
bine’s bower,
Affrighted, and out of breath :
" Pray, give me a draught of water," said she;
" I am growing as pale as death."

"Ah me !" the gay Carnation cried,
" The Rose, on her dying day,
Bade me prepare for this solemn hour,
But I’ve trifled my time away."

The Poppy complain’d that her sleep was broke
By her neighbor’s noise and fright ;
And the Coxcomb said " ‘t was a burning shame
To disturb a belle so bright."

Lady Larkspur nodded her graceful head,
And beckon’d the fair Sweet-Pea,—
" Do you credit this terrible news, my dear ?"
" I think ‘t is but gossip," said she.

"Young Zephyr was here," said the Asters
" He made us a morning call,
And if there had been any truth in the tale
He must surely have known it all :

" For the daily papers he always reads,
As soon as they come from the press,
And if King Frost were at any hotel,
‘T would not be forgotten, we guess."

" ‘T is doubtless a hoax," said the Sun-Flower
" Don’t you think that the higher powers
Would have seen that I was appris’d, before
These pert little radical flowers ?"

Yet still, Mimosa was nervous and faint,
And Convolvolus feared to stir,
And the Mourning-Widow wept, though long
The world had been dark to her.

But Amaranth smil’d, with a changeless eye,
And the Constancy rose unbow’d,
For a deathless spirit of hope was theirs,
And their trust was above the cloud.

That night, King Frost to the garden came,
With all his legions dread,
And laid the might of the proudest low,
And left the fairest dead.

One thing I like about this poem is the idea that the flowers all talk amongst themselves. Whether they’re spreading gossip or the news doesn’t matter, it’s kind of neat to think about them communicating with each other.

I would really like to see a garden with all the flowers mentioned, namely the Dahlia, Mignionette, Gladiolus, Snow-Berry, Woodbine, Carnation, Rose, Poppy, Coxcomb, Lady Larkspur, Sweet-Pea, Asters, Sun-Flower, Mimosa, Convolvolus, Mourning-Widow and Amaranth. It must be stunning!

Convolvolus spp. are the bindweeds, like Morning Glory.

Mourning-Widow refers to Geranium phaeum, a perennial with very dark almost black flowers. This plant does well in dry shade, which means it will do well in woodland gardens or planted under trees and shrubs.

A lesson in the poem is that even though we know death is coming for us all…one day, many of us will be caught unaware. Until our day of frost arrives we should try to live our lives to the fullest.

When in doubt, just remember this line:

For a deathless spirit of hope was theirs, And their trust was above the cloud.

Come back next Friday for the next installment in our series of flower poems from Mrs. Sigourney’s The Voice of Flowers, “Transplanted Flowers”.