We had more sun here yesterday, although the weatherman continues with his threats of snow. I've been trying to take the time to enjoy the blue skies as much as I can in case he's right this time. Yesterday was busy with non garden related errands so I didn't get anything done outside. I did notice something that caught my attention though while I was letting the dog out. A new flower, right near the middle of the pond. Of course that drew me closer to the pond to see what else might be growing.
This is a water hawthorn flower. It's supposed to smell like vanilla, but I can never get close enough to smell it. If you click to enlarge this photo you can see all the seeds. It has reseeded some in my pond, but it's easy to remove if it ends up where it's not wanted. The hard part is reaching the seedlings. I've lost my balance more times than I can remember and almost fallen in trying to reach for things in the pond.
Marsh marigold leaves have also begun to find their way to the surface. This is another early bloomer. The flowers on this variety are white with a yellow center. I'm surprised this one is still alive since it's been knocked in so many times by the raccoons. It definitely needs repotting this spring and I need to figure out how to make it more secure.
Water hawthorn leaves are oblong and float like water lily pads. The great thing about water hawthorn is that it thrives in the cooler weather. Late winter and early spring is when it blooms. Once it warms up the plant goes dormant. That's right about the time that the water lilies begin to bloom.
Here is the first Sioux water lily pad to emerge. I love the mottled red coloring on the leaves. I'm always amazed at how fast the water lily grows. The flower buds start coming up as soon as the weather stays consistently warm, and that can be as early as April. The flowers are a light pink color that change to a darker shade as the bloom ages. Each flower lasts about 3 days, but there are always several more blooming around the same time. If you look closely you can just make out one of the Sarassa comets swimming by.
I still have a few more plants that haven't woken up yet, but I'm sure they won't be far behind these ones. I'll wait until after our April 9th frost day before I buy any floating plants such as water hyacinth, water lettuce or fairy fern. I've learned the hard way that they are very tender annuals here.
No snow as of this morning, and I hope it stays that way! Also, I need to remember to move the clocks ahead tonight. Another sign that spring is near!