Wednesday, April 19, 2017

George Baker

mother clump of Corydalis solida
It's truly Spring; George Baker is blooming.  My George Baker (Corydalis solida) has been a sign of spring for over 10 years.  Each spring without fail, the little clump has brightened a side garden, a shady side garden, with its lovely salmon pink blooms, the first bit of colour in April. 

George Baker is a Spring ephemeral, blooming in April and gone by July. Its goal is to bloom before the deciduous trees fully leaf out.  Because most ephemerals completely disappear before summer, their location in your garden needs to be marked to avoid disturbing them during summer or fall maintenance.

Two more ephemerals that deck out my garden in early spring are Trilliums and Dodecatheon meadia, Shooting Stars.  The Trilliums are a "borrowed" clump my son-in-law brought me from Kempenfelt Centre south of Barrie many years ago.  The original clump has now been divided to become three clumps of wild Trilliums. The Dodecatheon I bought at a native plant nursery and is another plant I've had for many years.  I've moved it several times and it still keeps blooming, its little badminton bird flowers sprouting bravely above the plant. Spring ephemerals face the April cold and wind with a message that Spring is indeed here.  (See the May 2015 post for more about ephemerals.)

For a long time, George Baker stayed as a neat little clump.  A couple of years ago, the plant decided to multiply. First there was one little pink clump about two feet away, then one more clump but with mauve flowers.  Now little George Bakers dot the garden in an area of about 4 feet around the mother plant,  one or two a fair distance away and some adorning my neighbour's yard along the fence line.  Some are big enough to bloom; others too tiny just yet. Perhaps George Baker will become as invasive as its relative the perennial Corydalis ochroleuca  that pops up all summer over one area of the garden and reseeds itself with abandon.

I'll not worry -- George Baker delights me and only lasts for a few weeks.  Let it bloom where it will.