Tried out the new iPhone camera on an hour’s walk around the Quarry Gardens Tuesday morning. Lots to see now, as spring ephemerals awaken in sunlight before the trees leaf out and cast them into shade. Top left: Dwarf crested iris, Iris cristata, is in scattered masses along the South Quarry trail. Top right: Native columbine, Aquilegea canadensis, is blooming against a wall at the Visitor Center and on the Waterside Talus. Bottom left Heartleaf, Asarum hexastylis, an evergreen member of the ginger family, volunteers in small patches. Bottom right: Yellow trillium or Toadshade, Trillium luteum, is forming a small colony near the Giant’s Stairs, along with another Toadshade, which has maroon flowers.
Top left: The native Moss phlox, Phlox subulata, spills over a wall near the Pine Needle Path. Top right: Blossoms of Dogwood, Cornus florida, peek out into clearings along roads and trails. Bottom left: The Christmas ferns, Polystichum acrostichoides, green all winter, are unfurling fresh fronds. Bottom right: Quaker ladies or Bluets, Houstonia caerulea, are making tiny unexpected nosegays.
Top left: Heartleaf foamflowers, Tiarella cordifolia, sway along the base of a wall. Top right: Wild pink, Silene caroliniana, can be found in dry rocky places. Bottom left: A tiny bud peeks out from between two leaves of the poisonous Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum, found below the Giant’s Stairs and forming large colonies near the East Trail boulder pile. Bottom right: Blossoms of the Paw Paw tree, Asimina triloba, may be seen in the parking islands; a large colony may be found in the forest hardpan wetland off the East Trail.
More than 600 species of plants native to the Central Virginia Piedmont can be found here—it’s the largest collection of any botanical garden in the Commonwealth. We’ll be glad to have you join us for a scheduled tour—social distancing, of course. (If you are an official Friend of the Quarry Gardens, you may visit any time.) Bring your camera.