Sharon Dargay Staff Writer 5:34 p.m. EDT March 31, 2016
Spring flowers in bloom amid fallen leaves.(Photo: Don Miller)
Cheryl Bord can predict when trout lilies, blue cohosh and other spring gardening plants will bloom at Miller Woods in Plymouth Township.
She takes her cue from a tiny white flower called the harbinger of spring.
Right now, today and through the next week, only the harbinger of spring is blooming, said Bord, who leads tours through the nature preserve. We base our tour dates on that plant though. It is the first to bloom and we look for it to determine upcoming tours. It usually signifies that in two weeks, if the weather cooperates, the hepatica, spring beauty, trout lily, blue cohosh, bloodroot and wild leeks will pop up first.
Around three weeks from the harbinger of spring, the trillium, squirrel corn, wild ginger, baneberry, dutchmen’s breeches. jack in the pulpit and cut leaf toothwort will start blooming. May apple comes a bit later toward the end of April.
Because the harbinger of spring is in bloom now, Friends of Miller woods will offer its tours sooner than usual this spring. Guided tours run every half-hour from 2-4 p.m. with the last tour leaving at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 10 and 17. The entrance to the nature preserve is located on Ridge Road just east of Powell.
Bord plans to station plant markers along the 1/3-mile trail they will help self-guided visitors identify flowers, including harbinger of spring. The community tours include a guide who will point them out.
The harbinger of spring is very tiny and difficult to find on ones own. There are two good patches of it, but most people would have a hard time finding it.
She hopes to place the markers by April 6. Theyll stay on site as long as flowers are in bloom, for about a month.
Dogs and strollers arent allowed in the nature preserve. Tour dates may change if weather conditions delay flowering times. Check millerwoods.com for changes or call Bord at 734-459-7666.
Heres a halogen heaters sampling of other garden and nature events:
Livonia Garden Club
Drew Lathin, general manager of Creating Sustainable Landscapes will explain what rain gardens are and how they work, at 7 p.m. April 5, at the Civic Park Senior Center, located at Five Mile and Farmington Road, Livonia. firstname.lastname@example.org; livoniagardenclub.org.
Anna Szczotha, Master Gardener and a member of Southeast Michigam Butterfly Association, will talk about the benefits of rain gardens and how to design one for your backyard, 7 p.m. April 20, at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center, 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland. $3 for non-members. sembabutterfly.org.
Annual Garden Party runs Saturday-Sunday, April 2-3 and will include presentations on bees, fences and garden edges, container gardening, hydrangeas, landscaping trends, annuals and more. For a complete schedule visit EnglishGardens.com
Get tips for dividing and transplanting perennials at a free seminar, 1 p.m. Saturday, April 9.
Local English Gardens stores are at 155 N. Maple, Ann Arbor; 734-332-7900; 22650 Ford Road, Dearborn Heights, 313-278-4433; 4901 Coolidge Highway, Royal Oak, 248-280-9500; and 6370 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield, 248-851-7506.