[photos by Gary: click to enlarge, ESC to return]
Well, the bride's Yellow Lady's Slippers are thriving. This plant is about 3 years old, planted in 2009. In the springs of 2010 and 2011 it had only a single stem and a single bloom.
Now this spring the plant has exploded, pushing out 3 stems with a total of 4 flowers as seen above. Unfortunately the yellow washes out a bit in the image above (damn that autofocus/autoexposure!). But below is the money shot, a close-up of one of the blooms:
Meanwhile, out back in the water garden, we're seeing our first water lilies:
I guess there is an Ultrarunning connection after all. Back in 1998 when I ran the Massanutten 100 miler in VA, I was fortunate to see what is becoming a rarity in the wild: Pink Lady's Slippers. This species--a cousin to the yellow--does not lend itself well to domestic propagation, otherwise I'd have one.