It is an exciting week in the garden as the Lady Slippers have made their appearance. About a decade ago my friend Rebecca, who was helping me set up my garden and teaching me how to garden at the same time, purchased a single slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) at the annual plant auction at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts for the princely sum of $90.00, if I remember correctly (which was about a third of my garden budget for the whole summer). Now I have SEVEN lady slippers! With apologies for my lackluster plant photography, here they are, in context and close-up.
As a bonus here is an illustration of a Cypripedium from James Sowerby’s 36-volume English Botany (1790). While wildly plentiful in Sowerby’s time, yellow lady slippers have been endangered in Britain until just recently.