Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2016

Panorama of Front Yard

Panorama of Front Yard

Well for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day there is no difficulty with finding things in flower.  April is a fantastic time for a Maryland gardener.  Just a few days ago we were assessing the damage from killing frosts (Toad lilies and the asian Disporum are surprisingly vulnerable), but right now we are relishing the blooms.  Daffodils and Tulips headline the show.  For example, there is this new addition to the woods.

Narcissus 'Precocious'

Narcissus ‘Precocious’

And old favorites in the front bed.

Tulipa 'Monte Carlo'

Tulipa ‘Monte Carlo’

A naturalized tulip for woodland areas.

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa sylvestris

And this new addition from Odyssey Bulbs last year.

Tulipa 'Goldmine'

Tulipa ‘Goldmine’

But the various smaller plants always capture my attention.

Erythroniums are at their peak right now.

Erythronium 'Pagoda'

Erythronium ‘Pagoda’

Erythronium multiscapideum

Erythronium multiscapideum

Erythronium dens-canis 'White Splendor'

Erythronium dens-canis ‘White Splendor’

Close by is a new Scilla relative that we added this past year (also from Odyssey Bulbs).

Fessia hohenackeri

Fessia hohenackeri

Note the lovely blue anthers.

There are also the epimediums, seemingly delicate plants that are oh-so-hardy.

Flowers on Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilac Seedling'

Flowers on Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilac Seedling’

In this case the leaves are as special as the flowers.

Leaves on Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilac Seedling'

Leaves on Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilac Seedling’

An aquilegia that my eldest son grew from a Scottish Rock Garden Society seed distribution begs for attention right now (very dwarf).

Aquilegia flabellata 'Nana'

Aquilegia flabellata ‘Nana’

And there is a Muscari that I got from Brent and becky last year that is growing in very difficult place between maple roots and an American Holly.

Muscari latifolium

Muscari latifolium

In the camellia bed we find a lovely little corydalis that has lasted for several season now (hard to do with the blue ones).

Corydalis turtschaninovii 'Eric The Red'

Corydalis turtschaninovii ‘Eric The Red’

The name comes from the leaves, not the flowers.

Nearby is one of my favorite trilliums.

Trillium 'Roadrunner'

Trillium ‘Roadrunner’

Also in the Camellia bed is one of the tiniest Hepaticas I have seen, the result of several seedlings I planted from Hillside Nursery.

Hepatica japonica  seedling

Hepatica japonica seedling

The Alpine bed features a very nice Daphne, that has all the fragrance that you expect from a Daphne.

Daphne collina x cneorum

Daphne collina x cneorum

And in small trough #2, there is the most beautiful little phlox that is doing alll that you expect from a phlox.

Phlox sileniflora

Phlox sileniflora

And from the greenhouse there are a couple of plants that have come into the house recently.

Hippeastrum striata

Hippeastrum striata

This small Amaryllis-want-to-be is also called the Barbados Striped Lily though it is actually from Brazil and it is multiplying in it’s small pot like mad.

And a south african plant originally purchased from Annie’s Annuals.

Ixia 'Buttercup'

Ixia ‘Buttercup’

This is at the tip of two-foot long stalks this year.

Finally, I should mention the various flowering trees.  This is right now the peak of the crossover between the various fruit trees, crabapples and cherries, giving way to the dogwoods.

Crabapple (variety long forgotten)

Crabapple (variety long forgotten)

The apple trees in the orchard are in the midst of one of the finest bloom cycles I have seen.

Mutsu Apple covered with blossoms

Mutsu Apple covered with blossoms

These are the highlights on Ball Rd.  What is growing in your garden?

Something Special

Lachenalia contaminata

Lachenalia contaminata

In my last posting Jessica of Rusty Duck asked about the fragrance of a Freesia I had posted.  The question made me check not only the fragrance of that flower (it had a hint of fragrance) but also to check the scent of a number of other flowers that are flowering right now.  I realized that in many cases I had been presuming that I knew the fragrance of a flower merely because I had checked on the scent emanating from other flowers in that genus.  I should have known better.  I’ve been growing a number of Lachenalias.  Partly because the seeds were readily available through the PBS bulb exchange and I love exploring with new plants.  And then they multiplied like little horticultural rabbits.  One of the biggest flowered of the Lachenalia that I have also has an amazing fragrance, which I had totally missed until now.  Think baby powder.  Very sweet smell.  This particular Lachenalia got its species name from the red dots that ‘contaminate’ the stems.  Actually it just makes them more interesting.

Lachenalia contaminata

Lachenalia contaminata

This is what the Lachenalia corner of the greenhouse looks like right now.

Lachenalias in the greenhouse, L. contaminata in center and left, L. splendida on right

Lachenalias in the greenhouse, L. contaminata in center and left, L. splendida on right

Here’s a closeup of of the Lachenalia splendida.  No scent but quite pretty in its own right.

Lachenalia splendida

Lachenalia splendida

Also in flower right now is a a Geissorhiza which I don’t think I’ve shared until now.  It has a number of pretty mauve flowers on each stem, much like a small Freesia.

Geissorhiza inaequalis

Geissorhiza inaequalis

And let me close, before returning to the garden to get some of those rapidly growing weeds, with another shot of the Spiloxene in the greenhouse.

Spiloxene capensis

Spiloxene capensis

It’s another South African native, also called the Peacock Flower for it’s colorfully marked star-like flowers.

Belated Garden Blogger’s Bloom Post for March 2016

Corydalis solida ‘Gunite’

Corydalis solida ‘Gunite’

It is way past the normal mid-months sharing of what’s in bloom for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  My only excuse is that I was in Florida taking pictures of all kinds of birds.  Meanwhile Maryland had warm enough temperatures that many things accelerated right through their bloom cycle while I was gone.  Today we are back to cold and intermittent snow, but I did get some pictures yesterday before the weather changed.  Given the hour and lateness of the posting I will try to focus on just a few of the unusual flowers and you can assume that the daffodils, crocuses, Glory of the Snow, Leucojeum, Hellebores, etc. are all doing their spectacular thing.

One group of flowers that is really shining right now is the Corydalis solida.

Corydalis solida 'Decipiens'

Corydalis solida ‘Decipiens’

Corydalis solida 'Beth Evans'

Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’

Close by is the first of the Erythroniums

Erythronium dens-canis 'Rose Queen'

Erythronium dens-canis ‘Rose Queen’

The Hepaticas are well into bloom now, though they seem to be staggered in time.  Some are ready and others just poking through.

Hepatica nobilis 'Pink'

Hepatica nobilis ‘Pink’

Hepatica nobilis large form blue shade (single flower)

Hepatica nobilis large form blue shade (single flower)

One of my favorite spring ephemerals are the Jeffersonia, both the Korean and American types.

Jeffersonia dubia

Jeffersonia dubia

We also have a new snowdrop with very exotic markings that came to us from Lithuania last year.

Galanthus 'Dionysus'

Galanthus ‘Dionysus’

The same source, Augis Bulbs, also sent us a big flowered little tulip (i.e., big flower for a dwarf tulip)

Tulipa hissarica

Tulipa hissarica

I have to spend some time with the Adonis as they continue to fascinate me.  For the first time we have Adonis vernalis (also from Augis Bulbs).

Adonis vernalis

Adonis vernalis

The foliage is quite different from the ferny foliage of the other Adonis that we have.  Note how even when the flowers are gone the Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’ makes a very pretty clump.

Adonis amurensis 'Fukujukai' flower clump

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’ flower clump

The Adonis amurensis ‘Sandanzaki’ continues to flower and to give a sense of it’s flowering habit let me share the picture of both the overall plant and then the individual flower which began opening almost a month ago.

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandansaki’ flower clump

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandansaki’ flower clump

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandanzaki’ near end of triple bloom showing the full lion's mane

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandanzaki’ near end of triple bloom showing the full lion’s mane

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandansaki’ bud still starting it's second stage

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandansaki’ bud still starting it’s second stage

We also have the last part of the flowering of another unusual Adonis that mostly flowered while I was in Florida.

Adonis amurensis ‘Beni Nadeshiko’

Adonis amurensis ‘Beni Nadeshiko’

There are a couple of nice Drabas flowering in the troughs right now.

Draba aizoides

Draba aizoides

Draba acaulis

Draba acaulis

Also in the small trough is the first bud for a pasque flower

Pulsatilla patens in the small trough

Pulsatilla patens in the small trough

Well, there is more on the outside but let me finish up with a few plants from the greenhouse.  The Spiloxene is pretty special right now.

Spiloxene capensis

Spiloxene capensis

And there are a couple of other related South African plants flowering too.

Gladiolus tristis

Gladiolus tristis

Freesia grandiflora

Freesia grandiflora

And last but not least is the first Ferraria that inspired me to grow these ultra curled flowers.

Ferraria ferrariola

Ferraria ferrariola

 

Joyful Moments

Eranthis pinnatifida opening

Eranthis pinnatifida opening

My granddaughter raised a question in a video-chat dinnertime conversation the other night which was something along the lines of ‘what would you be doing when you are happiest?’  For me it is somewhere between lying on the grass in the warm sun contemplating the leaves overhead and the discovery of ‘new’ plants that are the result of what I planted last year and have completely forgotten about.  The latter has been happening a lot lately.  Either because I forget more than I used to or I was really busy planting last year.  Day after day I am finding delightful new additions to our garden and it makes it really rewarding to explore the yard as though it were a new place each day.  Last week it was Scolliopus biglovii (how’s that for a mouthful), a Christmas present from last year that I had quite forgotten about.  Probably no flowering this year, but still a nice surprise.

Foetid Adders Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii)

Foetid Adders Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii)

And now this week the Eranthis pinnatifida.

Eranthis pinnatifida

Eranthis pinnatifida

I discovered this little gem in an issue of the International Rock Gardener that focused entirely on Eranthis.  I hadn’t any idea there were so many variations of the Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) which we have grown for forty years.  We imported the Eranthis pinnatifida from England last year.  At the same time I ordered a creamy yellow cultivar of Eranthis hyemalis from Lithuania and that was visible for the first time this week as well.

Eranthis hyemalis 'Schwefelglanz'

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Schwefelglanz’

Yet another new arrival this week was a rather unusual Fritillaria that we also obtained from Augis’ bulbs.

Fritillaria stenanthera 'Ihnatshai'

Fritillaria stenanthera ‘Ihnatshai’

This promises to be a very interesting flower as it opens up.

The small species Iris are also showing up in the Monument bed just now.

Iris danfordiae

Iris danfordiae

And then there are the three yellow flavors of Adonis — plain, special, and extra-special.

Adonis amurensis

Adonis amurensis

Adonis amurensis 'Fukujukai'

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

Adonis amurensis 'Sandanzaki'

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandanzaki’

In the greenhouse the Ferrarias are continuing to open up.  Here are three flavors of Ferraria crispa.

Ferraria crispa

Ferraria crispa

Ferraria crispa ssp.nortierii

Ferraria crispa ssp.nortierii

Ferraria crispa

Ferraria crispa

The wonderful Scilla peruviana has flowered extravagantly and earned a spot inside the house.

Scilla peruviana in pot

Scilla peruviana in pot

Also in the house right now is a pot of Freesia.

Freesia leichtlinii

Freesia leichtlinii

And soon to be arriving is this Tulbaghia that is just opening up.

Tulbaghia simmleri

Tulbaghia simmleri

I was busy photographing the water droplets on the Aeonium in the greenhouse when a surprising visitor popped in front of my lens.

Waterdrops on Aeonium

Waterdrops on Aeonium

Jumping Spider (Sitticus pubescens?)

Jumping Spider (Sitticus pubescens?)

I’m just guessing at the species from web photos.  There are a lot of spiders in the world.  Anyway, that was another joyful moment…

 

 

Hello Springtime!

Adonis amurensis 'Fukujukai'

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

Is it just me or has spring been incredibly slow in arriving this year…

Anyway, with a few warm days it looks like all the normal players are contributing to the daily walk around interest in the yard.  Key for me are always the Adonis which got a little bedraggled from the back and forth of snowstorms and freezing ground.  But even the special Sandanzaki is beginning to bud out.

Adonis amurensis 'Sandanzaki' just opening

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandanzaki’ just opening

The little species crocus have been popping out in the lawn where I scattered them years ago

Small mixed species crocus in the lawn

Small mixed species crocus in the lawn

And there is an especially nice tommassinianus that I would recommend to anyone.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Roseus'

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Roseus’

Just today the little histroides iris that has been threatening to bloom since December has finally opened up.

Iris histrioides 'George'

Iris histrioides ‘George’

Another standard for the early garden is the primrose that dots the spring pastures in England.

Primula vulgaris

Primula vulgaris

With things starting to pop outdoors it is ironic that some of the most fascinating flowers right now are in the greenhouse.  There’s a spectacular Moraea that opened up today.

Moraea elegans in bud

Moraea elegans in bud

Moraea elegans

Moraea elegans

And a little Romulea that is the first of its clan to flower this year.

Romulea monticola

Romulea monticola

A couple of years ago (thanks Dick) a friend gave me some peruvian scilla bulbs that I potted up for the greenhouse.  Mine were in the outside garden and have since perished from two really cold winters in succession.  Anyway these squill have chosen to flower out of the pots this year and they are spectacular.  There are 5 bulbs in each pot and this what just one of them looks like.

Scilla peruviana

Scilla peruviana

There’s a another Oxalis that I got from Brent&Becky last fall.

Oxalis adenophylla

Oxalis adenophylla

It has lovely crinkled foliage and is said to be hardy as well (I put a few in the flower bed so we shall see).

We have three good sized Clivia and they are flowering now as well.  Nice enough that they earned a spot in the house.

Clivia miniata

Clivia miniata

Everyone should have clivia, they are so carefree and reliable.

And last but surely not least the first of my Ferrarias has come into bloom.

Labeled as Ferraria uncinata but I think it is more likely one of the crispa forms

Labeled as Ferraria uncinata but I think it is more likely one of the crispa forms

Starfish lily is another of the names that the Ferrarias go by.  It is hard to imagine a more complex curling of the flower petals (claws) than on the Ferraria.  This was another acquisition from the Pacific Bulb Society’s Bulb Exchange.  I don’t know of any other way to get these little jewels.  Can you picture what a field of these looks like in South Africa?

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2016

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

A few days ago it looked we were finally overcoming the 40 inches of snow that absolutely clobbered us at the end of January.  You could see finally see little spring delights like the Winter Aconite peeking through.  The first daffodil was unhappy but it was at least about to open up.

First Daffodil (probably Rijnveld's Early Sensation)

First Daffodil (probably Rijnveld’s Early Sensation)

But such was not to be for very long.  We got more snow this weekend and once again the flowers are pretty much hidden.  Even the redoubtable Hellebores are looking pretty shopworn for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.

Hellebore in the snow

Hellebore in the snow

Some things look pretty good in the snow like the holly and the witch hazels.

Blue Holly in the snow

Blue Holly in the snow

Hamamelis xintermedia 'Diane'

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

But I can see lots of damage from the volume of snow.  Several small shrubs (camellias and daphnes) have badly broken branches just from the weight of that snowfall.

You can imagine flowers like this snow covered Clematis seedhead.

Clematis 'Waterfall' seedhead

Clematis ‘Waterfall’ seedhead

But once again we turn to pots in the greenhouse for more colorful flowers.  The potted daffodils are continuing to flower and the lachenalias are all coming into bloom right now.

Lachenalia namaquensis

Lachenalia namaquensis

There is a very pretty little star flower that blooms right now.

Ipheion uniflorum 'Charlotte Bishop'

Ipheion uniflorum ‘Charlotte Bishop’

And a wurmbea that I think is flowering for the first time for me.

Wurbea stricta

Wurmbea stricta

And a Tritonia that flowered in February last year as well.

Tritonia dubia

Tritonia dubia

Dubia for those who wonder about such things means ‘doubtful’ as in not conforming to standard.  Anyway, it looks pretty nice to me.  It’s another South African native that looks like a miniature glad.

Lastly, another plant flowering for the first time for us is a little Scilla from Turkey that has the most marvelous dark purple stamens.  It is said to be hardy in Michigan so it will probably go outdoors this year.

Scilla cilicica

Scilla ciicica

All of these five plants from the greenhouse came from seed distributed by the Pacific Bulb Society in 2013.  They constitute a pretty good example of what you can obtain by joining the Pacific Bulb Society.  Despite the name, the society is inhabited by bulb experts from around the world and they are most generous in sharing their seeds, bulbs, and expertise.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2016

Gymnospermium albertii

Gymnospermium albertii

Since it’s been a cold couple of weeks leading up to this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day it’s appropriate to share this image of the first flowers of Gymnospermium albertii working it’s way out of the alpine bed.  A month ago we had lots of flowers popping out but many of those have been blasted by the colder weather ever since the Christmas holidays.  The G. albertii come from the rocky hillsides of Uzbekistan and have no particular problem with cold weather.  That’s why they are one of the few outside plants with flowers to show this month.

The witch hazel is often in flower in January and the first of those are showing now.

Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis)

Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis)

And the snowdrops persist even with the temperatures that have been down to 15°.

Galanthus elwesii

Galanthus elwesii

Otherwise the outside is many full of potential.  In particular the Hellebores are just on the edge of opening their blossoms.

Helleborus x ballardiae ‘HGC Pink Frost’

Helleborus x ballardiae ‘HGC Pink Frost’

Helleborus x ericsmithi 'HGC Winter's Song'

Helleborus x ericsmithi ‘HGC Winter’s Song’

Helleborus hybrid ‘MG Apricot’

Helleborus hybrid ‘MG Apricot’

For other flowers we need to turn to the greenhouse.  The small daffodils have been quite nice and one of them, Silver Palace, is coming back for a second go round.

Narcissus catabricus 'Silver Palace'

Narcissus catabricus ‘Silver Palace’

Many oxalis continue too, including Oxalis versicolor.

Oxalis versicolor

Oxalis versicolor

The little False Yellow Crocus has a brilliant color to start each day in the greenhouse (only fully opens when the sun is out)

Nothoscordum sellowianum

Nothoscordum sellowianum

One of the nice surprises this week was to see big fat buds on the Scilla peruviana.

Scilla peruviana in bud

Scilla peruviana in bud

This was gift several years ago and it looks like it going to have a full set of its big purple flowers.  These are marginally hardy in our area but the last two winters did in the outside plants.  Stay tuned for these in full flower.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud …

Narcissus romieuxi 'Julia Jane'

Narcissus romieuxi ‘Julia Jane’

‘I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils’
— William Wordsworth

If Wordsworth had been here this morning he might have been inspired to compose ‘I came down the stairs and saw a pot of golden daffodils’.  Perhaps it doesn’t have the same poetic zing, but nonetheless it’s a wonderful way to start the day.

Narcissus romieuxi 'Julia Jane'

Narcissus romieuxi ‘Julia Jane’

This is another product of the greenhouse which is my go-to place in the wintertime.  Beth captured a nice picture of the greenhouse against a winter sky the other day.

The Greenhouse (via Beth)

The Greenhouse (via Beth)

Every day provides some new delight from the small bulbs and seedlings that populate the greenhouse.  This week it’s the Babiana curviscapa that has been living over the kitchen sink after coming into flower in the greenhouse.

Babiana curviscapa

Babiana curviscapa

Babiana curviscapa

Babiana curviscapa in pot

Also in the greenhouse is the False Yellow Crocus which is well ahead of last year’s flowering.

Nothoscordum sellowianum

Nothoscordum sellowianum

And the double yellow blooms of Oxalis compressa are pretty dramatic.

Oxalis compressa double form

Oxalis compressa double form

Outside there had been numerous things blooming, for example this Algerian Iris

Iris unguicularis

Iris unguicularis

Arisaema triphyllum

Arisaema triphyllum

And this Arisaema was jutting upwards.

However they all got hammered with 15° temperatures on Monday night.

Arisaema triphyllum post 15° night

Arisaema triphyllum post 15° night

It looks the focus will be on the greenhouse for the near term…