Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day Sept 2018

Yellow Chysanthemums

Well, it’s been a strange time for flowers on this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  While we have dodged the hurricane bullet that hit the folks in the Carolinas, the weather has been unusual to say the least.  To date we have had over 52 inches of rain compared to the normal of 29 inches through mid-September.  On the one hand we have the traditional flowers for September like the mums shown above.  And some remarkable Dahlias from the garden.

Dahlia ‘Winkie Colonel’

Dahlia ‘AC Ben’

But we have also had the Apples drop most of there leaves in July and August and they are now re-blooming.

Apple Blossom in September

Many other trees have dropped their leaves and the Azaleas out front are blooming again.

Azalea reblooming in September

Despite the strange weather there are still a set of interesting flowers to find around the yard, for example this Roscoea.

Roscoea purpurea ‘Spice Island’

And in the greenhouse the rather unusual large Scilla maderensis is flowering once again.

Scilla maderensis

Some other items of note include this six foot tall Canna that came from a friend this year.

Canna ‘Bengal Tiger’

The Knockout Roses are continuing to bloom.

Rose ‘Knockout Pink’

And the Perennial Pea is blooming once again despite our attempts to remove it.

Lathyrus latifolius

We have found that Phlox also reappears from long ago planting with or without our tending to it.

Self-seeded Phlox

And in the orchard the Blue Sage has been in continuous bloom since late spring.

Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea)

Some of our outside work is getting set aside because of several nests of Yellowjackets.  They took up residence in one our large pots on the deck and also in the ground by one of the raised beds.  These guys seem impervious to chemicals and according to the web can be quite dangerous (not something we want to test since I for one am allergic to wasp venom) and there are hundreds of them.

Yellow jacket wasp

Finally, let me note that this is time for packing up your seeds to send off to the various seed exchanges.  By becoming a seed donor, you get first choice when you participate in the seed exchanges organizations.  Check out the North American Rock Garden Society for example.

Packing up Seeds

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2018

Sunflower glory

It’s been hot but with enough rain to grow the weeds and sunflowers to magnificence.  So I will dedicate this belated Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day posting to the many sunflowers in the garden.

Sunflowers reaching for the sky

Some of them are easily ten feet tall.

Sunflowers way high up

But they are all wonderful for birds, bees, and humans alike.

Sunflower

Sunflower

A close namesake is the Mexican Sunflower

Tithonia rotundifolia with Bee

Tithonia are also very popular with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

The vegetable garden also features gladiolus in quantity.

Gladiolus ‘Black Cherry’

The glads get displayed in the house.

Glads in the house

Along with several kinds of Cyrtanthus from the greenhouse.

Cyrtanthus sanguineus

Think of Cyrtanthus as smaller, more refined Amaryllis.

Also in the greenhouse right now are the little scilla relatives from Japan

Barnardia japonica

In the Alpine bed we find the most recent Gentian to come into bloom.

Gentiana paradoxa

The gentians, with the various species, span spring to fall with flowers, and all of them have delightful complex flowers.

Another little tidbit in flower right now is the anemonopsis

Anemonopsis macrophylla

I have been trying to flower one of these for years and this is the first one to share it’s dainty little waxy flowers.

Out in the orchard there are zinnias around the new apple trees.

Zinnias in the orchard

Of course gardeners do not survive on flowers alone.

Early August harvest basket

Japanese Pear ‘Nijiseiki’

Raspberries ripening again

That’s about it on a hot summer day.  We are running 15 inches over normal for rain to this point.  I’m wondering what the fall will bring…

 

 

 

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day July 2018

Lilium ‘Anastastia’

Over the years July has consistently meant lily time on our hillside.  Some like the Anastastia pictured above are rampant growers and others are singular specimens.  Almost have wonderful fragrance that makes you turn your head as you walk by.  This year I failed to do a good job of tying up the Anastasia, which want to be 8-10 feet tall, and so they are flopping over the fence.  But large segments come into the house for closer appreciation.

Lily Oriental-Trumpet ‘Anastasia’

Oriental lily ‘Stargazer’

Orienpet Lily ‘Pretty Woman’

Lilium Oriental ‘Josephine’ (this is supposed to be much darker pink according to the pictures online)

Orienpet Hybrid Lily ‘Scheherazade’

Oriental lily ‘Marco Polo’

Oriental Lily ‘Time Out’

Of course a gardener cannot live on lilies alone.  Other flowers abound.

Blackberry lily (Iris domestica)

Golden Daylily

Red Daylily

Pink Phlox

Zinnia in the pasture

Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea) in the orchard

Echinaceas in the front bed

In the alpine bed, the same gentians that were just starting last month continue to be in flower.

Gentiana dahurica

Gentiana dahurica from above

In the greenhouse the Haemanthus that appeared in bloom for the first time last year are once again flowering.

Haemanthus humilis ssp. humilis

Having had a wonderful time making Apricot jam over past few weeks

Apricots simmering in the pot

Apricot jam in the jar

We are now looking forward to a nice looking crop of peaches.

Redhaven Peach

Well, that’s a summary of where we are on this very dry Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  No rain for several weeks now, and hoping for a thunderstorm tomorrow….

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2018

Iris ensata ‘Flashing Koi’

June is a month for spectacular Iris, Clematis overflowing the fences, Roses flowering abundantly and flowers of many kinds reaching fruition.  For this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, I’ll share some of the things that struck my eye this week.

One of the reasons for growing flowers is to attract the many butterflies that enliven the yard.  And what better to grow than the different kinds of Butterfly Weed.  The normal Asclepias tuberosa comes without effort in our pasture and feeds the monarchs later in the year.  But in the yard we are also growing Swamp Milkweed for different kind of color.

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

And an extremely heavily flowered cultivar is ‘Hello Yellow’.

Asclepias ‘Hello Yellow’

Here’s the evidence that Butterfly Weed is a good name.

Great Spangled Fritillary on Asclepias

I remembered last year that two of the Arisaemas were very slow to appear, finally showing up on June 2nd.  This year Arisaema candidissimum came on May 31 and Arisaema farghesi poked out of the ground on June 2nd again.  Talk about reliable.

Arisaema candidissimum

Arisaema candidissimum

Just walking around the yard here are some of the other flowers.

Pink Astilbe

Lilium asiatica ‘Blackout”

Hydrangea ‘Lady in Red’

Clematis ‘Krakowiak

This Clematis is climbing up the huge Black Lace Elderberry.

Clematis climbing the Black Lace Elderberry

In the alpine bed there a couple of lovely gentians that we’ve never grown before.  Both are the result of seed exchanges.  The Gentiana dahurica is a good 18″ high and spreading, probably to big for the alpine bed in the long run.

Gentiana dahurica

The Himalayan Gentian has the same delicate fringing that I like on other Gentians.

Himilayan Gentian (Gentiana cachemirica)

But it also has multi-colored buds that are lovely even before they’ve opened.

Himilayan Gentian (Gentiana cachemirica)

Nearby is the first blooming of a Stachys that came for seed last year.

Stachys spathulata

And up on the porch is a spectacular bulb from Peru that is a variation on the normal Peruvian Daffodil.

Hymenocallis ‘Sulphur Queen’

I should also note that life is not just flowers at this time of year.

Pea Row is Abundant

A Quick Harvest of Fruit and Veggies before dinner

We’ve been bringing in a steady diet of peas, strawberries, and raspberries.  And now the blueberries are about to start.

There is one other flower worth sharing though.  For many people the Corydalis lutea is described as a weed, but I find it’s a wonderful fern-like spreading ground cover.

Corydalis lutea

What’s growing in your garden?

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2018

Pink Rhododendron by the back fence

Well, I’m late for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day again, but my excuse is that I returned from California late in the day and I was lucky just to get some pictures much less get them posted.  The next day saw mammoth rain storms that have closed roads and bridges all over Frederick County.  At the moment we’ll just feel lucky that we live on the top of a hill.  Actually it’s not just luck.  We lived on a part of George Washington’s River Farm in our previous house complete with flooded basements so we compensated for that.  I think you are allowed to learn only one thing each time you move.  Anyway there were a few charmers in bloom when I got back, although a few hot days had accelerated through a few blooms.  As noted above the Pink Rhododendron above is one of our favorites.

Our best Rhododendron

It’s cousins, the Azaleas, are also showing magnificently.  Two particular examples are Exbury Hybrids.

Exbury Azalea ‘Gibraltar’

Exbury Azalea ‘Klondyke’

The first of the herbaceous Peonies is in bloom as well.

Peony ‘Sweet Shelly’

Two of the many Columbines are worth noting as well.

Aquilegia buergeriana var. oxysepala

Pink Columbine

Right nearby to the Pink Columbine is the first sighting of the Clematis ‘Niobe’ for the year.

Clematis ‘Niobe’

At the side of the garage is a very reliable Korean Lilac.  

Persistent Korean Lilac

We forgot about planting this one twice and assumed it was dead in dried out pot.  Each time it returned to life so I finally gave it a good home and it is happily blooming now.  Right next to it is a quite cute little Enkianthus that is blooming now.

Enkianthus alatus

One of my favorite rock garden plants is Edraianthus.  One is blooming in a little trough right now.

Edraianthus serpyllifolius

Edraianthus serpyllifolius in trough

Another Edraianthus just coming into bloom is one of the best cushion plants we have.

Edraianthus pumilio

Another trough specimen is the Silver Sax at the back door.

Sliver Sax in bloom (Saxifraga x ‘Southside Seedling’)

In the greenhouse a white-pink Bougainvillea is fully in bloom.

White-Pink Bougainvillea

Time to move this one outside.

Also there is a Zephyranthus with pretty notable color.

Zephyranthes katheriniae ‘Rubra’

And the Pomegranate in the greenhouse is well into bloom.

Pomegranate in flower

Finally Beth has been picking Iris for use in the house.

Bearded Iris in the house

And let me close with a picture I took in California of one of the plants from the Univ of Calif Botanic Garden (deserving of a blog post all on it’s own)

Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus cinerascens v. Ehrenbergii )

Paeonia time

Paeonia rockii

Well this year the beginning of May is hello time for the first of the Peonies.  My favorite is probably the species Paeonia rockii shown above.  It’s named for Joseph Rock, an early 20th century plant explorer.  There are many hybrids derived from this tree peony.

Actually the first Peony to bloom for us is Molly the Witch.  Although it doesn’t have the yellow color that the Mollys are famous for, it’s still a very pleasing flower.

Molly the Witch (Paeonia mlokosewitschii)

The next one in line is another species Peony, Paeonia osti.

Paeonia osti

And then we have two herbaceous species.  One is Paeonia obovata.

Paeonia obovata

And then a larger flowered, stronger growing version, Paeonia obovata var. willmottiae.

Paeonia obovata var. ‘Willmottiae’

Both of these are characterized by lovely foliage and large, exotic-looking seeds on into the Fall.

And then we have the larger, well-established tree peonies.

Pink Tree Peony

Pink Tree Peony

Other highlights right now are the Moroccan Poppies that overwintered in the Alpine Bed.  

Morrocan Poppy (Papaver atlanticum)

I had no reason to expect that these would be evergreen all winter and then come on like gangbusters as the season progresses.

Morrocan Poppy (Papaver atlanticum)

Next to them are several Lewisias.

Lewisia cotyledon hybrid

Lewisia longipetala ‘Little Peach’

Also in the same bed is the Pink Betony that I am absolutely loving this year.  It is feathery to touch and abundant in it’s flowering.

Stachys lavandulifolia

In one of the troughs at the front of the greenhouse the Gentians are doing what Gentians are supposed to do.

Gentiana acaulis

In another trough a campanula (whose name I have forgotten) is having pronounced bloom out of the tufa rock with Viola pedata nearby.

Campanula? out of tufa

It’s worth noting that this is also the time of year to be grabbing seeds to share with other gardeners in the seed exchanges.

Harvesting Adonis seeds

Eranthis seeds

I was also very pleased to see that the Jack in a Pulpits had moved further up the slope of our backwoods toward the house.  Two more clumps were found at least 70 feet further up the hill than ever before.  I’m amazed that they spread so fast.

Jack in a Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum )

Alpine Success

Papaver alpinum

Five years ago I had the notion of building a 3 foot by 14 foot raised bed on the side of the greenhouse that would simulate alpine conditions with a well draining stony soil that was over 2 feet deep.  You have to work at it to convince alpines to be happy in the Maryland climate.  The construction was long and hard.  Just moving 84 cubic feet of soil is a chore.  But I was more that pleased with the result (think of it as a giant trough).  Things which were difficult to grow now became rambunctious.  Although the bed was fast draining, it also retained moisture well so that watering was not a big issue.  I built the bed on the shady side of the greenhouse and discovered that while that worked well for some things my notion of the Aubreita cascading over the wall didn’t work because, strangely enough, it grew towards the sun which was on the other side of the greenhouse.  So I have begun to tailor the planting on that side to things which were happy with a bit of shade, such as a couple of nice dwarf Rhododendrons.

Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’

Meanwhile there a number of plants like the dwarf Aruncus and two Daphnes that seem to be very happy.

Alpine bed on the shady side

In the meantime I decided to build a second Alpine Bed on the other side of the greenhouse which have a sunnier outlook.  I finished that construction project last year and this is the second growing season for the sunny side.  There have been a number of successes for that side and the latest is seeing the little Alpine Poppy for the first time yesterday.

Papaver alpinum

This came from seed obtained from the Scottish Rock Garden Society‘s annual seed exchange in 2017.  I got only this single plant from the seeding and it sat quite tiny and unmoving through the 2017 season.  But I had read that it wants a cold winter before flowering and indeed this seems to be the case.  From the Poppy’s point of view it’s in a very appropriate mountain environment.

Alpine Poppy in the Alpine Bed

Overall the sunny Alpine Bed looks really nice as spring begins.

Alpine bed on the sunny side

The Stachys and the Aubreita show every sign of diving over the wall the way I had hoped.

Stachys lavandulifolius

Hidden amidst the Aubreita is a fabulous eye-catching group of ice plants

Delosperma congestum ‘Gold Nugget’

This is from the highest part of the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa and despite it’s succulent nature it is complete hardy here.  

Other happy residents of the sunny Alpine Bed are growing out of the tufa rock.

Aethionema saxitile

Armeria maritima ‘Victor Reiter’

Suffice it to say I really enjoy the Alpine Beds!

Around the corner, at the front of the greenhouse is the first of my troughs with a now six year-old planting of Vitaliana, another alpine native.

Vitaliana primuliflora

Of course there is life outside of the Alpine beds, and I should share the posting on jewels in our garden from Dan Weil.  He spent last Saturday on his stomach crawling around the yard taking some very nice images of the little spring ephemerals in our yard.  Dan is an artist (paint and photography) with considerable talent and looking at other parts of his website is also rewarding.

In closing, the Kwanzan Cherry came into bloom yesterday, always a lovely milestone for the season.

Kwanzan Cherry

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2018

Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Snow Cone’

It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day time and one of the fun parts of posting the monthly flowers is discovering those things that I had forgotten that I previously planted.  Amongst those is the Snow Cone Bloodroot pictured above.  All Bloodroots are good, this one is just a notch above.

Another newcomer to this blog is the single pink Anemonella from Hillside Nursery.  I went on quest last year for a strong pink Anemonella after seeing one at my son’s house in previous years.  He has since lost that plant which was exceptionally pink compared to the normal ‘Pink Pearl’ as it is now marketed.  In any case the one gracing our flower bed is very nice indeed.

Anemonella thalictroides ‘Single Pink’

Another Anemonella variant that I posted on recently is Green Hurricane.

Anemonella thalictroides ‘Green Hurricane’

Many of the Anemone’s are flowering right now too, including this very complex nemerosa.

Anemone nemorosa ‘bracteata pleniflora’

Close by are the Corydalis.

Corydalis solida ssp. incisa ‘Vermion Snow’

Corydalis turtschaninovii ‘Eric the Red’

This one, as I’ve noted before is named for the leaves, not the beautiful blue flowers.

One cannot pass by the Camellia bed which has many of the spring ephemerals without seeing one of my favorite trilliums.

Trillium pusillum ‘Roadrunner’

And the Leucojum are like snowdrops on steroids

Leucojum vernum

Even this far into April the Hellebores continue to provide wonderful flowers.  One that particularly catches my eye is Amethyst Gem.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Amethyst Gem’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Amethyst Gem’

This year I decided to give the Primula kisoana another try.  You have to be cautious with this because it wants to spread, so I put it in with the other thugs.

Primula kisoana

I had a minor revelation this week when I thought I had finally succeeded in bring a Shortia into bloom.  However, it turns out just to be Shortia lookalike, but pretty nonetheless.

Oxalis griffithii – Double Flowered

Back in the Alpine beds we have several returnees from previous years.

Aquilegia flabellata v. nana

Androsace barbulata

Primula allionii ‘Wharfedale Ling’

and a new Iris/potentilla combination

Iris babadaghica and Potentilla neumanniana ‘Orange Flame’

And it’s also worth noting that while I tend to get caught up in the small spring ephemerals, there are many other flowers about.  The early Rhododendron in the front yard is always spectacular.

Rhododendren carolinianum

Rhododendren carolinianum

There are many, many Daffodils, both in the yard and in the woods/pasture.

Narcissus ‘Monte Carlo’ in the woods

And the various fruit trees are mostly just coming into bloom.  The apricot is finished, the cherries and peaches just starting, and the Kieffer Pear is flowering as though there is no tomorrow.

Wild Cherries blooming in the woods

Kieffer pear tree

Kieffer pear tree blossoms

As I close this post, it’s worth noting that this spring is well behind previous years in terms of the number and progress of things in bloom.  But I’m good with that.  It gives more time to appreciate everything as it’s happening.