Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day July 2019

Deep Red Daylily

Well the middle of July Bloom Day update is always highlighted by lilies, daylilies, and sunflowers.  They are the strength of the season.  We’ve just returned from a vacation and they are the first flowers I see.

Rich Golden Daylily

Light pink Lily

Lily ‘Stargazer’

Lily ‘Scheherazade’

Lily ‘Anastasia’

Anastasia is an Orienpet (cross between Oriental and Trumpet lilies) and it’s one of our favorites but it’s season is nearly done.  Two week ago it was sprawling across the fence row.

Lily ‘Anastasia’ coming into bloom at the end of June

Nearby are the crocosmia that are a long-lasting flower for July.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

Out in the vegetable garden the sunflowers are reaching for the sky.

First Big Sunflower

Hybrid Sunflower

Also from the vegetable garden are the gladiolas that are now part of the inside decor.

Harvesting glads from the garden

A really unusual flower for July comes from the greenhouse.

Haemanthus humilis ssp. humilis

Haemanthus humilis ssp. humilis detail

This is a South African flower that I obtained from the Pacific Bulb Society.

I had this plant growing for 5 years before I got the first flower, but it is delightful.  During the 1-2 month dormant period it does a good imitation of a dead plant, so you have to have some patience.

Outside the world of flowers the redhaven peach is covered with peaches right now

Red-haven peaches

And the Kingbird is in command of the mulberry tree in the mornings.

Kingbird eating mulberries

That’s it for quick look at Ball Rd.  What is blooming in your garden?

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2019

Lily ‘Forever Susan’

In June the lilies begin to make their statement for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  They are exploding around the yard and they provide excellent cutting flowers as well.

Lilium ‘Forever Susan’ inside the house

One of my favorites is in the monument bed

Lilium ‘Netty’s Pride’ group

Lilium ‘Netty’s Pride’

In addition to the lilies another regular for this season is a very extravagant japanese iris

Iris ensata ‘Flashing Koi’

The bletilla continue with their orchid-like flowers.

Bletilla ‘Brigantes’

And nearby is a new Roscoea that we got from Far Reaches this year.

Roscoea purpurea f. alba NAPE 239

We have several clematis that have been trailing on fences and trellis including this one that runs up the sambuccus.

Clematis ‘Krakowiak’

A very long-lasting flower is one of the gentians in the alpine bed.

Gentiana dahurica

Walking in the front yard you discover there are many white flowers on the grass and then you look up in the tree and see the source.

Stewartia japonica

There are many, many flower buds on the tree.

With all the rain that we continue to have it’s not surprising that the green leafy plants are doing well.

Pinellia ‘Polly Spout’

Arisaema farghesii

Arisaema candidissum

In the greenhouse there are multiple habranthus in bloom (they seed around abundantly).

Habranthus robustus

The habranthus are much bigger than their zephyranthus cousins.

We were in the orchard this week bagging apples (basically to ward off insects).  The really odd thing is that we have a much smaller crop than normal because many of the trees flowered last fall in response to our tremendous rainfall.  It turns out that one the few trees to have a few apples worth protecting is our Spitzenburg.  I don’t know if you have tried Spitzenburg but it is one of the best apples ever.  In our case this is the one survivor of a row of Spizenburgs and it is barely hanging on as a tree.

Spitzenburg trunk

Nonetheless the apples on it are looking very nice.

Apple ‘Spitzenburg’

This is usually a tree that is very hard hit by pests.  So it’s very strange to see it outyielding much bigger stronger trees.

By the front of the second pasture is a volunteer adam’s needle that is flowering by its lonesome.

Adam’s Needle (Yucca filamentosa)

And nearby are various meadow plantings of wildflowers that son Josh put in this year. They are prospering.

Wildflower mix

And of course the wildlife are enjoying Josh’s efforts.

Cosmos in wildfire mix

Worth noting in the first week of June

Stewartia malacodendron

Last year at Stonecrop’s alpine sale I purchased this small tree from Don Dembowski with the hope of someday seeing the beautiful flowers that websites described.  I was amazed this year when several flowers appeared in its first year on our rocky hillside.  This is multiple weeks ahead of it’s neighbor, Stewartia japonica.  Not to take anything away from Stewartia japonica with its lovely bark and many flowers, but the S. malacondendron has much larger and absolutely gorgeous flowers.

Stewartia malacodendron flower

So far the deer have chosen to ignore this wonderful addition to our front yard.  It seems happy within the shade of surrounding trees.  Inspired by this success I’ve purchased Stewartia monadelpha as well and I’m looking for where to place what will eventually be a pretty large tree.

The remarkably consistent event on the first of June is the appearance of the Arisaema fargessi and Arisaema candidissum

Arisaema fargessi emerging

Each year I wonder if they have disappeared over the winter and each year they check the calendar and stick up their cone on June 1st (A. fargessi was a day early this year, but A. candidissum was right on schedule.  Meanwhile many of their Arisaema brethren have been up and about for many weeks.  The most striking at the moment is a new Arisaema ringens cultivar.

Arisaema ringens ‘Black Mamba’

The Arisaema ringens are big plants with leaves that extend over a couple of feet.  Here is the normal A. ringens in its third year.

Arisaema ringens

This is also the time of year for the martagon lilies to share their elegance.

Lilium x martagon ‘Claude Shride’

This one looked particularly nice when we put it in the middle stones that had been painted at a garden party last week.

Martagon lily with stones

In the front yard right now we have white daphne that is covered with fragrant blossoms.

Daphne x transatalantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’

And an azalea with some of the largest azalea blossoms I have ever seen.

White azalea

A focal point of the center garden is a large spuria iris with striking purple blossoms.

Spuria Iris ‘Stella Irene’

And in the monument bed a very pretty bletilla is in full bloom.

Bletilla ‘Brigantes’

The greenhouse still has a few contributions as well.  A pine woods lily that has appeared in other years at this time.

Alophia drummondi (Pine Woods Lily)

And a flower from Brazil that I don’t recalled having flowered before.

Neomarica candida

It’s very exotic, but you have to pay attention because the flower is only there for a day.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2019

Aquilegia buergeriana v. oxysepala

The surprise for this month’ Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (in a month that has been full of flowers) is this striking Aquilegia that is almost 4 feet tall.  It is also volunteering in places where I didn’t plant it, but that’s all right for now.

Aquilegia buergeriana v. oxysepala

Aquilegia buergeriana v. oxysepala

I grew this several years ago from seed obtained from Growild in Scotland and I was immediately captured by the color combo.  Nearby is a related plant grown from the same source.

Semiaquilegia adoxoides fl. pl. Alba

Of course we also have the old reliables.  

Peony ‘Festiva Maxima’

Rhododendron ‘Chionoides’

Allium triumphant in the front bed

A striking addition to the front bed is this dark purple salvia from Plant Delights

Salvia ‘Amistad’

Recently I’ve been noticing that the extravagant foliage of the podyphyllums hides some lovely flowers.  The p. delavayi has dark red flowers.

Podophyllum delavayi

But even prettier flowers are on the podophyllum pleianthum

Podophyllum pleianthum

Podophyllum pleianthum flowers

Back at the alpine bed the various dianthus are putting up a spectacular show right now.

Dianthus petraeus subsp. petraeus

Dianthus petraeus subsp. petraeus

And the saxifraga’s are illustrating their value in troughs.

Saxifraga x longifolia

In one of the more recent troughs i’ve now added a little horned rampion that came from one of last year’s seed exchanges.

Phyteuma sieberi (Horned Rampion)

Let me close by noting that son Josh has planted many allium in the orchard as potential deer deterrent and wonderful eye candy.

Allium around young peach tree

They are wonderful mixed in with all the meadow flowers we have growing right now.

Allium as accent in the meadow garden

Besides the buttercups and daisies that we get naturally Josh has added crimson clover to the mix.

Buttercups and clover

Crimson Clover

We are continuing to run a couple of weeks ahead of last year, with again a powerful amount of rain in the mix.  Currently our rainfall is 60 % above normal and it has left the ground wet and fields green and lush.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2019

Ferraria ferrariola in the greenhouse

Well, I guess it’s a typical March Bloom Day.  The weather has oscillated from snowfall to 60 degrees of beautiful.  The last snow we had was last week and it disappeared almost as fast as it came.  With 70 degrees yesterday.

March 9 snow

Heather in the snow (Kramer’s Rote Heather)

But this week we are back to spring bulbs in abundance.

Winter Aconite in abundance

The Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) are spreading vigorously and my thought is take some of the seed that appears this year and help things along by spreading it other places.

The first Iris has popped up in the front yard beneath the Stewartia

First Iris

And the first Scilla are flowering in the woods.

Puschkinia scilloides

A very special Hellebore is preceeding its brethren with charming striped flowers.

Helleborus thibetanus

And the Adonis are still flowering in various parts of the yard.  Especially nice is the orange variant, Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

In the alpine bed the Draba is the first to appear

Draba hispanica growing in a piece of tufa rock

And beside it the first flowers are appearing on the Aubretia.

Aubretia

In the greenhouse, where I tend to think of it as South African spring, the exotic Ferrarias are capturing a lot interest at the moment.

Ferraria sp.

There a number of other unusual flowers at the moment that make nice indoor treats

Babiana purpurea

Geissorhiza inaequalis

Moraea vegetata

But for the indoors I have to give the most credit to the Clivias which have been spectacular this year.

Spectacular Yellow Clivia

Hall of Clivia at the front door

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2019

Well a couple a snowfalls have put a definite damper on our flower show for this January Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  The view out the back door gives a sense of our surroundings this mid-January day.

Backyard after fresh snowfall

Nonetheless there are couple of stalwarts that have seen fit to bloom despite the snow.

Pink Camellia

I have no idea the name of this camellia.  I brought it back from California in my lap many years ago as one gallon $2.99 supermarket acquisition.  I grew many years in the basement before I realized that the camellias were likely hardy enough to survive outside.  For a winter like this one where we have yet to see temperatures below twenty degrees, this plant will flower from December onward.  When it’s freezing cold the flowers will get browned off at the edges but usually we can grab a nice bud in the opening stage and enjoy it in the house before that happens.

And, of course, if they are not covered by snow, the snowdrops will persist in flowering well into spring.

Snowdrops

The other flowers for us are from the greenhouse.

Firelight Gold daffodil on block wall

Narcissus bulbocodium ‘Firelight Gold’

Notice the number of buds forming in this pot.  I will definitely need to divide these after they go dormant.

Narcissus Roy Herold seedling

Beyond the greenhouse it’s also worth looking at flowers in preparation, for example the Edgeworthia

Edgeworthia buds

And some remarkably early Jeffersonia dubia

Jeffersonia dubia (early)

I amazed each year the early appearance of flowers on this single Jeffersonia dubia.  It looks like it is predisposed to flower much sooner than Jeffersonia ought to be waking up.

I’ll close with a picture of the large pileated woodpecker that has been working on our big tulip poplar…

Pileated Woodpecker

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2018

Narcissus cantabricus ‘Peppermint’

Well, it’s very cold and wet at mid-December and though I searched around I could find nothing in the way of flowers outside.  I won’t count the weeds even though a scraggly dandelion tried to rise up to greet me.  Instead we turn to the greenhouse where some reliable December flowers are happening.  

The hoop-petticoat daffodils with their little megaphone shaped flowers are the earliest of the daffodils that we grow, typically flowering in early December in the greenhouse.  They are native to Spain and are widely spread around the iberian peninsula and Morocco.  I received mine from the Pacific Bulb Society in one of their many bulb exchanges.  In fact most of the flowers I am about to share came from the PBS.

Narcissus cantabricus ‘Peppermint’
Narcissus cantabricus ‘Silver Palace’

A favorite for it’s early blooming is a South African plant, Daubenya stylosa.

Daubenya stylosa

It’s bright color is an attractor for humans and it is also a magnet for slugs.

This fall I planted a few more Hyacinthoides which are striking for the blue interior flower parts.

Hyacinthoides lingulata
Hyacinthoides lingulata

An old reliable flower for this season is the first of our freesias to bloom.

Freesia alba

As it turns out we have one more flower contributor for this season.  The Amazon lily, which lives in the house for the cold weather, is putting out flowers.

Amazon lily (Eucharis x grandiflora)

So that about wraps it up for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  Here are the newly planted seeds and bulbs from the PBS that will show up on this blog in the future.

Future flowers from the Pacific Bulb Society

And outside the closest we come to flowering are the big fat buds on the camellia which asks only for mid-winter thaw…

Camellia in bud

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day November 2018

Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)

Yesterday’s Bloom Day began with a snowstorm that ended up depositing 6 inches by the end of the day.  Early on you could still see the corydalis pictured above and one of the camellias in the front yard.

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic’ in the snow

Anticipating the snow, I had taken pictures around the yard the day before, including the same camellia.

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic’

Yet another fall blooming camellia was in the side yard.

Camellia x ‘Survivor’

Hardiness is generally not a problem for camellias in our area but getting blooms at the right time can sometimes be problematical.  The spring blooming camellias are loaded with buds but they will sometimes pop open in a December thaw only to be burned off in the next freeze.

Also still blooming this week before the snowfall was the blue sage in the orchard.

Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea)

This sage has been in constant bloom since early summer.  Similarly the Viola jooi in the Alpine bed has come back into bloom again.

Viola jooi

There aren’t a lot of other flowers right now because we finally had our first freeze last week and many things got burned off.  One last remnant is this knockout rose.

Knockout Rose ‘Pink’

In preparation for the freeze, we covered up the newly planted Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’.

Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’

This is the third try for this lovely Mahonia which is only marginally hardy here.  We are hoping that covering it up will help it get through the winter.

We also gathered pine needles from the driveway and made a little nest for the pomegranate planted in the orchard.

White Pine needles on the driveway

Pomegranate tucked in for the winter surrounded by the last few zinnias

This is another of those plants where we are pushing the survival limits.

Otherwise we need to go into the greenhouse for flowers in November.

Oxalis in the greenhouse

Oxalis asinia

Oxalis caprina

Oxalis luteola just opening

In closing I want to share an early November picture of a lovely Amur Maple in the front yard.

Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)

In some areas of the country this is seen as invasive but for us it’s been very well behaved and a seasonal favorite.