Well it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day again and I would like to begin by celebrating the crepe myrtles that provide a summer flower show. As you can see from the above image the red one has been with us for a very long time. It’s well over the garage roof. The bark is wonderful and the individual flowers are lovely one and all.
We also have a white one down in the pasture and it seems to be growing nicely.
Flowers that we see every day are the Princess Flowers on the back porch.
Both we and the hummingbirds look forward to our daily dose.
The Hydrangeas are also prolific and and an everyday summer flower show.
Looking around the yard you have appreciate just how dry it has been here.
We are currently at 75% of the normal rainfall and that has left us with many dead plants from my spring planting. Yes we run hoses but there are many places on 7 acres that are not accessible the hoses. I have a set of watering cans but that only covers the time when I’m actually here.
Despite all that, and with help of hoses, we do have some more flowers to share. As always the Allium millenium are reliable summer color.
And I noticed (after one of the few thunderstorms that we’ve had) the Cyclamen hederifolium are starting to bloom.
As we wander out to the garden it is clear that the annuals provide a spot of color.
And nearby the sunflowers are on display
The vegetable garden is also where we find a steady supply of gladiolias
And despite the drought we have a good supply of vegetable and fruit. I notice that the raspberries are starting their fall crop.
And we been bringing in peaches and pears.
That’s it for now, I’ll go back to doing my rain dance…
Although it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day I am leading off with a flower that finished blooming last month. It came into bloom at the end of May and I was so frightfully impressed that I have purchased yet another of these trees. I promise another posting on the Stewartias because they are well worth sharing.
Currently the Stewartia japonica which we’ve had for years is just now coming into bloom
In the meantime the other striking flowers at the moment are the lilies. Just a few of them are showing right now but they are lovely
There is also a very late and very large Azalea at the front of the house
The rest of flowering is more or less normal roses, penstemon, and annuals. One exception is the Evening Primrose out on the bank to the pasture.
This wildflower came along on its own and appears anytime we don’t mow to close or too often on the pasture hillside.
We have been busy picking and eating fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries). Mostly it’s what we expect but for many of them they are bit on the small side given the extremely dry weather we’ve had (can we say drought?). The exception is the wild cherry tree at the entrance to our forest.
This tree is just one of many wild cherry trees in our forest. Most of them seem to have come from bird-planted seedlings from the original orchard that we planted forty years ago. They all have reasonable taste and the birds love them.
This gives some idea of the density.
But the really surprising thing is that one of the smaller trees with branches actually close to the ground has absolutely marvelous cherries and they grow without being sprayed. Just pick them.
This is one of the bowls he brought in the other night.
Of course the other thing we get is as a bonus is all the birds visiting at this time of year.
I’ve even seen the bluebird in the cherry tree, though he spends most of his time harvesting grubs in the grass.
Life is good. Now if we could just get some rain…
Well of course there are so many flowers for the April Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day that it is difficult to choose what to share. Let me begin with the apple trees. Though some of the varieties are definitely showing the biennial bearing effect we still have other trees that are loaded with beautiful blossoms.
The pears and peaches have mostly finished blooming and the cherries are just finishing. In general flowers are running ahead of the normal flowering cycle as it’s been dry and hot in Maryland.
Other trees in bloom right now are the dogwoods and the redbuds.
Daffodils are everywhere in bloom. Even though we’ve have had hundreds of daffodils already, some are still in bud. Other bulbs showing up right now are the Fritillaria imperials in the front bed
and Tulips that I put in the woods with Erythronium last year.
Also in the woods are Shooting Stars that are actually allowed to flower now that the deer are gone.
A long-time component of our woods walk are the Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) that have naturalized in abundance. And some of the bluebells are pink or white.
One strange little bulb that I noticed this year is this little ornithogalum that has taken hold in the back lawn.
In terms of strange little plants this little polygala is spreading nicely in the alpine bed.
Nearby is one of the Daphnes which contribute to the alpine bed on a regular basis.
In this same shady Alpine bed there is a small columbine that comes back every year.
And on the sunny side of the alpine bed there is an Asperula doing very well.
Along with a delightful Pulsatilla
But even more surprising to me is this little Stachys that I planted back in 2017 after seeing it at the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs. This is the first time it has really poured over the wall in the way I had hoped.
I should also share this double-flowered Quince which provide a particularly striking flower.
There are many, many other flowers but I think that’s true for everyone at this time of year.
Well it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (or was yesterday anyway) and February really marks the serious start of spring flowers. Adonis, Winter Aconite, Crocus, Daffodils, Snowdrops, Witch Hazel, Primrose, Camellias, and Hellebores are all in flower. We spent three and half weeks in California and it was delightful to see the flowers that had popped up in our absence.
Adonis remains one of my favorite flowers but only the early-blooming ‘Fukujukai’ is currently in flower.
The biggest impact flower at the moment is the winter aconite.
We actually have several Eranthis hyemalis cultivars with different shades of yellow.
They are all quite willing to expand and I am finding new specimens each year in the yard and forest in places where I did not plant them.
Another highlight at the moment is the Crocus tommasinanus (which also keeps expanding it’s spot).
The witch hazels are all in bloom
We also have numerous clumps of snowdrops that are not only clumping nicely but also spreading out into the lawn
The Camellia japonica that I brought back from California on my lap in the 70’s continues to put out early flowers.
And as I mentioned the Daffodils and Hellebores are beginning to do their thing.
The first early primroses (Primula vulgaris) are now showing up. I don’t know why more people are not growing this lovely British wildflower which is anything but vulgar.
Meanwhile in the greenhouse there are many South African plants beginning their season
Yeah, I know the name doesn’t match the color in this Freesia but it’s all I have to go on at the moment.
Just a quick post for the month with the least flowers on display. Our Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day finds that the winter has been mild but most plants are just fattening up there buds for the months to come. There are a few exceptions. The Witch Hazel shown above is joined by several others on the hillside but none are as spectacular in bloom as ‘Diane.
The snowdrops are popping out. Even a few that have migrated into the lawn.
And the first of hybrid Hellebores is now in flower (not counting ‘Jacob’ which appeared a month ago)
There are othe plants just on the verge
And I can see colorful buds on the Peonies.
The cyclamen are also noteworthy for the lovely patterns they create as they continue to spread in the yard.
And in the house we have steady stream of flowers from the greenhouse (especially Cyrtanthus) and some new orchids that arrived as Christmas and birthday gifts.
Finally I should point out that we did plant the Christmas tree last week to provide a future landmark in the pasture.
This is also the month for planting the seeds obtained from the NARGS seed exchange.
As always there are great expectations.
Just a few items for this GBBD since I’m a day late (as usual). The blue monkshood shown above is sometimes called the autumn flowering monkshood because it comes to the very end of the season. But wow, what a flower. We’ve never grown it before because it is extremely poisonous but it has a long history of being grown in perennial gardens.
Also in the front yard I found the first of the fall blooming in Camellias.
This was planted last spring and I was surprised to see it in flower before any of the other sasanquas.
The first of the toad lillies are in flower now
Otherwise there are many of the carryovers from previous months still in bloom.
Out in the garden in raised beds the calendula continue with their wonderful flowering.
And with regard to raised beds I should mention that Josh and I installed a third raised bed for next year’s gardens.
And as we head out to the pasture there are late flowering sunflowers
as well as some of their smaller relatives
I do have to take note of the Dahlias still coming into the house
And the beautiful beautyberries by the driveway
Finally let me close with our new approach to harvesting chestnuts.
Just stomp on the spiny balls and wiggle the lovely chestnuts out…
Well, I missed last month’s posting to GBBD (first time in ten years) and I feel somewhat guilty so I have a couple of special items for this posting. Back in April I received as a gift one of the largest plants I’ve ever gotten in a box in the mail (from ForestFarm).
It was a Gordlinia grandiflora, a relatively rare hybrid derived from a cross between Franklinia alatamaha and Gordonia lasianthus in 2003. It’s a relatively small tree with absolutely gorgeous camellia-like flowers.
It’s begun flowering now and should continue through September…
Another special item for us this year is the Princess Flower. I started this from a small 4 inch pot from Putnam Hill Nursery last year and it didn’t flower. So I carried it over in the greenhouse and repotted it at the beginning of the season. It has taken off over the last two months and it’s now 5 foot tall and still growing. In the meantime I found another specimen growing in a pot twice as big as mine and just coming into flower. Nonestop flowering is what it yields.
It will need to go into the greenhouse again but wow, what flowering!
Otherwise it’s pretty normal summer flowering for us.
The Allium are flowering in a couple of places
The Crepe Myrtle is finally in flower for the season
the Cestrum has recovered from its winter dieback
And the Crinum is showing its numerous hanging flowers
In the vegetable/cutting garden the Glads have yielded abundantly
and the Tithonia and Sunflowers are ten foot tall at least.
In the greenhouse there are multiple pots of Cyrtanthus in flower
as well as a particularly nice Sinningia
If we weren’t so busy picking fruits and vegetables I might actually finish weeding the greenhouse:)
Oh, I should mention that my excuse for missing last month’s posting was a trip to California where we relived our youth by driving down the California Coast.
It was a wonderful trip…
This bird has been a frequent visitor to our garden this last week so I thought you might want to join him in perusing the flowers at Ball Road for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.
It’s very much the Azalea time of year hereabouts. What is especially nice this year is that we dug four layered offspring from this plant last year and they are now to be found in other parts of the yard.
One of our favorite Azaleas is beside the deck. Azalea ‘Visco Sepala’ came from White Flower Farm many years ago, though it’s originally from England. It has a spectacular fragrance.
Naturally at the same time the tree peonies are stepping up to the plate.
Nearby is another very nice perennial.
And a very distinctive Japanese Maple that is worth building a garden around
We also have a reliable showing of Lamium by the garage where it outcompetes the weeds.
One could easily get lost with trying to account for all the things in bloom right now. If we go back to the Alpine bed there are some special repeat performances.
I want to take a few minutes out to share our meadow-like pasture. Last year son Josh, cut the pasture ultrashort and then seeded the area with crimson clover and wildflowers from Wildseed in Texas. The result has been wonderful. It’s easy to get lost in just the crimson clover.
But amidst the clover are wallflowers, peas, flax, sweet william and POPPIES.
We also have for the first time Five Spot
As an ending point for this already long posting let me share the Viburnum on the hillside that overlooks these wildflowers.