Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2024

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

As usual for a February GBBD the Adonis is the most striking flower in our garden.  They always begin even when snow may be falling and they shake off the cold days.  Good luck finding any because nurseries seldom carry Adonis any more.  If you find them scoop them up in a hurry.

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

Elsewhere there a lot of winter aconite, hellebores, and snowdrops.  The snowdrops are showing an increasing ability to propagate into the lawn and are multiplying every year.

Galanthus nivalis ‘Blewbury Tart’

And the winter aconite are everywhere, both where I’ve put them and where they are now spreading.

Winter Aconite happily spreading

There are even a couple of unusual cultivars that are spreading as well.

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Schwefelglanz’

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Orange Glow’

The Hellebores are just getting started but their flowers are always arresting and we usually cut some for display in the house.

Helleborus x nigercors ‘HGC Green Corsican’

Helleborus x hybridus PDN Yellow

Helleborus x hybridus PDN double bicolor

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Winter Sunshine’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Cotton Candy’

And out in the woods the Helleborus foetidus has continued to put out its flowers.

Helleborus foetidus

Of course it’s also worth noting that the early daffodils are just finishing.  Many more to come.

Narcissus ‘Rinjveldt’s Early Sensation’

And the first of the Camellia japonicas putting out their wonderful flowers.

Camellia japonica red

Of course in the midst of everything the crocus are doing their usual springtime thing.

Crocus tommasinianus

Sometimes when you walk about the yard you go just to inspect the things that you expect to be blooming.  I almost missed the first ot the small Iris sticking up its little flag.

Iris histroides ‘George’

And over in the alpine bed I found this little polygala putting it’s first flowers out.

Polygala chamaebuxus

It’s worth pointing out the greenhouse also has flowers to share with us.

Cyrtanthus breviflorus

Cyrtanthus hybrid

Geissorhiza inaequalis

There’s also a tiny thalictrum that needs to be planted outside

Thalictrum urbanii

We recently returned from California with its flowers galore so I was very pleased to see how many things were in flower here in Maryland.  I put together a little SLIDE SHOW to share the general effect of my first walk around the yard last weekend.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2023

Camellia ‘Yume’

Once again our best December flowers for GBBD are the camellias.  The one above was purchased at Camellia Forest Nursery which is probably the best source for camellias in the whole country.  It took a few years to get to flowering but now has probably a dozen buds on it for this year.

Its older cousin is the red camellia sasanqua which has a record number of flowers this year.

Camellia sasanqua red

Camellia sasanqua red

Even the camellia ‘survivor’, which flowered earlier than the others, still has a few flowers left on.

Camellia ‘Survivor’

Elsewhere around the yard there are still a few things that have withstood the 25 degree temperatures that we’ve seen so far.  In particular the Japanese Quince is loaded with early blossoms.

Japanese Quince

And the heather has more flowers than I’ve ever seen on it.

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

One little surprise in alpine bed is a cute little polygala

Polygala chamaebuxus

When you actually go inside the greenhouse there are some very lovely flowers in process.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

Oxalis luteola

And some oranges just about ready to harvest

Satsuma dwarf Owari

One item from the greenhouse that has made it into the house is very striking Nerine from Far Reaches

Nerine ‘Pink Triumph’

I should mention too that when I went out to the woods yesterday I found the dark black berries from the Blackhaw Viburnum hanging in the tree.

Blackhaw Viburnum

A reminder of the flowers that will come in the springtime.

I should also mention that I spent early yesterday morning ordering seeds from the North American Rock Garden Society Seed Exchange.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to acquire unusual seed from all over the world.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day November 2023

Camellia ‘Survivor’

Just a few things to share for this bloom day.  As always the Camellias are the most startling representatives of our late Fall gardens.  I’ve never figured out why more people in Maryland don’t grow the Camellia Sasanqua but for us it multiple weeks of pleasure.  The white one shown above is the first to bloom and probably the hardiest on our property.  It comes from Camellia Forest in North Carolina.  But right behind it is our red Fall Camellia which I brought back from California many, many years ago on my lap in a cross-country flight.

Red Camellia sasanqua

The rest of the yard has pretty much succumbed to touches of frost.  Still no really hard frost so a couple of roses are still in bloom.

Crocus Rose

And a few spots of Daphne can be seen too.

Daphne

The last flowers in the vegetable garden are some lovely little calendulas.

Calendula

And it’s hard not to notice the berries when you walk about the yard.

American Holly

Otherwise it’s diving into the greenhouse where I’ve made space for other plants by taking out the 10 foot high pomegranate and some other potted plants that had rooted themselves in greenhouse floor (not allowing that anymore).  This leaves space for big pots like this Plectranthus.

Plectrantrus

I think we will also harvest some mandarins this year off of the potted citrus.

Mandarin Orange

Some of my favorite greenhouse plants are the various Nerine species.  They bloom over a long period with various flowers that resemble more reasonably sized amaryllis.  The one in flower at the moment is Nerine undulata.

Nerine undulata

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day October 2023

Amarine tubergenii ‘Zwanenberg’

Well, it’s been a lovely Fall week for catching up with GBBD and many tasks in the garden.  Finally the outside ground is somewhat moist and there is a lot of green around garden, woods, and pasture.  Nonetheless as my eye explored the garden yesterday it was the Nerines that stood out to me.  I think it was two years ago that I first acquired the Amarine tubergenii from Quackin’ Grass Nursery.  They have a brilliant pink that stands out from other plants.  They stem from a cross between Nerine bowdenii and Amaryllis belladonna and while they are in principle hardy in zone 7 the only time I tried the plant didn’t return so I keep them in the greenhouse for now.

A 2nd Amarine

At the same time a much smaller Nerine is blooming in the greenhouse.

Nerine zinkowski hyb.

This was a hybrid seedling distributed by the Pacific Bulb Society.  A lot of flower for a small pot.

Of course I could share the many annuals still in bloom around here.  The zinnias are blooming like crazy and the Dahlias are maybe the best they’ve ever been.

Dahlia ‘Mai Tai’

Some of the perennial returnees from last year are notable like this Monkshood

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’

And there are many that just continue in flower week after week.

Last of the Colchicums

Cyclamen hederifolium

Tibouchina urvilleana

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Four o’Clock

I did add another plant to the garden today, a little Mahonia that came via Issima Nursery in Rhode Island.  This is a seedling from Mahonia eurybracteata and we shall see how hardy it is.

Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’ seedling

It’s worth noting that it’s not only flowers that are showy at this time of year.  The berries can be quite splendid.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

And as I closed the gate tonight I couldn’t help but notice the Red Jade Crabapple

Red Jade Crabapple

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day September 2023

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

Well this has been a terrible summer for us.  We have a few flowers for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but we have lost so many plants to drought.  The Princess Flower has survived because it is on the porch getting regular water.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

But we don’t have anything like the usual flowering at this time of year.  Probably the most striking flowers right now are the dahlias which also have gotten fairly regular watering.

Dahlia ‘Mai Tai’

Dahlia ‘Helen Richmond’

The sedum is pretty hardy and has returned with its usual flowering for September.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

And the colchicum at coming out the ground as scheduled.

Colchicum bivonae

Colchicum ‘Giant’

The very reliable cestrum is still in flower.

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

And walking about the yard yesterday, I found a few cyclamen with fall flowers.

Cyclamen hederifolium

In the greenhouse a pot of the non-hardy cyclamen was also in bloom.

Cyclamen graecum

Beside it are several pots of sinninglia species (that are happy to spread to neighboring pots)

Sinninglia sp.

It is worth mentioning that the dry weather has been very good for our figs and it’s become a lunchtime habit for me.

Steady stream of Figs

Also very noteworthy is a lovely little bukiniczia with great foliage in the alpine bed. It came from seed this year and should be able to flower next year.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2023

Rhododendron Chionoides

Well it’s a late posting for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but what can I say. This time of year I’m in the garden…

Rhododendron are in flower in multiple places in the yard but this year we have also added them to the woods (courtesy of the new deer fence)

Rhododendrun ‘Nova Zembla’ in the woods

I am fully engaged in adding new and unusual flowers to the woods (leading to lack of care for some of the plants in the yard).  But we still have a few things worth sharing.  We inherited this lovely ground orchid in a plant exchange last year.

Bletilla striata ground orchid

One can’t help but notice the roses at this time of year.  And this David Austin rose is having a great showing.

Tess d’Uberville in abundant flower

Rose ‘Tess d’uberville (David Austin)

Right nearby is a longtime resident, the Klondyke exbury Azalea

Rhodendron ‘Klondyke’

Moving across the yard to the Monument bed there is a lovely herbaceous Peony

Peony red herbaceous

and some lovely little allium

Yellow Allium in the Monument Bed

One neighboring bed has the last of another allium relative

Allium (nectaroscordum) tripedale

You have to look a little more closely to see the flowers that appear under may apple relatives

Podophyllum pleianthum flower

Another shade lover is the Pinellia

Pinellia ‘Purple Dragon’

I feel like I have to share some things from the greenhouse and the alpine bed

Zephyranthes katherinae rubra

Morrocan Poppy

Lewisia ‘Rainbow Mix’

And also the Phyteuma that I first met while hiking in the Alps

Phyteuma orbiculare

Let me close with an image of the planting of the dahlias and glads

Glads and Dahlias going in the ground

Which leads to harvesting the strawberries in the neighboring row

Strawberries coming in

And then finally what we do with the harvest

Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2023

Helleborus x ‘Berry Swirl’

Well it’s two days past Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day but as you can probably imagine Spring is bringing forth not only tons of flowers but springtime chores as well.

As shown above the Hellebores are everywhere and together with the Daffodils they are providing an abundance of flowers.

Hellebore Lost Name

This is one of my favorite Hellebores but I’ve lost the name.  It sits upright and shows those lovely crinkly flowers.

Daffodils are one of our favorites for the Spring.  We began planting them 45 years ago and here are the results for those first ones.

Daffodils in profusion at the deck

Daffodil bank

Of course it’s hard to not to admire the individual flowers as well.

Daffodils in a cluster

Of course not long from now we will see many members of the Rhododendron family, but here is an early bloomer.

Korean Rhododendron (R. mucronulatum)

I spend a lot of time looking up the little guys that are poking up in the yard and woods.  

Haquetia

The first of the Bloodroot popped up yesterday.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

I planted a hundred Scilla sibirica in the front lawn last Fall and they are just showing their marvelous blue color.

Scilla sibirica ‘Spring Beauty’

Nearby the Primula vulgaris are continuing to spread into the lawn.

Primula vulgaris

I also love seeing the Hepatica with their colorful flowers.

Hepatica nobilis light pink

Hepatica nobilis pink form

We even have one Hepatica in the woods that seems to have taken hold.

Hepatica acutiloba

Also in the woods we also  have a number of Corydalis that are slowly spreading.

Corydalis solida ‘Purple Rain’

To help them spread I put in a hundred of the red ones last Fall.

Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’

Another successful spreader is the Ranunculus sometimes called Lesser Celandine

Ranunculus ficaria

In the Alpine bed we have a couple of small plants just coming into flower.

Armeria juniperfolia (Spanish thrift)

Polygala chamaebuxus

And in the greenhouse itself there are number of plants seeking attention.

Peruvian Squill alba

Veldtheimia

Notholirion thomsonianum

But the real stars right now are the Clivia that I’ve taken into the house.

Clivia at the house entryway

Clivia in full bloom

Everyone should have Clivia.  So colorful, easy care, and blooming twice a year.  What’s not to like?

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2023

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

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.

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

The biggest impact flower at the moment is the winter aconite.

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) in the front yard

Winter Aconite (Erantis hyemalis)

We actually have several Eranthis hyemalis cultivars with different shades of yellow.

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Orange Glow’

Eranthis ‘Schwefelglanz’

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.

Winter Aconite in the woods

Another highlight at the moment is the Crocus tommasinanus (which also keeps expanding it’s spot).

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’

The witch hazels are all in bloom

Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis)

Witch Hazel ‘Diane’

We also have numerous clumps of snowdrops that are not only clumping nicely but also spreading out into the lawn

Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridi-apice’

Galanthus nivalis ‘Blewbury Tart’

The Camellia japonica that I brought back from California on my lap in the 70’s continues to put out early flowers.

Camellia japonica red

And as I mentioned the Daffodils and Hellebores are beginning to do their thing.

First Daffodils

Helleborus x ericsmithi ‘HGC Winter’s Song’

Helleborus x hybridus PDN Yellow

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.

Primula vulgaris

Meanwhile in the greenhouse there are many South African plants beginning their season

Veltheimia bracteata

Babiana framesii

Freesia single Blue

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.