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.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2022

Gordlinia grandiflora flower closeup

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).  

Gordlinia grandiflora arrival

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.

Gordlinia grandiflora

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.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina Urvilleana)

Princess Flower (Tibouchina Urvilleana)

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

Allium ‘Millenium’

The Crepe Myrtle is finally in flower for the season

Crepe myrtle white

the Cestrum has recovered from its winter dieback

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

And the Crinum is showing its numerous hanging flowers

Crinum powellii

In the vegetable/cutting garden the Glads have yielded abundantly

Gladiolus

Picking Glads

and the Tithonia and Sunflowers are ten foot tall at least.

Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower)

Sunflower

In the greenhouse there are multiple pots of Cyrtanthus in flower

Cyrtanthus elatus

as well as a particularly nice Sinningia

Sinningia eumorpha

If we weren’t so busy picking fruits and vegetables I might actually finish weeding the greenhouse:)

Crispie Pears (these are very sweet)

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.

Drake’s Beach Point Reyes

It was a wonderful trip…

 

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2022

Fritillaria stenanthera ‘Cambridge’

It is two days late for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but I need to keep up my records.  There have been sooo many flowers and activities around our house that it’s hard to account for everything that is happening.  The daffodils are off to a fine start and all of their friends and neighbors are coming too.  I’ll focus on some of my favorites in the interest of getting this post out at least by St. Patricks Day.  The Fritillary pictured above is a reminder that some Fritillaries are willing face the viewer rather than nodding toward the grass.

It’s hard not to focus on the Hellebores for this time of year.  They are everywhere.

Hellebore x hybridus PDN Double White

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Kingston Cardinal’

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Winter Sunshine’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Peppermint Ice’

There is even a black one that I’ve forgotten the name of…

Hellebore black

There are several unnamed seedlings to be found in our woods since they don’t seem to be fancied by the deer.

Hellebore growing in the woods

And in the yard and the woods we find a classic primrose

Primula vulgaris

Out in the front yard the Edgeworthia is announcing the beginning of Spring.

Edgeworthia in full bloom

Edgeworthia chrysantha

And then there are the classic spring bulbs

Iris histroides ‘Major’

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’

Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa)

And yet more out in the woods

Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’

Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’

A nice surprise for me was to discover this rock garden plant that I put in two years ago after a Yuzawa Engei order from Japan.  It’s original home is in the high mountains of Morocco so I’m glad it has chosen to flower here.

Ranunculus calandrinoides (High Alpine Buttercup)

I always feel good when little Saxifrages are willing to flower in our garden troughs.

Saxifraga ferdinandi-coburgi ssp. radoslavoffii

Saxifraga ‘Allendale Charm’

You can just barely see the little piece of tufa that Wrightman’s Alpines provides.

Another first time flowering for me is this little Clivia that I got from seed via the Pacific Bulb Society back in 2013.

Belgian hybrid orange Clivia (2013)

It has a few years to go to catch up with our normal Clivia.  But I’m more than willing to watch it try.

Clivia

Clivia miniata

And since I began the last GBBD post with the first Adonis image of the year, I thought it only fair to end this post with another Adonis posting, this time of the very special orange one (even though this image is from three weeks ago).

Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

I was afraid last year that I had lost this planting it was down to just two flowers, but it came back strongly this year — and I intend to take some seeds.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2022

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’

Adonis is one of my favorite flowers.  It comes so vigorously at a time of the year when we have almost forgotten the joy of spectacular flowers.  I have seen it flower even before this year’s mid-February showing but it’s very appropriate to have it kick off a Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  I have every expectation that over the next couple of weeks there will be a number of Adonis appearing at our early Spring party.  It’s been a long, long January into February so let’s see what else is here today.

Daffodils have a strong connections with Spring and for us this is the first one

Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’

And in the front yard I found one lonely crocus.

First crocus

Last week I found a rare Eranthis blooming in the cold frame

Eranthis pinnatifida

I noticed today that there is now a baby showing in that same pot.  Even more importantly I think I see buds for the same Eranthis showing in one of the outside beds.

At the same time the more common Winter Aconites are popping up all over the yard.

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Last year I took some of these out to the forest and now they are showing in the woods as well.

Winter Aconite in the woods

At the same time I’ve been growing some of the more unusual cultivars.

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Schwefelglanz’

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Orange Glow’

It is surprising to me that the Cyclamens are also players in the early flowers game.

Cyclamen coum

And even before the flowers show up the Peonies are starting to show color.

Paeonia caucasica in bud

And the heather that I featured last month is still flowering.  Cold weather does little to damp it’s winter enthusiasm.  Also the Camellias that were so prolific in December are starting up again.  They are simply wonderful.

Camellia japonica red

Of course when we turn to the trees, we need to take note of the Witch Hazels.

Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis)

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

We also have several contributions from the greenhouse

Cyrtanthus flanaganii

Babiana framesii

Lachenalia aloides

That’s about here for mid-Maryland in this year’s February.  I think there is a lot coming in the next few weeks.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2022

Cyrtanthus mackenii

Not a lot to share for this mid-January Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day Post.  We have several pots of the Cyrtanthus in bloom now.  The nice thing about Cyrtanthus is that the blooms last for a long time.  It is a large genus in the Amaryllis family with many unique flower forms.  

Cyrtanthus are said to be hardy down to 25 degrees which would not do well with the 12 degree temperatures that we had last night.  These are some of the coldest temperatures that we’ve have the past few years.

In the greenhouse we still have the last of the white Narcissus in flower.

Narcissus cantabricus ‘Silver Palace’

However, outside there is not much to see, even if you spent time the very cold air looking.  The snowdrops are fully in flower but when it is this cold they prefer to lie down.

Snowdrops lying down on the job

One remarkable plant in the winter is the heather that we added several years ago.  The flowers seem to be governed by the calendar and not by the temperatures.

Kramer’s Rote Heather

One special event over the last week was the planting of the Concolor Fir that was our Christmas tree for this year.

Planting our Christmas Tree

We have been planting our Christmas trees for 46 years.  I would say that about 30 percent have survived.  It’s a really nice tradition.  If you looked out of the back door a week ago, you can see two of the trees.

Backyard Christmas Trees

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2021

Christmas tree is ready (Concolor Fir)

Well another Bloom Day and another year has come to pass.  Today’s flowers include some very unusual participants for a December flower show.  First and foremost is a Gentiana acaulis which would normally be waiting for spring to share its vivid blue colors.  Instead a single flower has challenged the season.

Gentiana acaulis

As I went around the yard I saw several other features that illustrate just how warm it’s been this Fall.  The Mahonia which is lucky to even be surviving here in Maryland has decided to put up some yellow flowers.

Mahonia ‘Sweet Caress’

I even see color on the first of the spring cyclamen.  And the Adonis and Snowdrops are budding up.

Snowdrops on their way

The heather which flowered most of last winter has it’s first blooms showing.

Kramer’s Rote Heather

We have two spring flowering Camellia japonicas that are putting out lovely flowers and of course the fall flowering Camellia sasanquas are putting out many flowers.  

Camellia japonica red

Camellia japonica double flowered pink

Fall Camellia in bloom

Camellia sasanqua Red

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic’

And in the greenhouse the first of the Narcissus ‘Silver Palace’ are filling the pot.

Narcissus cantabricus ‘Silver Palace’

Of course the flowers are one thing, but one of the items that really sparks the Christmas show is the hollies.  Between the very large American Holly and the supporting cast of English Holly and Blue Holly we have more berries than you can possibly imagine.

Holly Berries

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day September 2021

Dahlia ‘Bodacious’

We have a steady supply of flowers from the both the perennials and the picking garden for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  The dahlia above has been flowering for most of the summer.  

The Tithonia in the garden give some idea of the good growing weather that we have had.

Tithonia in the garden

I always enjoy seeing the black and blue sage coming back because it was never supposed to be hardy in our area.  The bees enjoy it in particular.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Bee on Salvia

Nearby the David Austin ‘Crocus Rose’ is making a comeback.

Crocus Rose

And right beside it the continually blooming Cestrum

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

I also enjoy that the Cyclamen comes up at this time of year both in the ground and in the greenhouse

Cyclamen hederifolium

Cyclamen graecum

Other flowers can be seen in the wildflower patches

Wildflower patch

Asters in wildflower patch

In the Alpine bed I discovered a Pulsatilla that is definitely blooming well out of season

Pulsatilla pratensis ‘bohemica’

Pulsatilla pratensis ‘bohemica’

In the greenhouse itself there is not only this striking Sinninglia species

Sinninglia sp.

But also a rather puzzling Buddleia which is coming up in nominally Gentianella pot.

Buddleia davidii

Elsewhere the berries in the yard are striking.

Blue Holly in berry

Viburnum wrightii

Viburnum wrightii

Finally to note once again that since we can’t survive on flowers alone, we have been bringing in lots of fruit.

Kieffer Pears (and a few liberty apples)

And for the first time Figs

Figs

I highly recommend homemade sourdough bread with brie, pear, and fig — yum…

100 Years today! — A VERY SPECIAL BLOOM DAY

Frogs with Hydrangea

This month’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day falls upon my mother’s birthday — her 100th birthday, something very worth celebrating.  She has always loved flowers and we shared many moments of picking flowers and harvesting fruit.

Mom picks the Iris at Ball Rd

Mom in our garden in 2005

And though her body is slowly losing the capabilities it once had, as recently as 18 month ago (pre-covid) we could still share humor and memories.

Mom nursing center

So as I look around our garden today, I know that I owe a lot my appreciation for gardens and gardening to my parents and grandparents.  Today is also my father’s birthday (though he died more than 20 years ago) and their wedding anniversary.  They were married at the start of World War II and this courtship poem that he sent from his barracks is an example of the many poems my father wrote during their life together

A Letter

Meanwhile back here on the hillside we are harvesting gallons of peas and strawberries.  Last night we pitted many of the wild cherries that yield every year without spraying or special care.

Wild Cherries (Big Cherry Sue – the name of the tree)

We’re thinking we should at least plant the seeds

Cherry pits

The birds are happy to help out but they mostly work on the cherries that are beyond our reach.

Brown Thrasher with Cherry

Meanwhile the blueberries are starting to come in and they combine well with cherry juice.

Blueberries, ice cream, and wild cherry juice

But wait.  There are still flowers worth mentioning.  A lot of lilies are making their annual appearance.

Red Asiatic hybrid lily

Asiatic Lily ‘Forever Susan’

But also some special additional items worth noting.

Spigelia marilandica

Callirhoe involucrata (Wine Cups)

Asclepias tuberosa ‘Hello Yellow’

In the herb garden the perennials are making quite a statement as encouragement to the hummingbirds.

Monarda and Heliopsis in the herb garden

In the greenhouse there are many Zephyranthes popping up, but they don’t seem to follow any respect for my attempts at labeling.

Red Zephyranthes

I peeked in and saw this Hymenocallis blooming the other day (if you don’t catch it quickly it’s gone)

Hymenocallis guerreroensis

Before leaving this rather long post I do need to mention the Stewartia malacodendron.  We have grown Stewartia japonica for years and it’s a wonderful tree with beautiful flowers and bark.  It’s just about to come into bloom.  But its cousin S. malacondendron bloomed about two weeks ago and it has truly remarkable flowers, well worth the time invested in getting to grow outside of its North Carolina origins.

Stewartia malacodendron