Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day November 2022

As it turns to Fall (wintertime temperatures are on the way but we have been spared a hard frost so far) this GBBD post has to focus on Camellias.  It is always amazing to me what a long season we have with the Camellias.  Between the C. japonicas and C. sasanquas (and the various hybrids) we usually have Camellias blooming from October through April.  I began growing them with 1 gallon pots that brought on airplane rides from California and then put them in the basement each winter until I realized they were actually hardy here.  We had one really cold winter that seemingly killed this red sasanqua to the point where i actually cut it back to the ground.  And then the next year it came back vigorously.  So this bushy flowering plant is actually the second rebirth of our Fall Camellia.

Fall Camellia

Some of the others in bloom right now are shown below.

Camellia x ‘Survivor’

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic Orchid’

Elsewhere in the garden the Cestrum continues it’s flowerful display

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Pretty special for a plant that dies back to the ground every winter.

Right next to it is the Japanese quince that has no business blooming in November (but it often does).

Red Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles)

We have had a very extended Fall and the roses are still putting out blossoms.

Rose ‘Knockout Red’

And out at the front fence there are a continuing sequence of flowers on the Daphne I planted there several years ago.

Daphne × transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’

In the pasture I still see spots of color from the gaillardia that have volunteered from wildflower plantings.

Gaillardia

In the alpine bed there is still a single Moroccan Poppy remaining from the many that flowered there this year.

Papaver atlanticum ‘Flore Pleno’

In the vegetable garden we not only have flowers of various sorts but fall peas and lettuce still coming in.

Fall Peas and a strawberry

Fall Peas

Calendula and Lettuce

Calendula (Pacific Beauty Mix)

Tithonia

And then lastly let me close with an indoor flower.  We see flowers twice a year from the potted Amazon Lily and once again it is doing its thing with a minimum of care.

Amazon Lily flowers

Highly recommended as a wonderful houseplant that can play outside in the summertime.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day October 2022

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’

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.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Northern Lights’

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

Toad lily (Tricyrtis hirta ‘Sinonome’

Otherwise there are many of the carryovers from previous months still in bloom.

Colchicum ‘Bornmuelleri’

Princess Flower

Plectranthus

Cyclamen hederifolium

Out in the garden in raised beds the calendula continue with their wonderful flowering.

Calendula

Calendula

And with regard to raised beds I should mention that Josh and I installed a third raised bed for next year’s gardens.

Assembling new raised bed

And as we head out to the pasture there are late flowering sunflowers

Late Sunflower

as well as some of their smaller relatives

Swamp Sunflower ‘Helianthus angustifolius’

Gallardia in the pasture

I do have to take note of the Dahlias still coming into the house

Dahlia ‘Bodacious’

And the beautiful beautyberries by the driveway

Beautyberry

Finally let me close with our new approach to harvesting chestnuts.

Harvesting Chestnuts

Just stomp on the spiny balls and wiggle the lovely chestnuts out…

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day September 2022

Dahlia in the house

Well it’s Bloom Day for September and the weather has been spectacular the past week.  There are a great many annual flowers in the garden such as zinnias, cosmos, nasturtium, calendula, and daisies.  I’ll just represent them all with the this big Dahlia that Beth brought into the house.  And then maybe Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) since it has grown to spectacular heights (at least 12 feet) this year.

Tithonia

Another annual that has grown on our porch this year is Plectranthus.  It was overwintered in the greenhouse and then took a while to catch hold in the spring.  But it now looks spectacular (and it makes a good cut flower in the house as well).

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’ in detail

Another back porch item is the Princess Flower which continues its daily vivid flowers

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

At the front porch is the very green welcoming garden that Beth built with deep black rectangles.

Entrance Garden

And a particularly striking addition this year is a Carex with pink flowers that we brought back from Plant Delights this spring.

Carex scaposa

From the greenhouse comes a very striking hyacinth relative from Madeira.

Scilla madeirensis

A few other items struck me as I walked about the yard.  There are marvelous peony seeds at this time of year.

Peony Seeds

The Pyracantha and Hyacinth have intertwined to create a lovely combination.

Intertwining of pyracantha (mojave) and hydrangea (limelight)

And a newly planted Arisaema consanguinum looks for all the world like a mother hen for the neighboring Cyclamen.

Arisaema consanguinum and cyclamen hederifolium

Then there are the still good-looking repeats from last month.

Cestrum x ‘Orange Peel’

Crepe myrtle white

And I discovered that the Clematis which I tried to remove at least two other times has sprung up again among the roses.

Clematis paniculata

This is a particularly beautiful and vigorous plant that is happy to take over your garden.

And if you go for a walk on the hillside you will see the Colchicum doing their fall explosion of color.

Colchicum ‘Giant’

The other thing that happens now are berries and other fruit.

Viburnum wrightii

Fig fruit ready for picking

Potomac Pears at harvest time.

And then I’ll close with one of the workers in the greenhouse that keeps the pests at bay.

Jumping Spider in greenhouse

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2022 (very late)

Nightrider Lily

Well, I’m very late for posting this past month’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  My excuse is that I was in Ithaca for the North American Rock Garden Society’s Annual Meeting.  It was a wonderful meeting but I was busy from dawn to later hours and it left me no time for posting.  And when I got back I had trunk full of wonderful plants to put in (Enkianthus, Epimediums, Spice Bush, etc.)  So despite the lateness there were a few points I wanted to share from mid-June.  Firstly it was lily-time as illustrated by Nightrider, the near black Asiatic shown above.  Both it and other of the new lilies this year came from The Lily Garden which was new and wonderful source to me.

Both of the next two were also Asiatics from The Lily Garden

Purple Marble Lily

Lily ‘Istanbul’

There was also a trumpet lily that I planted next to the grapes (from Brent and Becky)

Lily ‘Pink Perfection’

There was also a nice Arisaema below the lilies.

Arisaema candidissum (white form)

I also wanted to share more pictures from the wildflower meadow that we’ve planted in the pasture this year.  I mentioned it last month but it has continued to prosper with new flowers showing up every few weeks.  

Wildflower meadow

Monarda citriodora

Evening Primrose

Larkspur

Centaurea

And just to finish this belated post on a sweet note this is what we expect every evening at this time of year

Blueberries and ice cream

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2022

Pileated Woodpecker

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.

Azalea Exbury Hybrid ‘Gibraltar’

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.

New Azalea ‘Gibraltar’ from layering

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.

Azalea ‘Visco sepala’

Naturally at the same time the tree peonies are stepping up to the plate.

Tree Peonies in Bloom

Yellow Tree Peony

Nearby is another very nice perennial.

Glaucidium palmatum

And a very distinctive Japanese Maple that is worth building a garden around

Golden Full Moon Maple (Acer Shirasawanum)

We also have a reliable showing of Lamium by the garage where it outcompetes the weeds.

Lamium orbala

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.

Dianthus petraeus ssp. petraeus

Aubretia ‘Blue Beauty’

Ornithogalum exscapum

Papaver atlanticum (Moroccan Poppy)

Lewisia cotyledon ‘Rainbow mix’

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.

Wildflower meadow

Crimson Clover Flower

But amidst the clover are wallflowers, peas, flax, sweet william and POPPIES.

Poppy from wildflower mix

Pink Poppy

White Poppy

We also have for the first time Five Spot

Five Spot (Nemophila maculata)

As an ending point for this already long posting let me share the Viburnum on the hillside that overlooks these wildflowers.

Viburnum on the hillside

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2020

Paonia macrophylla (?)

It is a very flower-filled time for the GBBD post.  Like everyone, we have flowers blooming everywhere and part of my dilemma is always where to focus my time and attention.  The species peony shown above led me down an internet road trying to untangle the details of peonies with glabrous styles, purple anthers, and smooth undersides of leaves.  On top of that it was just a lovely little peony that I cannot recall acquiring.  

There are many other peonies, either flowering or about to flower.  I have to admit that I am partial to the species peonies.

Paonia daurica

Paeonia ostii

Nearby the Iris japonica are taking over their region of the garden.

Iris japonica ‘Eco Easter’

Iris japonica ‘Wuhan Angel’

These are definitely spreaders so you want to choose their location with care.  

Similarly I’ve noticed how some of the anemones and primroses are happy to spread each year.

Primula sieboldii ‘Chubby One’

Thinking of spreaders, I have tried to move the Cascadian Wallflower from parts of the garden each year and it always finds a new place to make an appearance.  But it’s so lovely it’s hard to not just appreciate it.

Erysimum arenicola (?)

In addition an orange flowered wallflower reappeared from a wildflower mix that went in last year.

Wallflower as perennial

Common but beautiful orange wallflower (Erysimum)

The yard as a whole is blessed by the things which happen in the mid-Atlantic April, like azaleas, viburnums, dogwood, and flowering fruit trees.

Back bed springtime

Coral Bells Azalea under Viburnum carcephalum (Fragrant Snowball)

While out in the orchard, things are in extravagant bloom this year.

Granny Smith Apples in bloom

Flowers galore on Spitzenburg apple

The Spitzenburg is one of the finest apples you will ever taste, but when you look at the trunk of this little guy you have to be grateful that it is producing any apples at all.

Trunk of Spitzenburg

Hidden around the yard are still some smaller gems that i look forward to each year.

Hylomecon japonicum

Anomonella thalictrum single pink

Trillium pusillum ‘Roadrunner’

Arisaema ringens

And when we go back to the troughs, the first Gentiana is showing up.

Gentiana acaulis

The alpine beds themselves are both chock full of interesting things like daphnes, stonecress, iris, poppies and the like.

Alpine bed north side

Alpine bed south side

Particularly noteworthy is a little Lewisia returning to claim its space.

Lewisia longipetala ‘Little Raspberry’

and an Androsace which is always welcome.

Androsace sarmentosa ‘Rock Jasmine’

As well as the always striking Bird’s Foot Violet.

Viola pedata

In the greenhouse itself are still things which worth sharing or bringing into the house.  The Ferrarias have been blooming since February.

Ferraria ferrariola

Other South Africans include two Ixias, tritonias, and Ornithogalums.

Ixia dubia (?)

Ixia hybrid on a 30″ stem

Tritonia crocata ‘Princess Beatrix’

Ornithogalum dubium

And, of course, we continue to harvest daffodils from our years of planting.

Arguros and other daffodils

Hoping this post finds the reader healthy and able to enjoy the spring.

 

Catching up with Spring

Paeonia caucasica

Spring has been rapidly moving onward in the mid-Atlantic.  Bringing us, for one thing, the first flowering of a lovely peony above that we acquired from John Lonsdale two years ago.

We like the rest of society have been dutifully staying at home and, in our case, appreciating all the horticultural bounty that nature has to offer.  This year many of the plants are well in advance of the norm.  Although our nominal last frost date is 2-3 weeks from now the flowering fruit trees (even apples) are already in bloom.  Especially bountiful are the blossoms on the Asian Pear.

20th Century Asian Pear (Nijisseiki)

20th Century Asian Pear blossoms

Even the Kwanzan Cherry is fully in flower, fully two weeks ahead of last year.

Kwanzan Cherry

I had the intent to track the progress of the garden a bit closer than usual, but I find myself jumping from one object to another as the plants keep popping up.  Erythroniums are especially lovely in the spring, sort of a precursor to the larger lilies to follow.  We have a raised bed by the deck that is crammed full of trout lilies (Erythronium americanum).  This is what it looked like a week ago.

Erythronium americanum

Many years I ago I dug some of these and moved them out to forest in multiple locations.  Although the plants have succeeded marvelously in the woods, despite deer and other animals, they do not flower.  They spread like mad but they seem to have no interest in flowering.  So last year I thought I would inspire them by planting in their midst some horticultural cultivars which have always flowered in the yard (Erythronium ‘Pagoda’).  And, indeed, they shot up lovely looking buds which the deer promptly chopped off.  Perhaps the E. americanum are simply wiser than me and know that it would be foolish to flower in the forest.

In any case we still have Erythronium to enjoy in the yard.

Erythronium ‘Pagoda’

Erythronium revolutum ‘White Beauty’

Another spectacular genus to enjoy right now are the Epimediums.  Beth was gifted with two Epimediums years ago that established large and lovely clumps at the back fence.  Not only are the flowers lovely, but the leaves are beautiful in the own right.

Epimedium x rubrum ‘Sweetheart

Epimedium x rubrum ‘Sweetheart’ flowers

Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilac Seedling’

Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilac Seedling’ flowers

Other Epimediums are well established in other parts of our garden.

Epimedium ‘Pretty in Pink’

Queen Esta Epimedium

Some more traditional parts of the garden probably include this very hardy and early azalea.

Hardy pink Azalea

A spectacular little primrose hybrid.

Magnificent little primula

Multiple trilliums such as the T. grandiflorum

Trillium grandiflorum

Daphne at the front fence

Daphne x transatalantica

And a new japanese quince that I received as a father’s day gift last year.

Chaemoneles speciosa ‘Double-take Scarlet’

But gardens are not made with flowers alone.  There are some special green things on their way right now.  The little Pteridophyllum has the glossiest green, fern-like foliage at the start of the year.

Pteridophyllum racemosum

Peltoboykinia comes from the high mountains of Japan but seems to be happy here in Maryland.

Peltoboykinia watanabei

Multiple variants to may-apples are on their way.

Podophyllum delavayi

And the first of the Arisaemas is on its way.

Arisaema ringens

While i’m in the yard, I still need to mention the star flowers that have been a real pleasure this year.  This little Ipheion has been flowering for weeks now.

Ipheion uniflorum ‘Tessa’

As we go back to the Alpine bed there are a lot of flowers calling for attention

Alpine bed, south side

Two that always stand out are the Pulsatilla and the Armeria.

Pulsatilla campanella

Armeria maritima ‘Victor Reiter’

And at the greenhouse entrance is a trough with a delightful little Androsace that has been a regular participant in our springtimes.

Androsace barbulata

But before I leave off posting for today, let’s take a walk to the forest, through the garden gate and past the very large wild cherry trees.

Wild Cherries

Our trail leads us past many clumps of daffodils that have been planted over the years, past scilla, toothwort, hepatica, anemone, muscari and bluebells

Mertensia virginica

To a very special clump of daffodils with haunting green eyes.

Narcissus ‘Arguros’

Arguros is the Greek word for silver and seems appropriate for this treasure.

May this posting find you healthy and able to enjoy the world around you.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day September 2019

Eastern Swallowtail (Dark Form) on Zinnia

It’s appropriate to feature a zinnia for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day post because they are all over the place — in vegetable garden, by the driveway, and in the orchard.  It’s hard to disagree with a flower that comes from seed so easily and lasts all season long.  In fact zinnias were the first flower we planted when we got inspired to start gardening fifty years ago.  We read a book by Jeanne Darlington (Grow Your Own) that led us to scratch a little garden plot next to our student housing.  There have been a lot more flowers since …

Typically we have Dahlias and Glads in the vegetable garden just for picking.

Dahlia ‘Bodacious’

And son Josh planted a lot of wildflowers around the property this spring.

California Poppy reblooming

Including especially zinnias and sage in the orchard, but also this particularly pretty variety of basil.

Basil in flower

My eye tends to get distracted by the perennials, especially those that are giving a bonus rebloom.

Daphne x susannae ‘Tage Lundell’

Delosperma congestum ‘Gold Nugget’

There is also a nice little patch of Colchicum in with the wildflowers in the backyard.

Colchicum ‘Byzantium’

As you walk down the driveway it’s hard not to notice the Viburnum with it’s berries hanging out into the drive.

Viburnum wrightii

In the greenhouse I found the Scilla maderensis budding up a few days ago.

Scilla maderensis

And now the flowers are opening up.

Scilla maderensis opening up

This is also the oxalis time of the year.

Oxalis bowiei

One after another, the Oxalis break into bloom from early September into February.

I’ve also found myself reading up about Zephyranthes and their close relatives Habranthus.  These are both part of the Amaryllis family and they are spectacularly easy to grow.   They are often called rain lilies because the rapid appearance of the flowers in late summer.  I’ve had the yellow forms (like Zephyranthes smalli and Z. jonesi, or Habranthus texensis) for a number of years, but what I’m discovering is that the pink and red forms of the family are really special.

This little Habranthus has white flowers that are tinged pink on the outside.

Habranthus magnoi

And these two Zephyranthes are both of the pink persuasion mixed with white.

Zephyranthes miradorensis

Zephyranthes labuffarosea

This last one is especially large for a Zephyranthes.  It was found in Mexico on a red mountain, therefore it’s name.  Most of the Zephyranthes prefer a southern climate (say zone 8), but they are easy to overwinter in a pot.  They make abundant seeds which will start popping up in other pots if you don’t pay attention.  I’ve got a number of pots that I thought were tritoma or babiana or some other bulb, only to realize that they were actually Zephyranthes volunteering to use an empty pot.