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.
A favorite for it’s early blooming is a South African plant, 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.
An old reliable flower for this season is the first of our freesias to bloom.
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.
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.
And outside the closest we come to flowering are the big fat buds on the camellia which asks only for mid-winter thaw…
It’s been hot but with enough rain to grow the weeds and sunflowers to magnificence. So I will dedicate this belated Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day posting to the many sunflowers in the garden.
Some of them are easily ten feet tall.
But they are all wonderful for birds, bees, and humans alike.
A close namesake is the Mexican Sunflower
Tithonia are also very popular with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
The vegetable garden also features gladiolus in quantity.
The glads get displayed in the house.
Along with several kinds of Cyrtanthus from the greenhouse.
Think of Cyrtanthus as smaller, more refined Amaryllis.
Also in the greenhouse right now are the little scilla relatives from Japan
In the Alpine bed we find the most recent Gentian to come into bloom.
The gentians, with the various species, span spring to fall with flowers, and all of them have delightful complex flowers.
Another little tidbit in flower right now is the anemonopsis
I have been trying to flower one of these for years and this is the first one to share it’s dainty little waxy flowers.
Out in the orchard there are zinnias around the new apple trees.
Of course gardeners do not survive on flowers alone.
That’s about it on a hot summer day. We are running 15 inches over normal for rain to this point. I’m wondering what the fall will bring…
This Camellia has been flirting with blooming all winter long but now it’s buds have finally gotten clearance to bloom and they are blooming abundantly.
We were in Boston for Easter and it was delightful to return to a flower-filled garden. The Corydalis and Chionodoxa are instant scene stealers.
There are many other nice Corydalis but here are two that I like in particular.
Many of the Scilla are of a similar hue to the Chionodoxa but quite different in detail. Look at the anthers in particular.
Once again I can’t say enough good things about Primula vulgaris. It’s very self-sufficient and flowers for a long time.
A particularly nice Anemone is ‘Green Hurricane’. The contrast between the early leaves and flowers is stunning.
While most of the Adonis are finishing two of the special ones are just starting.
Meanwhile in the alpine bed, the Pulsatilla have justified all the effort it took to make them a comfortable home.
The little Draba rigida comes three weeks after the hispanica.
Meanwhile I notice that I have a bud on the Alpine Poppy grown from seed last year. This should be fun.
In the greenhouse there’s a bright red Tulip on display (from tiny bulblets planted last year)
And some spectacular Tritonia including this one.
And a really nice Gladiolia hybrid
Also a nice little Ixia that has many, many blooms.
(All four of these bulbs from the Pacific Bulb Society).
Of course the greenhouse also contributed to the inside of the house where we have some magnificent Clivia on display.
And the many Daffodils and Forsythia that Beth has been harvesting.
And given the date can the bluebells be far behind…
I have been growing Oxalis palmifrons since 2013 without a hint of a flower to be seen. This year, upon my return from Thanksgiving in Boston, I was surprised and happy to see the first buds on the little Oxalis palmifrons (obtained from Plant Delights).
You may remember that Oxalis palmifrons has these delightful little palm-like leaves, and the flowers are just a marvelous bonus!
In the greenhouse there are still more Oxalis in bloom.
And the Daubenya that blooms very reliably for Thanksgiving.
I remember first seeing it at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden over a Thansgiving holiday.
Also in bloom from the greenhouse (though I’ve brought it into the house to enjoy) is the first of the small Narcissus for this year.
I actually counted 24 blooms in the pot tonight.
In the house for the winter time is the Amazon Lily. Characteristically this one flowers every thanksgiving holiday in celebration of the fact that it belonged to Beth’s mother who always used to prepare the thanksgiving meal for the family. And it flowers again outside in July. This year it seemed to outdo itself with flowers which carried a wonderful fragrance we had not noticed before.
Bear in mind that this plant has been in the same pot for about 30 years with only occasional watering.
Something funny happened on the way to the greenhouse to take some of these pictures. Despite the fact that we have been down to 20 degrees in mid-November, the subsequent weather has only hovered around freezing for the lows. I noticed a very spritely little wallflower in bloom.
And then the first of our nominally spring-blooming camellias.
How’s that for the beginning of December in Maryland…:)
It’s that time of year when I wish each day would linger so that we can enjoy all the jewels of springtime that are popping up day by day. I’m so busy outside that I’ve not kept up with recording all the flowers coming into bloom right now. The spring ephemerals are always at the top of my enjoyment list. Many of them are small, transitory, and wonderfully beautiful. Hepaticas come to mind with their small hairy leaves and colorful stamens.
But there are many competitors for my eye. Here are a few that have come in the last few weeks.
This is a new plant grown from seed obtained from the Scottish Rock Garden Club seed exchange last year.
A new addition from Augis Bulbs last summer.
Of course, even in springtime the greenhouse is contributing it’s part.
A wonderful plant. I have some outside as well and last year they managed to flower.
This comes on a 3 1/2 foot stalk. I’m going to try putting it outside this year. It’s marginally hardy in our area and it would be wonderful if it succeeds.
And then lastly the greenhouse provided a lot of color to the house
With so much happening out of doors right now it would be easy to pass by some of the things happening in the greenhouse. At the back of the greenhouse I almost missed seeing the flowers of this lovely evergreen Einkianthus. I’m usually looking at the pots, especially when for what is just popping up from seed and I had already concluded there were no flower buds on this Einkianthus. Imagine my surprise when I saw this shrub has many flowers on it (the first time for us). Apparently the flowers follow the leaves. The drooping bells are much larger and prettier than the normal Einkianthus alatus, but the plant is probably not hardy here. We put the pot in the ground after last frost.
It is especially easy to miss the Moraeas since the flowers have very short duration. But the colors are marvelous from these little plants from the iris family.
I don’t know if the torn petals were from normal wear and tear or some critter. But what was left is lovely. Wait till next year.
Two more stunning Moraeas follow.
I should have more Moraeas over the next few weeks.
There are also several lachenalias in bloom.
And a marvelous little ornithogalum.
This one may be worth a try outside.
And another almost missed is this lovely hesperantha.
On a hunch I went out to the greenhouse after supper and found the hesperantha was blooming although all the buds had been tightly closed at 3pm. Apparently this hesperantha specializes in serving the nighttime insects. How many of those we have in Maryland right now I’m not sure. I first grew this plant several years ago and then lost the parent but I had saved the seed and this is the first child of that mother plant. By the way all of these plants except the Einkianthus came from the Pacific Bulb Society‘s seed and bulb exchanges. It’s a marvelous source of botanical marvels. Besides opening at the night the Hesperantha falcata exudes a lovely scent to attract all of us late night flower hunters…
As you might imagine the lead photo from this month’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day is not growing outside. In fact all these flowers came out while the little Clementine was living in the basement. I find the citrus do quite well in the basement with minimal light and hardly any watering. But once it started to flower like this (it is covered with flowers) I decided I better make room for it in the greenhouse where it might actually get some light. And who knows maybe it will get pollinated as well as I don’t exclude insects from the greenhouse. I had put the citrus in the greenhouse originally and they had lots of disease and insect problems that I now attribute to too much watering. I’ve since slowed my greenhouse watering schedule in the wintertime and perhaps it will work out better this time.
Meanwhile, as the song says ‘The weather outside is frightful’, or at least it’s been cold enough that not much is happening. That’s probably good for the plants in the long run but I can’t help looking at the few things that are starting to grow, as in snowdrops.
Just as regular as can be, the snowdrops are back again and right on schedule.
We also have a red camellia japonica that always wants to be first off the mark.
Meanwhile the Adonis are very close to blooming.
Just a couple more 50 degree days will see these guys opening up with their bright yellow flowers. And then they will stay in bloom until April.
Another flower that is on the verge (stay tuned) is the new crocus that’s been planted in the new alpine bed.
These were in the collection that I ordered from Augis’ Bulbs this year. They have a wonderful selection and you can order by personal check.
The other flowers are in the greenhouse. In addition to the oxalis, the hoop daffodils are still making a show.
I also wanted to share the planting of our Christmas tree. We’ve had a family tradition of purchasing a live tree and then planting it outside after Christmas. The first tree was a white pine that was planted 40 years ago in the middle of the backyard. It is probably 40 ft tall at this point. The trees have been moving further from the house by necessity. Most recently we’ve started a little grove at the bottom of the pasture.
Well, that’s the state of gardening on our hillside today. Let me close with a shot of the Heavenly Bamboo taken this morning after an overnight rain.
Well real winter has arrived just in time for bloom day. I took a walk around the yard and could not discover a single flower outside. That is very rare. I found one camellia bud that was seriously considering blooming.
But the outside looks to be in for a cold spell. The real flowers are in the greenhouse or in the house at this point. The house spectacular is the red cattleya orchid that blooms every year at about this time.
It has a marvelous fragrance to compliment the exotic flowers. This orchid spends the whole spring, summer,and fall on the porch with zero care, so it’s very nice that it rewards us with these flowers when we bring it inside for the winter.
Another plant that has been sharing it’s flowers with us in the kitchen actually came from the greenhouse. It’s Cyrtanthus mackenii, part of a large genus in the Amaryllis family.
This south african native blooms for a long period with a succession of long tubular flowers and seems to relish being crowded in the pot.
Another greenhouse plant that is very consistently flowering after thanksgiving is Daubenya stylosa.
The beautiful yellow stamens are an absolute magnet for slugs. I didn’t actually know that I had slugs in the greenhouse until the Daubenya started blooming.
There are numerous oxalis still in bloom, such as this purpurea.
The next flowers coming into bloom are the small hoop daffodils. Silver Palace is an example.
I think this is about the third year of blooming and they are starting to fill the pot quite nicely.
I had a little thrilling adventure in the greenhouse last week. I looked at the weather station that I keep in the utility room to monitor the greenhouse temperature and saw, to my dismay, that the temperatures were dipping close to freezing. By 2am the temperature showed to be 33 degrees so I found myself out in the greenhouse checking on the function of the two heaters that I use to keep the temperatures up. They both seemed to be working ok and plants seemed to be handling the cold so I went to bed. In the morning I saw the temperature had dipped to 31 degrees. What then discovered was that I had been looking at the ‘old’ weather station. Last year I put in a new one and moved the ‘old’ sensor to the garage. When I put a new battery in the ‘new’ weather station it dutifully reported temperatures closer to 50 degrees which is more what I had in mind.
Just ask this Gerbera if 50 degrees is more the temperature that it enjoys…