Well, it’s been a strange time for flowers on this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. While we have dodged the hurricane bullet that hit the folks in the Carolinas, the weather has been unusual to say the least. To date we have had over 52 inches of rain compared to the normal of 29 inches through mid-September. On the one hand we have the traditional flowers for September like the mums shown above. And some remarkable Dahlias from the garden.
But we have also had the Apples drop most of there leaves in July and August and they are now re-blooming.
Many other trees have dropped their leaves and the Azaleas out front are blooming again.
Despite the strange weather there are still a set of interesting flowers to find around the yard, for example this Roscoea.
And in the greenhouse the rather unusual large Scilla maderensis is flowering once again.
Some other items of note include this six foot tall Canna that came from a friend this year.
The Knockout Roses are continuing to bloom.
And the Perennial Pea is blooming once again despite our attempts to remove it.
We have found that Phlox also reappears from long ago planting with or without our tending to it.
And in the orchard the Blue Sage has been in continuous bloom since late spring.
Some of our outside work is getting set aside because of several nests of Yellowjackets. They took up residence in one our large pots on the deck and also in the ground by one of the raised beds. These guys seem impervious to chemicals and according to the web can be quite dangerous (not something we want to test since I for one am allergic to wasp venom) and there are hundreds of them.
Finally, let me note that this is time for packing up your seeds to send off to the various seed exchanges. By becoming a seed donor, you get first choice when you participate in the seed exchanges organizations. Check out the North American Rock Garden Society for example.
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…
June is a month for spectacular Iris, Clematis overflowing the fences, Roses flowering abundantly and flowers of many kinds reaching fruition. For this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, I’ll share some of the things that struck my eye this week.
One of the reasons for growing flowers is to attract the many butterflies that enliven the yard. And what better to grow than the different kinds of Butterfly Weed. The normal Asclepias tuberosa comes without effort in our pasture and feeds the monarchs later in the year. But in the yard we are also growing Swamp Milkweed for different kind of color.
And an extremely heavily flowered cultivar is ‘Hello Yellow’.
Here’s the evidence that Butterfly Weed is a good name.
I remembered last year that two of the Arisaemas were very slow to appear, finally showing up on June 2nd. This year Arisaema candidissimum came on May 31 and Arisaema farghesi poked out of the ground on June 2nd again. Talk about reliable.
Just walking around the yard here are some of the other flowers.
This Clematis is climbing up the huge Black Lace Elderberry.
In the alpine bed there a couple of lovely gentians that we’ve never grown before. Both are the result of seed exchanges. The Gentiana dahurica is a good 18″ high and spreading, probably to big for the alpine bed in the long run.
The Himalayan Gentian has the same delicate fringing that I like on other Gentians.
But it also has multi-colored buds that are lovely even before they’ve opened.
Nearby is the first blooming of a Stachys that came for seed last year.
And up on the porch is a spectacular bulb from Peru that is a variation on the normal Peruvian Daffodil.
I should also note that life is not just flowers at this time of year.
We’ve been bringing in a steady diet of peas, strawberries, and raspberries. And now the blueberries are about to start.
There is one other flower worth sharing though. For many people the Corydalis lutea is described as a weed, but I find it’s a wonderful fern-like spreading ground cover.
What’s growing in your garden?
Well, it’s fall here in Maryland and some of the usual suspects are providing our flowers for Bloom Day. Japanese anemone are robust and reliable, as well as incredibly beautiful.
Some of the other regulars are in the following pictures.
In the wildflower patch, the wild asters are currently the star of the show, attracting insects of all sorts.
In the cutting garden the standouts are the Tithonia.
Beth has shown they look really nice next to the Salvia ‘Black and Blue’. They are also quite tall so it’s easy to see them from underneath as well.
A similar color comes with the Atlantic Poppy which took forever to start blooming but now has a new flower every day.
Inside the greenhouse we have blooming for the first time the Scilla maderensis. It seems to open just a few of the flower elements per day so that it’s never completely in flower for us.
It is nevertheless interesting and exotic which goes a long way to getting space in the greenhouse.
The first of the Oxalis are coming into bloom now.
There are three species blooming now, but the rest will extend the blooming season into January at least.
It’s worth noting that one does not live by flowers alone. The garden fruits and vegetables have been abundant this year, pushing us to new recipes and uses for the crops…
I will lead off this very late Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day post with a lovely little anemone that came from the NARGS seed exchange three years ago. It’s not spreading but seems to be holding its own in the Monument bed.
I am always surprised that two of Arisaemas hold off until June. Their colleagues begin back in April. But just when you think that winter has finished them off, the Arisaema candidissimum and Arisaema fargesii come popping up through the ground.
It is also surprising to see the Freesia laxa return every year.
According to the books this little corm is not viable in our climate. Not only has it returned but it’s jumped the tracks and moved to another garden bed as well.
I have it growing now next to the reliable Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.
That’s a white Callirhoe in the front of the image.
And they all mix together like this.
In the same garden bed we have a bright yellow Butterfly Weed.
This is very popular with all the butterflies and bees. For example this swallowtail was cruising around the yard.
Nearby we find a lovely clematis growing up a trellis.
Also by the garage there is a marvelous foxtail lily that came from Far Reaches.
Back in the monument bed there is the first of the Asiatic lillies coming out.
And a chinese ground orchid that is a little taller than our other ground orchids.
Back in the Camellia bed, emerging through the rapidly growing Japanese Anemones is a very pretty Astrantia.
If we go back to the Alpine bed, as I do several times a day, a very nice dwarf plant in the Campanulaceae is just finishing. I cannot read the label but I suspect it’s an Edraianthus.
Just finished now is also another pasque flower.
Also in the alpine bed is a new gentian that we found at Oliver Nursery this spring.
In the greenhouse there are a few picture-worthy objects as well.
This is a two-foot tall Ornithogalum that came from the PBS bulb exchange.
Another PBS acquisition is this Pine Woods Lily.
I almost forgot to mention the Stewartia. It has been a consistent flowering tree for June 15th. This year it is loaded with flowers but only one is actually open now.
However, life is not flowers alone. It is the peak time for our berries, especially the blueberries.
It’s a joy picking blueberries. We brought in gallons last night. I’m convinced the only reason we can do so is that just behind the garden we have a very large mulberry tree and an equally large Bird Cherry that provide even greater interest for the birds.
Speaking of birds I’ve seen some really nice ones on my early morning bird watching including this Baltimore Oriole yesterday.
Well, that’s a glimpse of our garden right now. What’s happening in your garden?
It has been a generally hot and dry (read depressing) summer for our garden). In early August we awoke to find that we had drawn down the well with watering and so had to forego our normal watering plan. So my looks around the garden prior to Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day were fewer than they might otherwise have been. We did still water Beth’s new raised bed and the Nasturtiums and Calendulas have responded by blooming all summer long and into the Fall.
Many of the other flowers in bloom are a testament to how well some species can survive in adversity.
Venturing out onto our ultra-dry hillside which never gets watered at all anymore, I found several champions of the survival school.
Notice the spider on the Lemon Queen and it’s very adaptive coloration.
The butterflies are also very attracted to Lemon Queen.
I also saw a lovely Monarch Butterfly on the Tithonia in the vegetable garden.
One very noteworthy Fall-blooming flower is the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. I’m becoming more of a fan every year and it’s a good thing because it keeps spreading of its own volition.
Another fall bloomer was a bit of a surprise. This Sweet Autumn Clematis was something I pulled out three years ago and I was surprised to see it return in two separate places this year.
It’s a lovely flower but can get too aggressive if left to its own devices. I will probably try to transplant it to the woods.
In the alpine beds I have two erodiums that are returning to bloom right now.
In the greenhouse I have just finished restarting all the oxalis. At the same time the Bulbine has come back into flower.
And one of the cyclamens has taken on a very distinctive flowering by simply spilling over the edge of the pot with a great many flowers and no leaves at all.
Lastly just to note that man (or woman) does not live by flowers alone. The raspberries are joining the apples as delectable fruits to be harvested this month.
Well, if you had to pick a theme flower for this month’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day it would the lilies. Despite the dry weather we have been experiencing, they are exploding all over the yard, especially the hybrids between orientals and trumpets (aka orienpets). They are tall, fragrant, floriferous, and individually stunning.
In the house they make quite a display too.
Here are some others of the lily orienpet persuasion.
Of course, even the old-fashioned orientals are pretty spectacular.
And then a new one added to collection this year is Lilium henryii hybrid.
There are course still many annuals and some of the standard perennials, but one of the species that has asked for special recognition is the Crocosmia. These wonderful bulbs from the iris family are durable, productive and beautiful, year after year.
Another new plant for us is the popular anemone ‘Wild Swan’.
It is especially characterized by the purple markings on the back of the petals.
In the greenhouse we have several noteworthy arrivals. First a very unusual Pineapple Lily.
This is only found in the wild between 7000′ and 8000′ in South Africa. At some point I might experiment with growing it outside.
Also from South Africa is member of the Amaryllis family, Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus.
A little Cyclamen is flowering from seed planted in 2013.
And a welcome returnee is this rain lily.
One of the fun things for me is finding the unusual animals that populate the yard, if you take the time to notice them. Last week it was this wonderful dime-sized spider that caught my eye.
I was pleased to see a bud coming out of my planting of Tulipa sprengeri this past week. But what emerged is very likely Zephyranthes dichromata. That’s pretty much par for the course on starting some of these unusual plants from seed. You can wait years for a seedling to emerge and then discover that it was either a mislabeled package or some friendly neighboring pot contributed some viable seed. It’s likely that the Zephyranthes jumped from a neighboring pot because they do seed freely. But then there are the successful outcomes like the big Paradisea that is just finishing in the greenhouse right now.
This is a beautiful lily-like plant more than 2 feet high that came from seed distributed by the Pacific Bulb Society in the spring of 2013. It grows wild in the mountains of Portugal and might be barely hardy here. Another successful seed sowing from the PBS in 2013 was Dichelostemma multiflorum which grows wild in California.
I’ve planted a lot of seeds over the past few years and managed to lose of lot of my seedlings last year when the water timer failed while we were on vacation. I’ve kept all those pots just in case, but decided last week to go through the hundreds of pots and reclaim the soil and pots.
I was delighted to find that some of those pots had seedlings just starting.
This all serves as a reminder that you have to patient to allow good things to happen. Another sort of patience comes with waiting for the first flowers. Four years ago I bought a tiny little seedling of Paeonia rockii from Wrightman Alpines. It has taken until this year to produce it’s first flowers. I think you will agree that it was worth the wait.
Another delightful species Peony that is flowering right now was obtained from Plant Delights
So returning to topic of planting seeds I should note that many of the seeds come up in abundance. They are often very cute as they so immediately resemble the plants that they will eventually become.
Altogether, looking at the three alpine seed exchanges that I participate in, the results are just short of 50% of the seeds successfully started so far. In other words, so far, so good.
The other part of the seed topic is collecting the ones that are appearing right now. Many of the spring ephemerals are putting out seeds in quantity now.
Often the spring emphemerals have elaiosomes on the seeds that make them attractive to ants. So there is a brief 3-5 day window when you can just knock off the seeds to collect them. Otherwise, if they fall, the ants will gather them up and take them home for planting.
And, of course, every seed is not only a potential new plant, but also acts as currency if you are involved in seed exchanges.
Let me close with a few more of the flowers that have bloomed over the past two weeks.
And lastly a beautiful new Allium from Odyssey Bulbs