I was surprised when I went out to the greenhouse last night to discover there was a flowering party going on and I had not been invited. I went out there just to look any random slugs that might be taking the opportunity for an evening stroll. These little star shaped flowers blew me away, because in the daytime they look like this.
The label says Babiana odorata which they definitely are not. However, I’m not sure just what they are. The foliage looks gladiolia-like, the buds and flower stalks look kind of like Ornithogalum, but the flower doesn’t resemble anything that I can identify.
These plants came from seeds distributed by NARGS in 2013. It’s possible they actually flowered last year, but I wouldn’t have known unless I went out to the greenhouse after dark. The flowers seem to persist, not the once and done like some of the South Africans. I’m hoping someone in the Pacific Bulb Society can help me out on this one. The night blooming should be a dead giveaway.
It’s a busy time for the greenhouse with seed starting, sheltering the new arrivals, and seeing some of the South African plants flower for the first time.
A couple of other South Africans popped out today.
Meanwhile on the outside the sunshine brought the crocus into full bloom.
It’s a wonderful time of year!
It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day and what better way to welcome in the spring than seeing our first orange adonis for the year. The plain vanilla yellow adonis are seldom seen but this diminutive beauty is even rarer. This has been such a long cold winter that the flowers are grateful to finally see a little sunshine warming things up. The Adonis are always among the first plants to call for attention in the springtime. The yellow ones are also up and waiting to smile at the sunshine.
Notice all the flower buds in this clump.
Out in the front yard the winter aconite have finally popped and show the evidence of the many years they have been colonizing the front bed.
I think this was originally ten small tubers.
Of course snowdrops are everywhere right now. The Viridapice are particularly nice.
The surprise entry for the day was the first of the corydalis. These have popped up in the alpine bed.
Other than these there are some crocus, the witch hazels, and a lot of wannabe flowers. I think are right on the verge of seeing many more flowers.
In the greenhouse there are a few special items worth highlighting. For the first time we have Tulbaghia from a 2013 bulb planting.
There is a very nice small ornithogalum species that derives from Jane McGary by way of Pacific Bulb Society distribution.
And a freesia with many flowering stalks.
The Lachenalia mutabilis is nice enough that we brought it into the house.
That’s it for March 15th. What’s growing in your garden?
We just spent a marvelous weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina in an escape from the last snowstorm (I hope) to hit Maryland this year. We had planned this weekend for a visit to the North Carolina nurseries but when a significant snowstorm threatened for last Thursday, we decided to skip town on Wednesday and I’m glad we did. It gave us an extra day to visit nurseries and gardens in the ‘Triangle’ area. Even four days is not sufficient to see all that this area offers to plant lovers. There are three major gardens in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill and we went to each.
Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University in Durham is what I would characterize as a display garden. It’s well funded and beautiful and has lots of examples of how to make a dramatic landscape.
It had many lovely individual plants including this daphne which illustrated how daphnes want to look in the wintertime as opposed to the burned leaves on ours.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill also appears to have a lot of financial backing and it’s focus seems to be well-coupled to the University’s effort to encourage the use of native plants.
It’s set next to woodland trails and seems to get a lot of visitors for that reason.
But our favorite was the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. This is a plantsman’s paradise. Many examples of exotic and unusual plants from all over the world including this dwarf Dawn Redwood.
It was still a little early in the season for any of these gardens but the Ralston captured our hearts.
One of the ulterior motives for this particular weekend was to attend an An Evening with the Plant Explorers at the JC Ralston. This was a wonderful event with 4 1/2 hours of tales of plant exploring mixed in with socializing and plant auctions. Anyone who thinks Latin is a dead language needs to attend one of these events. The plant auction was particularly interesting because it was often for plants that had been part of the explorers’ talks.
In particular we were taken by a marvelous Einkianthus, the likes of which we had never encountered.
Well, in the end this was our take-home plant from the auction…
The other main component of the weekend was visiting nurseries. First and foremost was Plant Delights (which has a bonus of a very nice garden as well). As usual we found many wonderful plants that jumped into our car.
There were three crates like this one that we brought home including many new hellebores.
And then we went out to Pine Knot Farms where the focus is hellebores.
And we came away with even more hellebores as well as multiple cyclamen from John Lonsdale and a Mahonia confuse ‘Narihira’ (which we had seen at Raulson) and Edgeworthia chrysantha from Superior Plants.
John Lonsdale says that Edgeworthia survives for him in Pennsylvania so I have high hopes for it in Maryland.
Lastly we stopped at Camellia Forest and picked up four new camellias and two exquisite miniature Rhododendrons.
Altogether a wonderful weekend, and by the time we arrived back home the spring was waiting for us…
Let me close with one more shot of that Einkianthus which I hope will be with us for a long time…