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…
Over the years July has consistently meant lily time on our hillside. Some like the Anastastia pictured above are rampant growers and others are singular specimens. Almost have wonderful fragrance that makes you turn your head as you walk by. This year I failed to do a good job of tying up the Anastasia, which want to be 8-10 feet tall, and so they are flopping over the fence. But large segments come into the house for closer appreciation.
Of course a gardener cannot live on lilies alone. Other flowers abound.
In the alpine bed, the same gentians that were just starting last month continue to be in flower.
In the greenhouse the Haemanthus that appeared in bloom for the first time last year are once again flowering.
Having had a wonderful time making Apricot jam over past few weeks
We are now looking forward to a nice looking crop of peaches.
Well, that’s a summary of where we are on this very dry Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. No rain for several weeks now, and hoping for a thunderstorm tomorrow….
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, I’m late for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day again, but my excuse is that I returned from California late in the day and I was lucky just to get some pictures much less get them posted. The next day saw mammoth rain storms that have closed roads and bridges all over Frederick County. At the moment we’ll just feel lucky that we live on the top of a hill. Actually it’s not just luck. We lived on a part of George Washington’s River Farm in our previous house complete with flooded basements so we compensated for that. I think you are allowed to learn only one thing each time you move. Anyway there were a few charmers in bloom when I got back, although a few hot days had accelerated through a few blooms. As noted above the Pink Rhododendron above is one of our favorites.
It’s cousins, the Azaleas, are also showing magnificently. Two particular examples are Exbury Hybrids.
The first of the herbaceous Peonies is in bloom as well.
Two of the many Columbines are worth noting as well.
Right nearby to the Pink Columbine is the first sighting of the Clematis ‘Niobe’ for the year.
At the side of the garage is a very reliable Korean Lilac.
We forgot about planting this one twice and assumed it was dead in dried out pot. Each time it returned to life so I finally gave it a good home and it is happily blooming now. Right next to it is a quite cute little Enkianthus that is blooming now.
One of my favorite rock garden plants is Edraianthus. One is blooming in a little trough right now.
Another Edraianthus just coming into bloom is one of the best cushion plants we have.
Another trough specimen is the Silver Sax at the back door.
In the greenhouse a white-pink Bougainvillea is fully in bloom.
Time to move this one outside.
Also there is a Zephyranthus with pretty notable color.
And the Pomegranate in the greenhouse is well into bloom.
Finally Beth has been picking Iris for use in the house.
And let me close with a picture I took in California of one of the plants from the Univ of Calif Botanic Garden (deserving of a blog post all on it’s own)
Well this year the beginning of May is hello time for the first of the Peonies. My favorite is probably the species Paeonia rockii shown above. It’s named for Joseph Rock, an early 20th century plant explorer. There are many hybrids derived from this tree peony.
Actually the first Peony to bloom for us is Molly the Witch. Although it doesn’t have the yellow color that the Mollys are famous for, it’s still a very pleasing flower.
The next one in line is another species Peony, Paeonia osti.
And then we have two herbaceous species. One is Paeonia obovata.
And then a larger flowered, stronger growing version, Paeonia obovata var. willmottiae.
Both of these are characterized by lovely foliage and large, exotic-looking seeds on into the Fall.
And then we have the larger, well-established tree peonies.
Other highlights right now are the Moroccan Poppies that overwintered in the Alpine Bed.
I had no reason to expect that these would be evergreen all winter and then come on like gangbusters as the season progresses.
Next to them are several Lewisias.
Also in the same bed is the Pink Betony that I am absolutely loving this year. It is feathery to touch and abundant in it’s flowering.
In one of the troughs at the front of the greenhouse the Gentians are doing what Gentians are supposed to do.
In another trough a campanula (whose name I have forgotten) is having pronounced bloom out of the tufa rock with Viola pedata nearby.
It’s worth noting that this is also the time of year to be grabbing seeds to share with other gardeners in the seed exchanges.
I was also very pleased to see that the Jack in a Pulpits had moved further up the slope of our backwoods toward the house. Two more clumps were found at least 70 feet further up the hill than ever before. I’m amazed that they spread so fast.
Five years ago I had the notion of building a 3 foot by 14 foot raised bed on the side of the greenhouse that would simulate alpine conditions with a well draining stony soil that was over 2 feet deep. You have to work at it to convince alpines to be happy in the Maryland climate. The construction was long and hard. Just moving 84 cubic feet of soil is a chore. But I was more that pleased with the result (think of it as a giant trough). Things which were difficult to grow now became rambunctious. Although the bed was fast draining, it also retained moisture well so that watering was not a big issue. I built the bed on the shady side of the greenhouse and discovered that while that worked well for some things my notion of the Aubreita cascading over the wall didn’t work because, strangely enough, it grew towards the sun which was on the other side of the greenhouse. So I have begun to tailor the planting on that side to things which were happy with a bit of shade, such as a couple of nice dwarf Rhododendrons.
Meanwhile there a number of plants like the dwarf Aruncus and two Daphnes that seem to be very happy.
In the meantime I decided to build a second Alpine Bed on the other side of the greenhouse which have a sunnier outlook. I finished that construction project last year and this is the second growing season for the sunny side. There have been a number of successes for that side and the latest is seeing the little Alpine Poppy for the first time yesterday.
This came from seed obtained from the Scottish Rock Garden Society‘s annual seed exchange in 2017. I got only this single plant from the seeding and it sat quite tiny and unmoving through the 2017 season. But I had read that it wants a cold winter before flowering and indeed this seems to be the case. From the Poppy’s point of view it’s in a very appropriate mountain environment.
Overall the sunny Alpine Bed looks really nice as spring begins.
The Stachys and the Aubreita show every sign of diving over the wall the way I had hoped.
Hidden amidst the Aubreita is a fabulous eye-catching group of ice plants
This is from the highest part of the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa and despite it’s succulent nature it is complete hardy here.
Other happy residents of the sunny Alpine Bed are growing out of the tufa rock.
Suffice it to say I really enjoy the Alpine Beds!
Around the corner, at the front of the greenhouse is the first of my troughs with a now six year-old planting of Vitaliana, another alpine native.
Of course there is life outside of the Alpine beds, and I should share the posting on jewels in our garden from Dan Weil. He spent last Saturday on his stomach crawling around the yard taking some very nice images of the little spring ephemerals in our yard. Dan is an artist (paint and photography) with considerable talent and looking at other parts of his website is also rewarding.
In closing, the Kwanzan Cherry came into bloom yesterday, always a lovely milestone for the season.
It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day time and one of the fun parts of posting the monthly flowers is discovering those things that I had forgotten that I previously planted. Amongst those is the Snow Cone Bloodroot pictured above. All Bloodroots are good, this one is just a notch above.
Another newcomer to this blog is the single pink Anemonella from Hillside Nursery. I went on quest last year for a strong pink Anemonella after seeing one at my son’s house in previous years. He has since lost that plant which was exceptionally pink compared to the normal ‘Pink Pearl’ as it is now marketed. In any case the one gracing our flower bed is very nice indeed.
Another Anemonella variant that I posted on recently is Green Hurricane.
Many of the Anemone’s are flowering right now too, including this very complex nemerosa.
Close by are the Corydalis.
This one, as I’ve noted before is named for the leaves, not the beautiful blue flowers.
One cannot pass by the Camellia bed which has many of the spring ephemerals without seeing one of my favorite trilliums.
And the Leucojum are like snowdrops on steroids
Even this far into April the Hellebores continue to provide wonderful flowers. One that particularly catches my eye is Amethyst Gem.
This year I decided to give the Primula kisoana another try. You have to be cautious with this because it wants to spread, so I put it in with the other thugs.
I had a minor revelation this week when I thought I had finally succeeded in bring a Shortia into bloom. However, it turns out just to be Shortia lookalike, but pretty nonetheless.
Back in the Alpine beds we have several returnees from previous years.
and a new Iris/potentilla combination
And it’s also worth noting that while I tend to get caught up in the small spring ephemerals, there are many other flowers about. The early Rhododendron in the front yard is always spectacular.
There are many, many Daffodils, both in the yard and in the woods/pasture.
And the various fruit trees are mostly just coming into bloom. The apricot is finished, the cherries and peaches just starting, and the Kieffer Pear is flowering as though there is no tomorrow.
As I close this post, it’s worth noting that this spring is well behind previous years in terms of the number and progress of things in bloom. But I’m good with that. It gives more time to appreciate everything as it’s happening.
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…