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…
Yesterday’s Bloom Day began with a snowstorm that ended up depositing 6 inches by the end of the day. Early on you could still see the corydalis pictured above and one of the camellias in the front yard.
Anticipating the snow, I had taken pictures around the yard the day before, including the same camellia.
Yet another fall blooming camellia was in the side yard.
Hardiness is generally not a problem for camellias in our area but getting blooms at the right time can sometimes be problematical. The spring blooming camellias are loaded with buds but they will sometimes pop open in a December thaw only to be burned off in the next freeze.
Also still blooming this week before the snowfall was the blue sage in the orchard.
This sage has been in constant bloom since early summer. Similarly the Viola jooi in the Alpine bed has come back into bloom again.
There aren’t a lot of other flowers right now because we finally had our first freeze last week and many things got burned off. One last remnant is this knockout rose.
In preparation for the freeze, we covered up the newly planted Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’.
This is the third try for this lovely Mahonia which is only marginally hardy here. We are hoping that covering it up will help it get through the winter.
We also gathered pine needles from the driveway and made a little nest for the pomegranate planted in the orchard.
This is another of those plants where we are pushing the survival limits.
Otherwise we need to go into the greenhouse for flowers in November.
In closing I want to share an early November picture of a lovely Amur Maple in the front yard.
In some areas of the country this is seen as invasive but for us it’s been very well behaved and a seasonal favorite.
As has been the case for many other October Garden Blogger Bloom Days the double flowered Anemone Japonica hybrid shown above has been the bell-ringer. It produces many outstanding flowers and they can be cut and brought into the house. It is modestly aggressive like all of it’s kin, but they pull out easily when they go where you don’t want them.
Another fall favorite are the various toad lilies. Probably the most abundant for us is Trycyrtis ‘Sinonome’
It goes well with the New England Asters that are nearby
I was pleased to find that two spring plantings of fall camellias have produced flowers this year.
This last one is loaded with flowers, maybe 20-30 buds.
Two Roses from the springtime have some very nice buds to remind us of what they will do for us next year.
Back in the Alpine Garden one of the Daphnes is flowering once again. And with a marvelous fragrance of course.
And in a small trough that I inherited and can take no credit for there is a lovely little red sedum that has been flowering for the last month.
We have a number of plants in pots that will have to find a nice place for the winter. One of them is the Plectranthus sitting on the back porch. It has been a real winner.
Another non-hardy plant that is flowering strongly for the first time for us in Nerine Sarniensis. It looks like it will produce many offsets in the future.
In the greenhouse are many little pots of Cyclamen graecum. While they are not hardy, they are quite willing to jump into neighboring pots.
As a postscript I should add that this has been a really strange season for many trees, including our apples. However the Kieffer Pears have outdone themselves, producing so many pears that a major branch of the tree broke off. I have been having daily sandwiches of brie and pear. Highly recommended.
Well that’s about it for our garden, what about yours?
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…
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)