We are finally having a real springtime experience. It seemed like it would never come. The Adonis have been waiting and waiting for some sunny days. Even in the snow (which we had last week) the Adonis were so ready to move on to spring.
The snowdrops have been testifying that they too were ready to get on with springtime.
So that when we had several days with sun this week everyone started to show their flowers.
I even found a couple of snowdrops that had seeded into the grass, something I’ve never seen here before.
This encouraged me to scrape back some leaves and I managed to uncover a Helleborus thibetanus in flower. It’s such a charmer forerunner of the main crop of Hellebores.
Meanwhile the greenhouse has continued to yield some lovely exotics like the Lachenalia and a very fragrant Tulbaghia.
as well as a beautiful Freesia.
It is however, hard to exceed the Clivias for overall impact. Twice a year these african natives put forth long last colorful stalks and survive on minimal care.
I thought I would start this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day post with a bright and cheerful Moraea from the greenhouse. This is one of the prettiest bulbs in existence. It flowers for only a short time, so I was glad to catch it just as it opened. It’s also been reclassified as Homeria where it becomes a noxious weed according to the USDA. Since it’s hard to keep growing even in cultivation it’s hard to understand how it earned that distinction.
Nearby is a little scilla from Syria
Like many of the small squills, this one has startling dark purple anthers
Outside the greenhouse the world has a few flowers but mostly it’s all in anticipation of things to come after the ice and snow of the last week.
In particular the snowdrops have been doing their part.
And the Winter Aconite are just beginning to appear.
but most of the rest are playing a waiting game
Pictures of trees and shrubs show why the flowers are not in a big hurry yet.
I think it’s fair to guess that by this time next month we will be covered in flowers.
Well a couple a snowfalls have put a definite damper on our flower show for this January Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. The view out the back door gives a sense of our surroundings this mid-January day.
Nonetheless there are couple of stalwarts that have seen fit to bloom despite the snow.
I have no idea the name of this camellia. I brought it back from California in my lap many years ago as one gallon $2.99 supermarket acquisition. I grew many years in the basement before I realized that the camellias were likely hardy enough to survive outside. For a winter like this one where we have yet to see temperatures below twenty degrees, this plant will flower from December onward. When it’s freezing cold the flowers will get browned off at the edges but usually we can grab a nice bud in the opening stage and enjoy it in the house before that happens.
And, of course, if they are not covered by snow, the snowdrops will persist in flowering well into spring.
The other flowers for us are from the greenhouse.
Notice the number of buds forming in this pot. I will definitely need to divide these after they go dormant.
Beyond the greenhouse it’s also worth looking at flowers in preparation, for example the Edgeworthia
And some remarkably early Jeffersonia dubia
I amazed each year the early appearance of flowers on this single Jeffersonia dubia. It looks like it is predisposed to flower much sooner than Jeffersonia ought to be waking up.
I’ll close with a picture of the large pileated woodpecker that has been working on our big tulip poplar…
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…