Last year at Stonecrop’s alpine sale I purchased this small tree from Don Dembowski with the hope of someday seeing the beautiful flowers that websites described. I was amazed this year when several flowers appeared in its first year on our rocky hillside. This is multiple weeks ahead of it’s neighbor, Stewartia japonica. Not to take anything away from Stewartia japonica with its lovely bark and many flowers, but the S. malacondendron has much larger and absolutely gorgeous flowers.
So far the deer have chosen to ignore this wonderful addition to our front yard. It seems happy within the shade of surrounding trees. Inspired by this success I’ve purchased Stewartia monadelpha as well and I’m looking for where to place what will eventually be a pretty large tree.
The remarkably consistent event on the first of June is the appearance of the Arisaema fargessi and Arisaema candidissum
Each year I wonder if they have disappeared over the winter and each year they check the calendar and stick up their cone on June 1st (A. fargessi was a day early this year, but A. candidissum was right on schedule. Meanwhile many of their Arisaema brethren have been up and about for many weeks. The most striking at the moment is a new Arisaema ringens cultivar.
The Arisaema ringens are big plants with leaves that extend over a couple of feet. Here is the normal A. ringens in its third year.
This is also the time of year for the martagon lilies to share their elegance.
This one looked particularly nice when we put it in the middle stones that had been painted at a garden party last week.
In the front yard right now we have white daphne that is covered with fragrant blossoms.
And an azalea with some of the largest azalea blossoms I have ever seen.
A focal point of the center garden is a large spuria iris with striking purple blossoms.
And in the monument bed a very pretty bletilla is in full bloom.
The greenhouse still has a few contributions as well. A pine woods lily that has appeared in other years at this time.
And a flower from Brazil that I don’t recalled having flowered before.
It’s very exotic, but you have to pay attention because the flower is only there for a day.
The surprise for this month’ Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (in a month that has been full of flowers) is this striking Aquilegia that is almost 4 feet tall. It is also volunteering in places where I didn’t plant it, but that’s all right for now.
I grew this several years ago from seed obtained from Growild in Scotland and I was immediately captured by the color combo. Nearby is a related plant grown from the same source.
Of course we also have the old reliables.
A striking addition to the front bed is this dark purple salvia from Plant Delights
Recently I’ve been noticing that the extravagant foliage of the podyphyllums hides some lovely flowers. The p. delavayi has dark red flowers.
But even prettier flowers are on the podophyllum pleianthum
Back at the alpine bed the various dianthus are putting up a spectacular show right now.
And the saxifraga’s are illustrating their value in troughs.
In one of the more recent troughs i’ve now added a little horned rampion that came from one of last year’s seed exchanges.
Let me close by noting that son Josh has planted many allium in the orchard as potential deer deterrent and wonderful eye candy.
They are wonderful mixed in with all the meadow flowers we have growing right now.
Besides the buttercups and daisies that we get naturally Josh has added crimson clover to the mix.
We are continuing to run a couple of weeks ahead of last year, with again a powerful amount of rain in the mix. Currently our rainfall is 60 % above normal and it has left the ground wet and fields green and lush.
When the cherries are in bloom I am often reminded of this celebration of springtime.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my three score years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow. — A.E. Housman
It’s the sort of enchanting notion that can get you out and about on an Easter morning. And when I did so I was immediately rewarded by a visit from an Angel, Wuhan Angel to be specific.
I’ve had a fitful relationship with the Iris Japonica because the other cultivar that I have is fairly aggressive and I’ve banned it to the shade garden reserved for thugs. I haven’t seen blooms on it for years and I was thinking of taking it out of even that hidden spot until I saw this morning’s white angel and so I went back to check on it and found that it too is coming into bloom, probably by tomorrow, and it is appropriately named ‘Eco Easter’ courtesy of Plant Delights.
There were other benefits of this morning’s walk around the yard.
Two more Peonies had their first blossoms (P. caucausica bloomed last week)
This is a spectacular species tree peony.
It’s also blooming time for the merry bells and fairy bells
It’s easy to confuse these with the Disporum flavens (Fairy Bells) which blooms at the same time. But an easy way to see the difference is to note that the flowering stem comes from within the leaf on the Uvularia. The Disporum flavens is also simply more floriferous.
Nearby the first of the arisaemas is getting ready to strut it’s stuff.
And the white glaucidium is a dramatic addition.
Under the Kousa Dogwood there is planting of tulips that is commanding attention right now.
Let me close this Easter message with a peek at the Alpine bed which is accented at the moment by a fully open display of Delosperma
Well, not only has spring jumped forward for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but it looks as though we are done with frost for this year, weeks in advance of the norm. The Camellias have had a great run of bloom, producing more flowers than we could have imagined.
The daffodils and hellebores have provided multiple pickings each day to feed the household vases.
Meanwhile, I go on a daily treasure hunt to see what has popped up from previous plantings. Like the following little treasures.
And then there is the further development of plants I had noted in earlier posts, like this lovely anemonella
And the last of the adonis.
Of particular note are the bloodroots.
These last in flower much longer than the standard species. Similarly, the new semi-double cultivar ‘Snow Cone’ is wonderful in the way that the flowers expand in size each day and lasts about as long as the double-flowered.
This little beauty came from Garden Visions.
Then there are flowers in the troughs and alpine beds like this very tiny phlox.
and this colorful geum
The dwarf columbine has it’s first flowers out
And some of the flowers I’ve noted earlier have continued to expand.
There is also a very compact, low to the ground ornithogalum that I can’t put a name on at the moment (but it’s lovely even without a name)
Finally, I spent a couple of seasons trying to trace down a single pink anemonella, and I finally have one that is blooming very nicely.
There are so many things happening in the yard right now that it is difficult to keep track of them all. I feel light the perennial puppy dog jumping from one delightful surprise to the other. To begin with the daffodils are exploding in the yard, on the hillside, and in the forest. It seems like a particularly bountiful year for these stellar performers that get ignored by browsing animals.
And the big Magnolia Stellata is fully in bloom
The Hellebores are everywhere with their spectacular but mostly downward facing blooms
But what really engages me in the spring are the smaller ephemerals that mostly have short but lovely blooming cycle.
One of my favorite Corydalis is ‘Beth Evans’
It was delightful to see that not only has this Corydalis seeded itself into the neighboring pathway but it’s also 15 feet away under the holly tree.
I was somewhat surprised that a couple of the Adonis are coming up much later than their brethren.
And my favorite, Adonis amurensis Sandanzaki, is only just now coming into bud.
The alpine beds and troughs also have some early spring flowers in bloom.
This little Burnt Candytuft was planted in tufa, but has jumped ship and is appearing in various places in the alpine bed.
Nearby is a really nice little sea thrift obligingly staying put on the tufa.
Nearby is a very early blooming Lewisia
Two years ago I acquired a nice little Draba from Oliver nurseries that is forming a nice compact mound.
A surprise to me this year was a little Saxifrage that came from Wrightman’s Alpines two years ago.
It’s growing in a very protected location on the shady side of an eastern-facing trough and if it flowered last year I totally missed it.
I shouldn’t ignore the greenhouse which continues to produces some South African gem every week. The latest is a 2 1/2 foot tall Ixia that came from the Pacific Bulb Society last fall.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the Edgeworthia by the front road.
It seems they are much hardier in Maryland than I expected.
Finally I need to share an example of the Camellias which also prove to be much hardier than one should really anticipate.
Now it’s time to go out into the yard and see what else is blooming.
Well, I guess it’s a typical March Bloom Day. The weather has oscillated from snowfall to 60 degrees of beautiful. The last snow we had was last week and it disappeared almost as fast as it came. With 70 degrees yesterday.
But this week we are back to spring bulbs in abundance.
The Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) are spreading vigorously and my thought is take some of the seed that appears this year and help things along by spreading it other places.
The first Iris has popped up in the front yard beneath the Stewartia
And the first Scilla are flowering in the woods.
A very special Hellebore is preceeding its brethren with charming striped flowers.
And the Adonis are still flowering in various parts of the yard. Especially nice is the orange variant, Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’
In the alpine bed the Draba is the first to appear
And beside it the first flowers are appearing on the Aubretia.
In the greenhouse, where I tend to think of it as South African spring, the exotic Ferrarias are capturing a lot interest at the moment.
There a number of other unusual flowers at the moment that make nice indoor treats
But for the indoors I have to give the most credit to the Clivias which have been spectacular this year.
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.