It’s that time of year when I wish each day would linger so that we can enjoy all the jewels of springtime that are popping up day by day. I’m so busy outside that I’ve not kept up with recording all the flowers coming into bloom right now. The spring ephemerals are always at the top of my enjoyment list. Many of them are small, transitory, and wonderfully beautiful. Hepaticas come to mind with their small hairy leaves and colorful stamens.
But there are many competitors for my eye. Here are a few that have come in the last few weeks.
This is a new plant grown from seed obtained from the Scottish Rock Garden Club seed exchange last year.
A new addition from Augis Bulbs last summer.
Of course, even in springtime the greenhouse is contributing it’s part.
A wonderful plant. I have some outside as well and last year they managed to flower.
This comes on a 3 1/2 foot stalk. I’m going to try putting it outside this year. It’s marginally hardy in our area and it would be wonderful if it succeeds.
And then lastly the greenhouse provided a lot of color to the house
We’ve just had messy snowfall that has undone a lot of the progress that we had made toward Springtime. However, I will share a some of the flowers as they were before the snow, including the above lovely Pasque Flower which is about to show its purple flower in the new alpine bed.
Next to the Pulsatilla is this cute little Ornithogalum that flowers completely flat to the surface of the ground.
Also in the alpine bed is a new Corydalis
The hepaticas have continued to appear. Small little jewels.
Meanwhile the Adonis is still providing interest.
And we planted the wonderful Primula vulgaris after visiting England in 2008. They are prospering in various parts of the yard.
Meanwhile the first of the Glory of the Snow is starting to flower.
These are happily growing in the yard and the pasture.
Finally in the yard and the woods the scilla are growing now.
The stamens are a wonderful shade of blue.
It’s hard to ignore some of the lovely things happening in the greenhouse as well. In particular the ferrarias are now starting to flower.
And some of the other south africans
Spring is happening both outside and in the greenhouse. What can you contribute to Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.
We returned from traveling last week to find that the plants had been growing without us. I need to do just a little catch up on what we found on our return because some of the plants are truly special. The Adonis shown above is one of the best special varieties that you can buy for only a second mortgage on your garage. Some of the others might require selling your garage. This is the first year when it is clear that the clump is establishing itself and flourishing.
It is truly spectacular.
Meanwhile the Adonis fujukaki is easily the most vigorous and visible of the Adonis clan. At least around here.
Meanwhile another that I have been calling garden variety Adonis amurensis has impressed me once again with the brilliant shiny petals.
I’m not sure that it is the standard species at all. Note how it does not possess a normal number of stamens. I’ve got a couple of seedlings coming along and I think they were from this plant. We’ll see what happens.
Of course the one Adonis that originally caught my eye was Adonis amurensis ‘Sandanzaki’ which has this incredible lion’s mane of green feathers around the third series of petals. Totally unique.
Lest I am accused of Adonis mania, I will also note that we have a Jeffersonia that blooms well in advance of its colleagues. And it is a standard Jeffersonia dubia with the violet petals, yellow stamens, and green ovary.
But last year, my son gave me a special new Jeffersonia from Garden Visions that Darryl Probst brought back from Korea. It has dark stamens and a purple ovary.
It’s quite different and seems to be lasting quite well.
Another plant that is early for its kinfolk is the Hepatica nobilis pink. Note the cute little stamens on these guys as well.
A pretty plant that shows up this time of year but never quite fulfills its potential is Helleborus thibetanus
I have yet to get it to fully open to the camera.
Next to the greenhouse in a trough is a pretty little clump of Draba acaulis that seem to have suffered from last summer’s dryness.
And inside the greenhouse is another plant with remarkable colored stamens.
These should be hardy outside and I need to give them a trial.
I had also promised more Moraeas and this is one.
I also have an image to share of the fully open Enkianthus quinqueflorus.
Finally in the Alpine bed there was beautiful Fritillaria that was a distinctive showpiece.
With so much happening out of doors right now it would be easy to pass by some of the things happening in the greenhouse. At the back of the greenhouse I almost missed seeing the flowers of this lovely evergreen Einkianthus. I’m usually looking at the pots, especially when for what is just popping up from seed and I had already concluded there were no flower buds on this Einkianthus. Imagine my surprise when I saw this shrub has many flowers on it (the first time for us). Apparently the flowers follow the leaves. The drooping bells are much larger and prettier than the normal Einkianthus alatus, but the plant is probably not hardy here. We put the pot in the ground after last frost.
It is especially easy to miss the Moraeas since the flowers have very short duration. But the colors are marvelous from these little plants from the iris family.
I don’t know if the torn petals were from normal wear and tear or some critter. But what was left is lovely. Wait till next year.
Two more stunning Moraeas follow.
I should have more Moraeas over the next few weeks.
There are also several lachenalias in bloom.
And a marvelous little ornithogalum.
This one may be worth a try outside.
And another almost missed is this lovely hesperantha.
On a hunch I went out to the greenhouse after supper and found the hesperantha was blooming although all the buds had been tightly closed at 3pm. Apparently this hesperantha specializes in serving the nighttime insects. How many of those we have in Maryland right now I’m not sure. I first grew this plant several years ago and then lost the parent but I had saved the seed and this is the first child of that mother plant. By the way all of these plants except the Einkianthus came from the Pacific Bulb Society‘s seed and bulb exchanges. It’s a marvelous source of botanical marvels. Besides opening at the night the Hesperantha falcata exudes a lovely scent to attract all of us late night flower hunters…
The first Hellebores are coming into bloom for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. That striking green contrast is provided by Helleborus viridis.
Our weather is flirting with winter and spring as the days go by. The snowdrops don’t seem to mind either choice as illustrated by the the exotic Blewbury Tart.
In addition to it’s multiple tepals the flower is outward facing, not doing the normal droop of snowdrops. See these Galanthus nivalis for comparison.
The other interesting flowers at this point are the Adonis. They open only in the sunshine and by late afternoon are already closing.
There still only just a couple of open buds on the Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu beni’.
Eranthis are abundantly open at this point, including the soft butter yellow Eranthis hyemalis ‘Scwefelglanz’.
There is one plant of Jeffersonia dubia that is way ahead of the other Jeffersonia. It has a ton of buds just opening.
And one plant of Cyclamen coum is cautiously opening.
In the new alpine bed, we have the first buds showing on a little draba that I put into Tufa last fall.
It seems to be quite happy growing in the rock. The plant was from seed planted last January (2016) as part of the NARGS seed exchange.
And the Fritillaria stenanthera Karatau that I shared recently is putting out its first blossoms.
In the greenhouse many Oxalis continue in bloom. One that I like especially is O. obtusa.
Notice the striping from the rear.
And an absoute charmer is this bulb from the PBS exchanges. Actually that’s where the Oxalis came from too.
Unlike many of its kin, the flowers seem to be hanging around. It’s been in flower like this for more than a week.
Another of the Adonis is making the first steps toward Springtime. It’s not as big and showy as the yellows but somehow that orange color is arresting at this time of year.
The yellow Adonis ‘Fukujukai’ continues to be the big attention getter in the yard with its near perfectly shaped flowers.
But we also have the Winter Aconite stepping forward, in fact creeping forward into the lawn.
I’ve even seen the first crocus showing up in the lawn.
What could be a better sign of spring. Unless perhaps it’s the Jeffersonia about to open its first bud.
The korolkowii crocuses continue to flower in the Alpine bed.
This fine weather (except for a minor reversion to colder weather today) has allowed me to get loads of compost in from the local landfill and begin top dressing the gardens.
It’s so good to work in the soil again.
Meanwhile in the greenhouse the little Thlaspi rotundifolia has been spreading a honey sweet fragrance way beyond the size of the flowers.
And a splendid Hesperantha that came from last year’s Pacific Bulb Society distributions is just coming into bloom.
What a great start to the year!
When the Adonis light up the yard I always feel like a light bulb has been turned on for springtime. Yes, I know that there are still snowy days in our future but the Adonis can usually tolerate that and in the meantime they take full advantage of today’s 50 plus temperatures. When I see them, I have to ask the rhetorical question ‘why doesn’t everyone plant Adonis’? Of course slow-growing, expensive, and not easily available are parts of the answer. But sometimes the good things take patience. The March Bank at Winterthur is full of Adonis. And has been for over one hundred years.
Adonis are part of the ranunculus family and have all the sturdiness that implies as well as the brilliant yellow that runs in the family.
Apparently although Fukujukai is often listed (as I have done in the past) as a cultivar of Adonis amurensis it is actually a naturally occurring sterile triploid hybrid between Adonis ramosa and Adonis multiflora. That would explain it’s vigor and early flowering.
There are other indicators of spring today. The Chinese Witch Hazel is very much in flower as well.
And the Winter Aconite is not far behind.
Even the Jeffersonia is showing buds that it may wish to reclaim after the next cold snap.
I was surprised to see the newest of my Fritillaria from Augis’ Bulbs rising up in the Alpine Bed.
This should be interesting indeed.
Of course the Red Camellia still has no sense of the season. I should end this posting with that out of character plant.
One thing that a rock garden needs is rocks, so I am always in the market for interesting rocks. When the local chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society said it was planning a trip to a local quarry to harvest rocks, I was all for it. Especially on Inauguration Day when I wanted some productive distraction.
It was a rainy overcast day which didn’t help the aspect of driving into the quarry which is almost canyon-like after years of harvesting rock. Despite the mud and wet, cold weather it’s actually a very beautiful place which you would never see unless you were part of a similar expedition.
The slope was steep enough that having my wheelbarrow was less use than I expected, unless you are accustomed to pushing up 30 degree slopes.
The most desirable rock was (of course) at the bottom of the hill.
By the time I got each individual rock up to the truck I was huffing and puffing like a steam engine. Nonetheless they were worth the effort.
I had two concerns that limited my collecting efforts. One, the sheer physical difficulty, and then two, the fact that the truck was parked on a steep muddy hill and whether I would be able to get it out again.
However, I did manage to get out with only a mild amount of wheel spinning.
Some of the rocks had beautiful crystalline structure.
And one very special rock up at the office illustrated what limestone can do.
In the end I only brought home about a dozen rocks but they are beautiful and I’m sure they will find a place in our gardens.
If the club runs a similar field trip in the future I am ready to sign up for a repeat visit.