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Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2017

Anemone multifida ‘Rubra’

I will lead off this very late Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day post with a lovely little anemone that came from the NARGS seed exchange three years ago.  It’s not spreading but seems to be holding its own in the Monument bed.

I am always surprised that two of Arisaemas hold off until June.  Their colleagues begin back in April.  But just when you think that winter has finished them off, the Arisaema candidissimum and Arisaema fargesii come popping up through the ground.

Arisaema candidissimum

Arisaema fargesii

It is also surprising to see the Freesia laxa return every year.

Freesia laxa

According to the books this little corm is not viable in our climate.  Not only has it returned but it’s jumped the tracks and moved to another garden bed as well.

I have it growing now next to the reliable Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.

Brodiaea Queen Fabiola

That’s a white Callirhoe in the front of the image.

Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba ‘Logan Calhoun’

And they all mix together like this.

Star flowers, wine cups and Fressia.

In the same garden bed we have a bright yellow Butterfly Weed.

Asclepias tuberosa ‘Hello Yellow’

This is very popular with all the butterflies and bees.  For example this swallowtail was cruising around the yard.

Zebra Swallowtail

Nearby we find a lovely clematis growing up a trellis.

Clematis ‘Krakowiak’

Also by the garage there is a marvelous foxtail lily that came from Far Reaches.

Eremurus stenophyllus

Back in the monument bed there is the first of the Asiatic lillies coming out.

Asiatic Lily ‘Netty’s Pride’

And a chinese ground orchid that is a little taller than our other ground orchids.

Bletilla ‘Brigantes’

Back in the Camellia bed, emerging through the rapidly growing Japanese Anemones is a very pretty Astrantia.

Astrantia ‘Sunningdale variegated’

If we go back to the Alpine bed, as I do several times a day, a very nice dwarf plant in the Campanulaceae is just finishing.  I cannot read the label but I suspect it’s an Edraianthus.

Edraianthus sp?

Just finished now is also another pasque flower.

Pulsatilla campanella

Also in the alpine bed is a new gentian that we found at Oliver Nursery this spring.

Gentiana cachemirica

In the greenhouse there are a few picture-worthy objects as well.

Ornithogalum fimbrimarginatum

This is a two-foot tall Ornithogalum that came from the PBS bulb exchange.

Another PBS acquisition is this Pine Woods Lily.

Alophia drummondi (Pine Woods Lily)

I almost forgot to mention the Stewartia.  It has been a consistent flowering tree for June 15th.  This year it is loaded with flowers but only one is actually open now.

Stewartia japonica

However, life is not flowers alone.  It is the peak time for our berries, especially the blueberries.

Blueberries at their peak

It’s a joy picking blueberries.  We brought in gallons last night.  I’m convinced the only reason we can do so is that just behind the garden we have a very large mulberry tree and an equally large Bird Cherry that provide even greater interest for the birds.

Wild Cherry (Prunus avium)

Speaking of birds I’ve seen some really nice ones on my early morning bird watching including this Baltimore Oriole yesterday.

Baltimore Oriole eating cherries

Well, that’s a glimpse of our garden right now.  What’s happening in your garden?

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day September 2016

Nasturtium

Nasturtium

It has been a generally hot and dry (read depressing) summer for our garden).  In early August we awoke to find that we had drawn down the well with watering and so had to forego our normal watering plan.  So my looks around the garden prior to Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day were fewer than they might otherwise have been.  We did still water Beth’s new raised bed and the Nasturtiums and Calendulas have responded by blooming all summer long and into the Fall.

Calendula

Calendula

Many of the other flowers in bloom are a testament to how well some species can survive in adversity.

Alstroemeria 'Sweet Laura'

Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’

Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)

Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)

Venturing out onto our ultra-dry hillside which never gets watered at all anymore, I found several champions of the survival school.

Buddleia

Buddleia

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtle

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Notice the spider on the Lemon Queen and it’s very adaptive coloration.

Spider on Lemon Queen

Spider on Lemon Queen

The butterflies are also very attracted to Lemon Queen.

butterfly on Lemon Queen

butterfly on Lemon Queen

I also saw a lovely Monarch Butterfly on the Tithonia in the vegetable garden.

Monarch on Tithonia

Monarch on Tithonia

One very noteworthy Fall-blooming flower is the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  I’m becoming more of a fan every year and it’s a good thing because it keeps spreading of its own volition.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Another fall bloomer was a bit of a surprise.  This Sweet Autumn Clematis was something I pulled out three years ago and I was surprised to see it return in two separate places this year.

Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora)

Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora)

It’s a lovely flower but can get too aggressive if left to its own devices.  I will probably try to transplant it to the woods.

In the alpine beds I have two erodiums that are returning to bloom right now.

Erodium chrysantha

Erodium chrysantha

Erodium

Erodium

In the greenhouse I have just finished restarting all the oxalis.  At the same time the Bulbine has come back into flower.

Bulbine frutescens

Bulbine frutescens

And one of the cyclamens has taken on a very distinctive flowering by simply spilling over the edge of the pot with a great many flowers and no leaves at all.

Cyclamen graecum

Cyclamen graecum

Lastly just to note that man (or woman) does not live by flowers alone.  The raspberries are joining the apples as delectable fruits to be harvested this month.

raspberries ready for harvest again

raspberries ready for harvest again

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2015

Gentiana paradoxa

Gentiana paradoxa

Well I have very mixed feelings for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  There are a few flowers like the beautiful gentians in the alpine bed.  But it is also the dog days of August with over a week since the last rain and no rain in the immediate future.  On top of that we returned from vacationing on Cape Cod to find that the water pump had stopped a week ago and all the elaborate water timing I had set up was a total fail.  It was bad enough for the outdoor plants surviving the drought-like conditions, but the worst casualty was the greenhouse.  With no water the greenhouse becomes an oven.  I can’t even bear posting the picture of what the greenhouse looks like.  The bulb things will survive but the alpine seedlings that were painstakingly started this year were devastated.  Focusing on the positive, there is a splendid Cyrtanthus hybrid which found the desert-like conditions just to its liking.

Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus

Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus

Another little bulb in flower right now is a Barnardia from Japan.

Barnardia japonica

Barnardia japonica

Out in the very dry yard, the first thing that strikes you as it hangs over the porch is a lovely Limelight Hydrangea.

Hydrangea 'Limelight'

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

In the perennial beds there are two very striking lobelias that capture one’s attention.

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Lobelia x speciosa (Compliment Deep Red)

Lobelia x speciosa (Compliment Deep Red)

This one was brought up from Plant Delights this spring.

There is also a cute little Rosularia from Wrightman Alpines that I noticed flowering on one of the pieces of tufa.

Rosularia sedoides

Rosularia sedoides

There are lots of annuals that give us picking flowers for inside the house.  I noticed a clearwing moth hanging on one of the verbenas.

Clearwing Moth on Verbena

Clearwing Moth on Verbena

For the annual flowers in the garden the Mexican Sunflowers have totally dominated over the zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, etc.

Tithonia dominating annuals

Tithonia dominating annuals

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)

Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)

 

A Link to Nepal

View of the mountains from the road between Pokhara and Kathmandu

View of the mountains from the road between Pokhara and Kathmandu

Nepal is an incredibly rich and diverse country with a landscape that ranges from the jungles of Chitwan on the Indian border to the highest mountains in the world.  In between are all stages of beautiful rivers and terraced hillsides.  There are 6000 species of flowering plants, 900 species of birds, and over 600 species of butterflies.  But even with all of that diversity it was the wonderfully friendly people that left us with indelible memories.  Their small land accommodates a great many cultures and traditions but seems to rank tolerance very high on their scale of values.  I’ve put on SmugMug a set of our images from 3 weeks in Nepal.  Here are a few samples.

A young mother who was happy to have me photograph her child

A young mother who was happy to have me photograph her child

Little girl at Boudhanath Stupa

Little girl at Boudhanath Stupa

Green Sapphire, Heliophorus androcles, wings closed

Green Sapphire, Heliophorus androcles, wings closed

Baby Elephant in elephant grass

Baby Elephant in elephant grass

Asian Pied Starlings

Asian Pied Starlings

Osbeckia stellata

Osbeckia stellata

Annapurna South reflection

Annapurna South reflection

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2014

Sea Shells Cosmos with Silver-spotted Skipper

Sea Shells Cosmos with Silver-spotted Skipper

We have much to be grateful for on this mid-August Bloom Day.  This summer has featured remarkably pleasant weather.  Perhaps not quite as much water as we might have chosen but the lower temperatures have compensated nicely.  Perhaps it’s all to make up for the remarkably difficult winter that we went through this past year.  In any case the flowers are doing very nicely thank you.  I won’t go through the various daisies, daylilies, and annuals that are blooming right now, instead featuring some of the flowers that are still a little bit unusual for us.

The Astrantia ‘Moulin Rouge’ came from Far Reaches out in Washington State.  This is a great source for unusual plants of all sorts.

Astrantia 'Moulin Rouge'

Astrantia ‘Moulin Rouge’

It bloomed earlier in the year but has now decided to start all over again.

Now blooming in its second year for us in this Roscoea from Thimble Farms in British Columbia.

Roscoea purpurea 'Spice Island'

Roscoea purpurea ‘Spice Island’

Not only did it survive the winter but it has prospered and has several stems now.

Nearby is this blue Lobelia which came from seed obtained from the Scottish Rock Garden Club seed exchange in 2013.

Blue cardinal flower (Lobelia syphilitica)

Blue cardinal flower (Lobelia siphilitica)

This looks to be quite hardy in Maryland and provides wonderful color over an extended period.

Another good plant for color at this season is this summer flowering Allium.

Allium thunbergii 'Ozawa'

Allium senescens?

These are always attractive to various bees and other insects.

The Canna Lily ‘Yellow Punch’ is a new addition this year from Plant Delights.

Canna Lily 'Lemon Punch'

Canna Lily ‘Lemon Punch’

Like all the Cannas it’s a constant source of flowers.  I had hoped to see its partner ‘Orange Punch’ which unfortunately didn’t make through the winter.

This little Lily is a Longiflorum-Asiatic Hybrid that is blooming out of season because I planted it very late.

Lilium 'Brindisi'

Lilium ‘Brindisi’

I always like the Toad Lilies for their late and exotic flowers.  They are also very hardy and easily divided.

Toad lily 'Tojen' (Trycirtis)

Toad lily ‘Tojen’ (Trycirtis)

Tricyrtis 'Autumn Glow'

Tricyrtis ‘Autumn Glow’

Some other pieces of color in the yard are shown below.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Cyclamen purpurascens

Cyclamen purpurascens

Paeonia mlokosewitschii seeds

Paeonia mlokosewitschii seeds

Note that the viable seeds are the black ones.  The red ones, though beautiful don’t have any purpose at this point.

And even though I dismissed the annuals at the beginning there are a couple of picture worthy items from the cutting garden.

Zinnia (prob from Benarys Giant Mix)

Zinnia (prob from Benarys Giant Mix)

Sea Shells Cosmos

Sea Shells Cosmos

And then lastly one more shot of the ever-present butterflies, this time on the Joe-Pye Weed.

Swallowtail on Joe-Pye Weed

Swallowtail on Joe-Pye Weed

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for Sept 2013

Gentiana 'True Blue'

Gentiana ‘True Blue’

It is now mid-September and time to note the flowers in bloom for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  For the most part it’s the usual suspects.  An exception is the Blue Lobelia that I grew from seeds distributed by the Scottish Rock Garden Club this Spring.

Lobelia siphylitica

Lobelia siphylitica

It grew easily from seed and looks like it will have a long term role as a perennial in the garden.

Another newcomer for the season is the pineapple sage.  It’s just starting to flower now and it’s brilliant red flowers are real eye-catchers.

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage

Another red flower that is a head-turner is the red Dahlia, Bishop of Llandaff.

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff

It’s not supposed to be hardy for us, but I left it in the ground last year and it has come back even better than before.  We’ve had dozens of flowers over a long season, much more than if I had planted it from scratch this year.

Another flower with a very long season is the Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’.

Alstroemeria 'Sweet Laura'

Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’

Ever since we discovered Peruvian Lily hybrid was hardy in this area we have been amply rewarded by growing them.

Among the nice surprises of the season was to see this little cyclamen popping up with no leaves showing as yet.

Cyclamen hederifolium var. confusum

Cyclamen hederifolium var. confusum

The New England Asters are just now beginning to flower with their dark purple flowers and golden centers.

New England Aster Purple

New England Aster Purple

The gentian that heads this posting is forming a substantial mat of strong blue flowers.

Gentiana 'True Blue'

Gentiana ‘True Blue’

Both the spring and fall blooming gentians share strong coloring on the outside of the petals and detailed coding when you look on the inside.

Gentiana 'True Blue' on the inside

Gentiana ‘True Blue’ on the inside

The Celosia continue to dominate the front flower bed.  I had no idea that these would be four foot high when I planted them.

Cramer's Amazon Celosia

Cramer’s Amazon Celosia

And the toad lilies just go on and on with their flowering.

Tricyrtis 'Autumn Glow'

Tricyrtis ‘Autumn Glow’

We have been blessed by an abundance of butterflies this year, partly stimulated by a magnificent showing from the Mexican Torch Flower (Tithonia) in the cutting garden.

Butterfly on Tithonia

Butterfly on Tithonia

But there are other critters around the yard when the Macro lens goes for a walk.

Triangle Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata)

Triangle Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata)

Praying Mantis face-on

Praying Mantis face-on

I think the mantis is saying ‘What’s growing in your garden?’  Check out other gardens for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for August 2013

inula magnifica

inula magnifica

It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day once again — time to show what is blooming around the hillside.  The image above is from a raggedy looking plant on the hillside that I picked up at Stonecrop Gardens this spring.  The two standout items for the Inula are the brilliant yellow flowers and the fact that the deer leave the plant untouched.

It’s been a marvelously rainy summer, with so much consistent rainfall and almost fall-like temperatures now in August.  The plants have generally responded very well to all this rain, though I have seen a few casualties from plants that were expecting to have a dry rest in the summer — two little Drabas in particular seem to have gone to that final compost station.  But meanwhile the fall cyclamen are popping out their little purple heads and looking happier than ever.

Cyclamen pupurescens

Cyclamen pupurescens

There is even a little Cyclamen hederifolium with little white flowers with no leaves appearing in the Camellia bed.

Cyclamen hederifolium 'Fairy Wings'

Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Fairy Wings’

Out in the front garden, which is dominated by shasta daisy and black-eyed susans, one of perennials grown from seed this year is producing many beautiful little blue flowers against red buds.

Ceratostigma minus

Ceratostigma minus

This little plumbago was obtained by seed from the Czech plant hunter Vojtech Holubec after I saw his wonderful photo of the plant in it’s natural environment in Tibet.  I hadn’t appreciated that it is a well-known and popular horticultural plant in the U.S. under the name Plumbago larpetiae.  It’s said not to be hardy here, but I will probably experiment with it since my seed came from Tibet.

Above the plumbago stands a profusion of celosia stalks that are nearly 4 feet tall now.

Cramer's Amazon Celosia

Cramer’s Amazon Celosia

These came from seed obtained from Johnny’s this spring.  They grew easily and rapidly and make great cut flowers.

Dahlias are also doing well right now.  In particular a Bishop of Llandaff came back from overwintering in the garden where it is not supposed to be hardy.

Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

In the shadier gardens the Toad Lilies are holding forth already.  The clump of Autumn Glow is expanding particularly rapidly.

Tricyrtis 'Autumn Glow'

Tricyrtis ‘Autumn Glow’

Trycirtis 'Tojen'

Trycirtis ‘Tojen’

If we stop by the greenhouse the Kamiopsis leachiana which I’ve mentioned in earlier posts has indeed decided to flower in the fall which is surprising for this rare spring flowering evergreen.

Kalmiopsis leachiana

Kalmiopsis leachiana

The vegetable garden is totally out of control and dominated by a large stand of Tithonia which attract a continuing stream of swallowtail butterflies.  I have never seen as many butterflies as we’ve had this year.

Zebra Swallowtail

Zebra Swallowtail

Finally let me close with a non-picture of the pretty yellow milkweed that we were growing.  It’s been completely stripped by the amazing Milkweed Tussock Caterpillars.

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar

There were a hundred or more eating at the milkweed and they took it all except for the seedpods.  Could this be their plan to make sure there was food for next year?

These are some of the most interesting plant happenings at Ball Rd.  What’s going on in your garden?

A Chanticleer Workshop

Bee on Dahlia

I spent last weekend at a garden photography workshop at Chanticleer Garden outside of Philadelphia.  The weather was intermittently mixed clouds and sunshine but we got enough good lighting for some interesting photo opportunities on Saturday.  The workshop was conducted by Alan Detrick and Roger Foley with a small group of enthusiast photographers who were really pleased to get early morning access to the gardens (with good lighting and before the public showed up).  Roger and Alan gave regular and helpful advice as we tried to isolate our own respective visions of what was worth photographing in these early fall scenes.  Both of them have extensive garden photography experience and have previously been judges for the Gardening Gone Wild photo contests.

Chanticleer is truly a pleasure garden in every sense for a gardener.  They have seven horticulturalists who specialize in different sections of the garden and the attention to detail really shows throughout the garden.  A weekend of photography might sound like a lot, but it barely scratches the surface of what is possible at Chanticleer.  By the time you set up your shots the light is already moving on, not to mention the bees and butterflies.

One of the benefits of a small workshop like this one is that you get to share and comment on the other visions that people bring to their photography.  I’ve seen time and again that different people will always bring different photos away from the same scene.  And it only takes a few times of people pointing out the annoying branch you left in the composition before you start to think about it before you click the shutter.

Anyway, despite the weather being less than ideal, I had a great time and I’d like to do it again.  If the thought appeals to you they are likely to run this workshop again next year.

Here are some selected photos from the weekend.

Bee on Dahlia - Version 2

Grasshopper on Celosia

One of the points that Alan emphasized was the way the early morning light can delicately light the edges of a subject like the grasshopper in this image.  And if it’s cold enough, they don’t run from the camera.

Celosia sans grasshopper

Backlit Celosia

Bee on Celosia

Toad Lilies ( Tricyrtis hirta 'Miyazaki')

The Toad lilies are almost shrub-like and completely line the path through the Minder Woods.  They are flagrantly in flower at this season, shaming all those spring blooming flowers that have long gone by now.

Colchicum

I’m generally not a big fan of the Cochicum which flop all over the hillsides at Chanticleer, but they do have their moments.  Mostly I prefer the less gaudy fall crocus which are just now showing up in our lawn.

Perennial Gotta Pea (Amicia zigomeris) detail

Sulpher Butterfly with Proboscis unfurled

Clitoria ternatea

This is tropical vine that was up on the terrace in the house garden.  I think it has to be started from seed each year.

Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata)

I really liked the detail on the Callirhoe — it would be well worth adding to our hillside garden.

It’s also time for another Gardening Gone Wild Photo contest.  Saxon Holt has selected a theme of filling the frame.  I’m going to take this opportunity to enter a photo that I think truly fills the frame, though perhaps not in the way that Saxon Holt originally conceived.

Aibika (Abelmoschus manihot) detail

This close-up image of the Aibika, a relative of okra, will be my entry for the October Picture This Contest.