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…
It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day time and one of the fun parts of posting the monthly flowers is discovering those things that I had forgotten that I previously planted. Amongst those is the Snow Cone Bloodroot pictured above. All Bloodroots are good, this one is just a notch above.
Another newcomer to this blog is the single pink Anemonella from Hillside Nursery. I went on quest last year for a strong pink Anemonella after seeing one at my son’s house in previous years. He has since lost that plant which was exceptionally pink compared to the normal ‘Pink Pearl’ as it is now marketed. In any case the one gracing our flower bed is very nice indeed.
Another Anemonella variant that I posted on recently is Green Hurricane.
Many of the Anemone’s are flowering right now too, including this very complex nemerosa.
Close by are the Corydalis.
This one, as I’ve noted before is named for the leaves, not the beautiful blue flowers.
One cannot pass by the Camellia bed which has many of the spring ephemerals without seeing one of my favorite trilliums.
And the Leucojum are like snowdrops on steroids
Even this far into April the Hellebores continue to provide wonderful flowers. One that particularly catches my eye is Amethyst Gem.
This year I decided to give the Primula kisoana another try. You have to be cautious with this because it wants to spread, so I put it in with the other thugs.
I had a minor revelation this week when I thought I had finally succeeded in bring a Shortia into bloom. However, it turns out just to be Shortia lookalike, but pretty nonetheless.
Back in the Alpine beds we have several returnees from previous years.
and a new Iris/potentilla combination
And it’s also worth noting that while I tend to get caught up in the small spring ephemerals, there are many other flowers about. The early Rhododendron in the front yard is always spectacular.
There are many, many Daffodils, both in the yard and in the woods/pasture.
And the various fruit trees are mostly just coming into bloom. The apricot is finished, the cherries and peaches just starting, and the Kieffer Pear is flowering as though there is no tomorrow.
As I close this post, it’s worth noting that this spring is well behind previous years in terms of the number and progress of things in bloom. But I’m good with that. It gives more time to appreciate everything as it’s happening.
Well, it’s fall here in Maryland and some of the usual suspects are providing our flowers for Bloom Day. Japanese anemone are robust and reliable, as well as incredibly beautiful.
Some of the other regulars are in the following pictures.
In the wildflower patch, the wild asters are currently the star of the show, attracting insects of all sorts.
In the cutting garden the standouts are the Tithonia.
Beth has shown they look really nice next to the Salvia ‘Black and Blue’. They are also quite tall so it’s easy to see them from underneath as well.
A similar color comes with the Atlantic Poppy which took forever to start blooming but now has a new flower every day.
Inside the greenhouse we have blooming for the first time the Scilla maderensis. It seems to open just a few of the flower elements per day so that it’s never completely in flower for us.
It is nevertheless interesting and exotic which goes a long way to getting space in the greenhouse.
The first of the Oxalis are coming into bloom now.
There are three species blooming now, but the rest will extend the blooming season into January at least.
It’s worth noting that one does not live by flowers alone. The garden fruits and vegetables have been abundant this year, pushing us to new recipes and uses for the crops…
We have grown crabapples for many years in the front yard without ever making good use of the fruit. Of course the abundant white flowers in the springtime are delightful and the pretty summertime fruit have always been appreciated but we never harvested them for eating. Until now that is. Our youngest son was inspired by the sprightly taste of the fruit. He picked a bunch of them and made a couple of galettes, one with the crabapples and one with blueberries, apricots, and peaches. Both were quite good, but the crabapple one was really special. Think of the best rhubarb pie you’ve ever tasted.
This was so good, that he went out this week and picked another batch of the crabapples.
The remarkable thing about these little crabapples is that a very high percentage are without blemish or insect damage and this is without any spraying at all. This is quite a contrast with our normal apple trees.
This is a very active time outdoors right now. I thought I would also share another of the interesting spiders that we have run across.
I always find the jumping spiders have considerable personality.
And another interesting tidbit is the arrival of the rain lilies.
We have grown these very hardy rain lilies for many years and they seem early this year but we had some strong rains and up they came. I had also moved one of the Zephyranthes from the greenhouse last year and seems to be doing fine, though it is supposed to be a zone 8 plant.
I would also note in passing that this is a good time to be gathering seeds for the various seed exchanges. Some are quite easy to find like the Zephyranthes.
Lastly I’ll close this post with one of the prettiest lilies I’ve come across (unnamed at the moment).
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.
It is also surprising to see the Freesia laxa return every year.
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’.
That’s a white Callirhoe in the front of the image.
And they all mix together like this.
In the same garden bed we have a bright yellow Butterfly Weed.
This is very popular with all the butterflies and bees. For example this swallowtail was cruising around the yard.
Nearby we find a lovely clematis growing up a trellis.
Also by the garage there is a marvelous foxtail lily that came from Far Reaches.
Back in the monument bed there is the first of the Asiatic lillies coming out.
And a chinese ground orchid that is a little taller than our other ground orchids.
Back in the Camellia bed, emerging through the rapidly growing Japanese Anemones is a very pretty Astrantia.
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.
Just finished now is also another pasque flower.
Also in the alpine bed is a new gentian that we found at Oliver Nursery this spring.
In the greenhouse there are a few picture-worthy objects as well.
This is a two-foot tall Ornithogalum that came from the PBS bulb exchange.
Another PBS acquisition is this 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.
However, life is not flowers alone. It is the peak time for our berries, especially the blueberries.
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.
Speaking of birds I’ve seen some really nice ones on my early morning bird watching including this Baltimore Oriole yesterday.
Well, that’s a glimpse of our garden right now. What’s happening in your garden?
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.
Many of the other flowers in bloom are a testament to how well some species can survive in adversity.
Venturing out onto our ultra-dry hillside which never gets watered at all anymore, I found several champions of the survival school.
Notice the spider on the Lemon Queen and it’s very adaptive coloration.
The butterflies are also very attracted to Lemon Queen.
I also saw a lovely Monarch Butterfly on the Tithonia in the vegetable garden.
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.
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.
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.
In the greenhouse I have just finished restarting all the oxalis. At the same time the Bulbine has come back into flower.
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.
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.
We’ve had a wonderful extended Autumn with many clear sunny days. On one of them last week we took a morning walk along the C&O canal. This national park is only 15-20 minutes from our house. The overall park is essentially a biking-hiking-running trail that extends 185 miles from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD. Noland’s Ferry is at the 45 mile point along the trail and is a broad leaf-strewn walkway in this season. There are other parts of Frederick County that are lit up with color this time of year, but along the canal it’s mostly greens turning to yellow. Nonetheless one of the joys of walking is noticing that which is not visible from car or bike. We walked about 2 miles down the trail towards Washington and then returned, moving at a pace that encouraged observation. Even at that pace we noticed things on the return part of the trail that we had missed on the outgoing trip.
Some of the most striking elements were fungi. The Bear’s Head Tooth Fungus looks like a waterfall frozen in time.
The Jelly Ear Mushroom is said to be good to eat, but we limit ourselves to puffballs (which we have eaten many times).
And then there was this very phallic white mushroom which I’ve not been able to identify.
Along the trail was a very tiny snake, about the size of a worm. It seems likely this this is an Eastern Smooth Earthsnake. They do have babies in the fall but they are not very big in any case. It eats earthworms, slugs, snails, and soft-bodied insects. On balance that’s the kind of diet I can appreciate.
There were two interesting fruiting plants that we noticed. Spicebush is a smallish native shrubby tree that is found in wooded lowlands. It has plants of both the male and female persuasion so it will be interesting to return in spring to see if we can identify them.
And the Eastern Wahoo is another small native tree that has what seem like packages of pink candy hanging from its branches.
The leaves had not yet turned but like its relative, the Euonymus alatus, the Eastern Wahoo should have strongly colored red leaves.
At one point we looked up and noticed a tree with remarkable orange foliage. At first I thought sugar maple, but that is not common with us at all. When I got home and did a little research, it was pretty clear to me that what we saw was Black Maple. This is a close cousin to the Sugar Maple and as many of the same positive attributes. It would be worth trying to propagate in our forest.
It is Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day and I am late in posting once again. I found myself on the road once more but these are photos from the garden reflecting the state of affairs before I left. One of the standout flowers for this time of year is the lovely double flowered Japanese anemone pictured above. It is both floriferous and singularly beautiful over a long period in the fall.
Another set of flowers that can be counted on for September are the Toad Lilies.
There are several in the yard now but they are all characterized by orchid like blossoms and delightful green foliage with rampant growth.
One of our favorite dahlias for use in the perennial gardens is Bishop of Llandalf.
It’s dark foliage contrasts nicely with the other plants and the red flowers are outstanding.
We have several patches of Garlic Chives that are expanding.
They are especially nice when many other perennial flowers have faded.
In the annual cutting bed the Tithonia continue to dominate.
They are constantly visited by butterflies and bees.
In the wildflower patch in the lawn we have some Colchicum established.
One of the nice aspects of species peonies is the rather striking seed pods they can have in the fall.
This one is Paonia obovata I believe. The red seeds are not viable but the black ones could easily be harvested.
It’s also worth noting that this year promises a very nice apple crop, probably more than we can eat….