Well the fall camellia next to the garage continues to be our most reliable bloomer for Garden Blogger Bloom Day and the wintertime. It’s hard not to imagine the backyard without the camellias. They are such a continuing delight. The hybrid that I picked up from the camellia society a couple of years ago has been blooming all winter long as well, but the flowers are starting to decrease in size.
Meanwhile the first of the spring camellias is blooming again.
Some of the other flowers around the yard are pretty reliable participants in the late winter/early spring bloom.
But it’s worth noting that we have never seen this red heather blooming persistently over the winter.
It’s also worth noting that I’ve never seen flower buds on the Cyclamen coum in January.
I wanted to include a picture of the buds on one of the other Hellebores as well. This is a particularly dark foliaged plant with dark red flowers as well. It looks like it wont’ be long till this one is in bloom.
In the greenhouse we have more Narcissus showing up. This is a particularly nice one (note the buds yet to open)
We have also decided (in response to Covid) to upgrade our basement lighting and get an early start on the planting year.
And as a result here are the little plants from the seeds that I planted last week on my birthday…
Well it is December so it’s not surprising that the first Hellebore is blooming for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. Helleborus Niger is always well ahead of it’s compatriots in providing winter bloom. Nonetheless it’s still the camellias that are providing the most stunning flowers around our hillside.
The camellias are pretty consistently with us for the fall and then on again off again until into the springtime. More surprising is the heather that is blooming right now.
And there is also a little ice plant that is flowering way out of season.
You can see white tips on the snowdrops and the adonis are also coming into bud.
But we are expecting 10 inches of snow tomorrow (the first real snow we’ve had this year), and that means the plants are likely to slow down for awhile.
In the greenhouse we have a number of early daffodils in bloom.
And there is also the beautiful wavy-flowered Nerine undulata still flowering after more than a month of bloom.
We have put up our traditional live Christmas tree, this time a Canaan Fir.
This will be planted out in the pasture after the holidays.
December 15th is also the first day for choosing seeds from the North American Rock Garden Society’s Seed Exchange. I was up early this morning (late last night) putting in my request for my 35 1st choice seed packets on the list. This is great fun and I would encourage everyone to get involved. There are 2480 taxa available including many rare and unusual varieties that you will not find from commercial sources.
We are still in an extended Fall season that has been remarkably temperate. The weatherman says we could have frost any day now, but meanwhile we (and the plants) have been enjoying the mild weather. The prettiest flowers for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day are the Fall Camellias. Not only do they have the wonderful evergreen leaves, but the flowers are lovely and pickable for further reflection in the house.
This particular camellia is particularly rewarding because I cut it way back and was ready to remove it after a hard freeze when I noticed a little green shoot coming out. It’s now almost to the size it was originally and is covered with buds.
A bit more surprising is to see a flower on one of the Spring camellias.
This will get blasted when that frost comes along.
As you go about the yard it’s hard not to notice the wonderful color of the Japanese maples this year.
And the green patterns on the cyclamen are also very striking.
In the front yard the yellow corydalis has continued its unabated flowering.
Back in the vegetable garden the annuals are still flowering, though running out of steam.
Most striking by far are the calendulas.
And the greenhouse has offered up a South African native Nerine.
As a side note, I tried growing Leonotis this year after seeing it in flower just last year for the first time. I was looking forward to that mane of orange yellow flowers that you can see in the catalogs. Unfortunately it looks as though, even with our long season this year, we may not have enough time to see the flowers before frost.
So my plan is to see if this South African native will grow back from the roots next spring and maybe get an earlier start. Stay tuned.
I’ll lead off this GBBD posting with colchicum which has been spectacular this fall. They are hardy, reliable, and beautiful — the sort of qualities that beg for planting more. So I did…
It’s been all in all a marvelous fall here in Maryland. Mostly bright sunny fall days with just enough rain to keep everything going well. Altogether we are 8 inches ahead of the usual rainfall here. The annuals have continued to bloom and I noticed that the cosmos along the fence line have decided on a fall renewal of their blooms.
And the calendulas in the raised bed are bright and beautiful.
Under the cherry tree in the back yard a clump of cyclamen hederifolium is putting up flowers before the leaves are showing.
Japanese windflowers are spectacular as usual for this time of year.
And they are joined by various instances of toad lilies (such a strange name for exotically beautiful flowers).
The canna lily that returned from last year is soldiering on in a very crowded garden bed.
And month by month the cestrum continues a flowerful statement at the back gate.
I noticed that the beautyberry bush is covered with its distinctive purple berries right now.
In the alpine bed by the greenhouse there is a rather striking little saxifrage from Japan.
In the greenhouse itself the oxalis are dominating the show.
But there is also a rather special scilla that I brought into the house.
These are not easy to find, but they seem to be quite reliable bloomers.
While I was out in the vegetable garden I found many more dahlias still in bloom
and lots of monarch butterflies visiting the many tithonia.
In addition I found a very distinctive moth that I had never seen before.
Of course, it’s important to note that at this time of year, one does not live on flowers alone.
We have been bringing in bowl after bowl of raspberries for the last 6 weeks.
And finally to cap it off here is the apple pie that we made for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day…
Dahlias seem to be taking center stage for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. I start each year with the intention of posting up the large dahlias in the garden but at first they seem to be supporting themselves just fine. However, by this point in the season I find that they are mostly lying on the ground with their enormous flowers and it’s hard to prop them up without snapping the stems. So perhaps next year I will get them propped up (but probably not…).
But my favorite dahlia is one stemming from a Welsh hybridizer in the 1920’s. The contrast of the bright red flower with the dark foliage is always noteworthy.
Elsewhere we find the roses making a comeback as they always do for a second bloom.
Nearby is a perennial bloomer that was said to be marginal in our area but we find this striking salvia comes back every year and is actually increasing it’s stand.
Next to the salvia is a remarkable perennial that dies down to the ground for the winter in Maryland and then comes back vigorously in the springtime. It’s been flowering all summer long and shows no sign of stopping.
Also in this garden bed are several instances of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. Talk about a low maintenance plant — I hardly notice that its there until it starts flowering.
Behind this garden is a very large crepe myrtle which is blooming quite happily at the moment
Out in the pasture is a butterfly bush that is having a lot winged visitors right now.
One of the really nice sights in the yard at the moment is the Limelight hydrangea framed by a pyracantha.
I noticed while walking about the yard that the arisaema fruit is almost as showy as a flower.
And as we turn to fall, the greenhouse is already putting out some showy flowers.
and finally the first of the many oxalis that will run through December.
We feel blessed to have wonderful fall weather in Maryland compared to the horrific fires in the west and torrential rains in the south. Stay safe.
A good start for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day is the crinum which has been blooming since early july. Although as a plant the crinum is not the most exquisite hortticultural speciment — large strapping leaves and continually expanding its space in the garden — but the individual flowers are lovely.
Another member of the amaryllis family that is popping up right on schedule is what many people call naked ladies.
We have had a very wet August with many afternoon thunderstorms rolling through.
In the monument bed we have the last of our lilies. This formosa lily came originally from seed obtained from the Pacific Bulb Society seed exchange.
Nearby is a clump of the very pink Allium millenium
A lot of our focus is on the vegetable/flower garden for this season. Every time we visit nowadays the goldfinches erupt from the sunflowers, the hawks make a lot of noise from the surrounding trees, and the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds are all over the tithonia.
The greenhouse still has contributions to the flowerfest. Zephyranthes and Habranthus make a lot of seeds and one needs to pay attention or they will pop up in surrounding pots.
The other note for mid-August is finishing the harvest of the garlic.
It was a grand year for the garlic. Of the three varieties we grew, I really like the firm lovely Northern White variety. It’s a hardneck which means that it also contributes scapes in June for the dinner table.
Stay safe and well-distanced.
There are many things blooming at this time of year, but none more assertively demands the attention of your senses than the large oriental lilies. There are other flowers for Garden Blogger’s Bloom day, but i’m going to focus on the lilies.
First and foremost is Anastasia which is so tall and has so many flowers that it is a major task to keep it upright each year. This year we were late so the flowers are bound together in a way that makes them hard to pick. Nonetheless Beth managed to put some on the fireplace.
The last carryover from some of the species lilies was this very special hybrid from lilium henryi.
But most of the focus is on the orientals right now.
This last one sits next to Lilium ‘Casablanca’ but is clearly not the same. It’s twins are in other parts of the same bed, but in the center not way over to the edge where this one’s 6 foot tall flower is way out of size. Is this ‘Time Out’? If so my other ‘Time Out’ is quite different with the yellow suffused, not in a stripe. I’ll have to buy more lilies to sort out the difference…
Another instance of a lily not being where I put it is this Scheherezade.
It sits across the garden pathway from where the main clump of scheherazade was located. I say was, because this spring the gardener, in a fit of unusual weeding activity broke the stem off the main clump of the Lilium ‘Scheherazade’.
Back in the house again the Stargazer lilies got removed before I could photograph them outside.
Now there are other flowers in the garden. In particular I would point out the Hydrangea ‘Blue Billow’ not merely because it has never bloomed blue for us, but because it really contributes to the monument bed at this time of the year.
There are several spots where the crocosmia are blooming. What a marvelously reliable flower. Kind of like a compact glad that you never have to care for.
The greenhouse has two zephyranthes cultivars that I particularly like.
And there are sunflowers that get collected along with annuals from the vegetable garden.
Finally I should note that we’ve had a bumper crop of garlic, this first 1/3 of which is now drying out in the garage.
It is a very flower-filled time for the GBBD post. Like everyone, we have flowers blooming everywhere and part of my dilemma is always where to focus my time and attention. The species peony shown above led me down an internet road trying to untangle the details of peonies with glabrous styles, purple anthers, and smooth undersides of leaves. On top of that it was just a lovely little peony that I cannot recall acquiring.
There are many other peonies, either flowering or about to flower. I have to admit that I am partial to the species peonies.
Nearby the Iris japonica are taking over their region of the garden.
These are definitely spreaders so you want to choose their location with care.
Similarly I’ve noticed how some of the anemones and primroses are happy to spread each year.
Thinking of spreaders, I have tried to move the Cascadian Wallflower from parts of the garden each year and it always finds a new place to make an appearance. But it’s so lovely it’s hard to not just appreciate it.
In addition an orange flowered wallflower reappeared from a wildflower mix that went in last year.
The yard as a whole is blessed by the things which happen in the mid-Atlantic April, like azaleas, viburnums, dogwood, and flowering fruit trees.
While out in the orchard, things are in extravagant bloom this year.
The Spitzenburg is one of the finest apples you will ever taste, but when you look at the trunk of this little guy you have to be grateful that it is producing any apples at all.
Hidden around the yard are still some smaller gems that i look forward to each year.
And when we go back to the troughs, the first Gentiana is showing up.
The alpine beds themselves are both chock full of interesting things like daphnes, stonecress, iris, poppies and the like.
Particularly noteworthy is a little Lewisia returning to claim its space.
and an Androsace which is always welcome.
As well as the always striking Bird’s Foot Violet.
In the greenhouse itself are still things which worth sharing or bringing into the house. The Ferrarias have been blooming since February.
Other South Africans include two Ixias, tritonias, and Ornithogalums.
And, of course, we continue to harvest daffodils from our years of planting.
Hoping this post finds the reader healthy and able to enjoy the spring.