In the midst of hot days in August it is a reliable pleasure to see butterflies in great abundance throughout the garden. For this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day posting let me begin with some shots of the butterflies that are everywhere right now in Maryland.
It’s also a good time of year to spot the Hummingbird or Clearwing Moth. They are very distinctive with almost invisible wings as the flit about the flowers.
Here are some of the standard flowers around the yard right now.
And of course the glads are still blooming in the cutting garden.
New for us in the Cestrum that we added this year.
And a little more unusual is the diminutive Anemonopsis with it’s waxy flowers.
We also take advantage of the August flowers in the house as well.
And then from the greenhouse
Lastly let me note a seeding success with these hardy camellia seedlings started from seeds purchased from Camellia Forest.
These should be interesting to grow outside in Maryland.
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.
Well a couple a snowfalls have put a definite damper on our flower show for this January Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. The view out the back door gives a sense of our surroundings this mid-January day.
Nonetheless there are couple of stalwarts that have seen fit to bloom despite the snow.
I have no idea the name of this camellia. I brought it back from California in my lap many years ago as one gallon $2.99 supermarket acquisition. I grew many years in the basement before I realized that the camellias were likely hardy enough to survive outside. For a winter like this one where we have yet to see temperatures below twenty degrees, this plant will flower from December onward. When it’s freezing cold the flowers will get browned off at the edges but usually we can grab a nice bud in the opening stage and enjoy it in the house before that happens.
And, of course, if they are not covered by snow, the snowdrops will persist in flowering well into spring.
The other flowers for us are from the greenhouse.
Notice the number of buds forming in this pot. I will definitely need to divide these after they go dormant.
Beyond the greenhouse it’s also worth looking at flowers in preparation, for example the Edgeworthia
And some remarkably early Jeffersonia dubia
I amazed each year the early appearance of flowers on this single Jeffersonia dubia. It looks like it is predisposed to flower much sooner than Jeffersonia ought to be waking up.
I’ll close with a picture of the large pileated woodpecker that has been working on our big tulip poplar…
Well, it’s very cold and wet at mid-December and though I searched around I could find nothing in the way of flowers outside. I won’t count the weeds even though a scraggly dandelion tried to rise up to greet me. Instead we turn to the greenhouse where some reliable December flowers are happening.
The hoop-petticoat daffodils with their little megaphone shaped flowers are the earliest of the daffodils that we grow, typically flowering in early December in the greenhouse. They are native to Spain and are widely spread around the iberian peninsula and Morocco. I received mine from the Pacific Bulb Society in one of their many bulb exchanges. In fact most of the flowers I am about to share came from the PBS.
A favorite for it’s early blooming is a South African plant, Daubenya stylosa.
It’s bright color is an attractor for humans and it is also a magnet for slugs.
This fall I planted a few more Hyacinthoides which are striking for the blue interior flower parts.
An old reliable flower for this season is the first of our freesias to bloom.
As it turns out we have one more flower contributor for this season. The Amazon lily, which lives in the house for the cold weather, is putting out flowers.
So that about wraps it up for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. Here are the newly planted seeds and bulbs from the PBS that will show up on this blog in the future.
And outside the closest we come to flowering are the big fat buds on the camellia which asks only for mid-winter thaw…
Yesterday’s Bloom Day began with a snowstorm that ended up depositing 6 inches by the end of the day. Early on you could still see the corydalis pictured above and one of the camellias in the front yard.
Anticipating the snow, I had taken pictures around the yard the day before, including the same camellia.
Yet another fall blooming camellia was in the side yard.
Hardiness is generally not a problem for camellias in our area but getting blooms at the right time can sometimes be problematical. The spring blooming camellias are loaded with buds but they will sometimes pop open in a December thaw only to be burned off in the next freeze.
Also still blooming this week before the snowfall was the blue sage in the orchard.
This sage has been in constant bloom since early summer. Similarly the Viola jooi in the Alpine bed has come back into bloom again.
There aren’t a lot of other flowers right now because we finally had our first freeze last week and many things got burned off. One last remnant is this knockout rose.
In preparation for the freeze, we covered up the newly planted Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’.
This is the third try for this lovely Mahonia which is only marginally hardy here. We are hoping that covering it up will help it get through the winter.
We also gathered pine needles from the driveway and made a little nest for the pomegranate planted in the orchard.
This is another of those plants where we are pushing the survival limits.
Otherwise we need to go into the greenhouse for flowers in November.
In closing I want to share an early November picture of a lovely Amur Maple in the front yard.
In some areas of the country this is seen as invasive but for us it’s been very well behaved and a seasonal favorite.