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…
This Camellia has been flirting with blooming all winter long but now it’s buds have finally gotten clearance to bloom and they are blooming abundantly.
We were in Boston for Easter and it was delightful to return to a flower-filled garden. The Corydalis and Chionodoxa are instant scene stealers.
There are many other nice Corydalis but here are two that I like in particular.
Many of the Scilla are of a similar hue to the Chionodoxa but quite different in detail. Look at the anthers in particular.
Once again I can’t say enough good things about Primula vulgaris. It’s very self-sufficient and flowers for a long time.
A particularly nice Anemone is ‘Green Hurricane’. The contrast between the early leaves and flowers is stunning.
While most of the Adonis are finishing two of the special ones are just starting.
Meanwhile in the alpine bed, the Pulsatilla have justified all the effort it took to make them a comfortable home.
The little Draba rigida comes three weeks after the hispanica.
Meanwhile I notice that I have a bud on the Alpine Poppy grown from seed last year. This should be fun.
In the greenhouse there’s a bright red Tulip on display (from tiny bulblets planted last year)
And some spectacular Tritonia including this one.
And a really nice Gladiolia hybrid
Also a nice little Ixia that has many, many blooms.
(All four of these bulbs from the Pacific Bulb Society).
Of course the greenhouse also contributed to the inside of the house where we have some magnificent Clivia on display.
And the many Daffodils and Forsythia that Beth has been harvesting.
And given the date can the bluebells be far behind…
I have been growing Oxalis palmifrons since 2013 without a hint of a flower to be seen. This year, upon my return from Thanksgiving in Boston, I was surprised and happy to see the first buds on the little Oxalis palmifrons (obtained from Plant Delights).
You may remember that Oxalis palmifrons has these delightful little palm-like leaves, and the flowers are just a marvelous bonus!
In the greenhouse there are still more Oxalis in bloom.
And the Daubenya that blooms very reliably for Thanksgiving.
I remember first seeing it at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden over a Thansgiving holiday.
Also in bloom from the greenhouse (though I’ve brought it into the house to enjoy) is the first of the small Narcissus for this year.
I actually counted 24 blooms in the pot tonight.
In the house for the winter time is the Amazon Lily. Characteristically this one flowers every thanksgiving holiday in celebration of the fact that it belonged to Beth’s mother who always used to prepare the thanksgiving meal for the family. And it flowers again outside in July. This year it seemed to outdo itself with flowers which carried a wonderful fragrance we had not noticed before.
Bear in mind that this plant has been in the same pot for about 30 years with only occasional watering.
Something funny happened on the way to the greenhouse to take some of these pictures. Despite the fact that we have been down to 20 degrees in mid-November, the subsequent weather has only hovered around freezing for the lows. I noticed a very spritely little wallflower in bloom.
And then the first of our nominally spring-blooming camellias.
How’s that for the beginning of December in Maryland…:)
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
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…
Is it just me or has spring been incredibly slow in arriving this year…
Anyway, with a few warm days it looks like all the normal players are contributing to the daily walk around interest in the yard. Key for me are always the Adonis which got a little bedraggled from the back and forth of snowstorms and freezing ground. But even the special Sandanzaki is beginning to bud out.
The little species crocus have been popping out in the lawn where I scattered them years ago
And there is an especially nice tommassinianus that I would recommend to anyone.
Just today the little histroides iris that has been threatening to bloom since December has finally opened up.
Another standard for the early garden is the primrose that dots the spring pastures in England.
With things starting to pop outdoors it is ironic that some of the most fascinating flowers right now are in the greenhouse. There’s a spectacular Moraea that opened up today.
And a little Romulea that is the first of its clan to flower this year.
A couple of years ago (thanks Dick) a friend gave me some peruvian scilla bulbs that I potted up for the greenhouse. Mine were in the outside garden and have since perished from two really cold winters in succession. Anyway these squill have chosen to flower out of the pots this year and they are spectacular. There are 5 bulbs in each pot and this what just one of them looks like.
There’s a another Oxalis that I got from Brent&Becky last fall.
It has lovely crinkled foliage and is said to be hardy as well (I put a few in the flower bed so we shall see).
We have three good sized Clivia and they are flowering now as well. Nice enough that they earned a spot in the house.
Everyone should have clivia, they are so carefree and reliable.
And last but surely not least the first of my Ferrarias has come into bloom.
Starfish lily is another of the names that the Ferrarias go by. It is hard to imagine a more complex curling of the flower petals (claws) than on the Ferraria. This was another acquisition from the Pacific Bulb Society’s Bulb Exchange. I don’t know of any other way to get these little jewels. Can you picture what a field of these looks like in South Africa?
As I was gathering up pictures for this post, I found it hard to stay focussed on the task. Each image I came across seemed to lead me down a path of ‘what was the name of that flower?’. I clearly need a garden elf who goes around checking on labels. Anyway, let me begin by saying April is, as always, a time of flower abundance so that Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day is necessarily a picking and choosing of which flowers to display. The daffodils are everywhere and their fragrance dominates the inside of the house and all of the gardens. But it is also a time to revel in the Hellebores who, though they started much earlier, have not gone away at all.
In contrast, it is worth noting that this is the peak time for the spring ephemerals which clamor to be appreciated for their very short time on the stage. They are generally around for just a few days at most and require getting down on your hands and knees to see the wonderful details.
A longer lasting springtime favorite is the Roadrunner trillium.
In the orchard and the woods the cherries are in bloom.
And alpine bed and troughs feature some distinctive flowers that are not usually part of the Maryland landscape.
Inside the house, the clivia is trying hard to make us focus on indoor flowers.
And lastly, since I am well past the normal posting time, let me close with the latest Cypripedium that we added from this year’s visit to Plant Delights. It’s a ahead of it’s season because I’ve just taken it from the greenhouse.
I think this little aubretia blossom aptly describes the effects of winter snowstorms and frozen ground for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. We had a couple of nights with single digit temperatures where I added another heater for the greenhouse just to make sure. We’re now back to the twenties at night and thirties-forties daytime which is more of our typical wintertime. The flowers outside are still scarce to find though. There’s a few violas that Beth planted last fall that are remarkably resilient despite being smashed by the snow.
Similarly the Jacob hellebores have been smashed to the ground but are still sharing their flowers with us.
It’s not too hard to look around and find evidence that there are flowers ready to burst forth if they are given the slightest excuse. Even the Cyclamen Coum which seems quite out of season has several buds showing.
I have the slavonia pasque flower growing in one of the large troughs. It has the most intricately hairy buds showing above the ground.
For more flowers we have to go into the greenhouse where the oxalis are still holding forth.
The Oxalis purpurea have been blooming since October. More recently a lovely little Oxalis obtusa has popped up.
I’ve taken to bringing one of the oxalis into the kitchen to enjoy the unwrapping and folding of their blossoms each day.
In the house we have just one orchid in bloom.
That’s it from a cold Maryland hill. I figure we are less than two weeks from January 21 which I shall now designate officially as post-Solstice. This is roughly the ground temperature analog to the December Solstice that marks the shortest day of the year. I figure that from January 21 onward the ground temperature should get warmer and warmer. I don’t want to say that I can’t wait because I actually enjoy each and every day of the march toward springtime ephemerals. Bud by bud, shoot by shoot, and flower by flower the world will be coming alive again…