Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day July 2020

Lilium orienpet hybrid ‘Anastasia’

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.

Lilium orienpet hybrid ‘Anastasia’

Anastasia on fireplace

The last carryover from some of the species lilies was this very special hybrid from lilium henryi.

Lilium henryi hybrid ‘Madame Butterfly’

But most of the focus is on the orientals right now.

Oriental lily ‘Time Out’

Lilium oriental ‘Casablanca’

Lily oriental white/yellow

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.

Lilium orienpet hybrid ‘Scheherazade’

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.

Stargazer lilies on mantel

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.

Hydrangea serrata ‘Blue Billow’

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.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

The greenhouse has two zephyranthes cultivars that I particularly like.

Zephyranthes miradorensis

Zephyranthes katherinae rubra

And there are sunflowers that get collected along with annuals from the vegetable garden.

Sunflower collection

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.

First third of the garlic harvest drying in garage


Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2019

Swallowtail on Tithonia

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.

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Ligularia

Clouded Sulphur on Tithonia

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.

Snowberry Clearwing Moth on Buddleia

Here are some of the standard flowers around the yard right now.

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

Gentiana paradoxa

Allium ‘Millenium’

Sage ‘Black and Blue’

And of course the glads are still blooming in the cutting garden.

Gladiolia ‘Princess Margaret Rose’

New for us in the Cestrum that we added this year.

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

And a little more unusual is the diminutive Anemonopsis with it’s waxy flowers.

Anemonopsis macrophylla

We also take advantage of the August flowers in the house as well.

Sunflowers live inside too

And then from the greenhouse

Cyrtanthus elatus x montanus

Lastly let me note a seeding success with these hardy camellia seedlings started from seeds purchased from Camellia Forest.

Camellia oleifera seedlings

These should be interesting to grow outside in Maryland.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2019

Moraea elegans

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

Scilla cilicica

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.

Galanthus elwesii

Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus ‘Blewbury Tart’

And the Winter Aconite are just beginning to appear. 

Winter Aconiter (Eranthis hyemalis)

but most of the rest are playing a waiting game

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’ waiting in the wings

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’

Paonia caucasica in bud

Pictures of trees and shrubs show why the flowers are not in a big hurry yet.

American Holly

Dwarf Cryptomeria covered in ice

I think it’s fair to guess that by this time next month we will be covered in flowers.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2018

Iris ensata ‘Flashing Koi’

June is a month for spectacular Iris, Clematis overflowing the fences, Roses flowering abundantly and flowers of many kinds reaching fruition.  For this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, I’ll share some of the things that struck my eye this week.

One of the reasons for growing flowers is to attract the many butterflies that enliven the yard.  And what better to grow than the different kinds of Butterfly Weed.  The normal Asclepias tuberosa comes without effort in our pasture and feeds the monarchs later in the year.  But in the yard we are also growing Swamp Milkweed for different kind of color.

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

And an extremely heavily flowered cultivar is ‘Hello Yellow’.

Asclepias ‘Hello Yellow’

Here’s the evidence that Butterfly Weed is a good name.

Great Spangled Fritillary on Asclepias

I remembered last year that two of the Arisaemas were very slow to appear, finally showing up on June 2nd.  This year Arisaema candidissimum came on May 31 and Arisaema farghesi poked out of the ground on June 2nd again.  Talk about reliable.

Arisaema candidissimum

Arisaema candidissimum

Just walking around the yard here are some of the other flowers.

Pink Astilbe

Lilium asiatica ‘Blackout”

Hydrangea ‘Lady in Red’

Clematis ‘Krakowiak

This Clematis is climbing up the huge Black Lace Elderberry.

Clematis climbing the Black Lace Elderberry

In the alpine bed there a couple of lovely gentians that we’ve never grown before.  Both are the result of seed exchanges.  The Gentiana dahurica is a good 18″ high and spreading, probably to big for the alpine bed in the long run.

Gentiana dahurica

The Himalayan Gentian has the same delicate fringing that I like on other Gentians.

Himilayan Gentian (Gentiana cachemirica)

But it also has multi-colored buds that are lovely even before they’ve opened.

Himilayan Gentian (Gentiana cachemirica)

Nearby is the first blooming of a Stachys that came for seed last year.

Stachys spathulata

And up on the porch is a spectacular bulb from Peru that is a variation on the normal Peruvian Daffodil.

Hymenocallis ‘Sulphur Queen’

I should also note that life is not just flowers at this time of year.

Pea Row is Abundant

A Quick Harvest of Fruit and Veggies before dinner

We’ve been bringing in a steady diet of peas, strawberries, and raspberries.  And now the blueberries are about to start.

There is one other flower worth sharing though.  For many people the Corydalis lutea is described as a weed, but I find it’s a wonderful fern-like spreading ground cover.

Corydalis lutea

What’s growing in your garden?


Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2016

Gentiana paradoxa

Gentiana paradoxa

I find myself at the beach for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but before leaving I snapped a few shots of the flowering activity around our hillside.  The gentian pictured above is a vigorous spreader in the Alpine bed that is a reliable harbinger of fall.  The feathery insides of the flower make it one of the prettiest flowers I know.

The rest of the yard is dominated by the hardy annuals and sturdy perennials that can make it through a dry Maryland summer.  A great example is the state flower, Black-eyed Susans, that dominates our front bed.

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

In the vegetable garden we often grow Mexican Sunflower (Sithonia) which are very attractive to butterflies.



There a number of plants that deserve special praise for returning one or more times during the summer.

Clematis 'Roguchi'

Clematis ‘Roguchi’

Asclepias 'Hello Yellow'

Asclepias ‘Hello Yellow’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The salvia is not supposed to be hardy in our area, but it has returned reliably for 5 years now.

The two lobelias, red and blue, are winners for an August garden.

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia cardinalis

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Amongst the shrubs, the Hydrangea ‘Limelight makes a long and lovely showing.

Hydrangea 'Limelight'

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

From the greenhouse a number of the formosa lilies are in full flower.

lilium formosanum

lilium formosanum

And the small Herbertia texensis is putting out it’s complex flowers.

Herbertia texensis

Herbertia texensis

Let me close, because the beach is calling, with a wildlife image from the garden.  I found this remarkably lovely caterpillar on a tree peony leaf.

Caterpillar (American Dagger Moth?)

Caterpillar (American Dagger Moth?)


Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2016

Clematis 'Niobe'

Clematis ‘Niobe’

Ok, it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for May and I’m already late (again).  Everything is flowering (or so it seems).  The peonies, iris, azaleas, rhododendrons, alliums, and so on.  Let me share some of the main headliners and then get to some of the more unusual flowers.

Rhododendrons are represented by three of our standards.  First the ultra-reliable R. chionoides which spends more and more of its time lying on the ground with various prostrate branches.

Rhododendron chionoides

Rhododendron chionoides

Then a scintillating pink that we have mixed into our camellia bed.

Camellia Garden Rhododendron

Camellia Garden Rhododendron

And I always have to share one of my favorites, R. ‘Viscosepala’, which has a magnificent fragrance.

Rhododendron 'Viscosepala'

Rhododendron ‘Viscosepala’

This was the happy result of crossing R. molle and R. viscosum in 1844 at the famous Waterer nursery at Knaphill in England.  I think it deserves more recognition.  You can sit on the deck in the evening and smell this honeysuckle-like fragrance surrounding you.

The peonies always go through a progression of tree peonies to species to Itoh hyrids to herbaceous.  The tree peonies and species types are just finishing now after serveral weeks of simply splendid flowers.

Tree peony just finishing

Tree peony just finishing

And the Itoh hybrids are lovely to look at right now.

Itoh Peony 'Morning Lilac'

Itoh Peony ‘Morning Lilac’

The unopened bud of the Itoh hybrid ‘Sequestered Sunshine’ looks like a giant rose.

Itoh Peony 'Sequestered Sunshine' opening a bud like a giant rose.

Itoh Peony ‘Sequestered Sunshine’

The first large bearded Iris are in bloom now and I just noticed a number of flowers on the Japanese Roof Iris yesterday.

Japanese Roof Iris (Iris tectorum)

Japanese Roof Iris (Iris tectorum)

Now let’s explore some of the less common flowers around the yard.

The Lamium orvala never fails to elicit comments when I point out the orchid-like flowers hidden under its leaves.

Lamium orvala

Lamium orvala

In one of the shade beds I see that one instance of the Rue Anemone has semi-double flowers that also seem to be bigger than its relatives.

Semi-double white Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)

Semi-double white Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)

In the front bed my planting of Dianthus spiculifolius in the large tufa rock seems to have taken hold.

Dianthus spiculifolius

Dianthus spiculifolius

Also in the front yard I had planted a Snow Poppy several years ago.  It has spread but I had never seen it flower.  Until this year.

Eomecon chionantha

Eomecon chionantha

The Snow Poppies are in a shady area near where the Woods Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) have long since taken over, and where the large Japanese Maple limits the sun and moisture in the summer time.  I’m happy to have them spread at a reasonable pace.

Snow poppy colony

Snow poppy colony (the curly leaves are the Woods Poppy mixed in)

At the GreenSprings Garden Plant Sale on Saturday I picked up a very nice little Calanthe hybrid orchid for the monument bed.

Calanthe hybrid hardy orchid

Calanthe hybrid hardy orchid

As we walk back to the Alpine garden I discovered a little ornithogalum growing with the little alpines and I couldn’t imagine how it got there until I reread my bulb order from last year.  Ornitogalum exscapum is described as compact and flowering from the base and indeed that seems to be the case so far.

Ornithogalum exscapum

Ornithogalum exscapum

Nearby two of the Lewisia are in bloom.

Lewisia ‘Little Plum’ (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Lewisia ‘Little Plum’ (Lewisia longipetala x cotyledon)

Pygmy bitterroot (Lewisia pymaea)

Pygmy bitterroot (Lewisia pymaea)

And in the trough in front of the greenhouse one of my favorite campanula relatives  is just coming into flower.

Edraianthus pumilio

Edraianthus pumilio

This makes a compact little cushion that is a wonderful example of why I like growing alpines.  That’s a little Dianthus alpina that is showing nearby.

And in the Greenhouse I was delighted to discover last week that two of the three rare Scillas that I planted last January are starting to grow.

Scilla madeirensis in leaf

Scilla madeirensis in leaf

These are very beautiful plants and I’m hoping to see flowers before they go dormant for the summer.

Let me close with an Iris relative, Gelasine elongata, also growing in the greenhouse.

Gelasine elongata

Gelasine elongata

This flowers at the end of a 2 ft. long stalk.  It is said to be marginally hardy here so I may give it a try outside.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for April 2012

Tree Peony — White with Pink overtones

Well it’s very appropriate that this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day leads off with a blossom that is two to three weeks ahead of schedule.  I went back to look through previous years and April 30 was the earliest I saw the Tree Peonies in bloom before.  Their flower size and wonderful foliage are always amazing if you haven’t encountered them before.  It’s been that kind of year with most plants well in advance of their expected performance date.  It’s been very dry which is the only thing which may retard some of the plant growth.  I know that I’m still waiting for some Arisaema’s to stick their heads up.

It’s always a pleasure when something new shows up on our hill, especially if it’s been here for some time without flowering.  This year I found that Gentiana acaulis ‘Krebs’ has put forth several incredibly blue flowers.  It’s been hidden among the species tulips and may have flowered in the past without me catching it in the act.

Gentian amid the tulips

Gentiana acaulis 'Krebs'

The blue is every bit as outstanding as one might hope for from a Gentian.  The markings inside the trumpet are almost like a digital code.  I can see that several little babies are in the vicinity which makes me suspect that it has bloomed before.  This is one plant that I’ve very happy to have spread.

Another beautiful blue is on the Camassia which is just starting to flower.

Camassia leichtlinii

This a particularly strong blue from a set of mixed Camassias that I purchased a few years back after seeing them for the first time at the Garden in the Woods in Massachusetts.  At the same time I was very taken with the little Iris cristata and came back with violet and white versions.

Iris cristata

They are a very strong and determined spreader with a continually expanding mat of iris plants.

Another choice little item that we brought back from Massachusetts is the common blue Forget-Me-Not.

Myosotis sylvatica

The odd thing about these little beauties is that they grow rampantly on the kids’ property in Boston but when we tried to transplant them here nothing showed up in the garden beds where we put them.  Nada, not a one.  And then this year as I was tending the flower bed I noticed that there were several Forget-Me-Nots growing vigorously in the grass.  Still nothing in the garden beds.  So maybe they just like a little adversity.  No matter.  We are happy to have them competing with the dandelions and buttercups.

Another little plant doing well right now is the Creeping Phlox.

Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe'

We’ve always liked this little Phlox plants that remind us of the mountains but we couldn’t seem to find the right spot to show them off until last year.  Now they seem happy on the hillside next to the garage in a bright sunny spot that is actually kind of dry.

At the back of the garage the Fothergilla is in bloom.

Fothergilla 'Mt Airy'

I have questioned the garden space given over to this shrub but I have to admit the funny little white flower buttons are growing on me.

The Sieboldii Primroses are starting to bloom now.

Primula sieboldii 'Chubby-One'

This one came from the now unfortunately closed Seneca Hill Nursery.

Next to it sits a nice little spread of Lathyrus vernus.

Lathryus vernum - light pink

A little stroll in the woods produces one of the last of the daffodils to bloom — the wonderful little La Belle is dainty and charming but survives a rugged setting in the woods.

Narcissus 'La Belle'

And the Virginia Bluebells are just about done.

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia

While the Spanish Bluebells are coming into full stride blooming in many spots in the yard as well as where they have been scattered in the woods.

Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) in the woods

Also in the woods right now are Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Black Haw.

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolium)

Just a few others to mention in this compendium of April flowering.  I picked up a tiny little Androsace at Stone Crop’s Alpine sale last year and, most wonderfully, it has come into flower for me.

Androsace sarmentosa 'Rock Jasmine'

I’ve put this in a little dry sandy spot that I’ve labeled the stone garden and, at least so far, it seems to be working.

And while not in flower anymore, I wanted to share this image of the Himalayan May apple that I imported from Canada this year (Fraser’s Thimble Farms).  The flower was exotic but the leaves are equally so…  I’m looking forward to the fruit.

Himalayan mayapple (Podophyllum hexandrum)



Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for April 2011

Hepatica nobilis 'Lithuanian blue'

Well it is an April Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day and as you might expect there are a plethora of flowers to choose from in reporting what is blooming.  This is the crossover point between the smaller spring ephemerals, the bulk of the Tulips and Daffodils, and the major flowering trees and shrubs.  There is no way that I’m going to enumerate everything that is blooming today and I’m not going to repeat some of beauties I’ve reported on recently.  Instead I’m going to single out some of the most photogenic of the lot and that is, of course, a very subjective filtering.

The little gems are well represented, not only by the Hepatica above but by the following.

Jeffersonia dubia

Anemone lipsiensis

Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)

First Epimedium in flower

Trillium pusillum ‘Roadrunner’

That is my absolute favorite Trillium.

A particularly rewarding little guy is the White Trout Lily which we had never succeeded with before.

Erythronium 'White Beauty'

I don’t want to ignore the Daffodils and Tulips.

Tulip 'Portland'

This one sits just outside the backdoor.  And out in the front yard is a wonderful display of Tulip tarda.

Tulip Tarda display

Tulip tarda

Daffodil cluster in the front yard

A particularly nice double daffodil

Two of the classic flowering trees have started — our double white cherry and the volunteer dogwood by the front porch.

Double Flowering Cherry

Flowering Dogwood

And for shrubs it’s hard not to mention the Spirea at the back of the garage or the Flowering Quince beside the garage.

Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’

Chaenomeles 'Toyo Nishiki'

It’s also true that some things look almost as good before the buds open.

Viburnum carlesi

Glaucidium palmatum

Virginia Bluebell in bud

And as a final mention I should note that some of the Camellia flowers are getting full enjoyment in the house including this giant single.

Big single pink Camellia