This is a wonderful time of year to watch the Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) emerge from their slumber. They spread every year — into the grass and other parts of the garden. But it’s a nice kind of spreading. Hardly any other plants are doing anything at this time of year and in six weeks from now they will have disappeared till next year. There are some other color forms of the winter aconite, either paler yellow or orange shades, but one of my strong desires has been to grow the white species, Eranthis Pinnatifida. I got one flowering a few years ago, but it didn’t stay with us. Nevertheless, the flower is so intriguing that I keep persisting. I ordered one from Japan last fall and got it planted out in December. I noticed on my daily stroll about the garden that It is growing but it looks like no flowers this year.
At the same time, and almost so small that i nearly missed it, I found a flowering Eranthis pinnatifida in a seeding pot that I had started in 2016 from seeds obtained from the NARGS seed exchange.
Not only was this little jewel growing but there was another little Eranthis in the same pot. So hope spring eternal someone once said.
The seed exchanges are a wonderful introduction to new plants that you will never see in a commercial catalog. My package from the Alpine Garden society arrived just this week.
But I have already started many seeds obtained from NARGS, the SRGC, and individual seed vendors.
Also in the greenhouse is the first of the Ferrarias to bloom this year.
Ferrarias are very easy to grow and easily one of the most unusual flowers you will ever set eyes on. The curls around the edge have a fractal quality to them.
I also just brought the first of many Scilla peruviana into the house to enjoy.
But getting back to the daily walkabout, I would be remiss not to note that many crocus and snowdrops are appearing around the yard.
And the first Primula is showing it’s flowers as well.
Like the Winter Aconite, these are happy to spread into the lawn.
A more unusual spotting from the walkabout was to see the first pink color in one of the Saxifrages in a trough.
This little jewel flowered in April last year.
And I also noticed in the alpine bed that one of the Callianthemums from Japan that I planted in December has a bud on it!
These plants are really hard to find in the U.S. and my thanks to Yuzawa Engei for the wonderful packing to get it here.
It’s been a strange winter so far for this Garden Bloggers report. No real snowfall and temperatures that have fallen to 20 degrees on occasion but have mostly been well above normal, even near records for some days. Total precipitation is about 50% above normal. The result is that many flowers are up earlier than usual but get blasted in between glorious flowerings. A case in point is the camellias which have had many flowers but then get browned off when the temperature dips.
On the whole we are just enjoying some our early spring flowers earlier than usual.
The Hellebores are particularly resilient at this time of year.
This is one of the nicest new hybrids.
Of course one also expects to see snowdrops at this time of year, but they are spreading nicely.
The first full flowering in the alpine bed is the Draba hispanica.
In the greenhouse the Cyrtanthus breviflorus and mackenii are flowering.
And our only Geissorhiza is in flower too.
Finally we made two trips to Gettysburg Gardens where I discovered some lovely examples of Veldtheimia bracteata.
These are magnificent plants, sometime called forest lilies, that can easily grow to 2 ft tall with long lasting flowers.
Ok, I’ve just counted and I’ve done 400 posts already. That’s a lot of flowers no matter how I add it up.
It’s hard not to lead off this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day with this stunning Camellia Japonica which has been flowering since November. It probably has 20 blooms on it at this point. Although I expect they will get burnt off with the next hard freeze, it has been a pleasure to see this one flowering on a daily basis with the very mild winter we have had thus far.
Similarly the red Japanese quince is getting ahead of itself.
The Hellebores are less surprising. The niger types are often in flower during any warm spell.
What was a surprise was to see this new pink hybrid also in flower.
This was new acquisition from Plant Delights. It’s been flowering for almost 2 weeks now.
The various snowdrops are up and doing what snowdrops are meant to do.
The yellow witch hazel (Arnold’s Promise) is also in flower but it was too windy to get good photos today. The Adonis are popping up and getting ready to bloom.
The biggest surprise from the outdoor flowers is this little Lewisia in the Alpine bed.
In the greenhouse we have many oxalis and narcissus blooming.
A little more surprising is this Silene that I grew from seed obtained through the North American Rock Garden Society’s seed exchange last year.
It really wanted to be outside but I forgot to plant it out last year.
We made a visit to Gettysburg Gardens last weekend and I brought back a number of treasures including this ground cover
And finally let me close with this lovely hybrid cyrtanthus that I found there.
Well this GBBD posting is almost like an advertisement for camellias. The winter has been very mild so far and not only are the fall camellias doing what they are supposed to do, but the spring camellias are getting into the act too.
In addition I found this morning, for the first time, a bloom on a camellia japonica x sasanqua hybrid that we have been growing for several years.
There aren’t a lot of other flowers out for December so the camellias really steal the show. Here are few things I noticed.
The greenhouse has a few things to put forward besides the oxalis which continue to bloom
And the very first narcissus of the season
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.