Spring has been rapidly moving onward in the mid-Atlantic. Bringing us, for one thing, the first flowering of a lovely peony above that we acquired from John Lonsdale two years ago.
We like the rest of society have been dutifully staying at home and, in our case, appreciating all the horticultural bounty that nature has to offer. This year many of the plants are well in advance of the norm. Although our nominal last frost date is 2-3 weeks from now the flowering fruit trees (even apples) are already in bloom. Especially bountiful are the blossoms on the Asian Pear.
Even the Kwanzan Cherry is fully in flower, fully two weeks ahead of last year.
I had the intent to track the progress of the garden a bit closer than usual, but I find myself jumping from one object to another as the plants keep popping up. Erythroniums are especially lovely in the spring, sort of a precursor to the larger lilies to follow. We have a raised bed by the deck that is crammed full of trout lilies (Erythronium americanum). This is what it looked like a week ago.
Many years I ago I dug some of these and moved them out to forest in multiple locations. Although the plants have succeeded marvelously in the woods, despite deer and other animals, they do not flower. They spread like mad but they seem to have no interest in flowering. So last year I thought I would inspire them by planting in their midst some horticultural cultivars which have always flowered in the yard (Erythronium ‘Pagoda’). And, indeed, they shot up lovely looking buds which the deer promptly chopped off. Perhaps the E. americanum are simply wiser than me and know that it would be foolish to flower in the forest.
In any case we still have Erythronium to enjoy in the yard.
Another spectacular genus to enjoy right now are the Epimediums. Beth was gifted with two Epimediums years ago that established large and lovely clumps at the back fence. Not only are the flowers lovely, but the leaves are beautiful in the own right.
Other Epimediums are well established in other parts of our garden.
Some more traditional parts of the garden probably include this very hardy and early azalea.
A spectacular little primrose hybrid.
Multiple trilliums such as the T. grandiflorum
Daphne at the front fence
And a new japanese quince that I received as a father’s day gift last year.
But gardens are not made with flowers alone. There are some special green things on their way right now. The little Pteridophyllum has the glossiest green, fern-like foliage at the start of the year.
Peltoboykinia comes from the high mountains of Japan but seems to be happy here in Maryland.
Multiple variants to may-apples are on their way.
And the first of the Arisaemas is on its way.
While i’m in the yard, I still need to mention the star flowers that have been a real pleasure this year. This little Ipheion has been flowering for weeks now.
As we go back to the Alpine bed there are a lot of flowers calling for attention
Two that always stand out are the Pulsatilla and the Armeria.
And at the greenhouse entrance is a trough with a delightful little Androsace that has been a regular participant in our springtimes.
But before I leave off posting for today, let’s take a walk to the forest, through the garden gate and past the very large wild cherry trees.
Our trail leads us past many clumps of daffodils that have been planted over the years, past scilla, toothwort, hepatica, anemone, muscari and bluebells
To a very special clump of daffodils with haunting green eyes.
Arguros is the Greek word for silver and seems appropriate for this treasure.
May this posting find you healthy and able to enjoy the world around you.
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.
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.
It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day time and one of the fun parts of posting the monthly flowers is discovering those things that I had forgotten that I previously planted. Amongst those is the Snow Cone Bloodroot pictured above. All Bloodroots are good, this one is just a notch above.
Another newcomer to this blog is the single pink Anemonella from Hillside Nursery. I went on quest last year for a strong pink Anemonella after seeing one at my son’s house in previous years. He has since lost that plant which was exceptionally pink compared to the normal ‘Pink Pearl’ as it is now marketed. In any case the one gracing our flower bed is very nice indeed.
Another Anemonella variant that I posted on recently is Green Hurricane.
Many of the Anemone’s are flowering right now too, including this very complex nemerosa.
Close by are the Corydalis.
This one, as I’ve noted before is named for the leaves, not the beautiful blue flowers.
One cannot pass by the Camellia bed which has many of the spring ephemerals without seeing one of my favorite trilliums.
And the Leucojum are like snowdrops on steroids
Even this far into April the Hellebores continue to provide wonderful flowers. One that particularly catches my eye is Amethyst Gem.
This year I decided to give the Primula kisoana another try. You have to be cautious with this because it wants to spread, so I put it in with the other thugs.
I had a minor revelation this week when I thought I had finally succeeded in bring a Shortia into bloom. However, it turns out just to be Shortia lookalike, but pretty nonetheless.
Back in the Alpine beds we have several returnees from previous years.
and a new Iris/potentilla combination
And it’s also worth noting that while I tend to get caught up in the small spring ephemerals, there are many other flowers about. The early Rhododendron in the front yard is always spectacular.
There are many, many Daffodils, both in the yard and in the woods/pasture.
And the various fruit trees are mostly just coming into bloom. The apricot is finished, the cherries and peaches just starting, and the Kieffer Pear is flowering as though there is no tomorrow.
As I close this post, it’s worth noting that this spring is well behind previous years in terms of the number and progress of things in bloom. But I’m good with that. It gives more time to appreciate everything as it’s happening.
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…
A very belated GBBD posting. I returned from a week in Florida to find that the spring had not really moved along very far in my absence. There were a number of the regulars in flower, but since the weather has now delivered one of the heaviest snowstorms of the winter, it’s probably just as well that some of the plants waited a little longer. The Hellebore pictured above is one of many of it’s clan in bloom, but it’s one of my favorites.
The crocus are fully in bloom now.
This particular clump under the cherry tree expands every year. Unlike some of the species crocus which seem to lag from competition with each other.
Another spectacular tommy that I’ve lost the name of is this striped variety.
The early Iris have persisted for quite awhile now and they seem to be expanding as well.
It’s interesting to note that the Fritillaria stenanthera ‘Cambridge’ which is very compact and close to the ground in the Alpine bed is taller and quite lovely in one of the humus-filled garden beds.
Nearby is is the beautiful Jeffersonia dubia ‘Dark Centers’ that I acquired from Garden Visions.
Also making an early spring entry are the little Hacquetia. The noticable parts are the big bracts whereas the flowers are the little tiny yellow guys.
One of my favorite plants for early spring are the Primrose vulgaris. There is nothing common or vulgar about these little yellow/white flowers spreading every year.
Most of the Daffodils are still in the bud stage but the little Jack Snipe in the woods are fully engaged.
I also noticed along the woodland trail the tiny Scilla biflora are not only flowering but they are spreading as well.
In the alpine bed the aubretia are just starting to spill over the rock wall, showing what is likely to come this year.
And the one of the Pasque flowers in the same bed is ready to explode into bloom.
In the greenhouse we continue to see a succession of the South African delights, for example this glorious Freesia.
Then there are Sparaxis, Moraea, Ornithagalum, Lachenalia, etc.
One of the greenhouse plants we can’t overlook is the Portuguese Squill. It’s a real enjoyment to watch it go through it’s flowering.
And finally I would be remiss not to note the first of the Ferrarias to come into bloom.
For all there exotic beauty these are remarkable easy to grow. Check out the Pacific Bulb Society.