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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 November 2018

Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)

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.

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic’ in the snow

Anticipating the snow, I had taken pictures around the yard the day before, including the same camellia.

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic’

Yet another fall blooming camellia was in the side yard.

Camellia x ‘Survivor’

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.

Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea)

This sage has been in constant bloom since early summer.  Similarly the Viola jooi in the Alpine bed has come back into bloom again.

Viola jooi

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.

Knockout Rose ‘Pink’

In preparation for the freeze, we covered up the newly planted Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’.

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.

White Pine needles on the driveway

Pomegranate tucked in for the winter surrounded by the last few zinnias

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.

Oxalis in the greenhouse

Oxalis asinia

Oxalis caprina

Oxalis luteola just opening

In closing I want to share an early November picture of a lovely Amur Maple in the front yard.

Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)

In some areas of the country this is seen as invasive but for us it’s been very well behaved and a seasonal favorite.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day October 2018

Anemone x hybrida ‘Whirlwind’

As has been the case for many other October Garden Blogger Bloom Days the double flowered Anemone Japonica hybrid shown above has been the bell-ringer.  It produces many outstanding flowers and they can be cut and brought into the house.  It is modestly aggressive like all of it’s kin, but they pull out easily when they go where you don’t want them.

Another fall favorite are the various toad lilies.  Probably the most abundant for us is Trycyrtis ‘Sinonome’

Trycyrtis ‘Sinonome’

It goes well with the New England Asters that are nearby

New England Aster

I was pleased to find that two spring plantings of fall camellias have produced flowers this year.

Camellia sasanqua ‘White’

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic’

This last one is loaded with flowers, maybe 20-30 buds.

Two Roses from the springtime have some very nice buds to remind us of what they will do for us next year.

Rosa ‘Crocus Rose’ (David Austin)

Rosa ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ (David Austin)

Back in the Alpine Garden one of the Daphnes is flowering once again.  And with a marvelous fragrance of course.

Daphne collina x cneorum

And in a small trough that I inherited and can take no credit for there is a lovely little red sedum that has been flowering for the last month.

Sedum (cauticola?)

We have a number of plants in pots that will have to find a nice place for the winter.  One of them is the Plectranthus sitting on the back porch.  It has been a real winner.

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

Another non-hardy plant that is flowering strongly for the first time for us in Nerine Sarniensis.  It looks like it will produce many offsets in the future.

Nerine sarniensis

In the greenhouse are many little pots of Cyclamen graecum.  While they are not hardy, they are quite willing to jump into neighboring pots.

Cyclamen graecum

As a postscript I should add that this has been a really strange season for many trees, including our apples.  However the Kieffer Pears have outdone themselves, producing so many pears that a major branch of the tree broke off.  I have been having daily sandwiches of brie and pear.  Highly recommended.

Kieffer Pear

Well that’s about it for our garden, what about yours?

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day Sept 2018

Yellow Chysanthemums

Well, it’s been a strange time for flowers on this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  While we have dodged the hurricane bullet that hit the folks in the Carolinas, the weather has been unusual to say the least.  To date we have had over 52 inches of rain compared to the normal of 29 inches through mid-September.  On the one hand we have the traditional flowers for September like the mums shown above.  And some remarkable Dahlias from the garden.

Dahlia ‘Winkie Colonel’

Dahlia ‘AC Ben’

But we have also had the Apples drop most of there leaves in July and August and they are now re-blooming.

Apple Blossom in September

Many other trees have dropped their leaves and the Azaleas out front are blooming again.

Azalea reblooming in September

Despite the strange weather there are still a set of interesting flowers to find around the yard, for example this Roscoea.

Roscoea purpurea ‘Spice Island’

And in the greenhouse the rather unusual large Scilla maderensis is flowering once again.

Scilla maderensis

Some other items of note include this six foot tall Canna that came from a friend this year.

Canna ‘Bengal Tiger’

The Knockout Roses are continuing to bloom.

Rose ‘Knockout Pink’

And the Perennial Pea is blooming once again despite our attempts to remove it.

Lathyrus latifolius

We have found that Phlox also reappears from long ago planting with or without our tending to it.

Self-seeded Phlox

And in the orchard the Blue Sage has been in continuous bloom since late spring.

Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea)

Some of our outside work is getting set aside because of several nests of Yellowjackets.  They took up residence in one our large pots on the deck and also in the ground by one of the raised beds.  These guys seem impervious to chemicals and according to the web can be quite dangerous (not something we want to test since I for one am allergic to wasp venom) and there are hundreds of them.

Yellow jacket wasp

Finally, let me note that this is time for packing up your seeds to send off to the various seed exchanges.  By becoming a seed donor, you get first choice when you participate in the seed exchanges organizations.  Check out the North American Rock Garden Society for example.

Packing up Seeds

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day July 2018

Lilium ‘Anastastia’

Over the years July has consistently meant lily time on our hillside.  Some like the Anastastia pictured above are rampant growers and others are singular specimens.  Almost have wonderful fragrance that makes you turn your head as you walk by.  This year I failed to do a good job of tying up the Anastasia, which want to be 8-10 feet tall, and so they are flopping over the fence.  But large segments come into the house for closer appreciation.

Lily Oriental-Trumpet ‘Anastasia’

Oriental lily ‘Stargazer’

Orienpet Lily ‘Pretty Woman’

Lilium Oriental ‘Josephine’ (this is supposed to be much darker pink according to the pictures online)

Orienpet Hybrid Lily ‘Scheherazade’

Oriental lily ‘Marco Polo’

Oriental Lily ‘Time Out’

Of course a gardener cannot live on lilies alone.  Other flowers abound.

Blackberry lily (Iris domestica)

Golden Daylily

Red Daylily

Pink Phlox

Zinnia in the pasture

Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea) in the orchard

Echinaceas in the front bed

In the alpine bed, the same gentians that were just starting last month continue to be in flower.

Gentiana dahurica

Gentiana dahurica from above

In the greenhouse the Haemanthus that appeared in bloom for the first time last year are once again flowering.

Haemanthus humilis ssp. humilis

Having had a wonderful time making Apricot jam over past few weeks

Apricots simmering in the pot

Apricot jam in the jar

We are now looking forward to a nice looking crop of peaches.

Redhaven Peach

Well, that’s a summary of where we are on this very dry Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  No rain for several weeks now, and hoping for a thunderstorm tomorrow….

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2018

Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Snow Cone’

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.

Anemonella thalictroides ‘Single Pink’

Another Anemonella variant that I posted on recently is Green Hurricane.

Anemonella thalictroides ‘Green Hurricane’

Many of the Anemone’s are flowering right now too, including this very complex nemerosa.

Anemone nemorosa ‘bracteata pleniflora’

Close by are the Corydalis.

Corydalis solida ssp. incisa ‘Vermion Snow’

Corydalis turtschaninovii ‘Eric the Red’

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.

Trillium pusillum ‘Roadrunner’

And the Leucojum are like snowdrops on steroids

Leucojum vernum

Even this far into April the Hellebores continue to provide wonderful flowers.  One that particularly catches my eye is Amethyst Gem.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Amethyst Gem’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘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.

Primula kisoana

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.

Oxalis griffithii – Double Flowered

Back in the Alpine beds we have several returnees from previous years.

Aquilegia flabellata v. nana

Androsace barbulata

Primula allionii ‘Wharfedale Ling’

and a new Iris/potentilla combination

Iris babadaghica and Potentilla neumanniana ‘Orange Flame’

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.

Rhododendren carolinianum

Rhododendren carolinianum

There are many, many Daffodils, both in the yard and in the woods/pasture.

Narcissus ‘Monte Carlo’ in the woods

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.

Wild Cherries blooming in the woods

Kieffer pear tree

Kieffer pear tree blossoms

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. 

Summer Crabapple Delight

Dolgo Crabapples

We have grown crabapples for many years in the front yard without ever making good use of the fruit.  Of course the abundant white flowers in the springtime are delightful and the pretty summertime fruit have always been appreciated but we never harvested them for eating.  Until now that is.  Our youngest son was inspired by the sprightly taste of the fruit.  He picked a bunch of them and made a couple of galettes, one with the crabapples and one with blueberries, apricots, and peaches.  Both were quite good, but the crabapple one was really special.  Think of the best rhubarb pie you’ve ever tasted.

Galettes in prep

Two Galettes

This was so good, that he went out this week and picked another batch of the crabapples.

Dolgo Crabapples

The remarkable thing about these little crabapples is that a very high percentage are without blemish or insect damage and this is without any spraying at all.  This is quite a contrast with our normal apple trees.

This is a very active time outdoors right now.  I thought I would also share another of the interesting spiders that we have run across.

Phidippus johnsoni jumping spider.

I always find the jumping spiders have considerable personality.

And another interesting tidbit is the arrival of the rain lilies.

Pink Rain Lily (Habranthus robustus)

We have grown these very hardy rain lilies for many years and they seem early this year but we had some strong rains and up they came.  I had also moved one of the Zephyranthes from the greenhouse last year and seems to be doing fine, though it is supposed to be a zone 8 plant.

Zephyranthes rosea

I would also note in passing that this is a good time to be gathering seeds for the various seed exchanges.  Some are quite easy to find like the Zephyranthes.

Zephyranthes seeds

Lastly I’ll close this post with one of the prettiest lilies I’ve come across (unnamed at the moment).

Unnamed Pink Lily

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2016

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

A few days ago it looked we were finally overcoming the 40 inches of snow that absolutely clobbered us at the end of January.  You could see finally see little spring delights like the Winter Aconite peeking through.  The first daffodil was unhappy but it was at least about to open up.

First Daffodil (probably Rijnveld's Early Sensation)

First Daffodil (probably Rijnveld’s Early Sensation)

But such was not to be for very long.  We got more snow this weekend and once again the flowers are pretty much hidden.  Even the redoubtable Hellebores are looking pretty shopworn for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.

Hellebore in the snow

Hellebore in the snow

Some things look pretty good in the snow like the holly and the witch hazels.

Blue Holly in the snow

Blue Holly in the snow

Hamamelis xintermedia 'Diane'

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

But I can see lots of damage from the volume of snow.  Several small shrubs (camellias and daphnes) have badly broken branches just from the weight of that snowfall.

You can imagine flowers like this snow covered Clematis seedhead.

Clematis 'Waterfall' seedhead

Clematis ‘Waterfall’ seedhead

But once again we turn to pots in the greenhouse for more colorful flowers.  The potted daffodils are continuing to flower and the lachenalias are all coming into bloom right now.

Lachenalia namaquensis

Lachenalia namaquensis

There is a very pretty little star flower that blooms right now.

Ipheion uniflorum 'Charlotte Bishop'

Ipheion uniflorum ‘Charlotte Bishop’

And a wurmbea that I think is flowering for the first time for me.

Wurbea stricta

Wurmbea stricta

And a Tritonia that flowered in February last year as well.

Tritonia dubia

Tritonia dubia

Dubia for those who wonder about such things means ‘doubtful’ as in not conforming to standard.  Anyway, it looks pretty nice to me.  It’s another South African native that looks like a miniature glad.

Lastly, another plant flowering for the first time for us is a little Scilla from Turkey that has the most marvelous dark purple stamens.  It is said to be hardy in Michigan so it will probably go outdoors this year.

Scilla cilicica

Scilla ciicica

All of these five plants from the greenhouse came from seed distributed by the Pacific Bulb Society in 2013.  They constitute a pretty good example of what you can obtain by joining the Pacific Bulb Society.  Despite the name, the society is inhabited by bulb experts from around the world and they are most generous in sharing their seeds, bulbs, and expertise.