Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2023

Helleborus x ‘Berry Swirl’

Well it’s two days past Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day but as you can probably imagine Spring is bringing forth not only tons of flowers but springtime chores as well.

As shown above the Hellebores are everywhere and together with the Daffodils they are providing an abundance of flowers.

Hellebore Lost Name

This is one of my favorite Hellebores but I’ve lost the name.  It sits upright and shows those lovely crinkly flowers.

Daffodils are one of our favorites for the Spring.  We began planting them 45 years ago and here are the results for those first ones.

Daffodils in profusion at the deck

Daffodil bank

Of course it’s hard to not to admire the individual flowers as well.

Daffodils in a cluster

Of course not long from now we will see many members of the Rhododendron family, but here is an early bloomer.

Korean Rhododendron (R. mucronulatum)

I spend a lot of time looking up the little guys that are poking up in the yard and woods.  

Haquetia

The first of the Bloodroot popped up yesterday.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

I planted a hundred Scilla sibirica in the front lawn last Fall and they are just showing their marvelous blue color.

Scilla sibirica ‘Spring Beauty’

Nearby the Primula vulgaris are continuing to spread into the lawn.

Primula vulgaris

I also love seeing the Hepatica with their colorful flowers.

Hepatica nobilis light pink

Hepatica nobilis pink form

We even have one Hepatica in the woods that seems to have taken hold.

Hepatica acutiloba

Also in the woods we also  have a number of Corydalis that are slowly spreading.

Corydalis solida ‘Purple Rain’

To help them spread I put in a hundred of the red ones last Fall.

Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’

Another successful spreader is the Ranunculus sometimes called Lesser Celandine

Ranunculus ficaria

In the Alpine bed we have a couple of small plants just coming into flower.

Armeria juniperfolia (Spanish thrift)

Polygala chamaebuxus

And in the greenhouse itself there are number of plants seeking attention.

Peruvian Squill alba

Veldtheimia

Notholirion thomsonianum

But the real stars right now are the Clivia that I’ve taken into the house.

Clivia at the house entryway

Clivia in full bloom

Everyone should have Clivia.  So colorful, easy care, and blooming twice a year.  What’s not to like?

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2023

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

Well it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (or was yesterday anyway) and February really marks the serious start of spring flowers.  Adonis, Winter Aconite, Crocus, Daffodils, Snowdrops, Witch Hazel, Primrose, Camellias, and Hellebores are all in flower.  We spent three and half weeks in California and it was delightful to see the flowers that had popped up in our absence.

Adonis remains one of my favorite flowers but only the early-blooming ‘Fukujukai’ is currently in flower.

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

The biggest impact flower at the moment is the winter aconite.

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) in the front yard

Winter Aconite (Erantis hyemalis)

We actually have several Eranthis hyemalis cultivars with different shades of yellow.

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Orange Glow’

Eranthis ‘Schwefelglanz’

They are all quite willing to expand and I am finding new specimens each year in the yard and forest in places where I did not plant them.

Winter Aconite in the woods

Another highlight at the moment is the Crocus tommasinanus (which also keeps expanding it’s spot).

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’

The witch hazels are all in bloom

Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis)

Witch Hazel ‘Diane’

We also have numerous clumps of snowdrops that are not only clumping nicely but also spreading out into the lawn

Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridi-apice’

Galanthus nivalis ‘Blewbury Tart’

The Camellia japonica that I brought back from California on my lap in the 70’s continues to put out early flowers.

Camellia japonica red

And as I mentioned the Daffodils and Hellebores are beginning to do their thing.

First Daffodils

Helleborus x ericsmithi ‘HGC Winter’s Song’

Helleborus x hybridus PDN Yellow

The first early primroses (Primula vulgaris) are now showing up.  I don’t know why more people are not growing this lovely British wildflower which is anything but vulgar.

Primula vulgaris

Meanwhile in the greenhouse there are many South African plants beginning their season

Veltheimia bracteata

Babiana framesii

Freesia single Blue

Yeah, I know the name doesn’t match the color in this Freesia but it’s all I have to go on at the moment.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2023

Hamamelis x Intermedia ‘Diane’

Just a quick post for the month with the least flowers on display.  Our Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day finds that the winter has been mild but most plants are just fattening up there buds for the months to come.  There are a few exceptions.  The Witch Hazel shown above is joined by several others on the hillside but none are as spectacular in bloom as ‘Diane.

The snowdrops are popping out.  Even a few that have migrated into the lawn.

Galanthus elwesii

And the first of hybrid Hellebores is now in flower (not counting ‘Jacob’ which appeared a month ago)

Helleborus x ‘Winter’s Song’

There are othe plants just on the verge

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’ just opening

And I can see colorful buds on the Peonies.

Paeonia caucasica buds

The cyclamen are also noteworthy for the lovely patterns they create as they continue to spread in the yard.

Cyclamen hederifolium leaves

And in the house we have steady stream of flowers from the greenhouse (especially Cyrtanthus) and some new orchids that arrived as Christmas and birthday gifts.

A new orchid for the house

Finally I should point out that we did plant the Christmas tree last week to provide a future landmark in the pasture.

Xmas tree planting for 2023 (Canaan Fir)

This is also the month for planting the seeds obtained from the NARGS seed exchange.

Planting the NARGS seeds

As always there are great expectations.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2022

Flowers over the fireplace

I’ll begin this seasonal GBBD post with an image of the Christmas greens and flowers over the fireplace.  The Japanese quince has been flowering on and off again all Fall.  The the red Camellia sansanqua continues to provide a regular supply of beautiful blooms.

This is what the full plant looks like.

Camellia sasanqua red

and the individual flowers

Camellia sasanqua red

Nearby is another fall Camellia that we brought home from Camellia Forest some years ago.

Camellia x ‘Yume’

In the front yard (risking deer damage) is another fall bloomer.

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic Orchid’

There are only a few plants in flower besides the Camellias and the Quince.  One is the first of the Hellebores (also known as Christmas Rose).

Helleborus niger HGC® ‘Jacob’

I noticed in walking the yard that some of the plants in bud are well worth thinking about as we wait for Springtime.  The Edgeworthia is almost better in bud than in flower.

Edgeworthia in bud

And there are several other plants starting to bud up

Cyclamen coum flower buds

First Daffodil buds (Rijnveld’s Early Sensation)

Paeonia caucasica buds

But it is December so one of our seasonal events is to buy a balled and burlapped Evergreen for our Christmas tree.  In this case a Canaan Fir seemed to be the most attractive in our size range.

Canaan Fir

After our Christmas elves finished their handiwork it really looks quite splendid

Our Christmas Tree

It will head for the forest in January.

Also inside right now is a pot of Cyrtanthus (like miniature Amaryllis)

Cyrtanthus mackeni

Besides prepping for Christmas the other thing that goes on this time of year are the various seed exchanges.  On December 15th every year the North American Rock Garden Society releases the listing of seeds available through the seed exchange.  This year there were 2400 different seed varieties available and the contributions came from all over the world.  In my case the seeds I’ve requested came from contributors in the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland, Finland, Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic.  If you have any interest in growing unusual plants from seed I highly recommend exploring the NARGS seed exchange.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day November 2022

As it turns to Fall (wintertime temperatures are on the way but we have been spared a hard frost so far) this GBBD post has to focus on Camellias.  It is always amazing to me what a long season we have with the Camellias.  Between the C. japonicas and C. sasanquas (and the various hybrids) we usually have Camellias blooming from October through April.  I began growing them with 1 gallon pots that brought on airplane rides from California and then put them in the basement each winter until I realized they were actually hardy here.  We had one really cold winter that seemingly killed this red sasanqua to the point where i actually cut it back to the ground.  And then the next year it came back vigorously.  So this bushy flowering plant is actually the second rebirth of our Fall Camellia.

Fall Camellia

Some of the others in bloom right now are shown below.

Camellia x ‘Survivor’

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic Orchid’

Elsewhere in the garden the Cestrum continues it’s flowerful display

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Pretty special for a plant that dies back to the ground every winter.

Right next to it is the Japanese quince that has no business blooming in November (but it often does).

Red Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles)

We have had a very extended Fall and the roses are still putting out blossoms.

Rose ‘Knockout Red’

And out at the front fence there are a continuing sequence of flowers on the Daphne I planted there several years ago.

Daphne × transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’

In the pasture I still see spots of color from the gaillardia that have volunteered from wildflower plantings.

Gaillardia

In the alpine bed there is still a single Moroccan Poppy remaining from the many that flowered there this year.

Papaver atlanticum ‘Flore Pleno’

In the vegetable garden we not only have flowers of various sorts but fall peas and lettuce still coming in.

Fall Peas and a strawberry

Fall Peas

Calendula and Lettuce

Calendula (Pacific Beauty Mix)

Tithonia

And then lastly let me close with an indoor flower.  We see flowers twice a year from the potted Amazon Lily and once again it is doing its thing with a minimum of care.

Amazon Lily flowers

Highly recommended as a wonderful houseplant that can play outside in the summertime.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day October 2022

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’

Just a few items for this GBBD since I’m a day late (as usual).  The blue monkshood shown above is sometimes called the autumn flowering monkshood because it comes to the very end of the season.  But wow, what a flower.  We’ve never grown it before because it is extremely poisonous but it has a long history of being grown in perennial gardens.

Also in the front yard I found the first of the fall blooming in Camellias.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Northern Lights’

This was planted last spring and I was surprised to see it in flower before any of the other sasanquas.

The first of the toad lillies are in flower now

Toad lily (Tricyrtis hirta ‘Sinonome’

Otherwise there are many of the carryovers from previous months still in bloom.

Colchicum ‘Bornmuelleri’

Princess Flower

Plectranthus

Cyclamen hederifolium

Out in the garden in raised beds the calendula continue with their wonderful flowering.

Calendula

Calendula

And with regard to raised beds I should mention that Josh and I installed a third raised bed for next year’s gardens.

Assembling new raised bed

And as we head out to the pasture there are late flowering sunflowers

Late Sunflower

as well as some of their smaller relatives

Swamp Sunflower ‘Helianthus angustifolius’

Gallardia in the pasture

I do have to take note of the Dahlias still coming into the house

Dahlia ‘Bodacious’

And the beautiful beautyberries by the driveway

Beautyberry

Finally let me close with our new approach to harvesting chestnuts.

Harvesting Chestnuts

Just stomp on the spiny balls and wiggle the lovely chestnuts out…

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day September 2022

Dahlia in the house

Well it’s Bloom Day for September and the weather has been spectacular the past week.  There are a great many annual flowers in the garden such as zinnias, cosmos, nasturtium, calendula, and daisies.  I’ll just represent them all with the this big Dahlia that Beth brought into the house.  And then maybe Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) since it has grown to spectacular heights (at least 12 feet) this year.

Tithonia

Another annual that has grown on our porch this year is Plectranthus.  It was overwintered in the greenhouse and then took a while to catch hold in the spring.  But it now looks spectacular (and it makes a good cut flower in the house as well).

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’ in detail

Another back porch item is the Princess Flower which continues its daily vivid flowers

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

At the front porch is the very green welcoming garden that Beth built with deep black rectangles.

Entrance Garden

And a particularly striking addition this year is a Carex with pink flowers that we brought back from Plant Delights this spring.

Carex scaposa

From the greenhouse comes a very striking hyacinth relative from Madeira.

Scilla madeirensis

A few other items struck me as I walked about the yard.  There are marvelous peony seeds at this time of year.

Peony Seeds

The Pyracantha and Hyacinth have intertwined to create a lovely combination.

Intertwining of pyracantha (mojave) and hydrangea (limelight)

And a newly planted Arisaema consanguinum looks for all the world like a mother hen for the neighboring Cyclamen.

Arisaema consanguinum and cyclamen hederifolium

Then there are the still good-looking repeats from last month.

Cestrum x ‘Orange Peel’

Crepe myrtle white

And I discovered that the Clematis which I tried to remove at least two other times has sprung up again among the roses.

Clematis paniculata

This is a particularly beautiful and vigorous plant that is happy to take over your garden.

And if you go for a walk on the hillside you will see the Colchicum doing their fall explosion of color.

Colchicum ‘Giant’

The other thing that happens now are berries and other fruit.

Viburnum wrightii

Fig fruit ready for picking

Potomac Pears at harvest time.

And then I’ll close with one of the workers in the greenhouse that keeps the pests at bay.

Jumping Spider in greenhouse

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2022

Gordlinia grandiflora flower closeup

Well, I missed last month’s posting to GBBD (first time in ten years) and I feel somewhat guilty so I have a couple of special items for this posting.  Back in April I received as a gift one of the largest plants I’ve ever gotten in a box in the mail (from ForestFarm).  

Gordlinia grandiflora arrival

It was a Gordlinia grandiflora, a relatively rare hybrid derived from a cross between Franklinia alatamaha and Gordonia lasianthus in 2003.  It’s a relatively small tree with absolutely gorgeous camellia-like flowers.

Gordlinia grandiflora

It’s begun flowering now and should continue through September…

Another special item for us this year is the Princess Flower.  I started this from a small 4 inch pot from Putnam Hill Nursery last year and it didn’t flower.  So I carried it over in the greenhouse and repotted it at the beginning of the season.  It has taken off over the last two months and it’s now 5 foot tall and still growing.  In the meantime I found another specimen growing in a pot twice as big as mine and just coming into flower.  Nonestop flowering is what it yields.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina Urvilleana)

Princess Flower (Tibouchina Urvilleana)

It will need to go into the greenhouse again but wow, what flowering!

Otherwise it’s pretty normal summer flowering for us.

The Allium are flowering in a couple of places

Allium ‘Millenium’

The Crepe Myrtle is finally in flower for the season

Crepe myrtle white

the Cestrum has recovered from its winter dieback

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

And the Crinum is showing its numerous hanging flowers

Crinum powellii

In the vegetable/cutting garden the Glads have yielded abundantly

Gladiolus

Picking Glads

and the Tithonia and Sunflowers are ten foot tall at least.

Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower)

Sunflower

In the greenhouse there are multiple pots of Cyrtanthus in flower

Cyrtanthus elatus

as well as a particularly nice Sinningia

Sinningia eumorpha

If we weren’t so busy picking fruits and vegetables I might actually finish weeding the greenhouse:)

Crispie Pears (these are very sweet)

Oh, I should mention that my excuse for missing last month’s posting was a trip to California where we relived our youth by driving down the California Coast.

Drake’s Beach Point Reyes

It was a wonderful trip…