Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2024

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

As usual for a February GBBD the Adonis is the most striking flower in our garden.  They always begin even when snow may be falling and they shake off the cold days.  Good luck finding any because nurseries seldom carry Adonis any more.  If you find them scoop them up in a hurry.

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

Elsewhere there a lot of winter aconite, hellebores, and snowdrops.  The snowdrops are showing an increasing ability to propagate into the lawn and are multiplying every year.

Galanthus nivalis ‘Blewbury Tart’

And the winter aconite are everywhere, both where I’ve put them and where they are now spreading.

Winter Aconite happily spreading

There are even a couple of unusual cultivars that are spreading as well.

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Schwefelglanz’

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Orange Glow’

The Hellebores are just getting started but their flowers are always arresting and we usually cut some for display in the house.

Helleborus x nigercors ‘HGC Green Corsican’

Helleborus x hybridus PDN Yellow

Helleborus x hybridus PDN double bicolor

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Winter Sunshine’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Cotton Candy’

And out in the woods the Helleborus foetidus has continued to put out its flowers.

Helleborus foetidus

Of course it’s also worth noting that the early daffodils are just finishing.  Many more to come.

Narcissus ‘Rinjveldt’s Early Sensation’

And the first of the Camellia japonicas putting out their wonderful flowers.

Camellia japonica red

Of course in the midst of everything the crocus are doing their usual springtime thing.

Crocus tommasinianus

Sometimes when you walk about the yard you go just to inspect the things that you expect to be blooming.  I almost missed the first ot the small Iris sticking up its little flag.

Iris histroides ‘George’

And over in the alpine bed I found this little polygala putting it’s first flowers out.

Polygala chamaebuxus

It’s worth pointing out the greenhouse also has flowers to share with us.

Cyrtanthus breviflorus

Cyrtanthus hybrid

Geissorhiza inaequalis

There’s also a tiny thalictrum that needs to be planted outside

Thalictrum urbanii

We recently returned from California with its flowers galore so I was very pleased to see how many things were in flower here in Maryland.  I put together a little SLIDE SHOW to share the general effect of my first walk around the yard last weekend.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2024

Amazon Lily

Well it’s getting cold for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  Coldest temps of the winter expected this week.  So I thought I would start with the Amazon Lily pictured above.  This plant is about 30 years old and has never been repotted.  It flowers twice a year with these orchid like flowers and survives with minimal care.  We put it outside once the frost has passed us by and it will flower again in July.  Highly recommended.

On the outside of the house right now the camellias are still the special flowers.  This one sits in the northeast corner of the house and survives even being outside the deer fence.

Camellia Sasanqua October Magic Orchid

Another special camellia is ‘Yume’ which has become pretty reliable.

Camellia ‘Yume’

Of course if you stopped by for a visit right now I would take you out to see the first daffodils.  Rinjveld’s Early Sensation may turn out to be too early as the flowers may get blasted this week.

Daffodil ‘Rinjveld’s Early Sensation’

Otherwise what we have are a number of snowdrops, one of which has seeded itself into the lawn.

Galanthus elwesii

Out in the woods we do have a distinctive foetidus hellebore coming into flower.

Helleborus foetidus

Lastly I should share the heather which looks like it is going to flower all winter long.

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2023

Camellia ‘Yume’

Once again our best December flowers for GBBD are the camellias.  The one above was purchased at Camellia Forest Nursery which is probably the best source for camellias in the whole country.  It took a few years to get to flowering but now has probably a dozen buds on it for this year.

Its older cousin is the red camellia sasanqua which has a record number of flowers this year.

Camellia sasanqua red

Camellia sasanqua red

Even the camellia ‘survivor’, which flowered earlier than the others, still has a few flowers left on.

Camellia ‘Survivor’

Elsewhere around the yard there are still a few things that have withstood the 25 degree temperatures that we’ve seen so far.  In particular the Japanese Quince is loaded with early blossoms.

Japanese Quince

And the heather has more flowers than I’ve ever seen on it.

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

One little surprise in alpine bed is a cute little polygala

Polygala chamaebuxus

When you actually go inside the greenhouse there are some very lovely flowers in process.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

Oxalis luteola

And some oranges just about ready to harvest

Satsuma dwarf Owari

One item from the greenhouse that has made it into the house is very striking Nerine from Far Reaches

Nerine ‘Pink Triumph’

I should mention too that when I went out to the woods yesterday I found the dark black berries from the Blackhaw Viburnum hanging in the tree.

Blackhaw Viburnum

A reminder of the flowers that will come in the springtime.

I should also mention that I spent early yesterday morning ordering seeds from the North American Rock Garden Society Seed Exchange.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to acquire unusual seed from all over the world.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2023

Stayman Apple Blossoms

Well of course there are so many flowers for the April Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day that it is difficult to choose what to share.  Let me begin with the apple trees.  Though some of the varieties are definitely showing the biennial bearing effect we still have other trees that are loaded with beautiful blossoms.

Granny Smith Apples in full bloom

The pears and peaches have mostly finished blooming and the cherries are just finishing.  In general flowers are running ahead of the normal flowering cycle as it’s been dry and hot in Maryland.

Other trees in bloom right now are the dogwoods and the redbuds.

Redbud in the front yard

Daffodils are everywhere in bloom.  Even though we’ve have had hundreds of daffodils already, some are still in bud.  Other bulbs showing up right now are the Fritillaria imperials in the front bed

Fritillaria imperialis and Peony in the front bed

and Tulips that I put in the woods with Erythronium last year.

Tulips and Erythronium in the woods

Also in the woods are Shooting Stars that are actually allowed to flower now that the deer are gone.

Shooting Star in the woods

A long-time component of our woods walk are the Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) that have naturalized in abundance.  And some of the bluebells are pink or white.

Pink Bluebell

One strange little bulb that I noticed this year is this little ornithogalum that has taken hold in the back lawn.

Ornithogalum in the back lawn

In terms of strange little plants this little polygala is spreading nicely in the alpine bed.

Polygala chamebuxus

Nearby is one of the Daphnes which contribute to the alpine bed on a regular basis.

Daphne in the Alpine bed

In this same shady Alpine bed there is a small columbine that comes back every year.

Aquilegia flabellata v. nana

And on the sunny side of the alpine bed there is an Asperula doing very well.

Asperula pontica

Along with a delightful Pulsatilla

White Pulsatilla in the Alpine bed

But even more surprising to me is this little Stachys that I planted back in 2017 after seeing it at the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs.  This is the first time it has really poured over the wall in the way I had hoped.

Stachys lavandulifolia

I should also share this double-flowered Quince which provide a particularly striking flower.

Double-flowered Quince

There are many, many other flowers but I think that’s true for everyone at this time of year.

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.