Articles for the Month of March 2020

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2020

Camellia japonica double pink

Well, I’m super late at posting this month for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day but I’m sure everyone on the planet is aware of all the extraneous forces gobbling up our time and attention.  We returned from a botany tour in Spain and Portugal just under the wire from the border closings and we’re now under self-imposed quarantine while we enjoy the flowering bounty that we found here in Maryland.  The camellia’s are particularly abundant.  I’ve never seen all five of our japonicas blooming at the same time before and with so many flowers!

Camellia japonica double pink

Camellia japonica double pink

Camellia japonica double white

Likewise the Hellebores are enthusiastically greeting the spring.

Hellebore double pink

Helleborus double white

Some of the Helleborus flowers are really exceptional.

Helleborus ‘Peppermint Ice’

Helleborus x hybridus PDN double bicolor

The daffodils are the other mainstay for this season, though it seems like they are all coming at once.

Narcissus ‘Little Gem’

40 year-old planting of King Alfred’s

Narcissus ‘Edinburgh’ on orchard hill

Narcissus ‘Tropical Sunset’

The daffodils on our hillside number into the thousands by now and they are seem to be having a great year.

The star magnolia is always a sign that springtime is here and it’s almost two weeks ahead of last year’s blooming.

Magnolia stellata

As I walk about the yard there are lots of smaller joys of springtime as well.

Iris unguicularis

Ipheion uniflorum ‘Tessa’

Mukdenia rossii ‘Karasuba’

Jeffersonia dubia

Primula vulgaris

Corydalis solida ‘Gunite’


The glory of the snow has its little blue flowers all over our pasture and woods at this point.  But I planted a few of the selected cultivar in the perennial garden and they are quite showy.

Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Blue Giant’

Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Pink Giant’

And a very special little Fritillaria always garners my attention.

Fritillaria stenanthera ‘Cambridge’

Fritillaria stenanthera ‘Cambridge’

When I look at the alpine beds and troughs there are some really special things showing up. Dionysia are happier in Turkey and usually our winters don’t work for them outside on the East Coast, but this one came through just fine.

Dionysia aretioides

Saxifraga ‘Valerie Keevil’

Armeria maritima ‘Victor Reiter’

This is a new tulip for me obtained from Odyssey Bulbs last year.  Notice the very crinkled foliage.

Tulipa vvedenskyi

And from John Lonsdale I got a marvelous compact Asphodelus.

Asphodelus acaulis

Paradoxically, even as the springtime is bursting forth with flowers we are getting an outpouring of flowers in the greenhouse, some of which just have to be brought inside.

Green Amaryllis

Clivia in the House

Yellow Clivia in the House

But there are also many other little items in the greenhouse.

Scilla peruviana white

Freesia ‘Red River’

Sparaxis Hadeco hybrid

Babiana rubrocyanea

Babiana purpurea

But probably the most unusual flowers in the greenhouse are the various Ferrarias.  They are the appropriate end to this extra-long posting.

Ferraria ferrariola

Ferraria punctata

Ferraria divaricata