Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2023

Stewartia malacodendron

Although it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day I am leading off with a flower that finished blooming last month.  It came into bloom at the end of May and I was so frightfully impressed that I have purchased yet another of these trees.  I promise another posting on the Stewartias because they are well worth sharing.

Currently the Stewartia japonica which we’ve had for years is just now coming into bloom

Stewartia japonica

In the meantime the other striking flowers at the moment are the lilies.  Just a few of them are showing right now but they are lovely

Yellow Lily in the Herb bed

Asiatic Lily ‘Forever Susan’

Lililum ‘Istanbul’

Lilium ‘Purple Marble’

There is also a very late and very large Azalea at the front of the house

Xtra Large White Azalea

The rest of flowering is more or less normal roses, penstemon, and annuals.  One exception is the Evening Primrose out on the bank to the pasture.

Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

This wildflower came along on its own and appears anytime we don’t mow to close or too often on the pasture hillside.

We have been busy picking and eating fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries).  Mostly it’s what we expect but for many of them they are bit on the small side given the extremely dry weather we’ve had (can we say drought?).  The exception is the wild cherry tree at the entrance to our forest.

Wild Cherries in Blossom

This tree is just one of many wild cherry trees in our forest.  Most of them seem to have come from bird-planted seedlings from the original orchard that we planted forty years ago.  They all have reasonable taste and the birds love them.

WaxWing in the Cherry Tree

This gives some idea of the density.

But the really surprising thing is that one of the smaller trees with branches actually close to the ground has absolutely marvelous cherries and they grow without being sprayed.  Just pick them.

Josh picking at the xtrasweet wild cherry

This is one of the bowls he brought in the other night.

Wild Cherries

Of course the other thing we get is as a bonus is all the birds visiting at this time of year.

Waxwings Sharing Mulberry

I’ve even seen the bluebird in the cherry tree, though he spends most of his time harvesting grubs in the grass.

A very blue bluebird

Life is good.  Now if we could just get some rain…

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2023

Rhododendron Chionoides

Well it’s a late posting for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but what can I say. This time of year I’m in the garden…

Rhododendron are in flower in multiple places in the yard but this year we have also added them to the woods (courtesy of the new deer fence)

Rhododendrun ‘Nova Zembla’ in the woods

I am fully engaged in adding new and unusual flowers to the woods (leading to lack of care for some of the plants in the yard).  But we still have a few things worth sharing.  We inherited this lovely ground orchid in a plant exchange last year.

Bletilla striata ground orchid

One can’t help but notice the roses at this time of year.  And this David Austin rose is having a great showing.

Tess d’Uberville in abundant flower

Rose ‘Tess d’uberville (David Austin)

Right nearby is a longtime resident, the Klondyke exbury Azalea

Rhodendron ‘Klondyke’

Moving across the yard to the Monument bed there is a lovely herbaceous Peony

Peony red herbaceous

and some lovely little allium

Yellow Allium in the Monument Bed

One neighboring bed has the last of another allium relative

Allium (nectaroscordum) tripedale

You have to look a little more closely to see the flowers that appear under may apple relatives

Podophyllum pleianthum flower

Another shade lover is the Pinellia

Pinellia ‘Purple Dragon’

I feel like I have to share some things from the greenhouse and the alpine bed

Zephyranthes katherinae rubra

Morrocan Poppy

Lewisia ‘Rainbow Mix’

And also the Phyteuma that I first met while hiking in the Alps

Phyteuma orbiculare

Let me close with an image of the planting of the dahlias and glads

Glads and Dahlias going in the ground

Which leads to harvesting the strawberries in the neighboring row

Strawberries coming in

And then finally what we do with the harvest

Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler

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.

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.