Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2022 (very late)

Nightrider Lily

Well, I’m very late for posting this past month’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  My excuse is that I was in Ithaca for the North American Rock Garden Society’s Annual Meeting.  It was a wonderful meeting but I was busy from dawn to later hours and it left me no time for posting.  And when I got back I had trunk full of wonderful plants to put in (Enkianthus, Epimediums, Spice Bush, etc.)  So despite the lateness there were a few points I wanted to share from mid-June.  Firstly it was lily-time as illustrated by Nightrider, the near black Asiatic shown above.  Both it and other of the new lilies this year came from The Lily Garden which was new and wonderful source to me.

Both of the next two were also Asiatics from The Lily Garden

Purple Marble Lily

Lily ‘Istanbul’

There was also a trumpet lily that I planted next to the grapes (from Brent and Becky)

Lily ‘Pink Perfection’

There was also a nice Arisaema below the lilies.

Arisaema candidissum (white form)

I also wanted to share more pictures from the wildflower meadow that we’ve planted in the pasture this year.  I mentioned it last month but it has continued to prosper with new flowers showing up every few weeks.  

Wildflower meadow

Monarda citriodora

Evening Primrose



And just to finish this belated post on a sweet note this is what we expect every evening at this time of year

Blueberries and ice cream

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2022

Pileated Woodpecker

This bird has been a frequent visitor to our garden this last week so I thought you might want to join him in perusing the flowers at Ball Road for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.

Azalea Exbury Hybrid ‘Gibraltar’

It’s very much the Azalea time of year hereabouts.  What is especially nice this year is that we dug four layered offspring from this plant last year and they are now to be found in other parts of the yard.

New Azalea ‘Gibraltar’ from layering

One of our favorite Azaleas is beside the deck.  Azalea ‘Visco Sepala’ came from White Flower Farm many years ago, though it’s originally from England.  It has a spectacular fragrance.

Azalea ‘Visco sepala’

Naturally at the same time the tree peonies are stepping up to the plate.

Tree Peonies in Bloom

Yellow Tree Peony

Nearby is another very nice perennial.

Glaucidium palmatum

And a very distinctive Japanese Maple that is worth building a garden around

Golden Full Moon Maple (Acer Shirasawanum)

We also have a reliable showing of Lamium by the garage where it outcompetes the weeds.

Lamium orbala

One could easily get lost with trying to account for all the things in bloom right now.  If we go back to the Alpine bed there are some special repeat performances.

Dianthus petraeus ssp. petraeus

Aubretia ‘Blue Beauty’

Ornithogalum exscapum

Papaver atlanticum (Moroccan Poppy)

Lewisia cotyledon ‘Rainbow mix’

I want to take a few minutes out to share our meadow-like pasture.  Last year son Josh, cut the pasture ultrashort and then seeded the area with crimson clover and wildflowers from Wildseed in Texas.  The result has been wonderful.  It’s easy to get lost in just the crimson clover.

Wildflower meadow

Crimson Clover Flower

But amidst the clover are wallflowers, peas, flax, sweet william and POPPIES.

Poppy from wildflower mix

Pink Poppy

White Poppy

We also have for the first time Five Spot

Five Spot (Nemophila maculata)

As an ending point for this already long posting let me share the Viburnum on the hillside that overlooks these wildflowers.

Viburnum on the hillside

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2022

One of many, many daffodils

It’s hard not to give credit to the daffodils for giving this spring a wonderful start on this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day

Daffodils everywhere

There are flowers literally everywhere on our property right now.  Spring bulbs, flowering trees and wildflowers are making it a joy to walk about the yard.  The hellebores, like the daffodils are in full display-mode.

Helleborus ‘Double Flowered White’

The various Erythroniums are displaying their hanging flowers from pink to yellow to white.

Erythrronium revolutum ‘White Beauty’

The standard trout lilies have been fully in flower the past two weeks in the raised bed by the deck.

Erythronium americanum

However, the same plants in the woods have never flowered.  I transferred them years ago and they have propagated like mad but do not flower.  Apparently I’m not alone in this observation.

The main thing blooming in the woods at this point are the bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Bluebells in the woods

Another wild flower is the Star of Bethlehem that is popping up in the lawn right now.  I should probably plan to move it to the woods where it can spread freely.

Ornithogalum nutans

Among the other things flowering right now are the double-flowered Japanese Quince, much bigger than normal quince flowers.

Double Flowered Japanese Quince

I noticed that the miracle pear tree is covered by flowers this year.

Pear ‘Twentieth Century’

Pear ‘Twentieth Century’ up close

We call it the miracle pear tree because it was completely flattened by a teenager’s car when it was young.  I was able to stake it up in place and it miraculously recovered.

A number of the plants flowering now stem from Illahe Nursery in Oregon.  Several Freesias, Watsonias, a Babiana, and the Iris shown below have been really strong growing beautiful plants.

Iris ‘Golden Beauty’

The Babiana has an unbelievable number of buds.

Babiana stricta ‘Dark Purple’

Well that’s a sampling from our hill on Ball Road.  Enjoy the Spring!

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2022

Fritillaria stenanthera ‘Cambridge’

It is two days late for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but I need to keep up my records.  There have been sooo many flowers and activities around our house that it’s hard to account for everything that is happening.  The daffodils are off to a fine start and all of their friends and neighbors are coming too.  I’ll focus on some of my favorites in the interest of getting this post out at least by St. Patricks Day.  The Fritillary pictured above is a reminder that some Fritillaries are willing face the viewer rather than nodding toward the grass.

It’s hard not to focus on the Hellebores for this time of year.  They are everywhere.

Hellebore x hybridus PDN Double White

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Kingston Cardinal’

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Winter Sunshine’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Peppermint Ice’

There is even a black one that I’ve forgotten the name of…

Hellebore black

There are several unnamed seedlings to be found in our woods since they don’t seem to be fancied by the deer.

Hellebore growing in the woods

And in the yard and the woods we find a classic primrose

Primula vulgaris

Out in the front yard the Edgeworthia is announcing the beginning of Spring.

Edgeworthia in full bloom

Edgeworthia chrysantha

And then there are the classic spring bulbs

Iris histroides ‘Major’

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’

Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa)

And yet more out in the woods

Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’

Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’

A nice surprise for me was to discover this rock garden plant that I put in two years ago after a Yuzawa Engei order from Japan.  It’s original home is in the high mountains of Morocco so I’m glad it has chosen to flower here.

Ranunculus calandrinoides (High Alpine Buttercup)

I always feel good when little Saxifrages are willing to flower in our garden troughs.

Saxifraga ferdinandi-coburgi ssp. radoslavoffii

Saxifraga ‘Allendale Charm’

You can just barely see the little piece of tufa that Wrightman’s Alpines provides.

Another first time flowering for me is this little Clivia that I got from seed via the Pacific Bulb Society back in 2013.

Belgian hybrid orange Clivia (2013)

It has a few years to go to catch up with our normal Clivia.  But I’m more than willing to watch it try.


Clivia miniata

And since I began the last GBBD post with the first Adonis image of the year, I thought it only fair to end this post with another Adonis posting, this time of the very special orange one (even though this image is from three weeks ago).

Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

I was afraid last year that I had lost this planting it was down to just two flowers, but it came back strongly this year — and I intend to take some seeds.


Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2022

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’

Adonis is one of my favorite flowers.  It comes so vigorously at a time of the year when we have almost forgotten the joy of spectacular flowers.  I have seen it flower even before this year’s mid-February showing but it’s very appropriate to have it kick off a Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  I have every expectation that over the next couple of weeks there will be a number of Adonis appearing at our early Spring party.  It’s been a long, long January into February so let’s see what else is here today.

Daffodils have a strong connections with Spring and for us this is the first one

Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’

And in the front yard I found one lonely crocus.

First crocus

Last week I found a rare Eranthis blooming in the cold frame

Eranthis pinnatifida

I noticed today that there is now a baby showing in that same pot.  Even more importantly I think I see buds for the same Eranthis showing in one of the outside beds.

At the same time the more common Winter Aconites are popping up all over the yard.

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Last year I took some of these out to the forest and now they are showing in the woods as well.

Winter Aconite in the woods

At the same time I’ve been growing some of the more unusual cultivars.

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Schwefelglanz’

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Orange Glow’

It is surprising to me that the Cyclamens are also players in the early flowers game.

Cyclamen coum

And even before the flowers show up the Peonies are starting to show color.

Paeonia caucasica in bud

And the heather that I featured last month is still flowering.  Cold weather does little to damp it’s winter enthusiasm.  Also the Camellias that were so prolific in December are starting up again.  They are simply wonderful.

Camellia japonica red

Of course when we turn to the trees, we need to take note of the Witch Hazels.

Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis)

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’

We also have several contributions from the greenhouse

Cyrtanthus flanaganii

Babiana framesii

Lachenalia aloides

That’s about here for mid-Maryland in this year’s February.  I think there is a lot coming in the next few weeks.


Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2022

Cyrtanthus mackenii

Not a lot to share for this mid-January Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day Post.  We have several pots of the Cyrtanthus in bloom now.  The nice thing about Cyrtanthus is that the blooms last for a long time.  It is a large genus in the Amaryllis family with many unique flower forms.  

Cyrtanthus are said to be hardy down to 25 degrees which would not do well with the 12 degree temperatures that we had last night.  These are some of the coldest temperatures that we’ve have the past few years.

In the greenhouse we still have the last of the white Narcissus in flower.

Narcissus cantabricus ‘Silver Palace’

However, outside there is not much to see, even if you spent time the very cold air looking.  The snowdrops are fully in flower but when it is this cold they prefer to lie down.

Snowdrops lying down on the job

One remarkable plant in the winter is the heather that we added several years ago.  The flowers seem to be governed by the calendar and not by the temperatures.

Kramer’s Rote Heather

One special event over the last week was the planting of the Concolor Fir that was our Christmas tree for this year.

Planting our Christmas Tree

We have been planting our Christmas trees for 46 years.  I would say that about 30 percent have survived.  It’s a really nice tradition.  If you looked out of the back door a week ago, you can see two of the trees.

Backyard Christmas Trees

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2021

Christmas tree is ready (Concolor Fir)

Well another Bloom Day and another year has come to pass.  Today’s flowers include some very unusual participants for a December flower show.  First and foremost is a Gentiana acaulis which would normally be waiting for spring to share its vivid blue colors.  Instead a single flower has challenged the season.

Gentiana acaulis

As I went around the yard I saw several other features that illustrate just how warm it’s been this Fall.  The Mahonia which is lucky to even be surviving here in Maryland has decided to put up some yellow flowers.

Mahonia ‘Sweet Caress’

I even see color on the first of the spring cyclamen.  And the Adonis and Snowdrops are budding up.

Snowdrops on their way

The heather which flowered most of last winter has it’s first blooms showing.

Kramer’s Rote Heather

We have two spring flowering Camellia japonicas that are putting out lovely flowers and of course the fall flowering Camellia sasanquas are putting out many flowers.  

Camellia japonica red

Camellia japonica double flowered pink

Fall Camellia in bloom

Camellia sasanqua Red

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic’

And in the greenhouse the first of the Narcissus ‘Silver Palace’ are filling the pot.

Narcissus cantabricus ‘Silver Palace’

Of course the flowers are one thing, but one of the items that really sparks the Christmas show is the hollies.  Between the very large American Holly and the supporting cast of English Holly and Blue Holly we have more berries than you can possibly imagine.

Holly Berries

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day November 2021

Acer japonica ‘Reznicek’

It is definitely late  Fall in Maryland for this GBBD and for awhile I thought there not be much in the way of color hereabouts.  But the last few weeks have produced a shower of colorful leaves on many of the trees.  Of course for us, it’s mainly about the Maples.  The ‘Reznicek’ cultivar is one that I brought back from Michigan a few years ago when the annual meeting for the North American Rock Garden Society was held there.  This is the first year I’ve ever noticed the beautiful two-toned effect on the leaves.  Even without the coloring it has always been a special diminutive tree with finely laced leaves.

Just the ordinary Japanese Maples have also been having a colorful display lately.

Acer japonica fully red

Acer Japonica

Earlier in the month the Amur Maple was putting on a show of its own.

Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)

And right next to this Maple is the Beautyberry which had its own statement to make.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa sp.)

Berries are everywhere in the yard this year but it’s hard not to notice that the Blue Holly is absolutely loaded with berries.

Berries on the Blue Holly

I can only guess that this particular holly is having a good time with the American Holly or the English Holly since our attempts to plant a male Blue Holly have all failed.

But wait!  This posting is supposed to be about flowers.  

Most of the annuals have been frozen off at this point but there are still a few surprises in the yard.  The peas continue to chug along through the first frosts and may even yield a few more edible pieces.

Pea blossom

And one of our reliable David Austin roses is ignoring the cold.

Rose ‘Tess of the ubervilles’ in bud

But mostly it’s Camellias.  It’s really their show for the next several months.  Anytime the temperature gets into the forties, the spring camellias will send forth a volunteer.

Camelia japonica way too early

And then most of the time there are always some of the Fall Camellias in bloom, as we see now.

Camellia sasanqua Red

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Double Rainbow’

When you see flowering like this it is hard to accept that winter is coming any day now…

Just like this bluebird who is trying to decide whether to make another nest.

Bluebird thinking about a winter home…