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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…

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2021

Delospermum cooperii

Well there are so many flowers at this time of the year for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day it is difficult to keep track of them all.  I’ll give you just a smattering today and think back to all that I should have shared from the last month.  The little ice plant shown above is one of many plants exploding out of our alpine bed.  Very happy in our zone 7 landscape.

The species peonies and tree peonies are all done and we now moving on to the Itohs and the herbaceous

Peony ‘Sweet Shelly’

Itoh Peony ‘Morning Lilac’

Our row of bearded Iris is very happily blooming.

Pink Bearded Iris

Ever since we stopped weeding them amid the grass they have not had borers which used to be a perennial pain.

The early azaleas are pretty much done but the rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas are still blooming.

Rhododendron in the Camellias

Rhododendron ‘Chionoides’

Azalea Exbury hybrid ‘Klondyke’

I’ve particularly liked the compact and floriferous Calanthe discolor, a reliable favorite from the orchid family.

Calanthe discolor

The best of the Clematis remains Niobe though there are number of others in bloom

Clematis ‘Niobe’

It’s also worth noting that you can just eat flowers every night and we are always happy to see the strawberries arriving.  We have probably 75 feet of row for strawberries and peas that are just starting up.

Strawberries starting fruit

And in the orchard there are oh so many peaches, pears, and apples getting started.

Peaches coming along

Back in the alpine bed we have a number of nice items happening.

Alpine Daisy

Lewisia cotyledon

Ornithogalum exscapum amidst the Antennaria and Arnebia (Pussytoes and Sandwort)

Particularly nice is a little rock rose that I got from Wrightman’s Alpines last year after seeing them in the wild in Spain.

Cistus albanicus

I think are just barely hardy in Maryland but they seemed to make through the winter and you see the number of buds on them.

On one of the nights recently i caught the orchard looking particularly spending in the evening light and I’ll close with those images.

Evening light

Sunset

Path to small orchard

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day October 2020

Colchicum autumnale ‘Pleniflorum’

I’ll lead off this GBBD posting with colchicum which has been spectacular this fall. They are hardy, reliable, and beautiful — the sort of qualities that beg for planting more.  So I did…

It’s been all in all a marvelous fall here in Maryland.  Mostly bright sunny fall days with just enough rain to keep everything going well.  Altogether we are 8 inches ahead of the usual rainfall here.  The annuals have continued to bloom and I noticed that the cosmos along the fence line have decided on a fall renewal of their blooms.

Cosmos fall rebirth

And the calendulas in the raised bed are bright and beautiful.

Calendula (Alpha from Johnny’s Seeds)

Under the cherry tree in the back yard a clump of cyclamen hederifolium is putting up flowers before the leaves are showing.

Cyclamen hederifolium

Japanese windflowers are spectacular as usual for this time of year.

Japanese anemone ‘Whirlwind’

And they are joined by various instances of toad lilies (such a strange name for exotically beautiful flowers).

Trycyrtis ‘Sinonome’

The canna lily that returned from last year is soldiering on in a very crowded garden bed.

Canna ‘Lemon Punch’

And month by month the cestrum continues a flowerful statement at the back gate.

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

I noticed that the beautyberry bush is covered with its distinctive purple berries right now.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

In the alpine bed by the greenhouse there is a rather striking little saxifrage from Japan.

Saxifraga fortunei ‘Beni Zakura’

In the greenhouse itself the oxalis are dominating the show.

Oxalis hirta ‘Gothenburg’

But there is also a rather special scilla that I brought into the house.

Scilla madeirensis

These are not easy to find, but they seem to be quite reliable bloomers.

While I was out in the vegetable garden I found many more dahlias still in bloom

Decorative Dahlia

and lots of monarch butterflies visiting the many tithonia.

Monarchs in the garden

In addition I found a very distinctive moth that I had never seen before.

Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva aurea)

Of course, it’s important to note that at this time of year, one does not live on flowers alone.

Raspberries yielding fall crop

Raspberries in abundance

We have been bringing in bowl after bowl of raspberries for the last 6 weeks.

And finally to cap it off here is the apple pie that we made for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day…

An Apple Pie from the orchard

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2018

Sunflower glory

It’s been hot but with enough rain to grow the weeds and sunflowers to magnificence.  So I will dedicate this belated Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day posting to the many sunflowers in the garden.

Sunflowers reaching for the sky

Some of them are easily ten feet tall.

Sunflowers way high up

But they are all wonderful for birds, bees, and humans alike.

Sunflower

Sunflower

A close namesake is the Mexican Sunflower

Tithonia rotundifolia with Bee

Tithonia are also very popular with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

The vegetable garden also features gladiolus in quantity.

Gladiolus ‘Black Cherry’

The glads get displayed in the house.

Glads in the house

Along with several kinds of Cyrtanthus from the greenhouse.

Cyrtanthus sanguineus

Think of Cyrtanthus as smaller, more refined Amaryllis.

Also in the greenhouse right now are the little scilla relatives from Japan

Barnardia japonica

In the Alpine bed we find the most recent Gentian to come into bloom.

Gentiana paradoxa

The gentians, with the various species, span spring to fall with flowers, and all of them have delightful complex flowers.

Another little tidbit in flower right now is the anemonopsis

Anemonopsis macrophylla

I have been trying to flower one of these for years and this is the first one to share it’s dainty little waxy flowers.

Out in the orchard there are zinnias around the new apple trees.

Zinnias in the orchard

Of course gardeners do not survive on flowers alone.

Early August harvest basket

Japanese Pear ‘Nijiseiki’

Raspberries ripening again

That’s about it on a hot summer day.  We are running 15 inches over normal for rain to this point.  I’m wondering what the fall will bring…

 

 

 

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2017

Anemone multifida ‘Rubra’

I will lead off this very late Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day post with a lovely little anemone that came from the NARGS seed exchange three years ago.  It’s not spreading but seems to be holding its own in the Monument bed.

I am always surprised that two of Arisaemas hold off until June.  Their colleagues begin back in April.  But just when you think that winter has finished them off, the Arisaema candidissimum and Arisaema fargesii come popping up through the ground.

Arisaema candidissimum

Arisaema fargesii

It is also surprising to see the Freesia laxa return every year.

Freesia laxa

According to the books this little corm is not viable in our climate.  Not only has it returned but it’s jumped the tracks and moved to another garden bed as well.

I have it growing now next to the reliable Brodiaea ‘Queen Fabiola’.

Brodiaea Queen Fabiola

That’s a white Callirhoe in the front of the image.

Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba ‘Logan Calhoun’

And they all mix together like this.

Star flowers, wine cups and Fressia.

In the same garden bed we have a bright yellow Butterfly Weed.

Asclepias tuberosa ‘Hello Yellow’

This is very popular with all the butterflies and bees.  For example this swallowtail was cruising around the yard.

Zebra Swallowtail

Nearby we find a lovely clematis growing up a trellis.

Clematis ‘Krakowiak’

Also by the garage there is a marvelous foxtail lily that came from Far Reaches.

Eremurus stenophyllus

Back in the monument bed there is the first of the Asiatic lillies coming out.

Asiatic Lily ‘Netty’s Pride’

And a chinese ground orchid that is a little taller than our other ground orchids.

Bletilla ‘Brigantes’

Back in the Camellia bed, emerging through the rapidly growing Japanese Anemones is a very pretty Astrantia.

Astrantia ‘Sunningdale variegated’

If we go back to the Alpine bed, as I do several times a day, a very nice dwarf plant in the Campanulaceae is just finishing.  I cannot read the label but I suspect it’s an Edraianthus.

Edraianthus sp?

Just finished now is also another pasque flower.

Pulsatilla campanella

Also in the alpine bed is a new gentian that we found at Oliver Nursery this spring.

Gentiana cachemirica

In the greenhouse there are a few picture-worthy objects as well.

Ornithogalum fimbrimarginatum

This is a two-foot tall Ornithogalum that came from the PBS bulb exchange.

Another PBS acquisition is this Pine Woods Lily.

Alophia drummondi (Pine Woods Lily)

I almost forgot to mention the Stewartia.  It has been a consistent flowering tree for June 15th.  This year it is loaded with flowers but only one is actually open now.

Stewartia japonica

However, life is not flowers alone.  It is the peak time for our berries, especially the blueberries.

Blueberries at their peak

It’s a joy picking blueberries.  We brought in gallons last night.  I’m convinced the only reason we can do so is that just behind the garden we have a very large mulberry tree and an equally large Bird Cherry that provide even greater interest for the birds.

Wild Cherry (Prunus avium)

Speaking of birds I’ve seen some really nice ones on my early morning bird watching including this Baltimore Oriole yesterday.

Baltimore Oriole eating cherries

Well, that’s a glimpse of our garden right now.  What’s happening in your garden?

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day September 2016

Nasturtium

Nasturtium

It has been a generally hot and dry (read depressing) summer for our garden).  In early August we awoke to find that we had drawn down the well with watering and so had to forego our normal watering plan.  So my looks around the garden prior to Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day were fewer than they might otherwise have been.  We did still water Beth’s new raised bed and the Nasturtiums and Calendulas have responded by blooming all summer long and into the Fall.

Calendula

Calendula

Many of the other flowers in bloom are a testament to how well some species can survive in adversity.

Alstroemeria 'Sweet Laura'

Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’

Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)

Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)

Venturing out onto our ultra-dry hillside which never gets watered at all anymore, I found several champions of the survival school.

Buddleia

Buddleia

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtle

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Notice the spider on the Lemon Queen and it’s very adaptive coloration.

Spider on Lemon Queen

Spider on Lemon Queen

The butterflies are also very attracted to Lemon Queen.

butterfly on Lemon Queen

butterfly on Lemon Queen

I also saw a lovely Monarch Butterfly on the Tithonia in the vegetable garden.

Monarch on Tithonia

Monarch on Tithonia

One very noteworthy Fall-blooming flower is the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.  I’m becoming more of a fan every year and it’s a good thing because it keeps spreading of its own volition.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Another fall bloomer was a bit of a surprise.  This Sweet Autumn Clematis was something I pulled out three years ago and I was surprised to see it return in two separate places this year.

Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora)

Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora)

It’s a lovely flower but can get too aggressive if left to its own devices.  I will probably try to transplant it to the woods.

In the alpine beds I have two erodiums that are returning to bloom right now.

Erodium chrysantha

Erodium chrysantha

Erodium

Erodium

In the greenhouse I have just finished restarting all the oxalis.  At the same time the Bulbine has come back into flower.

Bulbine frutescens

Bulbine frutescens

And one of the cyclamens has taken on a very distinctive flowering by simply spilling over the edge of the pot with a great many flowers and no leaves at all.

Cyclamen graecum

Cyclamen graecum

Lastly just to note that man (or woman) does not live by flowers alone.  The raspberries are joining the apples as delectable fruits to be harvested this month.

raspberries ready for harvest again

raspberries ready for harvest again

C&O Canal at Noland’s Ferry

Trail along the C&O canal

Trail along the C&O canal

We’ve had a wonderful extended Autumn with many clear sunny days.  On one of them last week we took a morning walk along the C&O canal.  This national park is only 15-20 minutes from our house.  The overall park is essentially a biking-hiking-running trail that extends 185 miles from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD.  Noland’s Ferry is at the 45 mile point along the trail and is a broad leaf-strewn walkway in this season.  There are other parts of Frederick County that are lit up with color this time of year, but along the canal it’s mostly greens turning to yellow.  Nonetheless one of the joys of walking is noticing that which is not visible from car or bike.  We walked about 2 miles down the trail towards Washington and then returned, moving at a pace that encouraged observation.  Even at that pace we noticed things on the return part of the trail that we had missed on the outgoing trip.

Some of the most striking elements were fungi.  The Bear’s Head Tooth Fungus looks like a waterfall frozen in time.

Bear's Head Tooth Fungus (Hericium americanum)

Bear’s Head Tooth Fungus (Hericium americanum)

The Jelly Ear Mushroom is said to be good to eat, but we limit ourselves to puffballs (which we have eaten many times).

Jelly Ear Mushroom (Auricularia auricula-judae)

Jelly Ear Mushroom (Auricularia auricula-judae)

And then there was this very phallic white mushroom which I’ve not been able to identify.

Pure White Mushroom

Pure White Mushroom

Along the trail was a very tiny snake, about the size of a worm.  It seems likely this this is an Eastern Smooth Earthsnake.  They do have babies in the fall but they are not very big in any case.  It eats earthworms, slugs, snails, and soft-bodied insects.  On balance that’s the kind of diet I can  appreciate.

Eastern Smooth Earthsnake (Virginia valeriae )

Eastern Smooth Earthsnake (Virginia valeriae )

There were two interesting fruiting plants that we noticed.  Spicebush is a smallish native shrubby tree that is found in wooded lowlands.  It has plants of both the male and female persuasion so it will be interesting to return in spring to see if we can identify them.

Spicebush (Lindera Benzoin)

Spicebush (Lindera Benzoin)

And the Eastern Wahoo is another small native tree that has what seem like packages of pink candy hanging from its branches.

Eastern Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus)

Eastern Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus)

The leaves had not yet turned but like its relative, the Euonymus alatus, the Eastern Wahoo should have strongly colored red leaves.

At one point we looked up and noticed a tree with remarkable orange foliage.  At first I thought sugar maple, but that is not common with us at all.  When I got home and did a little research, it was pretty clear to me that what we saw was Black Maple.  This is a close cousin to the Sugar Maple and as many of the same positive attributes.  It would be worth trying to propagate in our forest.

Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

Black Maple leaf (note the typical 3 lobes)

Black Maple leaf (note the typical 3 lobes)

The British are Coming

British Soldiers

British Soldiers (Cladonia cristatella)

Well I meant to get this posted for the Fourth of July, but you can move the clock back for a day to imagine my patriotic alert about the British Redcoats.  This is a fruiting lichen that has taken hold of a fence post in the yard.  It’s quite small (think of miniature match sticks) but within this tiny world is incredible complexity.  The lichen is a marriage between an alga and fungus that succeeds through cooperation at the most basic level.  Both are required before you see the little red caps that release the fungus spores.  You can see how the brilliant red gave them their nickname harking back to the american revolution. They are also known as matchstick moss or red crested lichen.  I’ve been wrestling with how to photograph all the detail at this level and this is best I’ve come up with so far.

British soldiers (Cladonia cristatella)

British soldiers (Cladonia cristatella)

We have had wonderful weather for the fourth of July holiday, almost unprecedented.  It’s inspired some really lovely flowering around the yard.

Bletilla 'Kate'

Bletilla ‘Kate’

Stewartia japonica

Stewartia japonica

Astrantia 'Sunningdale variegated'

Astrantia ‘Sunningdale variegated’

St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

St John’s Wort (Hypericum ‘Hidcote’)

Gentian scabra

Gentian septemfida

We get seedlings now from Prairie Sun that seem to have no trouble from year to year.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’

And a new daylily from Oakes.

Apollodorus Daylily

Apollodorus Daylily

And we have new seedling Corydalis in the greenhouse derived from Dufu Temple that is flowering from seeds planted in January.

Corydalis sp ex Dufu Temple

Corydalis sp ex Dufu Temple

Of course one does not live simply by photographing flowers.  We have been harvesting gallons of blueberries (about 8 gallons frozen so far this year).  This is yesterday’s pickings.

Gallons of Blueberries

Gallons of Blueberries

And we made blueberry ice cream for the fourth of July.

Blueberry ice cream

Blueberry ice cream

Yum…