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Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day October 2021

Amarine tubergenii ‘Zwanenburg’

It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day as we move securely into the Fall.  The leaves are changing but we see no signs of lower temperatures in Maryland as yet.

The Amarine above is a first time bloomer for me, but comes with a little background.  I bought it just this Fall from Quackin’ Grass Nursery and then as it was coming into bloom I discovered that I had another one that I had bought from the same place this Spring.  No sooner did I put those two in the ground but I then found that I had bought a smaller bulb of that plant from Rare Plants back in 2017 and it too was now coming into bloom (for the first time).  So apparently this plant is consistently appealing to me.  It is a hybrid between Amaryllis belladonna and Nerine bowdenii.  It’s somewhat questionable whether it will be hardy for me here in zone 7 (Nerines would not normally be hardy here), but I have planted two of them and we shall see.

Since it’s related I should mention that Nerine sarniensis (from the Greenhouse) is also flowering now bearing out my continuing interest in Nerines.

Nerine sarniensis

The above picture is from the kitchen and right nearby is a bowl full of vegetables showing the wonderful bounty from this year.

Vegetable yield in October

We’ve also had a lot of pears that we are still enjoying for dinners and desserts.  And the raspberries are still making their appearance.

Raspberries still coming in

The flowers outside still have a lot of the same participants that we’ve had for the past few months.

Double Decorative Dahlia Purple

Dahlia ‘Bodacious’ still yielding

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Cosmos in the wildflower patch

In addition there are a few new faces on the Fall horizon

New England Aster

Japanese Anemone ‘Whirlwind’

Colchicum ‘Giant’

Colchicum ‘Dick Trotter’

Toadlilly (Trycyrtis ‘Sinonome’

In addition I thought it was interesting to note that I completely missed the start of flowering for the fall camellias.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Double Rainbow’

Camellia x ‘Survivor’

There are lots of buds on these and other Camellias so I need to pay more attention.  And similarly I’ll end by paying attention to the many oxalis showing up in the greenhouse now.

Oxalis hirta ‘Gothenburg’

Finally all summer long we’ve a beautiful showing of flowers from the potted plectranthus.

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

I’ll need to find a place in the greenhouse for a part of this plant over the winter.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2021

Naked Ladies in the Garden

It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for the middle of the summer.  Our garden is like many at this time of year.  Mostly annuals, crepe myrtles, and the last of the lilies dominate.

There are a few flowers worth noting.  The Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’ has returned from it’s winter dormancy and will bloom until late fall.

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

We have a lot of annuals in the picking garden as well as the glads and dahlias.

Annuals in the cutting garden especially Tithonia

Dahilia’s still abundant in the cutting garden

The annuals and shrub flowers are great for attracting insects and birds, many of them very photogenic.  I was struck by this little bluebird overlooking the garden.

Bluebird baby with attitude

The butterflies and other insects are striking.

Monarch on Tithonia

Bee on Tithonia

Swallowtail on Buddleia

Clearwing moth on Buddleia

August is also prime time for harvesting 

Music Garlic

Contender Peach

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day July 2021

Stewartia japonica center

This is the middle of the gardening year with abundant flowers, never enough rain, and rarely the time to think about what chores to take on next.  For Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day I thought it appropriate to lead off with the exotic center of Stewartia Japonica.  The last flowers are just finishing up on this wonderful tree.   It not only flowers abundantly but has exquisite bark as well.

Stewartia japonica

But the dominant theme for this time of year is LILIES.  They are popping out like mad with their extravagant blooms.  Some are super tall (Scheherzade) or small (Madame Butterfly), but all are worth paying attention to.  Beth often brings them into the house for the fragrance.  Here are some of our lily companions.

Oriental Lily ‘Time Out’

Orienpet Lilium ‘Scheherazade’

Orienpet Lily ‘Anastasia’

Oriental Lily Star Gazer

Oriental Lily ‘Muscadet’

Oriental Lily ‘Casa Blanca’

Oriental Lily ‘Marco Polo’

Orienpet Lily Conca d’Or

Lilium ‘Madame Butterfly’

And at the same time that we are bringing lilies into the house the gladiolias are coming into bloom.

Gladiolus ‘Margaret Rose’

This year I noticed a particular red and white that is large and very frilly.  No name yet but I will research that.

Red and White Glad

In the garden there is a lovely long row of glads and dahlia with flowers still to come.

Glads in the garden

Our hardest working gardener is son Josh, and he has put a wall of sunflowers on the border of the garden

Sunflowers form the border of the vegetable garden

At the same time there was a volunteer sunflower in the vegetable garden that we just let grow.  I would estimate that it stands about 12 feet tall at this point.

Volunteer sunflower in the vegetable garden

I should mention that we put a barn owl box in the pasture.

Barn Owl Box

It’s too late this year but hopefully we get a family next year to take of some of the small critters.

Nearby is a wildflower patch that Josh created by covering the existing grasses with a tarp until he was ready to plant.  It’s worked out quite well.

Wildflower patch in the pasture

And then lastly, because we live not by flowers alone, here’s an update on the upcoming orchard fruit.

Redhaven peaches getting ripe

Kiefer pears in abundance

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2021

Rhododendron carolinianum

All the usual suspects are in bloom now for this April Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  Daffodils everywhere, first azaleas, dogwoods, peonies opening up, and spring bulbs of every sort.  I’ll focus on some of the things that catch my attention on a morning walk.

It’s hard not to notice the Kwansan double-flowered Cherry when you walk out the back door.

Kwanzan Cherry in first bloom

In the backyard the Epimediums are special right now.  There are two in particular that came as mother’s day gifts from Garden Visions years ago and are now quite substantial in size.

Epimedium x rubrum ‘Sweetheart’

Epimedium x rubrum ‘Sweetheart’

Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilac Seedling’

Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilac Seedling’

Another Epimedium that I like a lot is the Wushanense variety with its red leaves and white flowers.

Epimedium wushanense ‘Sandy Claws’

There are also several instances of Erythronium cultivars that add to the explosion of Trout lilies that surround the deck.

Erythronium californicum ‘White Beauty’

There are several spots where we have lovely clumps of star flowers

Ipheion uniflorum ‘Tessa’

In addition to the Peonies that are imitating being in flower because of the falling quince flowers, there are other Peonies almost in flower.

Peony with imitation red flowers

Paeonia caucasica

The first of the Arisaema and Podophyllum are poking through the ground.

Flower buds on Podophyllum delavayii

Especially nice was to see a return of the very rare Podophyllum x inexpectatum which I thought we had lost to animals.

Podophyllum x inexpectatum

The Camellias continue to dominate the flowering landscape

Red/white camellia

So many camellias

A new addition is the Loropetalum (marginally hardy for our area)

Loropetalum newly added to herb bed

I should not forget the Adonis vernalis which wraps up our Adonis flowering

Adonis vernalis

And the Iris tuberosa which has a nice flowering this year

Iris tuberosa

One of my favorite small troughs features a very nice dwarf Daphne

Daphne in one of the small troughs

Daphne detail

If we go back to the alpine bed the reliable Armeria is nearing peak bloom growing out of tufa rock

Armeria maritima ‘Victor Reiter’

And back in the forest there are many daffodils and the first of the Jack-in-a-Pulpit

Narcissus ‘Chromacolor’ in the woods

First jack-in-a-pulpit in the woods

In the greenhouse it is Spring in South Africa

Tritoma crocata

Ferraria divaricata

It’s also worth mentioning that because we made an early start on the season in the basement this year we have been eating green salads for the last 6 weeks and the plants are even happier now that they can come outside.

Salad greens brought from the basement

We’ve also put the first tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in the garden

Tomatoes from basement

There are flowers on the fruit trees, strawberries, and blueberries.  Life is good…

Flowers on the blueberries

 

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2021

Helleborus in profusion

Well there has been an explosion of flowers over the last two weeks.  We are back to a more wintry cold and windy day today, but we have had some stunning sunny days which have moved us well into Spring.  Perhaps nothing captures the change for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day so much as the Hellebores.  The variety of shapes, sizes, and colors is remarkable.  Here are a few examples

Helleborus ‘Kingston Cardinal’

Helleborus Ice N’ Roses Red

Hellebore white/pink double

Helleborus x lemonnierae ‘Walberton’s Rosemary’

A little plant of Helleborus thibetanus is not to be missed.

Helleborus thibetanus

The Camellias are all in fat bud or flowering at the moment.

Double Pink Camellia japonica

It’s also the time for the daffodils to begin all over our hillside.  One of the pleasures of each year are the small clumps in the woods.

Narcissus ‘Little Gem’

Also in the woods are couple nice Scilla that are fun to come upon.

White Squill in the woods

Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’

Like the Daffodils they are not bothered by the animals and are gradually expanding.

There are a number of Iris histroides in flower now.

Iris histroides ‘Major’

Iris histroides ‘Finio’

This last is a new addition from Odyssey Bulbs.

The cyclamen coum have been a real pleasure this year.  We had never had spring cyclamen before.

Cyclamen coum

The first of the Hepaticas is out in bloom.

Hepatica x media

The first Glory of the Snow are also making their appearance

Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Pink Giant’

They run wild in our pasture and there will be many more on the way.

Back in the alpine area I was pleased to see the Dionysia make a very early appearance

Dionysia involucrata

In the same trough is a Saxifrage that is not far behind.

Saxifraga ‘Valerie Keevil’

On the sunny side of the alpine beds the Draba hispanica is moving rapidly through flowering

Draba hispanica

Right next to the Draba the Aubrieta is beginning to flower with many buds visible as well.

Aubrieta ‘Royal Red’

And the small Asphodelus that I acquired from John Lonsdale is coming into flower as well.

Asphodelus acaulis

And in the greenhouse there are rampant pleasures as the plants imagine that we live in the tropics.Amaryllis Green-Red

Scilla peruviana

Lachenalia unicolor

And then finally a spectacular Ferraria

Ferraria crispa

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Spring — Finally!

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’ in the snow

Last Monday the sun finally broke through and the temperatures started rising.  And the Adonis needed only the slightest hint to start opening their flowers.  By Wednesday they were fully on display — at last!

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’

The thing about the Adonis is that they are not easy to find and take forever to spread.  Since they are sterile you can’t rely on seeds for them to spread and the slow propagation seems to make them unappealing to nurserymen.  So if you find them, buy them.  They are the first reward for the end of winter.

Of course there are other good signs that we are moving into springtime.  Winter Aconite are another of my favorites steps to springtime and the first to show up this year are the slightly paler German version

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Schwefelglanz’

I was also please to see that a more another Winter Aconite cultivar was also appearing already.

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Orange Glow’

But even more special was a little flower poking up in the cold frame.

Eranthis pinnatifida

This is particularly stunning little flower that I had outside a few years ago and it disappeared.  I’m not sure I have the confidence to take this one outside of the cold frame yet.

There are also several crocus popping out.

First Crocus

In addition I’m pleased to see that the snowdrops are moving into the lawn.

Snowdrops moving into the lawn

Of course the witch hazels are happy to tell you that it is springtime also.

Hamamalis x intermedia ‘Diane’

More surprising is to see the first flower on the primula vulgaris.

Primula vulgaris

I also saw a Northern Flicker at the bird feeder and that never happens in wintertime for us

Northern Flicker at the feeder

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2021

Camellia sasanqua red

Well the fall camellia next to the garage continues to be our most reliable bloomer for Garden Blogger Bloom Day and the wintertime.  It’s hard not to imagine the backyard without the camellias.  They are such a continuing delight.  The hybrid that I picked up from the camellia society a couple of years ago has been blooming all winter long as well, but the flowers are starting to decrease in size.

Camellia hybrid white/pink

Meanwhile the first of the spring camellias is blooming again.

Camellia japonica red

Some of the other flowers around the yard are pretty reliable participants in the late winter/early spring bloom.

1st Snowdrops

Japanese Quince

Helleborus niger HGC® ‘Jacob’

But it’s worth noting that we have never seen this red heather blooming persistently over the winter.

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

It’s also worth noting that I’ve never seen flower buds on the Cyclamen coum in January.

Cyclamen coum flower buds

I wanted to include a picture of the buds on one of the other Hellebores as well.  This is a particularly dark foliaged plant with dark red flowers as well.  It looks like it wont’ be long till this one is in bloom.

Helleborus ‘Ice and Roses Red’

In the greenhouse we have more Narcissus showing up.  This is a particularly nice one (note the buds yet to open)

Narcissus romieuxii ‘Atlas Gold’

We have also decided (in response to Covid) to upgrade our basement lighting and get an early start on the planting year.

New LED light added for starting seeds

And as a result here are the little plants from the seeds that I planted last week on my birthday…

First seedlings for 2021

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2020

Helleborus niger ‘HGC Jacob’

Well it is December so it’s not surprising that the first Hellebore is blooming for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  Helleborus Niger is always well ahead of it’s compatriots in providing winter bloom.  Nonetheless it’s still the camellias that are providing the most stunning flowers around our hillside.

Hybrid Fall Camellia

Hybrid Fall Camellia detail

Red Camellia sasanqua

Red Camellia japonica

The camellias are pretty consistently with us for the fall and then on again off again until into the springtime.  More surprising is the heather that is blooming right now.

Kramer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

And there is also a little ice plant that is flowering way out of season.

Delosperma cooperi

You can see white tips on the snowdrops and the adonis are also coming into bud.

Adonis buds

But we are expecting 10 inches of snow tomorrow (the first real snow we’ve had this year), and that means the plants are likely to slow down for awhile.

In the greenhouse we have a number of early daffodils in bloom.

Narcissus cantabricus ‘Silver Palace’

And there is also the beautiful wavy-flowered Nerine undulata still flowering after more than a month of bloom.

Nerine undulata

We have put up our traditional live Christmas tree, this time a Canaan Fir.

Canaan Fir Christmas Tree

This will be planted out in the pasture after the holidays.

December 15th is also the first day for choosing seeds from the North American Rock Garden Society’s Seed Exchange.  I was up early this morning (late last night) putting in my request for my 35 1st choice seed packets on the list.  This is great fun and I would encourage everyone to get involved.  There are 2480 taxa available including many rare and unusual varieties that you will not find from commercial sources.

NARGS Seed Exchange