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.
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.
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.
One special event over the last week was the planting of the Concolor Fir that was our Christmas tree for this year.
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.
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.
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.
I even see color on the first of the spring cyclamen. And the Adonis and Snowdrops are budding up.
The heather which flowered most of last winter has it’s first blooms showing.
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.
And in the greenhouse the first of the Narcissus ‘Silver Palace’ are filling the pot.
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.
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.
The above picture is from the kitchen and right nearby is a bowl full of vegetables showing the wonderful bounty from this year.
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.
The flowers outside still have a lot of the same participants that we’ve had for the past few months.
In addition there are a few new faces on the Fall horizon
In addition I thought it was interesting to note that I completely missed the start of flowering for the fall camellias.
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.
Finally all summer long we’ve a beautiful showing of flowers from the potted plectranthus.
I’ll need to find a place in the greenhouse for a part of this plant over the winter.
We have a steady supply of flowers from the both the perennials and the picking garden for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. The dahlia above has been flowering for most of the summer.
The Tithonia in the garden give some idea of the good growing weather that we have had.
I always enjoy seeing the black and blue sage coming back because it was never supposed to be hardy in our area. The bees enjoy it in particular.
Nearby the David Austin ‘Crocus Rose’ is making a comeback.
And right beside it the continually blooming Cestrum
I also enjoy that the Cyclamen comes up at this time of year both in the ground and in the greenhouse
Other flowers can be seen in the wildflower patches
In the Alpine bed I discovered a Pulsatilla that is definitely blooming well out of season
In the greenhouse itself there is not only this striking Sinninglia species
But also a rather puzzling Buddleia which is coming up in nominally Gentianella pot.
Elsewhere the berries in the yard are striking.
Finally to note once again that since we can’t survive on flowers alone, we have been bringing in lots of fruit.
And for the first time Figs
I highly recommend homemade sourdough bread with brie, pear, and fig — yum…
This month’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day falls upon my mother’s birthday — her 100th birthday, something very worth celebrating. She has always loved flowers and we shared many moments of picking flowers and harvesting fruit.
And though her body is slowly losing the capabilities it once had, as recently as 18 month ago (pre-covid) we could still share humor and memories.
So as I look around our garden today, I know that I owe a lot my appreciation for gardens and gardening to my parents and grandparents. Today is also my father’s birthday (though he died more than 20 years ago) and their wedding anniversary. They were married at the start of World War II and this courtship poem that he sent from his barracks is an example of the many poems my father wrote during their life together
Meanwhile back here on the hillside we are harvesting gallons of peas and strawberries. Last night we pitted many of the wild cherries that yield every year without spraying or special care.
We’re thinking we should at least plant the seeds
The birds are happy to help out but they mostly work on the cherries that are beyond our reach.
Meanwhile the blueberries are starting to come in and they combine well with cherry juice.
But wait. There are still flowers worth mentioning. A lot of lilies are making their annual appearance.
But also some special additional items worth noting.
In the herb garden the perennials are making quite a statement as encouragement to the hummingbirds.
In the greenhouse there are many Zephyranthes popping up, but they don’t seem to follow any respect for my attempts at labeling.
I peeked in and saw this Hymenocallis blooming the other day (if you don’t catch it quickly it’s gone)
Before leaving this rather long post I do need to mention the Stewartia malacodendron. We have grown Stewartia japonica for years and it’s a wonderful tree with beautiful flowers and bark. It’s just about to come into bloom. But its cousin S. malacondendron bloomed about two weeks ago and it has truly remarkable flowers, well worth the time invested in getting to grow outside of its North Carolina origins.
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.
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.
Another Epimedium that I like a lot is the Wushanense variety with its red leaves and white flowers.
There are also several instances of Erythronium cultivars that add to the explosion of Trout lilies that surround the deck.
There are several spots where we have lovely clumps of star flowers
In addition to the Peonies that are imitating being in flower because of the falling quince flowers, there are other Peonies almost in flower.
The first of the Arisaema and Podophyllum are poking through the ground.
Especially nice was to see a return of the very rare Podophyllum x inexpectatum which I thought we had lost to animals.
The Camellias continue to dominate the flowering landscape
A new addition is the Loropetalum (marginally hardy for our area)
I should not forget the Adonis vernalis which wraps up our Adonis flowering
And the Iris tuberosa which has a nice flowering this year
One of my favorite small troughs features a very nice dwarf Daphne
If we go back to the alpine bed the reliable Armeria is nearing peak bloom growing out of tufa rock
And back in the forest there are many daffodils and the first of the Jack-in-a-Pulpit
In the greenhouse it is Spring in South Africa
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.
We’ve also put the first tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in the garden
There are flowers on the fruit trees, strawberries, and blueberries. Life is good…
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
A little plant of Helleborus thibetanus is not to be missed.
The Camellias are all in fat bud or flowering at the moment.
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.
Also in the woods are couple nice Scilla that are fun to come upon.
Like the Daffodils they are not bothered by the animals and are gradually expanding.
There are a number of Iris histroides in flower now.
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.
The first of the Hepaticas is out in bloom.
The first Glory of the Snow are also making their appearance
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
In the same trough is a Saxifrage that is not far behind.
On the sunny side of the alpine beds the Draba hispanica is moving rapidly through flowering
Right next to the Draba the Aubrieta is beginning to flower with many buds visible as well.
And the small Asphodelus that I acquired from John Lonsdale is coming into flower as well.
And in the greenhouse there are rampant pleasures as the plants imagine that we live in the tropics.Amaryllis Green-Red
And then finally a spectacular Ferraria
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.
Meanwhile the first of the spring camellias is blooming again.
Some of the other flowers around the yard are pretty reliable participants in the late winter/early spring bloom.
But it’s worth noting that we have never seen this red heather blooming persistently over the winter.
It’s also worth noting that I’ve never seen flower buds on the Cyclamen coum in January.
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.
In the greenhouse we have more Narcissus showing up. This is a particularly nice one (note the buds yet to open)
We have also decided (in response to Covid) to upgrade our basement lighting and get an early start on the planting year.
And as a result here are the little plants from the seeds that I planted last week on my birthday…