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Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2024

Picking basket

It seems sometimes that Springtime comes all at once and this is one of those occasions.  We wait through much of the winter looking for a crocus or a snowdrop to peek through and then when temperatures come like they have this month we have an explosion of flowers for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many daffodils, hellebores, and camellias all asking for a place at our dinner table.

The camellias have been amazing this year where they have somehow avoided the usual cold spells that often brown the blossom edges.

Camellia japonica white

Camellia japonica double pink

Camellia japonica double pink

This particular double pink is absolutely huge for this local area, probably twelve feet in height now.

And the hellebores bloomed up a storm this year.  For the first time I did not cut back the old leaves and I have to say I didn’t really notice a problem.  The flowers poked right up through the leaves and they’ve been wonderful.  I guess that’s what happens in nature when gardeners aren’t busy cutting off last year’s leaves.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Peppermint Ice’

It also a banner year for our daffodils.  I can remember reading years ago that I would have dig old clumps of daffodils and spread them if I wanted to keep them happy.  I have to conclude that such is not the case.  Everywhere I look the daffodils are both thickening their clumps and voluntarily spreading to surrounding spaces.

Narcissus ‘Edinburgh’ on Sunset Hill

Narcissus ‘Chromacolor’ in the woods

A new one for this year is from Quaffs

Narcissus ‘A Million Kisses’

This is one of the largest daffodils I’ve ever seen.

The trees are also coming into bloom.  I’ve seen the first apricot and peach blossoms.  And the Star Magnolia is doing its thing.

Magnolia stellata

One of the nice things about the star magnolia is that it almost never gets burnt off like some of the other magnolias.  So once again I’m pretty confident that spring is actually here.

Last year I cut away an old lilac that had been overshadowing a thirty year-old bush cherry.  And now the little bush cherry is a delight.

Scarlet Gem Bush Cherry

Along the fence in the front yard the Edgeworthia is fully in flower.

Edgeworthia by front fence

And the little Anemone blanda are popping everywhere in the yard and the woods

Anemone blanda

The alpine bed has a little nest of Ornithogalum amidst other things.

Ornithogalum fimbriatum in alpine bed

Right next to the Ornithogalum is a lovely little Armeria doing what sea thrifts do well.

Armeria juniperifolia

If we go back into the woods (which is a pleasure right now) the path has many pleasures.

Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’ on woodland path

The bluebells are budding up and there are many daffodils but the Corydalis are enjoying their moment.

Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’

Nearby is one of the nicer Podyphyllums that we have (courtesy of Far Reaches)

Podophyllum aff. hemsleyi x versipelle

Finally if we go into the greenhouse we find an unusual Gladiolus that came to us ten years ago via the Pacific Bulb Society.

Gladiolus tristis

And lastly here is a yellow Clivia which is so carefree and always a delight to see.

Yellow Clivia

Happy Spring to All!

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2023

Camellia ‘Yume’

Once again our best December flowers for GBBD are the camellias.  The one above was purchased at Camellia Forest Nursery which is probably the best source for camellias in the whole country.  It took a few years to get to flowering but now has probably a dozen buds on it for this year.

Its older cousin is the red camellia sasanqua which has a record number of flowers this year.

Camellia sasanqua red

Camellia sasanqua red

Even the camellia ‘survivor’, which flowered earlier than the others, still has a few flowers left on.

Camellia ‘Survivor’

Elsewhere around the yard there are still a few things that have withstood the 25 degree temperatures that we’ve seen so far.  In particular the Japanese Quince is loaded with early blossoms.

Japanese Quince

And the heather has more flowers than I’ve ever seen on it.

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

One little surprise in alpine bed is a cute little polygala

Polygala chamaebuxus

When you actually go inside the greenhouse there are some very lovely flowers in process.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

Oxalis luteola

And some oranges just about ready to harvest

Satsuma dwarf Owari

One item from the greenhouse that has made it into the house is very striking Nerine from Far Reaches

Nerine ‘Pink Triumph’

I should mention too that when I went out to the woods yesterday I found the dark black berries from the Blackhaw Viburnum hanging in the tree.

Blackhaw Viburnum

A reminder of the flowers that will come in the springtime.

I should also mention that I spent early yesterday morning ordering seeds from the North American Rock Garden Society Seed Exchange.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to acquire unusual seed from all over the world.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day October 2023

Amarine tubergenii ‘Zwanenberg’

Well, it’s been a lovely Fall week for catching up with GBBD and many tasks in the garden.  Finally the outside ground is somewhat moist and there is a lot of green around garden, woods, and pasture.  Nonetheless as my eye explored the garden yesterday it was the Nerines that stood out to me.  I think it was two years ago that I first acquired the Amarine tubergenii from Quackin’ Grass Nursery.  They have a brilliant pink that stands out from other plants.  They stem from a cross between Nerine bowdenii and Amaryllis belladonna and while they are in principle hardy in zone 7 the only time I tried the plant didn’t return so I keep them in the greenhouse for now.

A 2nd Amarine

At the same time a much smaller Nerine is blooming in the greenhouse.

Nerine zinkowski hyb.

This was a hybrid seedling distributed by the Pacific Bulb Society.  A lot of flower for a small pot.

Of course I could share the many annuals still in bloom around here.  The zinnias are blooming like crazy and the Dahlias are maybe the best they’ve ever been.

Dahlia ‘Mai Tai’

Some of the perennial returnees from last year are notable like this Monkshood

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’

And there are many that just continue in flower week after week.

Last of the Colchicums

Cyclamen hederifolium

Tibouchina urvilleana

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Four o’Clock

I did add another plant to the garden today, a little Mahonia that came via Issima Nursery in Rhode Island.  This is a seedling from Mahonia eurybracteata and we shall see how hardy it is.

Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’ seedling

It’s worth noting that it’s not only flowers that are showy at this time of year.  The berries can be quite splendid.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

And as I closed the gate tonight I couldn’t help but notice the Red Jade Crabapple

Red Jade Crabapple

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2023

Crepe Myrtle

Well it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day again and I would like to begin by celebrating the crepe myrtles that provide a summer flower show.  As you can see from the above image the red one has been with us for a very long time.  It’s well over the garage roof.  The bark is wonderful and the individual flowers are lovely one and all.

Individual Crepe Myrtle flowers

We also have a white one down in the pasture and it seems to be growing nicely.

Crepe Myrtle white

Flowers that we see every day are the Princess Flowers on the back porch.

Princess flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

Both we and the hummingbirds look forward to our daily dose.

The Hydrangeas are also prolific and and an everyday summer flower show.

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

Looking around the yard you have appreciate just how dry it has been here.

Dry ground

We are currently at 75% of the normal rainfall and that has left us with many dead plants from my spring planting.  Yes we run hoses but there are many places on 7 acres that are not accessible the hoses.  I have a set of watering cans but that only covers the time when I’m actually here.

Watering Cans

Despite all that, and with help of hoses, we do have some more flowers to share.  As always the Allium millenium are reliable summer color.

Allium millenium

And I noticed (after one of the few thunderstorms that we’ve had) the Cyclamen hederifolium are starting to bloom.

Cyclamen hederifolium

As we wander out to the garden it is clear that the annuals provide a spot of color.

Annuals in the veg garden

And nearby the sunflowers are on display

Sunflower

More Sunflowers

The vegetable garden is also where we find a steady supply of gladiolias

Gladiolus ‘Princess Margaret Rose’

And despite the drought we have a good supply of vegetable and fruit.  I notice that the raspberries are starting their fall crop.

Fall Raspberry crop

And we been bringing in peaches and pears.

Harvesting Pears (Crispie)

That’s it for now, I’ll go back to doing my rain dance…

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day October 2022

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’

Just a few items for this GBBD since I’m a day late (as usual).  The blue monkshood shown above is sometimes called the autumn flowering monkshood because it comes to the very end of the season.  But wow, what a flower.  We’ve never grown it before because it is extremely poisonous but it has a long history of being grown in perennial gardens.

Also in the front yard I found the first of the fall blooming in Camellias.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Northern Lights’

This was planted last spring and I was surprised to see it in flower before any of the other sasanquas.

The first of the toad lillies are in flower now

Toad lily (Tricyrtis hirta ‘Sinonome’

Otherwise there are many of the carryovers from previous months still in bloom.

Colchicum ‘Bornmuelleri’

Princess Flower

Plectranthus

Cyclamen hederifolium

Out in the garden in raised beds the calendula continue with their wonderful flowering.

Calendula

Calendula

And with regard to raised beds I should mention that Josh and I installed a third raised bed for next year’s gardens.

Assembling new raised bed

And as we head out to the pasture there are late flowering sunflowers

Late Sunflower

as well as some of their smaller relatives

Swamp Sunflower ‘Helianthus angustifolius’

Gallardia in the pasture

I do have to take note of the Dahlias still coming into the house

Dahlia ‘Bodacious’

And the beautiful beautyberries by the driveway

Beautyberry

Finally let me close with our new approach to harvesting chestnuts.

Harvesting Chestnuts

Just stomp on the spiny balls and wiggle the lovely chestnuts out…

 

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 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 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