Well it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (or was yesterday anyway) and February really marks the serious start of spring flowers. Adonis, Winter Aconite, Crocus, Daffodils, Snowdrops, Witch Hazel, Primrose, Camellias, and Hellebores are all in flower. We spent three and half weeks in California and it was delightful to see the flowers that had popped up in our absence.
Adonis remains one of my favorite flowers but only the early-blooming ‘Fukujukai’ is currently in flower.
The biggest impact flower at the moment is the winter aconite.
We actually have several Eranthis hyemalis cultivars with different shades of yellow.
They are all quite willing to expand and I am finding new specimens each year in the yard and forest in places where I did not plant them.
Another highlight at the moment is the Crocus tommasinanus (which also keeps expanding it’s spot).
The witch hazels are all in bloom
We also have numerous clumps of snowdrops that are not only clumping nicely but also spreading out into the lawn
The Camellia japonica that I brought back from California on my lap in the 70’s continues to put out early flowers.
And as I mentioned the Daffodils and Hellebores are beginning to do their thing.
The first early primroses (Primula vulgaris) are now showing up. I don’t know why more people are not growing this lovely British wildflower which is anything but vulgar.
Meanwhile in the greenhouse there are many South African plants beginning their season
Yeah, I know the name doesn’t match the color in this Freesia but it’s all I have to go on at the moment.
Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2022
I’ll begin this seasonal GBBD post with an image of the Christmas greens and flowers over the fireplace. The Japanese quince has been flowering on and off again all Fall. The the red Camellia sansanqua continues to provide a regular supply of beautiful blooms.
This is what the full plant looks like.
and the individual flowers
Nearby is another fall Camellia that we brought home from Camellia Forest some years ago.
In the front yard (risking deer damage) is another fall bloomer.
There are only a few plants in flower besides the Camellias and the Quince. One is the first of the Hellebores (also known as Christmas Rose).
I noticed in walking the yard that some of the plants in bud are well worth thinking about as we wait for Springtime. The Edgeworthia is almost better in bud than in flower.
And there are several other plants starting to bud up
But it is December so one of our seasonal events is to buy a balled and burlapped Evergreen for our Christmas tree. In this case a Canaan Fir seemed to be the most attractive in our size range.
After our Christmas elves finished their handiwork it really looks quite splendid
It will head for the forest in January.
Also inside right now is a pot of Cyrtanthus (like miniature Amaryllis)
Besides prepping for Christmas the other thing that goes on this time of year are the various seed exchanges. On December 15th every year the North American Rock Garden Society releases the listing of seeds available through the seed exchange. This year there were 2400 different seed varieties available and the contributions came from all over the world. In my case the seeds I’ve requested came from contributors in the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland, Finland, Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic. If you have any interest in growing unusual plants from seed I highly recommend exploring the NARGS seed exchange.
Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day September 2022
Well it’s Bloom Day for September and the weather has been spectacular the past week. There are a great many annual flowers in the garden such as zinnias, cosmos, nasturtium, calendula, and daisies. I’ll just represent them all with the this big Dahlia that Beth brought into the house. And then maybe Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) since it has grown to spectacular heights (at least 12 feet) this year.
Another annual that has grown on our porch this year is Plectranthus. It was overwintered in the greenhouse and then took a while to catch hold in the spring. But it now looks spectacular (and it makes a good cut flower in the house as well).
Another back porch item is the Princess Flower which continues its daily vivid flowers
At the front porch is the very green welcoming garden that Beth built with deep black rectangles.
And a particularly striking addition this year is a Carex with pink flowers that we brought back from Plant Delights this spring.
From the greenhouse comes a very striking hyacinth relative from Madeira.
A few other items struck me as I walked about the yard. There are marvelous peony seeds at this time of year.
The Pyracantha and Hyacinth have intertwined to create a lovely combination.
And a newly planted Arisaema consanguinum looks for all the world like a mother hen for the neighboring Cyclamen.
Then there are the still good-looking repeats from last month.
And I discovered that the Clematis which I tried to remove at least two other times has sprung up again among the roses.
This is a particularly beautiful and vigorous plant that is happy to take over your garden.
And if you go for a walk on the hillside you will see the Colchicum doing their fall explosion of color.
The other thing that happens now are berries and other fruit.
And then I’ll close with one of the workers in the greenhouse that keeps the pests at bay.
Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2022
Well, I missed last month’s posting to GBBD (first time in ten years) and I feel somewhat guilty so I have a couple of special items for this posting. Back in April I received as a gift one of the largest plants I’ve ever gotten in a box in the mail (from ForestFarm).
It was a Gordlinia grandiflora, a relatively rare hybrid derived from a cross between Franklinia alatamaha and Gordonia lasianthus in 2003. It’s a relatively small tree with absolutely gorgeous camellia-like flowers.
It’s begun flowering now and should continue through September…
Another special item for us this year is the Princess Flower. I started this from a small 4 inch pot from Putnam Hill Nursery last year and it didn’t flower. So I carried it over in the greenhouse and repotted it at the beginning of the season. It has taken off over the last two months and it’s now 5 foot tall and still growing. In the meantime I found another specimen growing in a pot twice as big as mine and just coming into flower. Nonestop flowering is what it yields.
It will need to go into the greenhouse again but wow, what flowering!
Otherwise it’s pretty normal summer flowering for us.
The Allium are flowering in a couple of places
The Crepe Myrtle is finally in flower for the season
the Cestrum has recovered from its winter dieback
And the Crinum is showing its numerous hanging flowers
In the vegetable/cutting garden the Glads have yielded abundantly
and the Tithonia and Sunflowers are ten foot tall at least.
In the greenhouse there are multiple pots of Cyrtanthus in flower
as well as a particularly nice Sinningia
If we weren’t so busy picking fruits and vegetables I might actually finish weeding the greenhouse:)
Oh, I should mention that my excuse for missing last month’s posting was a trip to California where we relived our youth by driving down the California Coast.
It was a wonderful trip…
Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2022 (very late)
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
There was also a trumpet lily that I planted next to the grapes (from Brent and Becky)
There was also a nice Arisaema below the lilies.
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.
And just to finish this belated post on a sweet note this is what we expect every evening at this time of year
Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2022
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.
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.
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.
Naturally at the same time the tree peonies are stepping up to the plate.
Nearby is another very nice perennial.
And a very distinctive Japanese Maple that is worth building a garden around
We also have a reliable showing of Lamium by the garage where it outcompetes the weeds.
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.
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.
But amidst the clover are wallflowers, peas, flax, sweet william and POPPIES.
We also have for the first time Five Spot
As an ending point for this already long posting let me share the Viburnum on the hillside that overlooks these wildflowers.
Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2022
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.
There is even a black one that I’ve forgotten the name of…
There are several unnamed seedlings to be found in our woods since they don’t seem to be fancied by the deer.
And in the yard and the woods we find a classic primrose
Out in the front yard the Edgeworthia is announcing the beginning of Spring.
And then there are the classic spring bulbs
And yet more out in the woods
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.
I always feel good when little Saxifrages are willing to flower in our garden troughs.
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.
It has a few years to go to catch up with our normal Clivia. But I’m more than willing to watch it try.
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).
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 October 2021
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.