Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2019

Aquilegia buergeriana v. oxysepala

The surprise for this month’ Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (in a month that has been full of flowers) is this striking Aquilegia that is almost 4 feet tall.  It is also volunteering in places where I didn’t plant it, but that’s all right for now.

Aquilegia buergeriana v. oxysepala

Aquilegia buergeriana v. oxysepala

I grew this several years ago from seed obtained from Growild in Scotland and I was immediately captured by the color combo.  Nearby is a related plant grown from the same source.

Semiaquilegia adoxoides fl. pl. Alba

Of course we also have the old reliables.  

Peony ‘Festiva Maxima’

Rhododendron ‘Chionoides’

Allium triumphant in the front bed

A striking addition to the front bed is this dark purple salvia from Plant Delights

Salvia ‘Amistad’

Recently I’ve been noticing that the extravagant foliage of the podyphyllums hides some lovely flowers.  The p. delavayi has dark red flowers.

Podophyllum delavayi

But even prettier flowers are on the podophyllum pleianthum

Podophyllum pleianthum

Podophyllum pleianthum flowers

Back at the alpine bed the various dianthus are putting up a spectacular show right now.

Dianthus petraeus subsp. petraeus

Dianthus petraeus subsp. petraeus

And the saxifraga’s are illustrating their value in troughs.

Saxifraga x longifolia

In one of the more recent troughs i’ve now added a little horned rampion that came from one of last year’s seed exchanges.

Phyteuma sieberi (Horned Rampion)

Let me close by noting that son Josh has planted many allium in the orchard as potential deer deterrent and wonderful eye candy.

Allium around young peach tree

They are wonderful mixed in with all the meadow flowers we have growing right now.

Allium as accent in the meadow garden

Besides the buttercups and daisies that we get naturally Josh has added crimson clover to the mix.

Buttercups and clover

Crimson Clover

We are continuing to run a couple of weeks ahead of last year, with again a powerful amount of rain in the mix.  Currently our rainfall is 60 % above normal and it has left the ground wet and fields green and lush.

 

Easter Surprises

Kwanzan Cherry

When the cherries are in bloom I am often reminded of this celebration of springtime.

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

 

Now, of my three score years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.

 

And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.  — A.E. Housman

 

It’s the sort of enchanting notion that can get you out and about on an Easter morning.  And when I did so I was immediately rewarded by a visit from an Angel, Wuhan Angel to be specific.

Iris japonica ‘Wuhan Angel’

I’ve had a fitful relationship with the Iris Japonica because the other cultivar that I have is fairly aggressive and I’ve banned it to the shade garden reserved for thugs.  I haven’t seen blooms on it for years and I was thinking of taking it out of even that hidden spot until I saw this morning’s white angel and so I went back to check on it and found that it too is coming into bloom, probably by tomorrow, and it is appropriately named ‘Eco Easter’ courtesy of Plant Delights.

There were other benefits of this morning’s walk around the yard.

Two more Peonies had their first blossoms (P. caucausica bloomed last week)

Paeonia daurica subsp. mlokosewitschii (Molly the Witch) – no yellows around here…

Paeonia ostii

This is a spectacular species tree peony.

It’s also blooming time for the merry bells and fairy bells

Uvularia grandiflora (Bellwort or Merry Bells)

It’s easy to confuse these with the Disporum flavens (Fairy Bells) which blooms at the same time.  But an easy way to see the difference is to note that the flowering stem comes from within the leaf on the Uvularia.  The Disporum flavens is also simply more floriferous.

Disporum flavens (Yellow Fairy Bells)

Nearby the first of the arisaemas is getting ready to strut it’s stuff.

Arisaema ringens

And the white glaucidium is a dramatic addition.

Glaucidium palmatum ‘Album’

Under the Kousa Dogwood there is planting of tulips that is commanding attention right now.

Tulip ‘Yellow Spring Green’

Let me close this Easter message with a peek at the Alpine bed which is accented at the moment by a fully open display of Delosperma

Delosperma ‘Gold Nugget’ and friends (aubrieta, armeria, dryas, lewisia, and aethionema)

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2019

Camellia pure white

Well, not only has spring jumped forward for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but it looks as though we are done with frost for this year, weeks in advance of the norm.  The Camellias have had a great run of bloom, producing more flowers than we could have imagined.

Camellia pink in abundance

The daffodils and hellebores have provided multiple pickings each day to feed the household vases.

Daily indoor spring flowers

Meanwhile, I go on a daily treasure hunt to see what has popped up from previous plantings.  Like the following little treasures.

Erythronium revolutum ‘White Beauty’

Ranzania japonica

Peltoboykinia watanabe

Primula kisoana

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Peppermint Ice’

Oxalis griffithii – Double Flowered

Trillium pusillum ‘Roadrunner’

And then there is the further development of plants I had noted in earlier posts, like this lovely anemonella

Anemonella ‘Green hurricane’

And the last of the adonis.

Adonis amurensis ‘Sandanzaki’

Of particular note are the bloodroots.

Sanguinaria multiplex

These last in flower much longer than the standard species.  Similarly, the new semi-double cultivar ‘Snow Cone’ is wonderful in the way that the flowers expand in size each day and lasts about as long as the double-flowered.

Sanguinaria ‘Snow Cone’ next to Corydalis ‘Beth Evans’

Sanguinaria canadensis Snow Cone’

This little beauty came from Garden Visions.

Then there are flowers in the troughs and alpine beds like this very tiny phlox.

Phlox sileniflora

and this colorful geum

Geum reptans

The dwarf columbine has it’s first flowers out

Aquilegia flabellata v. nana

And some of the flowers I’ve noted earlier have continued to expand.

Aubrieta ‘Blue Beauty’

Lewisia longipetala ‘Little Raspberry’

Armeria maritima ‘Victor Reiter’

There is also a very compact, low to the ground ornithogalum that I can’t put a name on at the moment (but it’s lovely even without a name)

Delightful ornithogalum in the alpine bed

Finally, I spent a couple of seasons trying to trace down a single pink anemonella, and I finally have one that is blooming very nicely.

Anemonella ‘Single Pink’

April Delights

Daffodils in conversation

There are so many things happening in the yard right now that it is difficult to keep track of them all.  I feel light the perennial puppy dog jumping from one delightful surprise to the other.  To begin with the daffodils are exploding in the yard, on the hillside, and in the forest.  It seems like a particularly bountiful year for these stellar performers that get ignored by browsing animals.

Narcissus ‘Tropical Sunset’

And the big Magnolia Stellata is fully in bloom

Magnolia stellata

The Hellebores are everywhere with their spectacular but mostly downward facing blooms

Double flowered White Hellebore

Helleborus Double-White

Hellebore double purple

But what really engages me in the spring are the smaller ephemerals that mostly have short but lovely blooming cycle.

Jeffersonia dubia ‘Dark Eyes’

Jeffersonia dubia ‘Dark Eyes’

Hepatica light pink

Hepatica nobilis white

Sanguinaria multiplex

Hacquetia epipactis

Fritillaria stenanthera ‘Cambridge’

Anemonella thalictroides ‘Green Hurricane’

Corydalis solida ‘Gunite’

One of my favorite Corydalis is ‘Beth Evans’

Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’

It was delightful to see that not only has this Corydalis seeded itself into the neighboring pathway but it’s also 15 feet away under the holly tree.

I was somewhat surprised that a couple of the Adonis are coming up much later than their brethren.

Adonis amurensis ‘Beni Nadeshiko’

Adonis amurensis ‘Pleniflora’

And my favorite, Adonis amurensis Sandanzaki, is only just now coming into bud.  

The alpine beds and troughs also have some early spring flowers in bloom.

Aubrieta ‘Royal Red’

Pulsatilla grandis

Aethionema saxatile

This little Burnt Candytuft was planted in tufa, but has jumped ship and is appearing in various places in the alpine bed.  

Nearby is a really nice little sea thrift obligingly staying put on the tufa.

Armeria maritima ‘Victor Reiter’

Nearby is a very early blooming Lewisia

Lewisia longipetala ‘Little Raspberry’

Two years ago I acquired a nice little Draba from Oliver nurseries that is forming a nice compact mound.

Draba rigida

A surprise to me this year was a little Saxifrage that came from Wrightman’s Alpines two years ago.

Saxifraga ‘Valerie Keevil’

It’s growing in a very protected location on the shady side of an eastern-facing trough and if it flowered last year I totally missed it.

I shouldn’t ignore the greenhouse which continues to produces some South African gem every week.  The latest is a 2 1/2 foot tall Ixia that came from the Pacific Bulb Society last fall.

Ixia hybrid

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Edgeworthia by the front road.

Edgeworthia chrysantha

It seems they are much hardier in Maryland than I expected.  

Finally I need to share an example of the Camellias which also prove to be much hardier than one should really anticipate.

Camellia japonica Pink with dozens of flower buds.

Now it’s time to go out into the yard and see what else is blooming.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day March 2019

Ferraria ferrariola in the greenhouse

Well, I guess it’s a typical March Bloom Day.  The weather has oscillated from snowfall to 60 degrees of beautiful.  The last snow we had was last week and it disappeared almost as fast as it came.  With 70 degrees yesterday.

March 9 snow

Heather in the snow (Kramer’s Rote Heather)

But this week we are back to spring bulbs in abundance.

Winter Aconite in abundance

The Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) are spreading vigorously and my thought is take some of the seed that appears this year and help things along by spreading it other places.

The first Iris has popped up in the front yard beneath the Stewartia

First Iris

And the first Scilla are flowering in the woods.

Puschkinia scilloides

A very special Hellebore is preceeding its brethren with charming striped flowers.

Helleborus thibetanus

And the Adonis are still flowering in various parts of the yard.  Especially nice is the orange variant, Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

In the alpine bed the Draba is the first to appear

Draba hispanica growing in a piece of tufa rock

And beside it the first flowers are appearing on the Aubretia.

Aubretia

In the greenhouse, where I tend to think of it as South African spring, the exotic Ferrarias are capturing a lot interest at the moment.

Ferraria sp.

There a number of other unusual flowers at the moment that make nice indoor treats

Babiana purpurea

Geissorhiza inaequalis

Moraea vegetata

But for the indoors I have to give the most credit to the Clivias which have been spectacular this year.

Spectacular Yellow Clivia

Hall of Clivia at the front door

Springtime is here!

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’

We are finally having a real springtime experience.  It seemed like it would never come.  The Adonis have been waiting and waiting for some sunny days.  Even in the snow (which we had last week) the Adonis were so ready to move on to spring.

Adonis in the snow

The snowdrops have been testifying that they too were ready to get on with springtime.

Snowdrops in the snow

So that when we had several days with sun this week everyone started to show their flowers.

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’

Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

Winter Aconite in abundance

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Schwefelglanz’

First crocus

I even found a couple of snowdrops that had seeded into the grass, something I’ve never seen here before.

Snowdrop in the grass

This encouraged me to scrape back some leaves and I managed to uncover a Helleborus thibetanus in flower.  It’s such a charmer forerunner of the main crop of Hellebores.

Helleborus thibetanus

Meanwhile the greenhouse has continued to yield some lovely exotics like the Lachenalia and a very fragrant Tulbaghia.

Lachinalia unicolor

as well as a beautiful Freesia.

Freesia ‘Red River’

It is however, hard to exceed the Clivias for overall impact.  Twice a year these african natives put forth long last colorful stalks and survive on minimal care.

Orange Clivia miniata

Yellow Clivia

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day February 2019

Moraea elegans

I thought I would start this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day post with a bright and cheerful Moraea from the greenhouse.  This is one of the prettiest bulbs in existence.  It flowers for only a short time, so I was glad to catch it just as it opened.  It’s also been reclassified as Homeria where it becomes a noxious weed according to the USDA.  Since it’s hard to keep growing even in cultivation it’s hard to understand how it earned that distinction.

Nearby is a little scilla from Syria

Scilla cilicica

Like many of the small squills, this one has startling dark purple anthers

Outside the greenhouse the world has a few flowers but mostly it’s all in anticipation of things to come after the ice and snow of the last week.

In particular the snowdrops have been doing their part.

Galanthus elwesii

Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus ‘Blewbury Tart’

And the Winter Aconite are just beginning to appear. 

Winter Aconiter (Eranthis hyemalis)

but most of the rest are playing a waiting game

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’ waiting in the wings

Adonis ‘Fukujukai’

Paonia caucasica in bud

Pictures of trees and shrubs show why the flowers are not in a big hurry yet.

American Holly

Dwarf Cryptomeria covered in ice

I think it’s fair to guess that by this time next month we will be covered in flowers.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2019

Well a couple a snowfalls have put a definite damper on our flower show for this January Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  The view out the back door gives a sense of our surroundings this mid-January day.

Backyard after fresh snowfall

Nonetheless there are couple of stalwarts that have seen fit to bloom despite the snow.

Pink Camellia

I have no idea the name of this camellia.  I brought it back from California in my lap many years ago as one gallon $2.99 supermarket acquisition.  I grew many years in the basement before I realized that the camellias were likely hardy enough to survive outside.  For a winter like this one where we have yet to see temperatures below twenty degrees, this plant will flower from December onward.  When it’s freezing cold the flowers will get browned off at the edges but usually we can grab a nice bud in the opening stage and enjoy it in the house before that happens.

And, of course, if they are not covered by snow, the snowdrops will persist in flowering well into spring.

Snowdrops

The other flowers for us are from the greenhouse.

Firelight Gold daffodil on block wall

Narcissus bulbocodium ‘Firelight Gold’

Notice the number of buds forming in this pot.  I will definitely need to divide these after they go dormant.

Narcissus Roy Herold seedling

Beyond the greenhouse it’s also worth looking at flowers in preparation, for example the Edgeworthia

Edgeworthia buds

And some remarkably early Jeffersonia dubia

Jeffersonia dubia (early)

I amazed each year the early appearance of flowers on this single Jeffersonia dubia.  It looks like it is predisposed to flower much sooner than Jeffersonia ought to be waking up.

I’ll close with a picture of the large pileated woodpecker that has been working on our big tulip poplar…

Pileated Woodpecker