Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2023

Hamamelis x Intermedia ‘Diane’

Just a quick post for the month with the least flowers on display.  Our Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day finds that the winter has been mild but most plants are just fattening up there buds for the months to come.  There are a few exceptions.  The Witch Hazel shown above is joined by several others on the hillside but none are as spectacular in bloom as ‘Diane.

The snowdrops are popping out.  Even a few that have migrated into the lawn.

Galanthus elwesii

And the first of hybrid Hellebores is now in flower (not counting ‘Jacob’ which appeared a month ago)

Helleborus x ‘Winter’s Song’

There are othe plants just on the verge

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’ just opening

And I can see colorful buds on the Peonies.

Paeonia caucasica buds

The cyclamen are also noteworthy for the lovely patterns they create as they continue to spread in the yard.

Cyclamen hederifolium leaves

And in the house we have steady stream of flowers from the greenhouse (especially Cyrtanthus) and some new orchids that arrived as Christmas and birthday gifts.

A new orchid for the house

Finally I should point out that we did plant the Christmas tree last week to provide a future landmark in the pasture.

Xmas tree planting for 2023 (Canaan Fir)

This is also the month for planting the seeds obtained from the NARGS seed exchange.

Planting the NARGS seeds

As always there are great expectations.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day December 2022

Flowers over the fireplace

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.

Camellia sasanqua red

and the individual flowers

Camellia sasanqua red

Nearby is another fall Camellia that we brought home from Camellia Forest some years ago.

Camellia x ‘Yume’

In the front yard (risking deer damage) is another fall bloomer.

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic Orchid’

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).

Helleborus niger HGC® ‘Jacob’

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.

Edgeworthia in bud

And there are several other plants starting to bud up

Cyclamen coum flower buds

First Daffodil buds (Rijnveld’s Early Sensation)

Paeonia caucasica buds

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.

Canaan Fir

After our Christmas elves finished their handiwork it really looks quite splendid

Our Christmas Tree

It will head for the forest in January.

Also inside right now is a pot of Cyrtanthus (like miniature Amaryllis)

Cyrtanthus mackeni

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 November 2022

As it turns to Fall (wintertime temperatures are on the way but we have been spared a hard frost so far) this GBBD post has to focus on Camellias.  It is always amazing to me what a long season we have with the Camellias.  Between the C. japonicas and C. sasanquas (and the various hybrids) we usually have Camellias blooming from October through April.  I began growing them with 1 gallon pots that brought on airplane rides from California and then put them in the basement each winter until I realized they were actually hardy here.  We had one really cold winter that seemingly killed this red sasanqua to the point where i actually cut it back to the ground.  And then the next year it came back vigorously.  So this bushy flowering plant is actually the second rebirth of our Fall Camellia.

Fall Camellia

Some of the others in bloom right now are shown below.

Camellia x ‘Survivor’

Camellia sasanqua ‘October Magic Orchid’

Elsewhere in the garden the Cestrum continues it’s flowerful display

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Pretty special for a plant that dies back to the ground every winter.

Right next to it is the Japanese quince that has no business blooming in November (but it often does).

Red Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles)

We have had a very extended Fall and the roses are still putting out blossoms.

Rose ‘Knockout Red’

And out at the front fence there are a continuing sequence of flowers on the Daphne I planted there several years ago.

Daphne × transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’

In the pasture I still see spots of color from the gaillardia that have volunteered from wildflower plantings.

Gaillardia

In the alpine bed there is still a single Moroccan Poppy remaining from the many that flowered there this year.

Papaver atlanticum ‘Flore Pleno’

In the vegetable garden we not only have flowers of various sorts but fall peas and lettuce still coming in.

Fall Peas and a strawberry

Fall Peas

Calendula and Lettuce

Calendula (Pacific Beauty Mix)

Tithonia

And then lastly let me close with an indoor flower.  We see flowers twice a year from the potted Amazon Lily and once again it is doing its thing with a minimum of care.

Amazon Lily flowers

Highly recommended as a wonderful houseplant that can play outside in the summertime.

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 September 2022

Dahlia in the house

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.

Tithonia

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).

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’ in detail

Another back porch item is the Princess Flower which continues its daily vivid flowers

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

At the front porch is the very green welcoming garden that Beth built with deep black rectangles.

Entrance Garden

And a particularly striking addition this year is a Carex with pink flowers that we brought back from Plant Delights this spring.

Carex scaposa

From the greenhouse comes a very striking hyacinth relative from Madeira.

Scilla madeirensis

A few other items struck me as I walked about the yard.  There are marvelous peony seeds at this time of year.

Peony Seeds

The Pyracantha and Hyacinth have intertwined to create a lovely combination.

Intertwining of pyracantha (mojave) and hydrangea (limelight)

And a newly planted Arisaema consanguinum looks for all the world like a mother hen for the neighboring Cyclamen.

Arisaema consanguinum and cyclamen hederifolium

Then there are the still good-looking repeats from last month.

Cestrum x ‘Orange Peel’

Crepe myrtle white

And I discovered that the Clematis which I tried to remove at least two other times has sprung up again among the roses.

Clematis paniculata

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.

Colchicum ‘Giant’

The other thing that happens now are berries and other fruit.

Viburnum wrightii

Fig fruit ready for picking

Potomac Pears at harvest time.

And then I’ll close with one of the workers in the greenhouse that keeps the pests at bay.

Jumping Spider in greenhouse

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day August 2022

Gordlinia grandiflora flower closeup

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).  

Gordlinia grandiflora arrival

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.

Gordlinia grandiflora

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.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina Urvilleana)

Princess Flower (Tibouchina Urvilleana)

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

Allium ‘Millenium’

The Crepe Myrtle is finally in flower for the season

Crepe myrtle white

the Cestrum has recovered from its winter dieback

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

And the Crinum is showing its numerous hanging flowers

Crinum powellii

In the vegetable/cutting garden the Glads have yielded abundantly

Gladiolus

Picking Glads

and the Tithonia and Sunflowers are ten foot tall at least.

Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower)

Sunflower

In the greenhouse there are multiple pots of Cyrtanthus in flower

Cyrtanthus elatus

as well as a particularly nice Sinningia

Sinningia eumorpha

If we weren’t so busy picking fruits and vegetables I might actually finish weeding the greenhouse:)

Crispie Pears (these are very sweet)

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.

Drake’s Beach Point Reyes

It was a wonderful trip…

 

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2022 (very late)

Nightrider Lily

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

Purple Marble Lily

Lily ‘Istanbul’

There was also a trumpet lily that I planted next to the grapes (from Brent and Becky)

Lily ‘Pink Perfection’

There was also a nice Arisaema below the lilies.

Arisaema candidissum (white form)

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.  

Wildflower meadow

Monarda citriodora

Evening Primrose

Larkspur

Centaurea

And just to finish this belated post on a sweet note this is what we expect every evening at this time of year

Blueberries and ice cream

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