An Easter Greeting

Erythronium americanum

I wanted to wish the world a Happy Easter today.  We had a marvelous day with lovely walks through the flower-filled pasture and woods.  So I thought I would share a Slideshow of the images.

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 February 2024

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

As usual for a February GBBD the Adonis is the most striking flower in our garden.  They always begin even when snow may be falling and they shake off the cold days.  Good luck finding any because nurseries seldom carry Adonis any more.  If you find them scoop them up in a hurry.

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

Elsewhere there a lot of winter aconite, hellebores, and snowdrops.  The snowdrops are showing an increasing ability to propagate into the lawn and are multiplying every year.

Galanthus nivalis ‘Blewbury Tart’

And the winter aconite are everywhere, both where I’ve put them and where they are now spreading.

Winter Aconite happily spreading

There are even a couple of unusual cultivars that are spreading as well.

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Schwefelglanz’

Eranthis hyemalis ‘Orange Glow’

The Hellebores are just getting started but their flowers are always arresting and we usually cut some for display in the house.

Helleborus x nigercors ‘HGC Green Corsican’

Helleborus x hybridus PDN Yellow

Helleborus x hybridus PDN double bicolor

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Winter Sunshine’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Cotton Candy’

And out in the woods the Helleborus foetidus has continued to put out its flowers.

Helleborus foetidus

Of course it’s also worth noting that the early daffodils are just finishing.  Many more to come.

Narcissus ‘Rinjveldt’s Early Sensation’

And the first of the Camellia japonicas putting out their wonderful flowers.

Camellia japonica red

Of course in the midst of everything the crocus are doing their usual springtime thing.

Crocus tommasinianus

Sometimes when you walk about the yard you go just to inspect the things that you expect to be blooming.  I almost missed the first ot the small Iris sticking up its little flag.

Iris histroides ‘George’

And over in the alpine bed I found this little polygala putting it’s first flowers out.

Polygala chamaebuxus

It’s worth pointing out the greenhouse also has flowers to share with us.

Cyrtanthus breviflorus

Cyrtanthus hybrid

Geissorhiza inaequalis

There’s also a tiny thalictrum that needs to be planted outside

Thalictrum urbanii

We recently returned from California with its flowers galore so I was very pleased to see how many things were in flower here in Maryland.  I put together a little SLIDE SHOW to share the general effect of my first walk around the yard last weekend.

 

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day January 2024

Amazon Lily

Well it’s getting cold for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  Coldest temps of the winter expected this week.  So I thought I would start with the Amazon Lily pictured above.  This plant is about 30 years old and has never been repotted.  It flowers twice a year with these orchid like flowers and survives with minimal care.  We put it outside once the frost has passed us by and it will flower again in July.  Highly recommended.

On the outside of the house right now the camellias are still the special flowers.  This one sits in the northeast corner of the house and survives even being outside the deer fence.

Camellia Sasanqua October Magic Orchid

Another special camellia is ‘Yume’ which has become pretty reliable.

Camellia ‘Yume’

Of course if you stopped by for a visit right now I would take you out to see the first daffodils.  Rinjveld’s Early Sensation may turn out to be too early as the flowers may get blasted this week.

Daffodil ‘Rinjveld’s Early Sensation’

Otherwise what we have are a number of snowdrops, one of which has seeded itself into the lawn.

Galanthus elwesii

Out in the woods we do have a distinctive foetidus hellebore coming into flower.

Helleborus foetidus

Lastly I should share the heather which looks like it is going to flower all winter long.

Krarmer’s Rote Heather (Erica x darleyensis)

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 November 2023

Camellia ‘Survivor’

Just a few things to share for this bloom day.  As always the Camellias are the most startling representatives of our late Fall gardens.  I’ve never figured out why more people in Maryland don’t grow the Camellia Sasanqua but for us it multiple weeks of pleasure.  The white one shown above is the first to bloom and probably the hardiest on our property.  It comes from Camellia Forest in North Carolina.  But right behind it is our red Fall Camellia which I brought back from California many, many years ago on my lap in a cross-country flight.

Red Camellia sasanqua

The rest of the yard has pretty much succumbed to touches of frost.  Still no really hard frost so a couple of roses are still in bloom.

Crocus Rose

And a few spots of Daphne can be seen too.

Daphne

The last flowers in the vegetable garden are some lovely little calendulas.

Calendula

And it’s hard not to notice the berries when you walk about the yard.

American Holly

Otherwise it’s diving into the greenhouse where I’ve made space for other plants by taking out the 10 foot high pomegranate and some other potted plants that had rooted themselves in greenhouse floor (not allowing that anymore).  This leaves space for big pots like this Plectranthus.

Plectrantrus

I think we will also harvest some mandarins this year off of the potted citrus.

Mandarin Orange

Some of my favorite greenhouse plants are the various Nerine species.  They bloom over a long period with various flowers that resemble more reasonably sized amaryllis.  The one in flower at the moment is Nerine undulata.

Nerine undulata

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 September 2023

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

Well this has been a terrible summer for us.  We have a few flowers for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, but we have lost so many plants to drought.  The Princess Flower has survived because it is on the porch getting regular water.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

But we don’t have anything like the usual flowering at this time of year.  Probably the most striking flowers right now are the dahlias which also have gotten fairly regular watering.

Dahlia ‘Mai Tai’

Dahlia ‘Helen Richmond’

The sedum is pretty hardy and has returned with its usual flowering for September.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

And the colchicum at coming out the ground as scheduled.

Colchicum bivonae

Colchicum ‘Giant’

The very reliable cestrum is still in flower.

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

And walking about the yard yesterday, I found a few cyclamen with fall flowers.

Cyclamen hederifolium

In the greenhouse a pot of the non-hardy cyclamen was also in bloom.

Cyclamen graecum

Beside it are several pots of sinninglia species (that are happy to spread to neighboring pots)

Sinninglia sp.

It is worth mentioning that the dry weather has been very good for our figs and it’s become a lunchtime habit for me.

Steady stream of Figs

Also very noteworthy is a lovely little bukiniczia with great foliage in the alpine bed. It came from seed this year and should be able to flower next year.