Not a lot to share for this mid-January Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day Post. We have several pots of the Cyrtanthus in bloom now. The nice thing about Cyrtanthus is that the blooms last for a long time. It is a large genus in the Amaryllis family with many unique flower forms.
Cyrtanthus are said to be hardy down to 25 degrees which would not do well with the 12 degree temperatures that we had last night. These are some of the coldest temperatures that we’ve have the past few years.
In the greenhouse we still have the last of the white Narcissus in flower.
However, outside there is not much to see, even if you spent time the very cold air looking. The snowdrops are fully in flower but when it is this cold they prefer to lie down.
One remarkable plant in the winter is the heather that we added several years ago. The flowers seem to be governed by the calendar and not by the temperatures.
One special event over the last week was the planting of the Concolor Fir that was our Christmas tree for this year.
We have been planting our Christmas trees for 46 years. I would say that about 30 percent have survived. It’s a really nice tradition. If you looked out of the back door a week ago, you can see two of the trees.
Well another Bloom Day and another year has come to pass. Today’s flowers include some very unusual participants for a December flower show. First and foremost is a Gentiana acaulis which would normally be waiting for spring to share its vivid blue colors. Instead a single flower has challenged the season.
As I went around the yard I saw several other features that illustrate just how warm it’s been this Fall. The Mahonia which is lucky to even be surviving here in Maryland has decided to put up some yellow flowers.
I even see color on the first of the spring cyclamen. And the Adonis and Snowdrops are budding up.
The heather which flowered most of last winter has it’s first blooms showing.
We have two spring flowering Camellia japonicas that are putting out lovely flowers and of course the fall flowering Camellia sasanquas are putting out many flowers.
And in the greenhouse the first of the Narcissus ‘Silver Palace’ are filling the pot.
Of course the flowers are one thing, but one of the items that really sparks the Christmas show is the hollies. Between the very large American Holly and the supporting cast of English Holly and Blue Holly we have more berries than you can possibly imagine.
It is definitely late Fall in Maryland for this GBBD and for awhile I thought there not be much in the way of color hereabouts. But the last few weeks have produced a shower of colorful leaves on many of the trees. Of course for us, it’s mainly about the Maples. The ‘Reznicek’ cultivar is one that I brought back from Michigan a few years ago when the annual meeting for the North American Rock Garden Society was held there. This is the first year I’ve ever noticed the beautiful two-toned effect on the leaves. Even without the coloring it has always been a special diminutive tree with finely laced leaves.
Just the ordinary Japanese Maples have also been having a colorful display lately.
Earlier in the month the Amur Maple was putting on a show of its own.
And right next to this Maple is the Beautyberry which had its own statement to make.
Berries are everywhere in the yard this year but it’s hard not to notice that the Blue Holly is absolutely loaded with berries.
I can only guess that this particular holly is having a good time with the American Holly or the English Holly since our attempts to plant a male Blue Holly have all failed.
But wait! This posting is supposed to be about flowers.
Most of the annuals have been frozen off at this point but there are still a few surprises in the yard. The peas continue to chug along through the first frosts and may even yield a few more edible pieces.
And one of our reliable David Austin roses is ignoring the cold.
But mostly it’s Camellias. It’s really their show for the next several months. Anytime the temperature gets into the forties, the spring camellias will send forth a volunteer.
And then most of the time there are always some of the Fall Camellias in bloom, as we see now.
When you see flowering like this it is hard to accept that winter is coming any day now…
Just like this bluebird who is trying to decide whether to make another nest.
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.
We have a steady supply of flowers from the both the perennials and the picking garden for this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. The dahlia above has been flowering for most of the summer.
The Tithonia in the garden give some idea of the good growing weather that we have had.
I always enjoy seeing the black and blue sage coming back because it was never supposed to be hardy in our area. The bees enjoy it in particular.
Nearby the David Austin ‘Crocus Rose’ is making a comeback.
And right beside it the continually blooming Cestrum
I also enjoy that the Cyclamen comes up at this time of year both in the ground and in the greenhouse
Other flowers can be seen in the wildflower patches
In the Alpine bed I discovered a Pulsatilla that is definitely blooming well out of season
In the greenhouse itself there is not only this striking Sinninglia species
But also a rather puzzling Buddleia which is coming up in nominally Gentianella pot.
Elsewhere the berries in the yard are striking.
Finally to note once again that since we can’t survive on flowers alone, we have been bringing in lots of fruit.
And for the first time Figs
I highly recommend homemade sourdough bread with brie, pear, and fig — yum…
It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for the middle of the summer. Our garden is like many at this time of year. Mostly annuals, crepe myrtles, and the last of the lilies dominate.
There are a few flowers worth noting. The Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’ has returned from it’s winter dormancy and will bloom until late fall.
We have a lot of annuals in the picking garden as well as the glads and dahlias.
The annuals and shrub flowers are great for attracting insects and birds, many of them very photogenic. I was struck by this little bluebird overlooking the garden.
The butterflies and other insects are striking.
August is also prime time for harvesting
This is the middle of the gardening year with abundant flowers, never enough rain, and rarely the time to think about what chores to take on next. For Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day I thought it appropriate to lead off with the exotic center of Stewartia Japonica. The last flowers are just finishing up on this wonderful tree. It not only flowers abundantly but has exquisite bark as well.
But the dominant theme for this time of year is LILIES. They are popping out like mad with their extravagant blooms. Some are super tall (Scheherzade) or small (Madame Butterfly), but all are worth paying attention to. Beth often brings them into the house for the fragrance. Here are some of our lily companions.
And at the same time that we are bringing lilies into the house the gladiolias are coming into bloom.
This year I noticed a particular red and white that is large and very frilly. No name yet but I will research that.
In the garden there is a lovely long row of glads and dahlia with flowers still to come.
Our hardest working gardener is son Josh, and he has put a wall of sunflowers on the border of the garden
At the same time there was a volunteer sunflower in the vegetable garden that we just let grow. I would estimate that it stands about 12 feet tall at this point.
I should mention that we put a barn owl box in the pasture.
It’s too late this year but hopefully we get a family next year to take of some of the small critters.
Nearby is a wildflower patch that Josh created by covering the existing grasses with a tarp until he was ready to plant. It’s worked out quite well.
And then lastly, because we live not by flowers alone, here’s an update on the upcoming orchard fruit.
This month’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day falls upon my mother’s birthday — her 100th birthday, something very worth celebrating. She has always loved flowers and we shared many moments of picking flowers and harvesting fruit.
And though her body is slowly losing the capabilities it once had, as recently as 18 month ago (pre-covid) we could still share humor and memories.
So as I look around our garden today, I know that I owe a lot my appreciation for gardens and gardening to my parents and grandparents. Today is also my father’s birthday (though he died more than 20 years ago) and their wedding anniversary. They were married at the start of World War II and this courtship poem that he sent from his barracks is an example of the many poems my father wrote during their life together
Meanwhile back here on the hillside we are harvesting gallons of peas and strawberries. Last night we pitted many of the wild cherries that yield every year without spraying or special care.
We’re thinking we should at least plant the seeds
The birds are happy to help out but they mostly work on the cherries that are beyond our reach.
Meanwhile the blueberries are starting to come in and they combine well with cherry juice.
But wait. There are still flowers worth mentioning. A lot of lilies are making their annual appearance.
But also some special additional items worth noting.
In the herb garden the perennials are making quite a statement as encouragement to the hummingbirds.
In the greenhouse there are many Zephyranthes popping up, but they don’t seem to follow any respect for my attempts at labeling.
I peeked in and saw this Hymenocallis blooming the other day (if you don’t catch it quickly it’s gone)
Before leaving this rather long post I do need to mention the Stewartia malacodendron. We have grown Stewartia japonica for years and it’s a wonderful tree with beautiful flowers and bark. It’s just about to come into bloom. But its cousin S. malacondendron bloomed about two weeks ago and it has truly remarkable flowers, well worth the time invested in getting to grow outside of its North Carolina origins.