Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2019

Lily ‘Forever Susan’

In June the lilies begin to make their statement for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  They are exploding around the yard and they provide excellent cutting flowers as well.

Lilium ‘Forever Susan’ inside the house

One of my favorites is in the monument bed

Lilium ‘Netty’s Pride’ group

Lilium ‘Netty’s Pride’

In addition to the lilies another regular for this season is a very extravagant japanese iris

Iris ensata ‘Flashing Koi’

The bletilla continue with their orchid-like flowers.

Bletilla ‘Brigantes’

And nearby is a new Roscoea that we got from Far Reaches this year.

Roscoea purpurea f. alba NAPE 239

We have several clematis that have been trailing on fences and trellis including this one that runs up the sambuccus.

Clematis ‘Krakowiak’

A very long-lasting flower is one of the gentians in the alpine bed.

Gentiana dahurica

Walking in the front yard you discover there are many white flowers on the grass and then you look up in the tree and see the source.

Stewartia japonica

There are many, many flower buds on the tree.

With all the rain that we continue to have it’s not surprising that the green leafy plants are doing well.

Pinellia ‘Polly Spout’

Arisaema farghesii

Arisaema candidissum

In the greenhouse there are multiple habranthus in bloom (they seed around abundantly).

Habranthus robustus

The habranthus are much bigger than their zephyranthus cousins.

We were in the orchard this week bagging apples (basically to ward off insects).  The really odd thing is that we have a much smaller crop than normal because many of the trees flowered last fall in response to our tremendous rainfall.  It turns out that one the few trees to have a few apples worth protecting is our Spitzenburg.  I don’t know if you have tried Spitzenburg but it is one of the best apples ever.  In our case this is the one survivor of a row of Spizenburgs and it is barely hanging on as a tree.

Spitzenburg trunk

Nonetheless the apples on it are looking very nice.

Apple ‘Spitzenburg’

This is usually a tree that is very hard hit by pests.  So it’s very strange to see it outyielding much bigger stronger trees.

By the front of the second pasture is a volunteer adam’s needle that is flowering by its lonesome.

Adam’s Needle (Yucca filamentosa)

And nearby are various meadow plantings of wildflowers that son Josh put in this year. They are prospering.

Wildflower mix

And of course the wildlife are enjoying Josh’s efforts.

Cosmos in wildfire mix

Worth noting in the first week of June

Stewartia malacodendron

Last year at Stonecrop’s alpine sale I purchased this small tree from Don Dembowski with the hope of someday seeing the beautiful flowers that websites described.  I was amazed this year when several flowers appeared in its first year on our rocky hillside.  This is multiple weeks ahead of it’s neighbor, Stewartia japonica.  Not to take anything away from Stewartia japonica with its lovely bark and many flowers, but the S. malacondendron has much larger and absolutely gorgeous flowers.

Stewartia malacodendron flower

So far the deer have chosen to ignore this wonderful addition to our front yard.  It seems happy within the shade of surrounding trees.  Inspired by this success I’ve purchased Stewartia monadelpha as well and I’m looking for where to place what will eventually be a pretty large tree.

The remarkably consistent event on the first of June is the appearance of the Arisaema fargessi and Arisaema candidissum

Arisaema fargessi emerging

Each year I wonder if they have disappeared over the winter and each year they check the calendar and stick up their cone on June 1st (A. fargessi was a day early this year, but A. candidissum was right on schedule.  Meanwhile many of their Arisaema brethren have been up and about for many weeks.  The most striking at the moment is a new Arisaema ringens cultivar.

Arisaema ringens ‘Black Mamba’

The Arisaema ringens are big plants with leaves that extend over a couple of feet.  Here is the normal A. ringens in its third year.

Arisaema ringens

This is also the time of year for the martagon lilies to share their elegance.

Lilium x martagon ‘Claude Shride’

This one looked particularly nice when we put it in the middle stones that had been painted at a garden party last week.

Martagon lily with stones

In the front yard right now we have white daphne that is covered with fragrant blossoms.

Daphne x transatalantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’

And an azalea with some of the largest azalea blossoms I have ever seen.

White azalea

A focal point of the center garden is a large spuria iris with striking purple blossoms.

Spuria Iris ‘Stella Irene’

And in the monument bed a very pretty bletilla is in full bloom.

Bletilla ‘Brigantes’

The greenhouse still has a few contributions as well.  A pine woods lily that has appeared in other years at this time.

Alophia drummondi (Pine Woods Lily)

And a flower from Brazil that I don’t recalled having flowered before.

Neomarica candida

It’s very exotic, but you have to pay attention because the flower is only there for a day.

 

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