Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day July 2024

Lilium Oriental-trumpet hybrid ‘Scheherezade’

Well, it’s that time of year and even though I’m late again for GBBD I should lead off with the lilies.  Many of already come and gone, but there are still some to gaze upon.

Lilium ‘Stargazer’

Lilium henryi hybrid ‘Madame Butterfly’

We still have many continuing showpieces like the Cestrum and the Hydrangeas and the Princess Flower.

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

But the first of Crepe Myrtles are starting to bloom as well.

Crepe Myrtle white

The annual flowers in the vegetable garden are also starting to dominate.

Annuals in the vegetable garden


Next to them amidst the corn are some lovely sunflowers.

Sunflowers mixed in with the corn

Sunflowers in peak form

The Alpine bed around the greenhouse is mostly done flowering but I did see some daphne still trying to bloom.

Daphne collina x cneorum flowering out of season

I was also struck by the beauty of the bark on the Chamaecyparis.  

Chamaecyparis obtusa

This particular tree is forty years old now and one of the bigger trees in the back yard.  It’s a beauty.

One last thing to share is a discovery at the local Costco.  I’d never seen these tropical plants from the Far East before and was delighted with the form and color.

Curcuma alismatifolia ‘Siam Shadow’

They are zone 8 so they will need to go into the basement or greenhouse for the winter but I think that will be worth it…

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day June 2024

The pasture at sunset

I’m going to lead off this edition of the Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day with a picture of our pasture at sunset featuring the wildflowers that son Josh planted last year.  They really exploded into flower this year with no extra labor at all.

Wildflowers in the pasture

He created this field by laying down a tarp to kill off the existing plants before seeding and it has really come into fruition (literally) this year.  There has been one series of flowers after another since early spring.

Looking the other way on that same sunset evening shows the wonderful light off of our larger trees.

Pin Oak over the house at sunset

Another tree well worth sharing is the Stewartia japonica in the front yard.

Stewartia japonica

I have never seen so many flowers on this tree.

Stewartia japonica in full bud stage

The buds from the top of the tree are covering the lawn below

Stewartia japonica blossoms in the grass

Another plant worthy of particular attention is the Princess Flower which spent the winter in the greenhouse.

Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)

It is becoming big enough that we will have to think about the best plans for it over this next winter.

Full size picture of the Princess Flower

Zooming in on Princess Flower

The porch gets a few tropicals in this season

Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet)

The other item worth mentioning at this season is the beginning of the lilies.

Trumpet Lily

Red Asiatic Hybrid Lily

Yellow Asiatic Lily in the Herb bed

Lily ‘Pink Perfection’ in the grapes

Lily ‘Pink Perfection’

There are many other flowers happening now but here are a few that I should single out.

Gentiana septemfida (Summer Gentian)

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’

Arisaema candidissimum

And let me end with our contribution to the food supply for Monarch Butterflies.

Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May 2024

Stewartia malacodendron

Well I’m later than ever this month because we were on travel again for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  But I will try to quickly share some of the most interesting of the many flowers on display this month.  First and foremost is the Stewartia shown above.  It is also known as Silky Camellia because it’s part of that family and it is also a native tree (the Carolinas) though the chances that you have ever seen one are probably not very high.  It’s basically an understory tree that doesn’t stand out unless you are looking for it.  But oh my the flowers are wonderful.  This year is the first time we have ever had so many flowers on this very small tree (maybe 8 feet tall at the moment).

Stewartia malacodendron with many flowers

Another tree that is very nice right now is the Chinese Dogwood

Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa)

I really have to look at this from the second floor of the house to get full appreciation of it’s upward facing flowers.

And as long as we are talking about trees I should mention the Golden Full Moon Maple with it’s delightful lime green leaves.

Golden Full Moon Maple (Acer Shirasawanum)

Nearby is one of our oldest Rhododendrens

Rhododendron ‘Chionoides’

The flowers cut from this shrub are incredibly long-lasting in the house.

The first of the lillies is adding to our garden pleasure.

Enchantment Lily

While the roses, peonies, and Iris continue to provide flower after flower

Tess d’Uberville rose

Crocus Rose

Light Pink Tree Peony

Iris gracillipes

Beth has been bringing in many of the garden flowers for the kitchen counter.

Garden Harvest

Another nice item is the Chinese Ground Orchid and I like the purple one the best.

Bletilla striata (Chinese Ground Orchid)

In the Alpine bed we have a very nice Rock Rose that is flowering up a storm.

Rock Rose (Cistus albanicus)

Cistus albanicus outgrowing its location in the alpine bed

And nearby a trough has a dianthus overflowing the container.

Dianthus overwhelming a trough

And I should mention the Clematis which is always very striking.

Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’

There is also a flower on the giant Podophyllum in the side yard

Podophyllum delavayi

Podophyllum delavayi flower

Finally let me mention the Evening Primrose which has decided to make a home in the pasture on Sunset Hill.

Oenothera speciosa in pasture

Pink Eveing Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day April 2024

Well, I am spectacularly late for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day this month.  My excuse is that we went to England in April and had a chance to visit some of the world’s most delightful gardens.  We spent one day at Kew and and another day at Wisley and soaked up tons of inspiration for the future.

Kew Garden

Wisley Garden

Arriving back home we found many things in bloom and some past bloom (as expected).  But I will share some aspects of the yard just to provide an insight as to what is going on here. The redbuds, dogwoods, and wisteria are fully out now and the apples are the last of the fruit trees to be flowering but they have a very strong bloom this year.

Pink Dogwood in the front yard

Fragrant Cloud Dogwood

Kwanzan Cherry is finished

Apple Orchard getting organic spray with radish flowers in abundance

The peonies have both finished blooming for some (P. caucasica) and just now blooming for others (P. mariei for example).

Paonia mairei

Early Tree Peony

We were delighted to see the Loropetalum get a full bloom this year.  It’s marginal in our climate but the winter was very mild this year.

Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum ‘Zhuzhou Fuschia’

There are many flowers happening at the moment ranging from very tiny iris to greenhouse delights and onto spectacular wisteria and trillium springing forth.

Iris henryi

Watsonia from the Greenhouse

Viburnum carcephalum

Trillium grandiflorum

In the alpine bed we have pulsatillas, poppies and delosperma.

Pulsatilla albana v. flavescens

Morrocan Poppy (Papaver atlanticum)

Delosperma basuticum

And out in the woods we find numerous surprises.

Narcissus ‘Badgeworth’

Camassia in the woods

Shooting Stars (Dodacatheon meadia) in the woods

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-Pulpit) in the woods

Viburnum prunifolium (Blackhaw)

Altogether there are wonderful things happening everyday.  And now more to plant…

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)