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BelleWood in Bloom

BelleWood in Bloom 2018

February March
April May June
July


July


Tuesday, 27 July 2019

Turns out that this summer the bottlebrush buckeye, Aesculus parviflora,
is very popular with the butterflies.


There have been a few monarch butterflies


and greater numbers of tiger swallowtail butterflies.


Sunday, 25 July 2019


The bottlebrush buckeye, Aesculus parviflora, is living up to its common name.

Clear wing hawk moths (easy to mistake for a hummingbird) seem to appreciate it.

I raised it from seed, back in Connecticut. It made the transition in
a wardrobe carton on the moving truck.


Lilium 'Stargazer' is magnificently, fragrantly, in flower.


Thursday, 25 July 2019

Summer Heat and the Bananas Are Lovin' It


Tuesday, 16 July 2019


Love this Hemerocallis 'Africa'. Makes me think of Vulcan's forge
with glowing coals in the heart of darkness. The darkest daylily i know.


I first saw Mirabilis 'Limelight' at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown
a number of years ago. Chatreuse leaves, vivid fuchsia pink flowers. It comes true
from seed, which is how I got my start. Keep dry and dormant over winter. Easy.


Monday, 15 July 2019


Mirabilis 'Orange Crush' is a lovely four o'clock, pale orange with just a hint
of pink in the center. I raised it from seed a couple of years ago, store the tubers
indoors, packed in a box with peat moss in the winter. Attractive, easy to care for.


Busy with the usual spring rush I was late repotteng hippeastrum
that had been wintering in the basement under Atacama desert dry
conditions. Brought up into the light, repotted, watered well - and
they are happily hastening into bloom. This is handsome 'Red Lion'.


Say "bulb" and most people nod their heads and think of tulips and
daffodils. There are other bulbs that would not survive our winters
but, like the hippeastrum, are willing to spend their dormant time in
a basement. Such as this magnificent bulb, Eucomis pole-evansii.


Deer like lilies perhaps as much as do I. My appreciation is based on
aesthetics. Theirs, on gustatory consumption. Lilium 'Mabel' was
charming, I did take a few pictures, but then it was apparently eaten.


With a fragrance mintier than mint, Pycnanthemum virginianum
is a charming addition to the summer garden. Bees like it too.


Saturday, 13 July 2019


Tropical plants love tropical summer weather. This elephant ear
has leaves that appear large enough to fit on an actual elephant.
If it was a green elephant, that is. Yes indeed.


Monday, 8 July 2019


I bought this nice variegated angel trumpet, Brugmansia 'Peach Parfait' last summer.
Flowers come in waves - several at once, a pause, then more. First white, then peach.


Bought some lily bulbs at Costco. Potted them up and did label. I thought these were
rosy red 'Stargazer' but clearly not. At least all three are the same, white 'Casa Blanca'.


Last year I saw no flowers from Silphium connatum because the deer ate them.
Obviously this year their locavore dining habits have changed to something else.


Their flowers cluster at the top of the tall stalk, golden daisies on a deep rooted plant.


They have what are called perfoliate leaves, which look as if the stem pierces them.


Sunday, 7 July 2019


'Baby Star', one of the neglected-in-the-basement hippeastrum has flung itself into bloom.


Monday, 1 July 2019


Another pretty begonia acquired last summer, this is Begonia boliviensis 'Sparks Will Fly'.
Tuberous, insisted on going dormant over the winter spent in the greenhouse, now in bloom.


I bought a bag of Crocosmia 'Lucifer' corms last year at Costco. Potted up. So-so results.
The pots left in the garage over winter began to grow, those that were unpotted - nothing.
Winter storage space is limited so this year I have planted them out. Next year - we'll see.


A closeup of the colors on Canna 'Tropicana'.
Who needs flowers when leaves are this bright.


Not sure under which name I got this canna.
It could be either 'Pretoria' or 'Bengal Tiger'.


Yucca is sometimes put down, called a trailer park plant.
Perhaps that is due to its sturdy, low maintenance needs.
Do you agree that Yucca filamentosa 'Golden Sword', with
creamy yellow variegated leaves, is worthy of more respect?


June


Saturday, 29 June 2019


Stewartia pseudocamellia, a favorite understory tree of mine is now in flower.


How beautiful, its pristine white petals that cup the boss of golden stamens.


Thursday, 27 June 2019


A closeup of a banana leaf with sunlight illuminating it.


Saturday, 22 June 2019


Not even a month on, and the bananas are racing into growth. All the rain
that we have been having is exactly what they enjoy, plus summer's heat.
Let me suggest you scroll down to the 27 May entry to see the difference.


Sunday, 16 June 2019


Spirea 'Gold Flame' makes a nice irregular sort of hedge towards the toe
of the slope on the side of the house. Birds coming to the nearby feeder
appreciate the shelter it provides, even in winter when twiggy and bare.


Sometime in spring as the flame red buds just begin to appear I give it
a thorough pruning back with electric hedge clippers. Works well. And
when the flowers fade I'll give it a less severe trimming, for neatness.


This is Persicaria polymorphum. Rare for a knotweed, it is well behaved, with the
stature of a shrub, herbaceous, and not invasive. I appreciate it good behavior.


Digitalis lutea is a perennial foxglove. It seeds about at an enjoyable level.


The rain lilies are having a good time this year. Habranthus robustus enjoys the wet
weather, especially after the rather dry winter conditions under a greenhouse bench.


I grow cannas for their foliage rather than their flowers. Just look at the
wow! factor provided by Canna 'Tropicana', aka 'Phasion' or 'Durban'.


Saturday, 15 June 2019


I planted the petasites in an old enameled bathtub with three layers of screening
over the drainage hole. As you can see - it escaped. Appreciates this year's rain.


Ismene is another of the tender bulbs that sleep away the winter in
my basement, then roar into growth when planted outside in spring.


May


Monday, 27 May 2019


Not a weigelia. This is Kolkwitzia amabilis. The cultivar is 'Dream Catcher'.


The bananas are certainly enjoying the ample rain we have been getting.


Lemon lily, Hemerocallis lilio-asphodelus, is one I dug from
the garden of an an abandonded farmhouse in Connecticut.


Paeonia 'Krinkled White is considered one of the best single white peonies.


These columbines with deep purple-black and white flowers
seed about here and there. And most welcome to do so.


Monday, 20 May 2019


Another scarlet red peony, its label invisible, buried in the undergrowth.


Friday, 17 May 2019


A lacy geometry of flowers on double file viburnum, Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum.


Sapphire berry, Symplocos paniculata, is a froth of white flowers.
Here's hoping there will be an equally good set of autumn berries.


Saturday, 11 May 2019


Peonies are making a display, like this vivid scarlet red Paeonia 'Illini Warrior'.


Tuesday, 7 May 2019


This Rhododendron yakusimanum was moved from Connecticut, inside one of the first
wardrobe cartons off the moving truck. It was "inherited" from a friend's garden after
he passed. The leaves have a fuzzy brown indumentum underneath that deer don't like.

I enjoy the apple blossom pink flower trusses,
and think of my friend each spring when it flowers.


April


I was away in Sedona, Arizona so that's why there is a gap
in the middle of April when my garden performed unseen.


Saturday, 27 April 2019

Things are blooming in the greenhouse too.


I shall have to look up Brugmansia 'Peach Parfait' and see if it is a dwarf.
Bought last year, it remains modest in size compared to others I have had.


Last year I indulged my fondness for abutilon and ordered more than I should have.
Now I'll need to find them summer homes outdoors, and where to hang this beauty,
Abutilon megapotamicum variegatum, a variegated trailing form of Chinese bells.


Thursday, 25 April 2019


Back home from Arizona, catching up on laundry, groceries, life in general,
I went into the basement to look at dormant bulbs. Not so dormant tubers
of Sauromatum clearly expect me to get my act together and plant them.


Tuesday, 23 April 2019

So much in bloom when we did return home. And trees have gone from bare to green.


Pristine white flowers of Helleborus niger still looking marvellous.


Daffodils are at their peak. Just look at Daffodil Way, where Narcissus poeticus cultivars
'Old Pheasant Eye', 'Actaea', 'Cantabile' are in bloom. They were planted the autumn
we moved here from Connecticut, back in 1995. And still enchant me, 23 years later.


'Thalia' is an older cultivar, sometimes difficult to find. Well worth the search.


Other bulbs are in flower too, such as this interesting little
Guinea hen flower, Fritillaria meleagris.


And summer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum. Even if
no one really thinks of late April as summer.


Some native plants categorize as geophytes, the fancy word for
bulbs = corms + tubers + rhizomes. Trillium, for example. Native
and grows from a food storing tuber. This is Trillium luteum.


Latin names do offer information. Here we have Anemonella thalictroides.
That "translates" to little anemone. And thalictroides refers to the leaves
which resemble those of thalictrum. Sweet little native, not eaten by deer.


Here's a Japanese woodlander, Hylomecon japonicum. Also unappreciated by deer.


This Japanese primrose, Primula kisoana, is interesting because it rambles about
with surface or just subsurface little runners. I happy wherever it wants to spread.


Whether you know this as its older name of Anchusa mysotidiflora, the anchusa
with forget-me-not like flowers, or Brunnera macrophylla, the brunnera with the
very large leaves, it is a lovely plant for woodland shade. I have the plain green,
also 'Jack Frost' with silver leaves. Then something like this appears on its own.


Petasites japonicus variegatus, variegated sweet coltsfoot also has attractive leaves.
Flowers come first while weather is still cold, in a small cluster like a little nosegay,
close to the ground. Then the big yellow splashed leaves make a show all summer.


Redbud, Cercis canadensis, is a popular spring flowering small tree
with vivid fuchsia pea-like flowers appearing along the branches.
Close, but this is not it. I happen to be growing the western species,
C. occidentalis. Which was in bloom in Sedona when we were there.


Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Herbaceous perennials are coming into bloom in the woods. Quickly now,
before the trees leaf out and intercept the sunlight. Pulmonaria rubra is
a pleasing lungwort, this species with plain green leaves and pink flowers.

It was a number of years ago when I hauled these Magnolia stellata into the woods
and planted them. They were, I assure you, smaller back then. And I was younger too.


Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Narcissus cyclamineus with its swept back petals
stamps its progeny with this characteristic.

Such as Narcissus 'Dove Wings', which will mature to all white.


Monday, 8 April 2019

The daffodils are also hurrying into bloom, including Narcissus 'Ice Follies'

Absurdly warm weather (it reached 78 degrees Fahrenheit this afternoon) has
all sorts of plants hastening into bloom. Like this star magnolia. Isn't it lovely.

Charming overall, and well worth a close up look too.

I have several of the more often seen white, and one pink star magnolia.

It is a little slower into bloom, by about a day. Wonderful year for magnolias.

The earlier, sessile trillium are also up and out. Just see this colony of Trillium cuneatum.

Helleborus niger is also making quite a show. The bees are enjoying it too.


Sunday, 7 April 2019

A lovely group of Jeffersonia dubia. Lots of little one or two flowered offspring,
self-sown, scattered about nearby. Good deal, as they don't transplant easily.

Do you call it bloodroot, or give the formal Latin Sanguinaria canadensis.
Sanguinaria, sanguine, bloody - all the same. and refers to the orange sap.


March


Monday, 25 March 2019

Helleborus niger aka Christmas rose. This year, edging up to Easter instead.


Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Helleborus Early Purple Group. Flowers quite well but rarely sets seed for me.

Not a snowdrop but a snowflake, Leucojum vernum, with its starched petticoat bells.

One of my favorites, Galanthus nivalis 'Virid-Apice' with its green tipped petals.


Thursday, 14 March 2019

What a difference a few days make. Warmer temperatures, some sunshine and - voila - flowers, lots of them.

Winter aconites, Eranthis hiemalis, a field of gold.

The wizened little tubers sold in fall may be difficult to get growing.
The few that do take hold will thrive and produce generous seed.

Actively growing plants are easy to move by the trowel-full when flowers fade.

Golden sunshine in the form of flowers, balanced on a green Toby-ruff.

Interestingly, honeybees (there's one to the right of center) prefer snowdrops

as may be seen perhaps a little more clearly, here.

Lots of snowdrops racing into bloom, like these Galanthus nivalis x plicatus,
with petals as plump and rounded as cream tea spoons.


Tuesday, 12 March 2019

The last of the snow and the first of the snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis.

First of the hellebores too, my favorite Helleborus Early Purple Group.

A couple of brave winter aconites, Eranthis hiemalis.


February


Friday, 22 February 2019

It's a late season. Here it is, nearly the end of February. And all I can find
are a few lonely little winter aconites, Eranthis hiemalis, one here, one there.


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