BelleWood in Bloom 2007

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Friday, 12 October 2007

Nothing much in bloom, your basic green while in leaf, but oh my!
when the leaves yellow and drop and all those bright little violet fruits are revealed
then for sure Callicarpa earns its name of beautyberry, and pays its rent in my garden.

Hooded flowers like a Capuchin monk's hood are supposedly where monk's-hood
found its common name. Aconitum in Latin, this autumn flower adds color and grace
to my garden, its poisonous nature keeping the flowers safe from hungry critters.

Aconitum 'Cloudy', with near-to-white flowers washed with soft blue is a new cultivar.
I like the aptly named flowers in partnership with variegated Miscanthus sinensis and Montauk daisy.
I found it last month, when the Tohickon Garden Club was visiting at Meadowbrook Farm.
There's more about our visit if you go to September's diary entry and scroll down a bit.

Despite what the label mentions, Montauk daisy is not native to Long Island but to Japan.
Well, I did purchase it at Shoprite, and supermarkets are not known for horticultural expertise.
The taxonomists have shifted it from Chrysanthemum, and it is henceforth to be known as
Nipponanthemum nipponicum. A sub-shrub with a woody base, I'll need to clip it back
in early spring if I want to keep it from getting tall and gawky with a bare base and flowers at the top.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2007

A mere cutting last year, wintered over in the garage with but a few puny leaves.
Happy, happy outdoors, responding well to a 24-inch diameter pot filled with nutritious soil,
compost, and fertilizer. Lots of water. Demands lots of water. More fertilizer too.
Survived August's bombardment of hail (with perforated leaves.)
And now salutes summer's run-down to the autumn equinox with luminous white angel trumpets.

It was a sister bloom spike to this Eucomis pole-evansii that took the blue ribbon
in "other bulb, corm, or tuber" at the Tohickon Garden Club's show, "The Art of Flower Arranging" last weekend.
In fact, it did rather better than that, sweeping the horticulture section and receiving
an Award of Merit and an Award of Horticultural Excellence.

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Sunday, 8 July 2007

Surprisingly, these bulbs of Asiatic hybrid lily 'La Reve' have been surviving nicely in a half-barrel size plastic planter for several years now.
I had thought the bulbs would freeze out and die over winter, but not so. No complaints on my part, and apparently not by the lily.

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Monday, 25 June 2007

Peruvian daffodil, Hymenocallis narcissiflora, is among the easiest of summer bulbs.
Native to the Bolivian Andes, it thrives with minimal care: plant outdoors when mild weather
is suitable for planting tomatoes. Dig and store dry at room temperature over the winter.
A member of the Amaryllidaceae it is, like daffodils for which it is commonly named,
untroubled by deer or voles or other hungry critters.

Forget the watering can or hose. Irrigation won't do the trick.
Habranthus tubispathus wants rain to wake it from dormancy.
Move the pot outdoors in advance of a shower. Let it get drenched. Two days later -
flowers. It is magical. No wonder they're called rain lilies.

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Monday, 4 June 2007

A stunning tropical hibiscus I bought, of all places, in Wegmans. It is in a large container
at the bottom of the driveway. There's another container with a red hibiscus on the other side.
The goal is to discourage vehicles from using our driveway when turning around
and at the same time embellish the area.

The peonies have been wonderful this year. 'Krinkled White' is one of my favorites.

Single peonies never fall over as the double-flowered cultivars are wont to do when it rains
soaking up water like blotting paper.

Anemone- or Japanese-flowered peonies have stamens changed to petaloid form.
Still resistant to flopping when wet.

Pretty, don't you agree?

Allium christophii is about knee high, with a large umbel of metallic purple star-flowers

Nectaroscordum is, by some taxonomists, classed as one of the ornamental onions. Easy to see the relationship.
I find the nodding bell-flowers, greenish on the outer petals, flushed with rose on the inner ones, quite attractive.

Flowers on the slope behind the house, Hemerocallis - for some reason I think it is named 'Swamp Queen'
and golden barberry, Berberis thunbergii Aurea'. They make a pleasing combination, don't they.

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Friday, 18 May 2007

Layer after layer on the branches, looking as elegant and delicate as lace
the classy white sterile florets of Viburnum plicatum surround the tiny fertile flowers, .

Wild sweet William, Phlox divaricata, scatters itself throughout the woods,
welcome with its delicately scented flowers of soft blue or white.

Looking like a dumpy kind of astilbe, the plump white bottlebrush flowers
of dolls' eyes, Actaea pachypoda, are mildly pleasing
(but not as showy as autumn's white berries.

Another primrose from Japan, Primula sieboldii will disappear into dormancy after flowering.
Some are white, pale pink, deep rose, or bicolor. There's even a society in Japan,
devoted to this plant, popular not only for its flowers, but also their resemblance to cherry blossoms.

Also from Japan, but certainly not a flower, Japanese painted fern, Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum',
is a wonderful silver foliage plant to consider for the shady garden. It is one of those happy options
that goes with every other plant you might be growing in the woods.

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Friday, 3 May 2007

Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, self-sow and multiply. Lovely in bloom, disappearing soon afterwards.

A seedling-produced lungwort, Pulmonaria saccharata, with silver spotting multiplied so it covers the younger leaves.

Warm rosy pink flowers on display above the unspotted, softly haired green leaves of Pulmonaria rubra.

Primula kisoana, native to Japan, is happily at home in BelleWood Gardens woodland.

One of the earliest daffodils brought into cultivation, among the latest to bloom,
old pheasant eye, Narcissus poeticus, is one of my favorites.

'Thalia' is an older cultivar. I like its dainty, nodding white bell-flowers.

I saw 'Foundling' in a catalog one year, bought it, and have not seen it offered since.
A pity, as the soft pink cup and white petals of this cyclamineus cultivar make it a choice little daffodil.

No, not lily-of-the-valley on steroids. This is summer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum
It is one of the few bulbs that accept moist soil.

Trillium need protection here at BelleWood Gardens. Thought not as popular as tulips,
the deer will also dine on such native beauties as this trio of Trillium grandiflorum

Sessile trilliums differ from the pedunculate type seen in the previous image.
In pedunculate trilliums the flowers open widely, there is a peduncle, or little stem, between flower and leaves,
and the leaves are all green. The flowers of sessile trillium never open widely
and they sit directly on the blotched leaves.

Summer dormant, the leaves of Arum italicum 'Pictum' appear in autumn and stay through winter.
By Spring they're showing damage from cold and snow. Now a second flush appears,
and make a handsome addition to the Spring garden.

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Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Rich wine-red Hyacinthus 'Splendid Cornelia' is one of my favorite hyacinths.

Guinea hen flower, Fritillaria meleagris, has chunky bell-flowers marked off in checkerboard fashion.

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Sunday, 22 April 2007

Salmon orange 'Gipsy Queen' is not a color often associated with hyacinths.

Soft pink is a more popular color.

As are blue shades from pale to this rich hue.

Blue seems to be a popular color, as in the daisy-like flowers of Anemone blanda.

And also Chionodoxa. Ignore the leaves of garlic mustard. See the mauve-pink flowers?

This is Corydalis solida, a freely self-sowing ephemeral tuber.

By now some native perennials are showing their flowers, like Trillium sessile.

And our native Allegheny spurge, Pachysandra procumbens, presents its little white bottlebrushes.

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Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Not a dandelion, and not native either.
Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara, is an early flowering ephemeral
once used to treal coughs.

Daisy-like flowers of Anemone blanda thrive at the woodland edge.

'White Splendour' is as especially large flowered cultivar.

Soft blue flowers with a white eye,
Chionodoxa lucillae, seeds about in the shady woods.

'Pink Giant' is an especially large flowered form
with rose-pink buds that open into soft pink flowers

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Saturday, 7 April 2007

A colchicum relative, once classified as colchicum,
now known as Bulbocodium vernum.

Closer view of Bulbocodium vernum,
and you can readily see the segments divided down to the base,
unlike colchicum flowers, which fuse into a tube.

Intensely blue, with purplish brown stems,
Chionodoxa sardensis is an easy bulb for the early garden.

Narcissus cyclamineus, with its characteristic swept-back petals
is a parent of many excellent daffodil cultivars.

Call it lungwort, call it Pulmonaria,
both names refer to the spotted leaves. It is one of the easiest
and earliest of shade-tolerant perennials for the woodland garden.

Typically, Pulmonaria saccharata has pink buds opening to blue flowers.
Variations include this elegant, white-flowered form.

Despite the leaf damage they suffered earlier in the year
these Christmas roses, Helleborus niger, opened lovely white flowers
in time for Easter.

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Monday, 26 March 2007

An overcast sky, a garden filled with flowers.

Helleborus orientalis with a dainty pink flower.
One of the survivors of the ice escapade.

Pristine white flowers appear on Helleborus niger

Golden daisies of ephemeral Adonis amurensis
that will quickly fade away

Green tipped petals provide the name for Galanthus nivalis 'Virid-apice'

Like stiffly starched petticoats, the green-tipped bells
of Leucojum vernum, the spring snowflake

Vivid cerise flowers make up for small scale with intensity of color
on Cyclamen coum

Like a smoky haze floating near the ground
shade tolerant, Crocus tomasiniannus thrive in woodland

Wonderful intensity of color, petals cupped as a lavender chalice
encircling vivid red-orange stigma

Like little golden coins rolled across the woodland floor
Eranthis hiemalis, winter aconite, in cheery bloom

Close up, it's easy to see the snippet texture of each little leaf,
like Toby's ruff in a Punch and Judy show.

Eager into bloom, Scilla tubergenianna starts to flower
before the buds are well clear of the ground.
Its new, and taxonomically more correct name of
S. mischtschenkoana makes me want to say
"Gesundheit." Sounds like the cat sneezed.

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