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BelleWood in Bloom

BelleWood in Bloom 2018

April May June
July August September


Monday, 8 October 2018

There were a few delightfully cool autumnal days but now the weather is back to mild and moist. Wonderful for mushrooms, soggy for everything else. Autumn flowers are coming along right on schedule.

Monk's hood, Aconitum, for one. I do enjoy its rich blue-violet hue.

It seems to be the time of year for blues and purples. Another
good option is beautybetty, Callicarpa. There are both a native
American species and two from Asia. This is C. dichotoma. Nice.


Once called "the son before the father" for its autumn flowers
and spring foliage growth, Colchicum speciosum is a beautiful,
reliable, easy care addition to the garden. Good cut flower too.

Into the greenhouse now, where Cyclamen hederifolium is happily
flowering. It is quite hardy but this way I enjoy it even in wet weather.

Oxalis melanosticta is another greenhouse denizen, not hardy though.


Saturday, 8 September 2018

Bush clover, Lespedeza 'Gibralter' is another welcome sort of shrubby
addition to the autumn garden. Inconspicuous all summer, until now.

Seven sons, Heptacodium miconioides.

Arum pictum has awoken in the greenhouse.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Musa basjoo is enraptured with this summer's heat, humidity, rain.
No need to close the curtains to my study to keep the sun out.


Thursday, 30 August 2018

I tried to coax a couple of pots of Rhodophiala bifida into bloom
a week ago, for the garden club's flower show. Sigh. Flowering now.

From the Pacific Bulb Society's wiki: "The dark "oxblood lily" form of Rhodophiala bifida grown in Texas. It flowers in autumn before leaves. It is well known by its strong offsetting habit and no seed production. The color form of this variant is found in a population of the Province of Entre Rios, Argentina."

Monday, 27 August 2018

Canna flaccida 'Purpurea' skyrocketing up in the half barrels
at the bottom of the driveway: narrow leaves, delicate flowers.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

A bigeneric hybrid of Amaryllis belladonna and a crinum,
this is ×Amarcrinum, with lovely, substantial, pink flowers.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Responding to the downpours, late summer rain lilies, Zephyranthes candida.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

There was a gap in the heavy afternoon rainstorms so I dashed outside
to take a couple of images of Crinum ×powellii 'Roseum' which has
come into bloom. Justifying the space it takes in the winter greenhouse.


Friday, 27 July 2018

Four o'clocks, Mirabilis jalapa, are easy to raise from seed and where not
winter hardy, store dry as you would keep canna. This is 'Limelight', whose
fuchsia flowers really glow against the chartreuse foliage. Quite showy.

So named for their afternoon opening,morning closing,
this is Mirabilis jalapa 'Orange Crush'. Looks good with
daylilies in the same color range, also Canna 'Tropicana'.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

White flowers open at night welcome moths to come and pollinate.
Mirabilis jalapa 'Alba' is another four o'clock that I raised from seed.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Not sure how many years I have kept this Canna 'Tropicana' but
it is many. Dig after frost, store dry in garage, boxed in peat moss.

Ditto for Canna 'Bengal Tiger'. Or 'Pretoria'. I've found it under both names,
also as Canna striata. Here I've paired it with an abutilon and eucomis.

Eucomis pole-evansii is the largest pineapple lily that I have.

And the abutilon is 'Paisley'. I used to have A. pictum 'Thompsonii'
with a prettier variegated leaf and apricot flowers but it has vanished.

I did find a good assortment of abutilon at Kartuz Greenhouses
in California, ordered 8 different ones. Small, as mail order plants
will be. Potted individually and growing nicely. This is 'Moonbeam'.

Mountain mint, Pycnanthemum virginicum, is a native plant with very
mint-fragrant leaves. Silvery flowers "cool down" hot colors like orange.

Love this daylily, Hemerocallis 'Africa' with maroon petals and hot yellow throat.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

One of the prairie dock, Silphium connatum.
Perfoliate leaves actually cup and hold rain water.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Prairie plants such as this Silphium connatum reach stately heights.
And have roots that grow deeply enough to balance them against wind.

Lilium 'La Reve' has happily survived in a half barrel
planter for years. Perhaps I should dig and divide it.

Saturday, 8 July 2018

Mirabilis longiflora is night blooming with extremely long tube, something
that demands a moth with an extremely long proboscis to A) reach the nectar
and B) pollinate the flowers. Which something does because seed set is good.


Sunday, 17 June 2018

Four days later. Habranthus martinez, rain lily, with even more flowers

Yellow foxglove, Digitalis lutea, happily seeding up and across the slope.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Another rain lily starting into bloom. This one is Habranthus martinez.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Yet another hippeastrum in flower. This one is 'Red Lion'.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Begonia 'Sparks Will Fly'. another tender perennial useful as an annual.
Don't bet that I won't be bringing it into the greenhouse at summer's end.

No label. Just a pretty, double flowered pink begonia.

Streptocarpella. Have grown this before. Cool winter greenhouse temperatures
are just fine. Good in a hanging basket. I can foresee this will be a crowded winter.

Another hippeastrum happily in flower. Label lost, name forgotten.

Related to Japanese knotweed, Persicaria polymorphum
is much better behaved, forming a slowly expanding clump.

Friday, 8 June 2018

The rain lillies are starting with Habranthus robustus.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

This enkianthus was a birthday gift, a gift certificate to a nursery in Connecticut, back when we lived there. When we came to New Jersey, It was in one of the first six wardrobe cartons off the moving truck (there were plants in the other five - my plants are important, they had priority.)

I think of this whole sequence - gift certificate, making a choice,
growing the shrub, then moving it, and of course - thinking of
the gift giver, whose gift continues to please me, year after year.

And the bananas continue to hurl themselves skyward.

This is an intersectional, a cross between the familiar herbaceous peonies
and tree peonies. It was a bargain at Home Depot a few years ago. Expensive,
the ones that did not sell were deeply discounted after their flowers were done.

This is another intersectional I bought at the same time.

This peony always does well, every year generously in flower.
Peony 'Krinkled White'. Got it from Song Sparrow Nursery.

A semi-double pink peony. I think the flower had issues, this year.
It should be more full - all petals, no yellow stamens.


Sunday, 28 May 2018

The peonies are hurrying up into bloom.

Flowering at the same time as Deutzia, looks a lot like it too. They are related.
This is a cultivar of Kolkwitzia amabilis, named 'Dream Catcher'. Quite nice.

I really should pull these out. Blackberries, sprawling all over and into
other plants. But look how they are flowering. Let them fruit, I'll pick
and enjoy. After that - why then I'll take the Weed Wrench to them.

Rattlebush, Baptisia australis, is just about in flower.

Leopard's bane, Doronicum caucasicum. Must work,
never saw leopards here. Could use some deer bane . . .

Here's another salvage, Scilla litardieri.

The species daylilies are earlier into flower than the hybrids. Hard to find too. This is Hemerocallis lilio-asphodelus, which I dug from the side of the road from an abandoned garden. In poison ivy. It was worth it.

The pots of hippeastrum are happy to be outdoors.
'Charisma' has two more bulbs in bloom.

Also multiple pots of Hippeastrum 'Baby Star'.

We have had rain. We have had warm-to-hot weather.
Just two weeks on, and see how the bananas are loving it.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

My bananas have been uncovered. Some of the culms rotted over winter, not quite sure why. But as you can see the remaining culms are rising up into new growth.

I've been repotting hippeastrum that slept winter away
in their pots. This one was in such a rush to flower.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

There's an old fashioned shrub named jet bead, Rhodotypos scandens.
Shade tolerant, deer have (for years, so far) ignored it, needs little care.

Quite attractive too, with pristine white flowers followed by black berries.

Now that Trillium grandiflorum has been fertilized the flowers change
from white to rose pink, signaling that they've already been pollinated.

Phlox stolonifera is one of two species that prefer shade.
Evergreen, it is also a dainty groundcover. And it's native.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Woodland shrubs are coming into flower by now. This is fothergilla.

Just a few days, and now Arisaema thunbergii var. urashima
has opened up, flicking its fishing-line-like spadix extension
up over the spathe. Who knew, a fly fishing Jack-in-the-pulpit.

Japanese woodland peony, Paeonia japonica alba. Or maybe it is
Paeonia obovata alba. A friend and I have been discussing this . . .

Such a nice daffodil, Narcissus 'Polar Star'.

Sweetly fragrant, Narcissus 'Trevithian'.

Typical bleeding heart have pink flowers. This red is Dicentra 'Valentine'

Weeds are growing too. Fortunately my neighbor's sheep love to eat
garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata. But I have to deliver it to them.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Most flowering quince that I see have a somewhat harsh brick red
This is Chanomeles 'Cameo', and I really like its soft peach orange.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

'Frohnleiten' is a handsome epimedium with interesting parentage: Epimedium perralderianum ×pinnatum ssp. colchicum. AN excellent low growing plant for lightly shaded woodland settings.

Yet another brunnera, this one with handsome silvery leaves.
This is elegant Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost', blue flowers.

Warm weather has Primula kisoana showing more and more flowers.

Narcissus poeticus cultivars are lining the path up into the woods.
They include 'Felindre'. 'Cantabile', 'Old Pheasant Eye'. These
Division IX cultivars reliably return each year, and are favorites.

They all look very much alike, stamped with N. poeticus genes.

Not sure who this is, a nice Division I trumpet with pink cup.
The bulbs themselves don't care for a name, just grow and bloom.

Ditto this fluffy ruffled double, also white and salmon pink but
extra petals make it look like a ruffle filled petticoat, not a daffodil.

It's early in May which kinda, sorta, explains
why summer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum
has this name. It is later than L. vernum, in March.

Anemone blanda 'White Splendour' has that spelling because
it was named in England and that's their spelling. Priority, again.

Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, dancing along a woodland path.

Almost open, Japanese Jack-in-the-pulpit,
Arisaema thunbergii variety urashima.

Green trillium, Trillium luteum just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Broken umbrella plant, Syneilesis palmata, is running in my woods.
Seems happy enough here, far from its native haunts in Japan.

As the children's song goes: "Roses are red, dilly, dilly, violets are blue.
"If you love me, dilly, dilly, I will love you." Except not all violets are blue.

Judas tree, Cercis canadensis, is flowering hither and thither.
This, looking much the same, is a relative, Cercis chinensis.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

I have several clumps of crown imperial,
Fritillaria imperialis. But this year there's
not much bloom. Shall fertilize, then wait
until next year to learn if that is any help.

And it was just a month ago, on 2 April, that we had better than 4 inches of snow
with just a few daffodils in flower. What a difference! But this segue into summer
with exceptionally hot weather will have the flowers going as quickly as they came.


Monday, 30 April 2018

This is dainty little Anemonella thalictroides.
A charming petite wildflower that shows up,
here and there, in lightly shaded woodland.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Now named Brunnera macrophylla, big leaf brunnera, this once
was Anchusa mysotidiflora, anchusa with forget-me-not flowers.

There are variations. This is Brunnera macrophylla 'Dawson's White'
for the handsome white edging to its leaves. Flowers are still blue.

I loathe lesser celandine, Ranunculus ficaria. It is a pestiferous
thug, spreading wildly and difficult to kill. Should I beware, then,
of Ranunculus ficaria 'Bowles Double' - probably so. But it is pretty.

As is Ranunculus ficaria 'Brazen Hussy',
displaying distressingly prolific tendencies

A Japanese woodlander, Hylomecon japonicum has sunny
yellow flowers to light up shady places if given humus-rich soil.

Another charming perennial from Japan is Primula kisoana.
It spreads by underground runners just below the soil's surface.

Two days ago Trillium grandiflorum had flowers only part open.

Trillium luteum is another sessile trillium.
The green flowers have a pleasant citrus-y scent.

Guinea hen flower, checkered lily, leper's bells are all common names for the same little bulb, Fritillaria meleagris. Given damp soil it can be grown in full sun instead of part shade as I have it.

Here's an overall look at Fritillaria thunbergii.

Narcissus poeticus is a prepotent parent, stamping its appearance
on its progeny in Division IX. It, and its offspring are favorites of mine.
Since I'm not sure just who this is, let us call it N. aff. poeticus.

I think this is Narcissus 'Salome'. One thing for sure with this cool weather - the pink daffodils are superb.

An older cultivar and still one of the best -
Narcissus 'Beersheba'.

Deep wine colored flowers, quite striking.
Hyacinth 'Woodstock'.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Hyacinths repeat well, returning spring after
spring. And the critters seem to leave them
alone. Come in a rainbow of colors from pink

to a rich deep blue-violet

and pure white. All are deliciously fragrant.

Narcissus 'Ice Follies' is still in bloom, slowly maturing to all-white.

Another bulb, one you might not be familiar with. From Japan, this is Fritillaria thunbergii. The tendril-like leaves at the top would grasp little shrubby twigs or taller grasses, if it were growing mixed in. But if there is no outside support it manages quite nicely on its own.

Not all "bulbs" look like an onion. Anemone nemorosa has
a rather small, flattened tuber. Does what it needs to do, stores
food which allows an early start as the soil begins to warm up.

Another anemone. Underground, this one looks like a twig.
So pretty when in bloom. And then, Anemone nemorosa also
goes quickly dormant. Fugacious is the $25 word to describe this.

Yet another anemone, from Japan. Anemone flaccida has one,
maybe two flowers, sparsely produced among the frilly leaves.
Glossy chestnut red twig-like tubers spread widely in damp soil.

Not all bulbs come from Holland. "Bulb" just describes the underground food storage portion of some plants. Dutchman's breeches, Dicentra cucullaria, is both a bulb and also one of our most charming native spring wildflowers.

The same can be said of spring beauty, Claytonia virginica.
Another common name is fairy spuds. But how many would
you need to dig to make a serving? Better to enjoy their flowers.

Then there's bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, so named for
the reddish sap that oozes from a damaged tuber or broken stem.

Well named, these great white trillium, Trillium grandiflorum,
are about a day or two away from coming fully into bloom.

Sessile trillium such as these lack the peduncle or little stem
between flower and leaves, which are attractively mottled.

With their dark oxblood red flowers, Trillium sessile pairs up
with the dusty rose pink flowers of Helleborus ×orientalis.

And there are lots of hellebores here in BelleWood Gardens.

Jeffersonia diphylla, another native but not a bulb, tuber, or corm.

Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, does have a fleshy root
but is not a geophyte (quick way to lump bulbs etc together.)


Everyone knows pachysandra, that familiar landscape plant
from Japan. This is our native species, Pachysandra procumbens

And the bumblebees are out, their plump bodies
weighting down the Pulmonaria rubra flowers as
the questing bees single mindedly forage for nectar.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

As you look at these flowers in bloom at BelleWood Gardens

keep in mind that just 12 days ago, on 2 April, there was snow.

Narcissus 'Ice Follies', in bud yesterday, in bloom today.

Narcissus cyclamineus, a parent of all those
Division 6 narcissus such as 'Dove Wings'.

Paeonia japonica was just emerging on
4 April. Now green rather than coral red.

There's an amusing story, too long to go
into here, about a confusion between this
little bulb, Puschkinia libanotica and the
Scilla mischtschenkoana in the 4 April entry.

I'm finding more Jeffersonia dubia where seed has been flung
about by flailing seed pods. Does better on its own than if I sow it.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Today was absurdly warm. Hot even, with temperature reaching 82° Fahrenheit. Flowers were popping into bloom. I did photograph many of them. And also others that have been in bloom for a while, concerned that the abrupt change in the weather with push them over and out. Here are the pictures. I did get them edited, named, and uploaded. But it's getting late, and I'm tired. I'll be back here tomorrow , and write more. Until then, pleasant dreams.

Magnolia stellata rosea, opening flower bud

Narcissus 'Ice Follies', in bud

Narcissus 'Dove Wings'

A group of Scilla bifolia

Scilla bifolia


Anemone blanda

Anemone ranunculoides

Jeffersonia dubia

Jeffersonia dubia, closeup

Sanguinaria canadensis

Pulmonaria saccharata

Pulmonaria rubra

A nice clump of Helleborus niger

Helleborus ×orientalis with interesting buff rose flowers

Helleborus viride

Not a dandelion. It's colt's foot, Tussilago farfara

Monday, 9 April 2018

Oh dear. Between the weather and whatever I did not clean up
up over here. Not that the Bulbocodium vernum seems to mind.
I'll have to be careful, working around these early flowers, leaves
barely up. A name change - they're now Colchicum vernum. True,
their bulbs look like those of colchicums. Which flower in autumn.

The flowers of Petasites look like a little bouquet. They're edible
if foraged earlier than now. Huge leaves will appear soon. Warning.
It runs. These escaped from a buried bathtub with screening, three
layers of screening, over the drain hole. Good in shady, wet places
where it has ample room to run and can accomodate their leaves.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Apparently Paeonia japonica is convinced Spring is actually here,
what with its coral red shoots emerging. Notice the flower bud
protectively wrapped by leaf shoots in second left from bottom.

Lots of hellebores in bloom. These really need a cleanup with
removal of their winter damaged old foliage. So much to do!

Helleborus orientalis really do look better when they're cleaned up.

Helleborus niger is more reliably evergreen.

Another one. Common name may be Christmas rose but
that's nonsense. This is April, not December,

and it doesn't even look like a rose.

Leucojum vernum, spring snowflake. Vernum, for vernal, springtime.

Have you ever noticed how it is, that when the Latin names of plants are changed, they become more difficult to spell and harder to pronounce? This scilla used to be named Scilla tubergeniana, for the Dutch bulb company Van Tubergen. Now it is Scilla mischtschenkoana. I suspect that it may sound like my cat when he sneezes.

Deep purple crocus, Crocus tommasinianus 'Whitwell Purple'

I am somehow convinced that this is
Narcissus 'Mustard Seed'. Problem is
I cannot find any reference to that name.

Here it is with the 77mm lens cap for comparison.

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation',
usually in bloom well before now.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' ignoring this silly onion snow.

Crown imperial, Fritillaria imperialis, also
ignoring the snow. I've seen it slumped over
from cold. It recovers when things warm up.


Monday, 26 February 2018

Just look at this hellebore, shabby, blackened, and looking dead.

What a difference when the old, winter-blackened leaves
are removed and the rich purple flower buds are revealed.

Petasites has fat flower buds, a tight bouquet on their own.

Small differences make galanthaphiles
ecstatic. This is Galanthus nivalis 'Virid-Apice'.

Plump petals like rounded cream tea spoons on
Galanthis nivalis x plicatus, another to be admired.

Quite different. Long narrow petals on Galanthus nivalis 'Atkinsii'.

Fat little snowdrop with double center and green tipped outer petals. One of the so-called "Greatorex doubles" from Heyrick G. Greatorex, a hybridiser in the UK, Galanthus nivalis 'Ophelia' is a charming hybrid of G. plicatis and G. nivalis 'Flore Pleno' . Introduced in the 1940s, 'Ophelia' is one of Greatorex' earliest introductions and, in his opinion, one of his best.


Raised from seed a Japanese friend sent to me,
Eranthis pinnatifida. Happy to have the few I do,
only wish it would seed around and increase.

After all, Eranthis hiemalis increases almost too freely.

Wednesday, 21 February

Golden petals, green Toby-ruff leaf. Must be Spring
if winter aconites are now in flower.

Sunday, 18 February

Delicious fragrance in my greenhouse
with Freesia alba in bloom.

Pretty little Narcissus 'Julia Jane'. She's a
selection from wild collected Moroccan
Narcissus romieuxii. Likes living in a pot.

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