Monday, May 15, 2017

More confused weather, but plenty of May flowers

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day again! Here's some of what's blooming around my garden this month.

Mock orange. I used to associate this with June; no more.

Sage and rue

Golden alexanders

Purple ninebark

'Bonica' shrub rose

Dianthus 'Rainbow Loveliness.' Grew this from seed last year.
Red buckeye

Peony closeup, unfurling

Valerian, with alliums

More sage, with the Micromesh-covered blueberries behind. Birds will not get them all this year!

Spiderwort starting to open

Type of enormous Jack-in-the-pulpit, probably have a note of species somewhere

Just wanted to note hellebores are still chugging along

Siberian iris, getting ready to take over the world
I have been planting many small seedlings that I grew in the cold frame, so hopefully there will be flowers to report in the coming months as well. This has been a roller-coaster season: warm February, cold March, warm April, cold May - so far, but we've emerged from chilly and wet for a few days before summer arrives on Wednesday with temps in the 90s. Makes it very hard to get the tomatoes in at the right time, not to mention everything else! But we have to get used to this.

One more photo, dating from April 23:

It's not a well-framed shot, but it does show the success of my tulips in the new blueberry bed, with the bridal-wreath spiraea behind - looked spectacular together as we drove in the driveway, and I didn't even plan it that way! The tulip success is due 100% to Milorganite, since the deer changed their browsing habits during the months between my ordering the bulbs and planting them, and were definitely chomping (despite Liquid Fence) this spring until I scattered the smelly thing they really don't like.

More soon; I have catching-up to do here.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

April (so the calendar says) flowers

Somehow another month has gone by without my posting here, and it's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day again. I write in haste so I can get a lot of things done today, since tomorrow is Easter and somewhat occupied, and besides it's going to hit the high 80s and there are very few leaves on the trees as yet. Today will be cooler and cloudy, so good for those outdoor tasks.

So here's what's blooming - it might be easier to say what's not blooming, because this is one of those years when everything seems to go at once, probably due to the insane weather shifts. So far April is possibly somewhat cooler than February (I know that's not actually true, but it seems so).

I really am hurrying, so these are just in the order I took them.

This is claytonia or miner's lettuce in my salad table. Little white bits in the center are the flowers.

White bleeding heart



Rhubarb! I need to cut this off to give more energy to the plant, but meanwhile it counts.

Magnolia, one of the Little Girls

Celandine poppy - these are ALL OVER THE PLACE as usual.

The Field of White Violets

Virginia bluebells and bleeding hearts

I Don't Have Time to Look Up These Daffodils


Pieris japonica


Golden ragwort

Another daffodil

This one is Yellow Cheerfulness - my favorite

Bridal Crown daffodil

Blueberries - gonna be a big crop if I can save them from the birds this year

Leucojum aestivum
Also blooming: dogwood, redbud, pawpaw, a few early tulips, grape hyacinths. Missed the Mohawk viburnum between GBBDs this year, but it was spectacular and deliciously clove-scented. Speaking of which, most of my tiny clove currants survived and may grow!

Okay, on to putting a raised bed in the community garden plot, and other tasks. Some infrastructure pics to come soon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

GBBD March

Haven't posted here in a while, so let's try starting up again with Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

It's been a very weird winter here in central Maryland, with record high temperatures all through February that started up an early spring. March has been more seasonal, on the chilly side with several inches of sleet and snow falling today. So of course I had to see what was going on with all the plants already in bloom.

Some are under the snow, though really all but the last crocuses are done with, along with the snowdrops and the few miniature iris I have left (need to plant more this year!). Daffodils are in full bloom, looking sad in the frozen stuff:

Forsythia didn't enjoy the cold snap either:

Of course the plants will be fine, but the flowers look crappy. I also fear for all the magnolia blooms just opening up:

Pieris japonica seems not affected at all, however:

And the hellebores of course take it all in stride:

Here's a fern with one frond above the snow to finish up:

The snow will all be gone in a few days, and we can get back to spring, probably with more crazy swings in temperature. I am glad to see even this little bit of white stuff today since we've had probably less than an inch total all winter up till now - we were just in the "snow hole" when all the storms went either south or north of us.

Enjoy whatever blooms you can find out there!!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Flora of Albuquerque

We could all use some pretty plants to look at this week, so here's my collection of plant photos from our trip to New Mexico. Sorry it's taken a month to get up! And I still haven't found IDs for everything, but the relaxing thing about admiring the desert landscape is that I can't grow any of these plants myself so knowing exactly what they are is irrelevant, except for the must-label-now! part of me which I will suppress.

All of these photos were taken in the Sandia Heights neighborhood where we were staying. Here's the view from the deck of our lovely hosts' house:

Only small areas around the houses can be walled in and/or cultivated; the rest is pretty much wild, and the house colors blend in to the environment, so it really makes for a gorgeous landscape in which the human influence is minor. (Also you could see Balloon Fiesta flights from the deck with binoculars. I think some of those dots in the sky might be balloons. Or, you know, dust on the lens.)

Here's some of what we saw on walks around the neighborhood, starting with cactus plants:

Prickly pear fruiting
Different type of prickly pear
Chollas in landscape. Should be coded keys to solve something...

Cholla closeup
Albuquerque is high up and has a temperate climate; yes, there are cacti, but they get snowed on. (After all, we have prickly pears in the East too - I have one in my front yard.) Not all cactus types grow there; if you see something like this:

it's a birdfeeder. (The agaves are fake too.)

This is Cucurbita foetidissima, stinking gourd or buffalo gourd (many other names), which is an invasive pest:

I'm not sure what this plant is, though it looks nightshady:

Here are some more plants I saw on walks:

Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa)

Juniper, loaded with berries


A Datura of the sort O'Keeffe painted

Remains of towering agave bloom
And of course the chamisa (Ericameria nauseosa), and yes, it does resemble heather, though I don't think the smell is nauseating at all. In October it was the bright yellow that pulled the landscape together, as if it had been sown throughout in design.

Yes, I took the walk on purpose on a cloudy day for photographic purposes. I took a few other plant photos on our explorations of various Park Service sites, but they didn't turn out as well in the brilliant sunshine. But this is enough to be going on with. Nice memories! I'm not sure I'd love gardening in this region - the palette is beautiful but limited - but it's fascinating to visit.