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Showing posts with the label blooms

Primulas In Bloom - Early Spring - April 2024

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Last Spring, I took a shot on a couple of primroses at an early-in-the-season garden show.  I was pretty unfamiliar with them - hence this post titled: " Giving Primrose A Shot " from March 2023 where I figured I was lulled into a false belief that these early-blooming flowers would work in our Zone 5b (at that time, now Zone 6a) garden. We're suckers for blue blooms and the three Primula belarina 'Blue Champion' that I bought were pretty close to blue.  I seem to have ONLY posted about the blue ones, but if you look back at the photos in this post , you can clearly see that we brought home four Primulas that day;  three blue and one white one.   They went in and seemed to manage their first growing season without much drama.  By the very early days of 2024, I posted about seeing some of their foliage - despite the harsh Winter temps in the garden.   Today - about 90 days since then, they're in bloom.  And they're quite nice.  Below is the 'Blue Cha

Yellow Daffodil Flowers In Bloom - April 2024

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Right around one month ago today, I posted photos of the inherited daffodil bulbs that were showing their annual strap-y foliage that had emerged for the year .  Today, they're in bloom.  Well... *some* of them are in bloom.   Below is a look at the colony of daffodils and a close-up of the yellow bloom that are on these.  (Note: to the top, right of this photo is the pile of material that I excavated for the pizza oven and tried to smother with arborist wood chips .).  By my count, I see just six flowers this year.  More than 2021 .  This spot in the garden has not been addressed yet, so I see NO reason to do anything other than enjoy these yellow blooms.  For now.  

Late August / Early September Floribunda Rose Bloom - Disneyland Rose 3rd Flush of Season - September 2023

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Yesterday, I shared a few photos of the Disneyland Floribunda Rose in its native environment : a flower bed in New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park.  Today, I'm taking a look at the three (more) mature Disneyland Roses that we have planted in full sun on the southside of our house.  They, too are in bloom; having just started their third flush of pink/salmon/orange flowers on medium-length stems. Below are a few photos showing these floribunda roses: This is the third 'flush' of blooms for the season. Early June - First Blooms Early August - Second Blooms Late August/Early September - Third Blooms (this post) In 2022 (last season), I was seeing blooms last all the way into early November.   It seems that this third flush of blooms is a bit earlier than 2022 ( last year, I saw them all the way at the end of September ), so perhaps that fourth bloom will be pulled a bit forward, too.  While I was out there admiring the Disneyland Roses, I also sprinkled them with rose food

Disneyland Roses - Second Flush of Blooms - August 2023

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The three Disneyland Roses (Floribunda roses) that are planted in full sun on the south side of our house are currently in the midst of their second bloom cycle of the growing season.  The first set of blooms this season were in early/mid June .  Now, about six-weeks later, we're seeing the next flush of pink/orange/salmon blooms.  See below for a look at some of the Disneyland Roses in mid-Summer: Here, below, is a look at the three Disneyland Roses (along with the pair of Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees that are in espalier) along the side of our house: In 2022, I saw four bloom cycles - June, August, late September and again in early November .  Yes...November.   My plan is to feed these this week and then one more time (September) before putting a stop to the seasonal fertilizer for the season.  

Hosta Flowers Blooming - July 2023

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Nobody grows hostas for their flowers.  Is that a 'hot take'?  I don't think so.  Foliage gardeners (I'm a self-proclaimed foliage gardener) grow hostas because of what they do:  shade-garden workhorses that add some texture and fill in spaces. But...they also flower.  With these tall, odd, scapes of flowers.  Are they scapes ? I think so .  I remember my mom's garden, filled with hostas.  And popping the purple flowers that emerged each Summer.  I don't think I've ever tracked the flower emergence in my own garden, so I figured I'd start a little bit right now. Why now?   Because I was walking around the garden one morning recently and was struck by one set of flowers in back.  On these hostas: The flowers seem VERY dark purple (for hostas).  Thanks to the Hosta Library, it appears that these are Venticosa hostas .   The Delaware Hosta Association has this description : The Dark Green One with Purple Flowers: H. ventricosa This one also has shiny heart-

Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea Blooms Are Back - July 2023

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Last year, we had just ONE tiny, white bloom on ALL of our Oakleaf Hydrangeas .  It was a bloom on one of the dwarf Munchkin varieties.  The other ones?  All taken by the dang rabbits the previous Winter.   In Summer 2021, we had our first REAL set of blooms on these things (that were planted in Summer 2020).    That makes this our fourth growing season (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023) and the plants ( knock wood ) have rebounded from a tough battle with the dang rabbits.   Over those years, I've been able to 'get to know' these and the kind of care they need - at least when they're young.  As many people know, Oakleaf Hydrangeas bloom on 'old wood' - which means that THIS SEASON - after these blooms decline, the shrub will put up some new stem growth.  It is THOSE STEMS (from this year) that will lead to blooms NEXT YEAR.   How did I help keep those important stems in tact all year?  With Chicken Wire cages starting last Fall and through the Spring here in Zone 5b. 

New Disneyland Roses - First Season Blooms - June 2023

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It was just six-or-so weeks ago that I planted three small, bareroot Disneyland Roses in our front porch beds .  I wasn't expecting much out of these in their first season.  When they arrived, they were, indeed, bareroot.  But, they were also pretty bare in terms of foliage.  Two of the Floribunda roses that arrived via UPS showed some tiny, yellow flowers.  I applied some rooting compound, buried them deep - per the instructions I found - and hoped for the best. I was assuming that I'd see mostly foliage growth this first year.  Something like 60% below-ground growth (roots) and 40% above-ground growth (leaves).  But, to my surprise, I'm seeing blooms.  See below for a look at one of the new Disneyland Roses.    I've stuck to a feeding schedule - once per month - with a granular rose food.  And, this soil was amended pretty heavily last Fall with a mix of 10 bags of composted manure and 4 bags of mushroom compost .  Along with a heavy dose of municipal biosolids this

First Real Peony Season - June 2023

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It has taken six growing seasons, but we *finally* have enough peonies to make a bouquet.  Just one bouquet.   But, it is still a bouquet.  That's a major victory for me.  We had a major set of Peony tubers in our first house in Elmhurst.  We also had a full sun backyard.  In Downers Grove we have had peonies that have grown, but never really flowered.  And, mostly shade. So, over the years, I've moved the plants around.  And, it seems that I've found a few spots that work for peonies.  We have (this year) three flowering peony plants.  First, a darker, purple-ish single blom: That opened up to look like this: We had one white peony that bloomed - a Duchesse de Nemours white peony that is also in our backyard.  See below for that bloom after I cut it and brought it in: And, finally...the largest of the peony plants:  Sarah Bernhardt pink peonies .  This peony plant is out front, IB2DWS and this is what it looked like when the blooms were still closed and felt like 'mar

Doublefile Viburnum White Blooms - May 2023

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This is the first true Spring for the treeform Doublefile Viburnum shrubs that I planted early last Spring.  I say "first true" Spring because I planted these when they were *mostly* still dormant last year and they leaf'd out post-planting.  I planted four of these and three have made it through the first year.  The best of the bunch is along the northside and that's the one that has been the most prolific early bloomer.  Below are a couple of photos showing the blooms in mid-May.  They're really quite nice as they sit - sort-of - on 'top' of the shrub.   I didn't have treeform on my radar when I bought these, but I'm sure glad that I pulled the trigger and brought these home.  The treeform Viburnum provides two great benefits (for me...at least):  Instant height and maturity coupled with ability to underplant with perennials.  

Why Didn't My Paperwhites Bloom? January 2023

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We're one month past Christmas.  I think that's enough time to pass for me to officially declare that my PaperWhites are a failure.  No blooms at all.  I bought them in early November - a week-plus ahead of when we traditionally buy and start our Amaryllis bulbs.  But...here's the key (I think):  I bought them from the orange big box store .  I planted them as directed:  in gravel.  And watered them in up to the middle of the bulbs.  They responded immediately.  And strongly.  With a thick, dense and vibrant root mat that came off of each of them.  They also shot up new green shoots from the top of the bulbs.   Based on what I've done before (with Amaryllis bulbs) and what was suggested on the Web, I watered them in with a diluted alcohol mixture .  In an attempt to stunt their growth and keep them from 'flopping over' and getting too leggy.   I last checked-in on these in mid-December.  More than a month after the roots emerged.  And they all had multiple green

Flamenco Queen Amaryllis Blooms - January 2023

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We didn't get Christmas blooms out of this Flamenco Queen Amaryllis bulb, but the wait was worth it.  I last posted a photo of this plant at the very end of 2022 and showed the stalk had shot up with a bud at the tip .  Today?  It is wide-open.  And has two of the most-striking flower blooms on opposite sides of the stalk that we've ever grown.  See below for a look at the Flamenco Queen with red and white-striped petals and a lime-green center. Below is a photo showing that 'opposite' set of blooms.  And the two more that are on their way: This is also - by far - the tallest, lanky-est Amaryllis we've ever grown.  Even after we 'poisoned it' with an alcohol mix in December.  How tall? It is showing blooms that are 25.5" above the top of the bulb.  See below for the measurement:  It has started to lean, so I stuck in a plant support that you can see below.  The hard part with these Amaryllis bulbs and plant supports is that the width of the bulb forces

Magic Touch Amaryllis Bulb Christmas Update - December 2022

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Twelve days ago, I showed our first Amaryllis bloom:  A magic touch set of two flowers that didn't grow up at all - just bloomed straight from the bulb .  Weird.  The other two (new) bulbs still haven't flowered.  But, they've shot upwards.  This post shows the post-Christmas view of just the Magic Touch - I'll get to the other two tomorrow.   Did we get Christmas blooms this year?  Yes.  We did.  The Magic Touch.  We're going to get New Years blooms, too.  Here's what the top of the Magic Touch looks like today:

Magic Touch Amaryllis In Bloom - Mid-December - 2022

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A week ago, I posted an update on the three new Amaryllis bulbs that we're growing this year and talked about how they are at different stages of growth .  One of them - the Magic Touch - is what I'd call the furthest along and has two flower stalks.  But, those two are VERY different, too.   One of them is taking a normal shape and form.  Tall and proud.  With a flower bud at the top.  The other one?  Failed to launch.  Didn't grow much up from the bulb at all.  But what did it do?  It flowered.  ALREADY.  A mid-December Amaryllis bloom.  Holy moly.  This is a lovely red, too.  What do I mean by 'failure to launch'?  See the photo below showing the two flower stalks.  The one in bloom is barely out of the bulb: And, here's a look at the backside of the bloom showing that ANOTHER flower is set to open in the same spot: Magic Touch Amaryllis is a fast-mover (for us, this year) and has produced the earliest flowers of any bulb we've grown.  Kinda nice, right? 

Disneyland Roses - Late September Blooms - September 2022

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Our Disneyland Roses - which are Floribunda Roses - have a cyclical bud --> bloom cycle that hits a few times each growing season.  In late September, I'm seeing this cycle hit for what I think is the third time this season and what is usually the LAST of the bud--> bloom cycles.  The last time that I posted about the blooms was back in mid-June when they were looking great .   That was their first bloom cycle.  Sometime in early/mid August was cycle number two.  And, right now, we're at the beginning of cycle number three. See below for a couple of photos showing all three Disneyland Roses.  First are a pair that are closest to our backyard.  The one on the left is the OLDEST, but it was transplanted this past Spring, so it is the smallest .  You'll also note that the pair of espalier-in-training Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees behind the roses below: The third Floribunda rose is set about fifteen feet to the East - towards our front porch - on the other side of our base

Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas Blooming - July 2022

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We had some (dang) rabbit damage this Winter on most of our young Oakleaf Hydrangeas in our backyard .  They ate away on a bunch of the shoots, stems and limbs.  All of the shrubs made it through and have put on new foliage and growth this season.  The problem?  Oakleaf Hydrangeas flower on what is called 'old wood'.  That means...the growth from 2021 creates the buds for 2022's flowers.   The dang rabbits going hog on these this Winter means that I wasn't planning on seeing any flowers this season from these Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas.  Last year, they were lovely - see this post from a little bit over a year ago showing tons of flowers .  This year?  Not so much. We have just ONE bloom - on a dwarf Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea - munchkin.  You can see it below: One of the big projects this Fall is going to be protecting these - and others - from those dang rabbits - so we get a full set of blooms next year. 

Little Lime Hydrangeas - First Blooms - July 2022

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Earlier this Summer, I brought home and planted three Little Lime Hydrangeas in our backyard .  What feels like so long ago - but was actually just six weeks ago - I was wrapping up my big push around planting shrubs this year with these three flowering dwarf hydrangeas.  I ended up planting them right in front of the Apple tree Belgian Fence along the north fence line.  In the photo below, you can see the three shrubs and how they're getting their first blooms - and really earning their name: A few notes for the garden diary here:  in the foreground of the photo above, you can see two of the three Miscanthus sinesis 'Adagio' grasses . They're doing well in this spot - with this being their second growing season having gone in late last year.   Second - if you squint, you can see one of the Chicago Lustre Arrowwood Viburums on the far right.  Aside from the dang rabbits nibbling on these, they seem to be doing just fine - and are putting on new growth.  They'll nee

Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangeas Colorful Blooms - July 2022

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I bought and planted a pair of Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangeas from the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale this Spring.    Here's the location and lay-of-the-bed where they went in . I've had trouble with Oakleaf Hydrangeas being eaten up by dang rabbits in the past, so I decided to ring these in chicken wire to protect their tender shoots this Summer - their initial growing season. By last month - the end of June - they both were showing the beginnings of tall, pointy blooms .  Three weeks later?  They're starting to earn their name by putting some color on those blooms.   See below for a look at the pink that is emerging in mid-July on these flowering shrubs: I don't want to jinx myself, but (*knock wood*) so far, so good when it comes to the chicken wire.  These have seemingly avoided being decimated by the dang rabbits and leads me to believe that I REALLY need to wrap all of these in wire this Fall ahead of Winter.  

Summer Beauty Allium - Pre-Blooming - Mid-July 2022

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The colonies of Summer Beauty Ornamental Onion - Allium - are looking full and happy in the various spots of our garden.  All of them are showing a series of buds that are - right now - downward-facing - and ready to explode with Summer color.   Last year, these were further along with their white flowers extending upwards by mid-July.   So, these are a bit behind.   I should use these in a few more spots, so I'll put that on my 2023 to-do list (along with groundcover).

Disneyland Roses in Bloom - June 2022

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The blooming of our floribunda roses (Disneyland Roses) has begun for the season with their first flush of pinkish-orangish blooms on all three plants that are in our sideyard.  These are in full sun, but have mostly been watered naturally (not irrigated) and have thrived in their current location. The last time I posted about these was when I applied a granular fertilizer in mid-May .  (note to self: it is time to apply again.) Below is a photo of the rear-most two Disneyland Roses with a pair of pre-espalier Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees planted between them.   And, here's the other one - located closer to the front porch - below.  I'm also including one of the divided Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses that I put over here last Fall in the photo (on the right).  This one is the largest one side-to-side.  Here's what they looked like last June .   If history is any guide, these will have multiple flushes of blooms all the way through the growing season.  Here's the bloo

The New-to-me Non-Disposable African Violet - February 2022

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There's a pattern in our house with *some* houseplants:  We buy one from Trader Joe's.  Bring it home.  It looks great for a bit. Blooms right away. Then, heads into decline.  Which, usually leads to being put outside (during the Summer) or tossed into the compost pile when it dies.  One of the plants that has come home a couple of times from TJs is the African Violet.  It blooms, but is, frankly...disposable.  Or at least, that's what I thought. I came across this video on Garden Answer's YouTube page where she talks us through propagation of succulents, some fishbone cactus and African Violets .  Wait, what?  Taking apart and planting cuttings of African Violets to make MORE of them?  This is the part of the video (10:09) where she starts the African Violets .  Huh.  Had no idea.   Watching that sent me down a little Web digging hole where I found this post on the Spruce that has a headline that scratches me right where I itch:  African Violets Shouldn't Be Throw