Tag Archives: Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akabana’

Bloominocity – Part II

14 Apr
Here is Geum x 'Marmalade' with it's citrusy nodding flared flowers.

Here is Geum x ‘Marmalade’ with it’s citrusy nodding flared flowers.

In the front garden Geum x ‘Marmalade’, a Xeraplants selection that I rescued from work about a year ago, is flowering now! It started out life as a 4″ potted plant and it received one too many drinks during the summer and all that was left was one weak shoot grasping onto life. With no compost I left to amend my heavy soil, so with slight hesitation I plugged the little Geum into the slick earth. Throughout winter and well through spring, summer, and into last autumn, it tripled in size and hasn’t looked back since and now it’s blooming! Seriously a tough plant!

Here is a close-up of the sweetly flared flowers in glowing apricot.

Here is a close-up of the sweetly flared flowers in glowing apricot.

The infloresnces started rising slowly above the foliage at first, but once the weather stopped threatening to freeze they all shot up. At nearly two feet tall, each inflorescence gracefully arcs outwards ending with a few syrupy apricot flowers. The flowers themselves are not like typical modern hybrids with full petals and acid colors. Rather the petals are heart shaped and delicately attached to the hypanthium allowing the flower to open into a flared bell.

The open flowers have a pleasant flared shape.

The open flowers have a pleasant flared shape.

Also in the front garden, I have some Tulipa humilis ‘Odalisque’ and Chionodoxa blooming in the Japanese Maple Container where I also planted my Saffron Crocuses. Tulipa humilis is one of the species Tulips that will multiply and reliably come back year after year. Chionodoxa is just as tough and reliable, plus it also seeds around gently creating a small drift over time. I love their bright colors in early spring when things can be so gray.

Tulipa humilis 'Odalisque' enjoying the sun along with the other bulbs.

Tulipa humilis ‘Odalisque’ enjoying the sun along with the other bulbs.

Butter yellow against the rich beet root purple just glows.

The butter yellow against the rich beet root purple just glows.

These bright little stars lifts my heart every time I see them.

These bright little stars lifts my heart every time I see them.

I was a little behind on planting last fall, so I planted a majority of my bulbs in mid-late winter (I still have tulip and daffodil bulbs I still haven’t planted yet…). As a result some of the bulbs didn’t bloom this year and some bloomed later than they typically would, such as my Galanthus elwesii. The majority of flowers didn’t make it past the slugs – even with Sluggo – but some patches did bloom, which was definitely a bonus. More than anything I wanted their energy to be put towards establishing and bulking up, but hey, I shouldn’t complain!

The leaves and flowers of Galanthus elwesii are much larger than the typical G. nivalis and the leaves have a beautiful glaucous cast as well.

The leaves and flowers of Galanthus elwesii are much larger than the typical Galanthus nivalis, and the leaves have a beautiful glaucous cast as well.

Galanthus nivalis is still blooming?! Yes, because I planted these late too.

Galanthus nivalis is still blooming?! Yes, because I planted these late too…

In the front garden I am being overrun by Bletilla striata. I saved these from the compost pile for one of my volunteering gigs. Being the (overly) sympathetic gardener that I am I grabbed ALL of them. When I got home I realized I was way over my head, I had no idea where to plant them.  The only available space open at the time was in the long bed  of the front garden. I threw them into the heavy clay later regretting I sentenced them to death. I eventually would forget all about them. Winter rolled past and in spring all of these mysterious shoots started to emerge out of the slick soil. What could they be? Wait, are them – no it couldn’t be! The Bletillas were not just up and growing, they also had doubled in size! It’s now about four years later and they have been expanding their hold of the long bed. Apparently Bletillas have a penchant for heavy soil and I’m not complaining…

I love the pleated new shoots of Bletilla striata in the early spring.

I love the pleated new shoots of Bletilla striata in the early spring.

At the end of the same bed where the Bletillas live the Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’ is getting ready to bloom. I bought her as a 6 inch twig about two and a half years ago from the Pat Calvert Greenhouse at the Washington Park Arboretum. She’s now grown to about 4.5 feet tall and well on her way to 6 feet and up. Though she is reportedly a vigorous grower, mine (so far) has be well behaved. The name ‘Mutabilis’ comes from the ever-changing color of the rose’s flowers as they fade. They first bloom in a soft apricot fading to a soft orange-pink, then a dusty pink and finally ending in cerise. It’s quite the show!

Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis' is such an easy grower, but it's wild habit can be a pain (literally) for people that like more formal plantings.

Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’ is such an easy grower, but it’s wild habit can be a pain (literally) for people that like more formal plantings. She has been pruned in this photo.

As if over night, the inflorescences of Tellima grandiflora in the back garden have shot up and flower buds are starting to swell. Just a few weeks ago they were only rosettes. Hopefully, the Siberian Irises growing with them will catch up and bloom with the Tellimas like they did last year, but I feel like last year was an off year for everyone. Hm, maybe I should name this the “Vertical Bed”, since I just realized this bed is all vertical interest.

My how they have grown! I love they young coiled flowering stems.

My how they have grown! I love they young nodding flowering stems.

Detail of the swelling buds.

Detail of the swelling buds.

The Tiarella trifoliata is also thinking about blooming and not to mention the Saxifraga x urbium too. Wow, I have a lot of representatives from the family Saxifragaceae. Scratch the “Vertical Bed”, it should be named the “Saxifrage Bed”.

Tiarella trifoliata is the epitome of woodland.

Tiarella trifoliata is the epitome of woodland.

Saxifraga x urbium is also known as London Pride. When it blooms a cloud of airy star flowers hover high above that glossy green foliage.

Saxifraga x urbium is also known as London Pride. When it blooms a cloud of airy star flowers hover high above that glossy green foliage.

Seriously, that’s a lot of vertical and a lot of Saxifrage.

Seriously.

Seriously.

Oh wait, another Saxifrage that is sending up inflorescences is Mitella ovalis. I got this one and another, Mitella pentandra, from Botanica at the Saturday U-District Farmers Market. These native plants can be found growing in mossy, wet forests and their crazy, though small, flowers have distinctive antenna-like petals. As some would say, “A flower only a botanist can love.” These diminutive flowers are always welcome in my garden. (I’m a botanist, can you tell?)

Mitella ovalis sending up flowering shoots. It's only 4.5 inches tall.

Mitella ovalis sending up flowering shoots. It’s only 4.5 inches tall.

Oh and speaking of native, all the Camas are sending up their spikes now and even the Mertensia has tripled in size!

Look at all that lushness!

Look at all that lushness!

I can't wait for those blue start flowers too!

I can’t wait for those blue start flowers too!

Mertensia bella just a few weeks away from blooming.

Mertensia bella just a few weeks away from blooming.

Ready for a flashback? Look who is still blooming:

I just can't get enough of it's hot orangey-red color and its fresh, sweet scent!

I just can’t get enough of it’s hot orangey-red color and its fresh, sweet scent!

Viola 'Duchesse de Parme' has been blooming since November!

Viola ‘Duchesse de Parme’ has been reigning since November!

Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akabana’ and Viola ‘Duchesse de Parme’! Can you believe it? They both have come a really long way and with such bloominocity! I feel like the mild winter had to do with a part of their fervor, but I am still in awe!

This is an older blossom, but look how full they can get! Plus they have that elusive sort of ripe-cherry-esque fragrance.

This is an older blossom, but look how full they get! Plus I can’t resist that elusive sort of ripe-cherry-esque fragrance.

With each passing day new plants pop up, and everything grows faster and faster – I just can’t keep up! I am going to have to make Bloominocity a trilogy, otherwise this post would never end. Now I must take advantage of this sun break! See you all in Part III!

Advertisements

March Forth into Spring

13 Mar

Violas

I’ve always loved March*. March is the time of rebirth and new beginnings. It’s a time when dormant plants and animals begin to stir and life takes on a miraculous transformation. March is when winter relaxes its icy grip, and spring stretches its warm embrace. What better place to witness this transition than in the garden?

Bergenia 'Bressingham White' fully budded and still showing its winter blush.

Bergenia ‘Bressingham White’ fully budded and still showing its winter blush.

The warmer temperatures and lengthening days are coaxing many of the plants out of bed. Bergenia, also known by it’s common name ‘Pig Squeak’, are tough evergreen perennials native to central Asia. Bergenias bloom right on the cusp of spring, though they are grown more for their foliage than their fluffy blossoms. They were in the height of their popularity during the Victorian Era, but like all things that were once in vogue they receded into the background. Unfortunately it’s now a victim of the ‘ it’s-too-common-it’s-boring’ mentality. I have to confess I was the same way until I saw a well grown specimen that changed my mind.

Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Akabana' in full bloom.

Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akabana’ in full bloom.

The Edgeworthia is in full bloom now and as I hoped the flower colors are deeper than the first ones a few weeks ago. Every few years Mother Nature reminds us to not get too comfortable by giving us a real diva cold snap causing tender blossoms to shatter and (sometimes) knocking the plant to the ground. Hopefully no surprise snaps are in store for us, but in the meantime I’ll keep my fingers crossed just in case and enjoy its orangey-coral blooms.

A close up of Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Akabana' flowers in full bloom.

I love that rich orange-coral against the silver downy hairs.

There are so many things happening in the garden it is hard to write about them all, but every March I am reminded how early Dodecatheon pulchellum comes up in the garden. This alpine native wildflower is commonly found growing along stream banks, waterfalls, and wet meadows in the mountains. Shooting Star emerges in early spring giving way to fleshy, apple-green leaves and hot magenta flowers. The flower petals are extremely reflexed giving it the common name of ‘Shooting Stars’. The plant typically blooms for one to two months before setting seed and going dormant for the summer.

A small patch of Dodecatheon pulchellum ballooning out of the mossy earth.

A small patch of Dodecatheon pulchellum ballooning out of the mossy earth.

My Dodecatheon pulchellum patch started out as two rescue plants I received from work about three years ago and the year after I saved another one. All three plants were modest 4-inch pots, but my how they have grown! Of the first two I planted one in the mossy bed, which is almost pure clay, and the second in the well-drained bed. The one planted in pure clay responded well to the sticky, wet soil. It exploded with lush growth and multiple blooms, while the other did alright. Next spring when trying to transplant the second one to the mossy bed, I shattered the poor plant into many small pieces and planted them with little hope. Joyously all the divisions survived that initial trauma and now I have thirteen individual plants!

There are too many things happening in the garden right now to write about each thing, so here is a quick jaunt through some of the highlights of the garden:

Primula polyanthus 'Gold Lace' would have better looking flowers if I kept up with the Sluggo.

Primula polyanthus ‘Gold Lace’ would have better looking flowers if I kept up with the Sluggo.

Primula denticulata is starting to stretch out exposing more flowering heads on the way.

Primula denticulata is starting to stretch out exposing more flowering heads on the way.

The Primula veris that are started from seeds last year are finally lifting their flowers above their foliage. Again, I need to Sluggo more frequently.

The Primula veris that I started from seeds last year are finally lifting their flowers above their foliage. Again, I need to Sluggo more frequently.

Since Primula acaulis are jumbled hybrids all of these are sniffed and hand selected for fragrant genes.

Since Primula acaulis are jumbled hybrids, I sniffed and hand selected each one that inherited fragrance.

The white hellebore in full bloom.

The white hellebore in full bloom.

I spotted this beauty in a sea of hellebores at home depot a few years ago.

I spotted this beauty in a sea of hellebores at home depot a few years ago.

This black hellebore had only one growing eye and was deemed dead at work, but I decided to save it. It took two years to finally bloom, but it was worth it!

This black hellebore had only one growing eye and was deemed dead at work, but I decided to save it. It took two years to finally bloom, but it was worth it!

It’s been a week since I returned from the interview in New York for the fellowship I applied for in January. I am extremely happy to say that the Garden Club of America has selected me as the next Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellow! (Used to be known as the Martin McLaren Scholarship.) This fellowship will allow me to work in public gardens and botanic gardens around the UK for 10 months. I am so honored and extremely excited for this amazing opportunity! March really is the month of new beginnings and growth! Anyway, it’s time for bed, but expect one post for my trip to New York and another of the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Let’s march forth into spring!

*Though another reason why I love March is more of a selfish one: I was born on March 4th. I that like my birthday can be read as the command ‘march forth’ and apparently it’s the only day in the year with that ability. My good friend once said to me, “You march forth into spring” and it has stuck ever since.

Consider the Plants

for a life botanic

UW Greenhouse Insiders

Plants to watch in the University of Washington's Botany Greenhouse

Plinth et al.

the platform between art and horticulture

Seeds by Post

A New way of gardening - have seeds delivered to your door!

Xera Plants Blog

Gardening in Portland, Oregon Zone 8b

Rose Notes

for a life botanic

RG Blog

for a life botanic

Growing with plants

for a life botanic

What ho Kew!

for a life botanic

Prairiebreak

for a life botanic

The Frustrated Gardener

The life and loves of a time-poor plantsman

DC Tropics

for a life botanic

Blog – Floret Flowers

for a life botanic

View from Federal Twist

Ramblings of a New American Gardener

Garden amateur

for a life botanic

Stupid Garden Plants

for a life botanic

The Chthonian Life

Making the natural, unnatural.

gardeninacity

Notes from a wildlife-friendly cottage garden

The Garden Smallholder

Small-Scale Smallholding, A Tiny Farm In A Big Garden

Southbourne Gardens

A slice of the good life

a sonoma garden

adventures in organic living

The Outlaw Gardener

for a life botanic

busy mockingbird

a messy collection of art projects, crafts, and various random things...

Hayefield

A Pennsylvania Plant Geek's Garden

.

for a life botanic

Squirrels and Tomatoes

the slow saga of my garden

Smithsonian Gardens

Discover Smithsonian Gardens

theseasonalbouquet

two designers, two farms, two coasts + one dare

A Next Generation Gardener

for a life botanic

Growing Steady

for a life botanic

%d bloggers like this: