Bloom Day!

Spring Blooms May, 2019

TuliproccocoThe garden calls loudest in the spring for those of us who live in four season climates. Each day brings new buds and blooms and many tasks which cannot wait. SweetpeasandlettuceThe sweet peas (I am determined to have those fragrant blooms) have been planted out as have lettuce starts. Other early vegetable crops are waiting, mostly because the gardener is faced with too many tasks. May is a month of dreams and disappointments. The dreams are realized as fall planted bulbs emerge and flower. The disappointments are right there in plain sight as well. Two sensitive ferns, apparently aptly named, have not unfurled and there is quite a bit of damage on rhododendrons with whole branches brown from desiccation from winter winds. The newly planted iris bed is still an unknown. Will those iris bloom this year? They were planted a bit late so patience must prevail. The thrill of spring blooms always trumps the disappointments. BleedingheartLate daffodils continue to bloom along with dog tooth violets, tulips, bleeding hearts, and Virginia bluebells to name a few. Hellebore flowers are waning and the buds on trees and shrubs are waxing. Each spring day brings a new surprise in the garden. ViburnumbOne day you walk the garden with coffee in hand and notice the swelling flower buds on the Viburnum burkwoodii. ViburnumfThe next day you catch a drift of their sweet fragrance and follow the scent to their now unfurled flowers which are small, delicate and oh, so powerfully scented.

This spring morning it is barely 40F with a steady drizzle. 40F! It is chilly for this time of year but well in keeping with the current weather pattern of this cool, slow spring. The garden sits still and waits for sun and warmth. The gardener moves inside and addresses the neglected beds and floors inside the house. Happy Bloom Day and thanks to Carol, of May Dream Gardens for hosting once again.


Bloom Day-August 15, 2017

Left handed mitten August 17
Left handed mitten garden

It is a bit murky here on this August Bloom Day. The Dog Days of summer are upon us and the gardens are in late summer bloom. This year, the bee balm, Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' has been a vigorous showstopper. The hummingbirds are loving it just as much as this gardener. It is six feet tall in some areas of the garden. We have had a moisture filled summer up to this point. The late astilbe is blooming in the left handed mitten garden along with phlox, persicaria and butterfly bush. The lawn is green even if the trees are not due to yet another year of gypsy moth caterpillar problems.

Fennel 17

Fennel reseeded everywhere in the garden closest to the house. It is a prolific re-seeder so beware. It does have a beautiful flower. Pool border August 2017The pool border is lush with flowers. The bee balm is a bit out of control here. The other side of the fence, the long, sunny border requires attention every week if one has planted Dutchman's pipe. Beware of Dutchman's Pipe. It can travel twenty feet in any direction and is as rampant in New England as Kudzu is in the south. Still, it does create a privacy screen. Long Border 2017As you can see, a haircut is in order as it is scrambling over the tall perennials at the back of the border.

Eucomis 'Glowing Embers'
Eucomis 'Glowing Embers'

Annuals fill in the gaps in the August New England garden and containers add bright bits of color here and there. Canna 2017As always, thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens, for hosting yet another Bloom Day and thank you to those who have visited this garden.


Bloom Day - September 16, 2016

Dahlia ageratumA speedy Bloom Day post is in order as there is much to do in the garden today and the weather is cooperating. It is cool, as September should be, and sunny at the moment. It is also still dry but no matter. Bloom Day cannaThe dahlias, cannas and fall blooming crocus are all blooming. The grass is still green and the scent of ripening grapes and decaying foliage is in the air. Colchicums
I hope this Bloom Day finds your garden full and satisfying. Thanks to Carol of May Dreams for hosting yet another Bloom Day.


Bloom Day -August 15, 2016

BloomdaybutterflyI missed Bloom Day in July due to challenging gardening conditions. Pests, drought, pests. No bother, the season moves along at its own pace. August has, so far, been a month of high humidity, heat and at least some rain. Welcome rain. Every plant looks better with moisture. Weeds included. The warmth brings out the butterflies and today's Bloom Day is sunny, dry and a bit more comfortable with humidity levels down from 90%. BloomdaylimelightDeer do eat hydrangeas but they left me a few blooms on the H. paniculata 'Vanilla Strawberry' and H. paniculata 'Limelight'. Both have unique qualities. BloomdaycomboThe Vanilla Strawberry has dark stems and is shown here with coneflower. The 'Limelight' is incredibly floriferous. BloomdayblackbutterflyThe true blue of Ceratostigma is cool relief for these hot days and this butterfly finds it palatable as well. BloomdaydahliaIn August, it is usually the annuals which take center stage.  Here, the dahlias are beginning to bloom. This one is 'Cafe au Lait' and it is quite popular. I find it adequate, preferring bright colors to its bland, cream tone. Bloomday AthenaPortulaca provides a brilliant crown for 'Athena' who hangs on the garden gate.  BloomdaycannaCannas are also blooming and add a tropical look to this summer garden. There is more in bloom but tasks await. Thank you for visiting. A big thank you to Carol at May Dreams for hosting yet another Bloom Day. I hope to visit gardens around the country via her Bloom Day Blog list.


Bloom Day - March 15, 2016

KHgroupIt is Bloom Day and quite a different Bloom Day than one year ago. There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground last March but this year has seen temperatures in the 70's already. Today though it is cold and rainy as befits a 'normal' March day. Is there a 'normal' concerning weather any more? On to blooms. Last fall I planted more crocus and many of you know that my least favorite color is school bus yellow but school bus yellow is a 'fifty mile per hour' color or perhaps a '100 yard' color. Crocus and snowdropsIt can be seen while driving that fast or from that far away so school bus yellow it is mixed with purple to soften the glare. Snowdrops are also blooming in the photo with the crocus. Snowdrops2I am working are larger drifts and pools of them. They do have incredible fragrance and spread quite easily. They are best moved as the flowers fade or while 'in the green'. KHODGKINWETThe little Iris histrioides 'Katharine Hodgkin' is a wedgwood blue beauty which has bloomed in this location for three years now. This is a tough color to see in the garden with leaves littering its base but up close it is soothing and sensational. SpeckledhelleboreThe hellebores are sporting flowers and this one with the speckled face is an unknown cultivar. I have cut off the leaves at the base as they become quite ratty looking after snow, ice and cold has attacked them. The flowers show up a bit better as well. I know the foliage stays beautiful in climates a bit warmer than mine so perhaps pruning is not necessary for every garden. Gardening is so regional. Bloom Day this March seems much more promising than last year. Several gardens have been cleaned out already. As a New England gardener, I enjoy the down time of winter but an early spring is very welcome here. Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams blog for hosting Bloom Day. You can visit her blooms and many other gardens by clicking here.


Bloom Day-February 15, 2016

Feb perfectsnowFebruary is a tough month for blooms here in New England. Outside it is finally winter with a good snow cover which is appreciated since this weeks temperatures are in the negatives. Warmth is coming though and warm it is inside where there is plenty of foliage but not too many blooms. Meager is the word. I have two houseplants with very small blooms. They would be overlooked in the middle of June but in February they are welcome and noticed. Both are on rex begonia hybrids. Begonia 1This first is on a small plant, Begonia 'Stained Glass'. Really, the foliage is lovely and this one is from Logee's Greenhouses.  You too can purchase one since Logee's is well know for their wonderful mail order plants. The next flower, forgive me, it is really just a bud, belongs to Begonia 'Palomar Prince'. Begonia 2You can see that full plant here. The foliage is cause enough to grow both of these plants. I find begonias easy to grow and they really help those of us who suffer from winter's  'Nature Deficit Disorder'. I find February the longest month. I know I am not alone but, thankfully, it is more than half over. The final bloom is really little Gibbs. He won't be little much longer as he is growing fast and is three and a half months old already. He has made himself at home and as I write this he is getting into mischief since my attention is not totally on him. Feb GibbsWith the temperatures in the single digits during the day neither of us venture too far outside. Later in the week a heat wave is promised. We both need a long walk. Happy Bloom Day to fellow bloggers and thank you to Carol of May Dreams for hosting. I look forward to seeing the outdoor blooms of warm climate bloggers as I visit those who have posted for this Bloom Day. Your blooms will sustain me. Thanks.


Bloom Day - October 15, 2014

Fall ColorThe summer really is gone and there is the sweet smell of decay in the air. There has been no frost here yet which is a bit unusual although blackened foliage in the valley a mile away tells a different tale. The star of the fall garden in New England really is foliage but I do have some late blooming annuals and perennials which just hate to give up and they do add some late drama to the landscape. Pink SheffieldThere are few of us who don't have the 'Pink Sheffield' chrysanthemum starting to bloom. Its apricot flowers blend well with the bronze, copper and reds of fall. The hydrangea flowers and foliage are quite an attraction for the local white tail deer but there are a few which have escaped their attention. Hydrangea 'Vanilla Strawberry' This Hydrangea 'Vanilla Strawberry' started to bloom in late June and has not been without a bloom since. It can be a bit irregular in growth but a quick snip with the pruners shapes it nicely. Tiger Eye SumacTiger Eye Sumac often turns a quick, drab brown but this year it has some nice color. Rabdosia longitubaThis Perennial Trumpet Spurflower, Rabdosia longituba, has arching stems and airy panicles of pendant flowers. It does not photograph well but in the landscape it is almost black light blue and glowing. It grows in dry shade in my garden and is worth seeking out in mail order catalogs. Yesterday it was quite warm here and the butterflies were active. Monarch verbenaIt has been a while since I have seen monarchs here but there were several in the garden. This one is gathering nectar from the Verbena bonariensis. Sleeping MaidenFall is upon us and the sleeping lady is ready with her garland of sedum flowers. I look forward to seeing your bloom post. Leave me a link via comments and I will visit your garden this Bloom Day. Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams for hosting yet another Bloom Day.


Bloom Day-September 15, 2014

Lemon QueenBloom Day has arrived clear and cool. The end of summer has been quite dry and the gardens are showing a bit of wear and tear. Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' is blooming at seven feet tall. It will grow taller but I pinched it in late June to keep it from falling over. The bees do love it. ColchicumWhile I was sleeping the colchicums appeared in the garden. They are a sweet surprise. Lilac is usually a spring color but it is a welcome addition to the late summer garden. Aster Alma PotschkeAster 'Alma Potschke' is wearing her bright magenta sweater. She needs it as it is a bit chilly this morning. Unlike mid-summer when there are large drifts of color in the garden, the late summer garden has bright spots and lots of texture.  Verbena b.This annual verbena has reseeded throughout the garden and it shines this time of year. Each flower is small, just an inch or two across but they wave in the breeze and add a very whimsical look to the borders and vegetable garden. Berkeley Tie DieFlowers are wonderful, they feed the spirit but this Berkeley Tie Die tomato is beautiful and also makes a great BLT. I find the flavor full with bright acidity and a hint of the earth. It is one of my new favorites. I hope that this Bloom Day finds your garden full and lush. Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams for another day of flowers.



Bloom Day - April 15, 2014

Iris Katherine HodgkinApril Bloom Day has arrived with April showers which is just as it should be. It is time to reap the rewards of past fall bulb plantings along with celebrating the earliest bloomers. The snowdrops have lost their pretty white flowers but there is much of interest to take their place in the gardens which are still being uncovered. Most of you know of Iris 'Katherine Hodgkin'. She is tiny and her color is pale but satisfying. These clumps are a testimony to her happiness and mine. PansyWhat is spring without some smiling pansies? I have planted the containers by the back door with this little seasonal annual and while the plants need to fill out a bit, the cheery faces of the pansies and the bright spots of color lift the spirits. DaffodilsOther blooming bulbs include daffodils, White and purple crocuspurple and white crocus which are naturalizing in the front entry bed and Scilla siberica which also fills in and reseeds in the garden. Scilla sibericaSome call it invasive but this little ground cover provides early nectar and intense bright blue flashes of color. I prefer to call it a 'naturalizer' since it would be easy to eradicate and doesn't take the place of any low growing native. It is worth noting that this little flower has a sweet and unique fragrance which is best experienced lying prone on the ground with one's nose in the flowers. Beware, you may come out of this looking a bit smurf like since the pollen is blue and may show up on the tip of your nose. Kids love this little demonstration.  Glory of the snowAnother great naturalizer is the Glory of the Snow, Chionodoxa forbesii. It faithfully blooms every year on Patriot's Day and it contrasts well with the yellow of daffodils or as a skirt around the witch hazels.  Hearts a Fire tulipOne other little bulb, this Tulipa Hearts a Fire, is not yet in bloom but with foliage this dramatic, who needs blooms? Cardinal helleboreIn the borders the hellebores are blooming. Hellebores are available in a wide range of flower colors and species and they are deer resistant. Golden helleboreI did witness a bit of chomping on the Helleborus foetidus flowers. They were nibbled off and left for litter on the ground right next to the plant. No matter, H. foetidus is really valuable for the fine fingered foliage while these others have lovely flowers and foliage which is less dramatic but still a wonderful texture. Witch hazelThe earliest blooming shrub in my garden is witch hazel, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold's Promise'.   This is still a small shrub having been planted just two years ago. Since this is its third year in the ground I am expecting leaps of growth this year. There is a frenzy of activity in the garden this time of year. Much of it is taking place underground as roots stretch, grow and absorb life giving nutrients but this gardener is keeping busy as well with cleanup, fertilizing, spreading compost, planting and, soon, dividing. Does anyone need any bee balm? It seems to be taking over the central garden bed. It is not difficult to keep busy this time of year. I look forward to seeing what is blooming in your garden and thank Carol of May Dreams, once again, for hosting another Bloom Day.


Bloom Day - January 15, 2014

Lily of the Valley PipsJanuary is a month of few blooms here in New England. One must rely on indoor blooms to satisfy the senses. Usually that sense is sight but this Bloom Day I have a very special fragrant flower in bloom. A bloom with a story. About a year ago I read an article somewhere on plants which were sold in winter during Victorian times for indoor forcing. These plants were picked for fragrance and ease of bloom. One such plant which was often sold was the Lily of the Valley, Convallaria majalis. This shade plant grows with abandon in my garden. It tolerates dry shade and forms a lovely colony providing green ground cover for much of the season. The flowers bloom in May. Yes, the May of May Dreams. It has a fragrance unique unto itself and which once experienced is never forgotten. Last year's article remained in the recesses of my mind until Carol of May Dreams mentioned that she had bought some pips from White Flower Farm, a wonderful catalog supplier of plants. Since it was early December or so when she mentioned this, I went outside into the cold depths of the barren garden to that special place where the lily of the valley grow. There were a few tattered remnants of once lush leaves so I started to root around with the spade. Now, the pips of the lily of the valley are a bit smaller than the tip of your little finger but very identifiable. I scooped some up and brought them in the house not sure at all if they would bloom. Stuck in the urn in the entry, I decorated the urn with sheet moss and waited. Pips emerged. Emerging lotvOne pip has thus far resulted in flower. It is not full and lush but it is strongly scented although I will admit that I have to assume the prayer position in order to fully appreciate the fragrance. No matter, it is blooming, it is quite fragrant and it really is what May Dreams are made of. Blooming lilyofthevalley I owe a very big debt of gratitude to Carol for inspiring me to get out and dig. I have marked the calendar for next October to dig several pips, pot them up and bring them inside during the bleak months of winter. Lily of the valleyIn the language of flowers, lily of the valley means purity and return of happiness. Everyone deserves a bit of happiness in their lives.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of experiencing the fragrance of lily of the valley, check out White Flower Farm and don't worry about that price. Some things are meant to be experienced at least once in lifetime.  Happy Bloom Day!