Bloom Day!

Bloom Day - November 15, 2011

DSC_0005Blooms are hard to find here in Rhode Island on this Bloom Day, courtesy of Carol, of May Dreams. Thank you again Carol for hosting so that I may view many more blooms than those in my garden. There is one last tattered bloom on the red Knock Out rose. I struggled to find it. DSC_0006I also found these few blooms left on the 'Sheffield Pink' mum. Many have been eaten by deer which browsed for food just after the snowstorm in October. There are virtually no acorns for them to eat this year so I imagine I will be seeing them suffer all winter. DSC_0009In the vegetable garden which is partially cleaned out, the calendula is blooming still. Impervious to all but the coldest of weather and frost, this one is flaunting its bright, school bus orange (not my favorite color) blooms. They are easier to take this time of year when there is little else in bloom. As I walked the dog this morning, I noticed that the native witch hazels were blooming. DSC_0003Hamamelis virginiana, the common witchhazel has the same flower as the hybrids which bloom in the spring. This native blooms in the fall and often before the leaves fall which hides the blooms from view. The roadside trees were bare of leaves but this one in the garden is retaining its leaves a bit longer.  On another is my Mom's birthday and she is one of the best blooms in my life. Today she is 88 and last week she golfed nine holes with a score of 54 which is not bad and a score I often exceed. I hope she forgives me for sharing her age but it is a gift to reach such an age of wisdom when you are in good health and sound of mind. It is said that 'No one loves you like a mother'. I, my four sisters and one brother plus the extended family of grandchildren and in-laws, have been the recipients of the best this phrase has to offer. DSC_0038Here she is in the light green, on the right. Happy birthday, Mom. 

l-r: Sister Eileen,Daughter Emily, Mom

second row: Friend Joyce

top: Yours truly   


Bloom Day - October 15, 2011

Bloom Day in October is usually after a first frost but not this year. It has been warm here in southern New England. The dahlias are still blooming and the annuals, while showing the effects of lower light, continue to provide spots of color here and there.  Here is a collage of October bloomers. Bloom Day October 15, 2011Click on picture to enlarge
A big thank you to Carol of May Dreams for hosting this monthly event. It is so much fun to see what is blooming in other gardens around the world.


Bloom Day - The Day After....August 15, 2011

DSC_0011This August Bloom Day was filled with torrential rain. Not just a shower but steady, heavy rain. Flowers bowed their heads in appreciation but the gardener, while thankful for the rain, had a hard time balancing an umbrella with a camera.  The garden in August is mostly texture with spots of color. DSC_0004The abundant bloom of June and July has given way to a more refined palette of green with the late blooms of hosta, daylilies and the ever blooming annuals. The Ligularia dentata 'Britt Marie Crawford' is lovely all season with the exception of now although the bright, school bus orange flowers glow in the garden on a rainy day.  Ligularia dentata 'Britt Marie Crawford'They do start to bloom about the time the school bus starts to roll. I keep meaning to cut off these flowers but they show up from a distance and not everyone has my cringing reaction to their bright, neon orange color. Hydrangea p. 'Limelight'The 'Limelight' hydrangea is a beacon in the garden and I must remember to plant a few more. Nothing in the garden says 'late summer' as much as the pale yellow blooms of the yellow wax bells, Kirengeshoma palmataKirengeshoma palmata. This is a large plant, four by four. It always elicits a comment from a visitor. Annuals add continuous color to any garden and while the marigold is considered by some as 'pedestrian', it is sturdy and pairs well with these petunias in a planter which has small soil volume. DSC_0010I am late to the table with Bloom Day. Thank you to Carol at May Dreams for hosting this monthly event. I hope to see the blooms in your garden, wherever that might be.   


Bloom Day - April 15, 2011

DSC_0001April can be stingy with blooms in New England.  The earliest bloomers, the snowdrops and winter aconites are on the wane DSC_0055but the blue chionodoxa are coming into full bloom along with hellebores.  DSC_0049The green are Helleborus foetidus and this double is a 'Kingston Cardinal'.  DSC_0060The quality of light in the morning is beautiful and the birds sing their agreement with spring trills.  A heavy rain yesterday pushed the grass to greener depths and fattened the buds on many of the trees.  DSC_0012One of my favorite spring blooms are the blooms on the red maple trees in the back field.  From a distance it is just a red haze.  Up close the flowers are complete and lovely.  Red maple flowersI am trying to remember how old I was when I first really looked at these flowers.  I know I was well into adulthood.  I wonder what I am missing or have missed by just not paying attention and looking closely?  The tulips are coming up and the fall planted Greigii tulip, 'Fire of Love', has foliage every bit as lovely as any flower. DSC_0040I am waiting for the flower but really, who cares? The fat buds on the magnolia are swelling and showing a bit of pink DSC_0046and the buttercup winterhazel is about to ring with pale yellow bells.  DSC_0037There are other bits and pieces blooming here, some late crocus and the pulmonaria are beginning to show color but the above are favorites this year.  Many thanks to Carol, of May Dreams, for hosting yet another Bloom Day.  Now, show me what is blooming in your garden please.    


Bloom Day - March 15, 2011

DSC_0003This bloom day brings actual outside blooms.  Not many and this first bunch of snowdrops is resisting opening fully but I am counting them as blooms anyway.  Temperatures are still quite chilly although today was sunny.  I think the key temperature for fully opening of snowdrop blooms must be somewhere above 45F.  Thursday is supposed to be in the high fifties so perhaps that will push these white delights open to reveal their green chevron.  DSC_0006This hellebore is the only one in bloom although all of the others are budded up.  I love the pure white hellebores.  This one has had its foliage clipped but the bed has yet to be cleaned out.  There are still patches of snow here and there.  DSC_0011The stinking hellebore, Helleborus foetidus, is showing the green in time for St. Patrick's Day on Thursday. The winter aconites in this bed are starting to show color.  DSC_0038I have planted many but some are buried under snow and others are not yet showing growth.  There is one lone yellow crocus in a back bed which was planted over twenty years ago.  DSC_0013It neither dies out or spreads and I have come to look for its solitary bloom when the temperatures moderate.  The purple crocus in the front are still blooming although they were shut tight today given the temperature.  DSC_0001Inside, I have a blue plumbago which is blooming.  Baby blue is not a common flower color and I find this one quite a unique shade.  DSC_0030It will be a great outdoor container plant this season.  Also blooming is this phalaenopsis orchid.  DSC_0034Phalaenopsis orchids are relatively easy houseplants. I've only killed a couple in my life.   There is so much to do in the gardens at this time of year that it is difficult not to become overwhelmed with the magnitude of the tasks.  The pups, Tucker and Cooper, are quite unconcerned though and posed for Bloom Day.  DSC_0025They know they are the biggest blooms in the garden.  Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams for sharing the blooms.  Even though I have just a few, I can visit gardens all over the world via her inspiration of Bloom Day.  That should satisfy the craving for blooms. 


Bloom Day - November 15, 2010

November is a gray month in New England.  Days are often overcast with gloomy clouds and drizzle.  We have had our first heavy frost and our first snowfall within a week of each other.  November is the beginning of the third act.  When the sun does shine, it is very, very bright in the sunlight and the shadows are dark.  Warm and cold. Light and dark. Short and long.  Short days and long nights. There is little left flowering as winter intermission arrives.  The show is over...well almost as here and there are a few bright spots of color.  The pink sheffield is the very last perennial to bloom profusely.  The flowers on this clump are looking quite bedraggled after snow last week.The bees are dragging their wings.  There is little danger of getting stung so getting close poses no threat.  This one is just interested in getting his last sip of nectar.  Bee on pink sheffield
The roses are almost bare but the last buds have struggled open on the warm days 'May Dreams'of Indian Summer which visited this past weekend.  DSC_0080
The foliage of Euphorbia 'Ascot' is pretty enough to be considered a bloom.  It seems to be thriving in this cool weather.   
Next to the front walkway, the entrance garden is hiding under a layer of leaves but there, amidst the debris, is this little bird's foot violet with its very small, white bloom.  DSC_0098-1
It really is the moss on the rocks in this garden  which first catches one's eye as it glows brightly with the low rays of sun shining through the trees highlighting the velvety softness of its surface.   DSC_0006-1 There is one other bloom in my life for which I am eternally grateful.  This November Bloom Day coincides with Mom's birthday.  I have often said that 'No one loves you like your Mom'.  There are few that measure up to the high standards my Mom has set in this world. She has six grown children, eleven grandchildren, three great grandchildren (oops, four) and arms long enough and wide enough to hold us all.  DSC_0081
Happy Birthday Mom.


Bloom Day - 1 day late

DSC_0014 Bloom Day in mid-October is usually filled with frost damaged plants and little in the way of flowers but not this year.  No frost has graced the garden yet which is not to say that everything looks pristine.  The leaves are turning and the containers are suffering from lack of light and lack of interest.  DSC_0005 There is a rhythm to the seasons and Mother Nature is acting a bit off beat.  The Pink Sheffield chrysanthemums are blooming.  DSC_0012 They are always the last to bloom and their peachy perfection is an annual delight.  This lovely Tricyrtus 'Tojen'  is in bloom.  It holds no candle to Gail's 'Empress' but still, it is pretty.DSC_0009 It needs to be planted close to a pathway since the blooms are small and can easily be overlooked in a border.  The Mexican sunflower has finally given up some blooms.  Tucker, the Job Supervisor, is less than impressed.DSC_0006 The wax begonias look better now than they did all summer although the bed is disheveled.  DSC_0019

I have a small rose bush which has put out an abundance of blooms for this day.  They are, most likely, the last roses of summer and they are much appreciated.  It is a lovely shade of apricot.  Note to self:  Find the tag on this one. DSC_0025The Anemone hupehensis is newly planted.  I have tried this plant many times in the past and the clumps have never established well.  It is such a winning fall flower with buds just as pretty.  I am trying once again. I am in good company.  DSC_0008Henry Mitchell wrote in his long ago Washington Post column, 'Earthman', that he had to plant it several times before he had 'a good clump going'.  Some plants are worth the effort don't you think. DSC_0028Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams for keeping the flowers blooming through her Bloom Day efforts.  What fun it is to visit gardeners from all parts of the globe for a peek into their gardens every 15th of the month.   


Bloom Day - August 15, 2010

The truth is not too pretty here in Rhode Island as we are in a water deficit.  The best bloomers are those in containers since they get the benefit of daily watering.  I have, like many others, been dragging the hose around but with the vegetable garden in high season, watering it takes priority.  DSC_0013
Still, there are plants blooming but they are definitely showing signs of stress.   The few that are not include the Coreopsis 'Moonbeam', DSC_0011
the 'Knock Out' rose, DSC_0010
and this nasturtium which is planted in the potato bins and which has thrived while the potatoes did not. DSC_0009
The long border has a bit of blooming phlox left to complement the zinnias and the impatiens.  DSC_0002
Annuals are the saving grace of the August garden here at Ledge and Gardens.  The Kirengeshoma is planted in the left front border which is mostly shade and furthest from the hose.  It is in dire need of water as the buds swell and the leaves droop.  DSC_0008
Blue gentian is a wonderful color but a wimpy perennial. DSC_0058
I only have let it stay because I belong to the Gentian Garden Club.  I guess I should have collection of gentian somewhere else but this established plant is so nondescript until the bright blue flowers appear that it escapes attention until it is too late to move it.  The Echevaria 'Lila' is a lovely gray with these pretty flower spikes.  DSC_0016
There are other plants blooming such as Geranium 'Rozanne' and the Bee balm lingers on but this is really the true story of the gardens here on bloom day.  DSC_0017
The Hydrangea 'Tardiva' is not drought tolerant in the least and is looking quite ragged.  I am doing a daily rain dance and considering posting it on YouTube but in the meantime, many thanks to Carol at May Dreams for hosting 'Bloom Day'.  I hope your Bloom Day is full of color and enough moisture to keep plants and gardeners from wilting.

November Blooms!

High  45F
Low   31F
I am late for Bloom Day hosted by Carol over at May Dreams.  Life intrudes on blogging but I am finally here with 'Sheffield Pink' blooming in spite of the deer having eaten most of the blooms and the wet  weather.  I am enjoying blooms from other parts of the world as they are waning here but this weekend's lawn leaf removalDSC_0019 revealed not just the lawn DSC_0010 but  a few stray blooms, some emerging buds on the hydrangeasDSC_0008 and some flower buds on this Helleborus foetidus. DSC_0003 It was unseasonably warm on Thursday and Friday with temperatures up in the sixties.  That is not too unusual for this time of year but combined with moisture, these budsDSC_0009 are now doomed as cool air and temperatures arrive.  The New Dawn roses have few remaining leaves and a couple of struggling buds DSC_0012 and ragged blooms and the Rosa glauca is sporting red DSC_0021 for the upcoming season.  Even the Lillum plasticus DSC_0023 are looking  a bit dreary in the garden at this time of year.  I have to say that my favorite bloom is not really a bloom at all but a treasure received from a fellow gardener, Gail of Clay and Limestone.  This fiddlehead DSC_0028 is now glowing in the indoor garden which will have to be featured in next month's Bloom Day post.   Aren't the best things in your garden those which bring to mind the memory of an experience? 


Bloom Day - October 15, 2008

High 68 F
Low  51 F

Just when you start to believe that you have nature figured out, she surprises you.  It is unusual to reach this date with no frost at Ledge and Gardens.  Usually, frost occurs by the middle of September.  Last bloom day I mentioned that it would probably be my last for the year and now I find that there is an abundance of bloom.  Not vigorous bloom, except for the above dahlias, but abundance.  I am enjoying the last bloom days of autumn.  Here goes...

DSC_0041 DSC_0004 DSC_0002 DSC_0012 DSC_0014 DSC_0018 DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0024 DSC_0032 DSC_0034 DSC_0037 DSC_0039 DSC_0040 

Here is a long shot of the border in its' fall decline.DSC_0038

As always, thanks go out to Carol from May Dreams for hosting yet another, and sure to be but don't hold me to it, Bloom Day.