28 June 2023

New St. John's Wort

Well, it's really not new but it's acting like it is. Two years ago during a very heavy snowfall, the large (I do mean large) photinias were knocked over. They shaded a good part of my rear yard fence garden, providing an environment for hostas, heuchera, astilbe, and ferns. St. John's Wort spread along the ground under them. I took the photinias out after they did not bouce back after the smow, and now most of the shade plants that depended on them are suffering through direct morning sun until about 1:00 in the afernoon.

St. John's Wort seems to be liking the additinal sunlight. I find that the plant has begun spreading its wings into the turf grassy area, and the new growth has really started to glow yellow like never before. A little sun makes it shine!

I also discoverred the older growth remains the evergreen color and is where the flowers are coming from. Flowers are still 'few and far between', and tend to pop up at verious times throughout the spring. It would make a more serious garden statement if they all appreaed at the same time.

I am going to replace the photinias with Swamp Magnolia - a Virginia native. I will need to wait a few years for it to grow to a size that can shade all the plants that were previously happy. I hope the hostas can survive that long - they are the ones most suffering. Maybe a move for them to more hospitable locations is in the cards this fall.

18 June 2023


The Lauren's Grape poppies always get a head start in the season. Most were spectacular this year, although the later plants were stunted a bit.

The pink peony poppies were runts. They began germinating in spring as the temperatures were setting records in the high 80s (high 20s C). For the past weeks, however, the weather has been a bit cooler that normal, but they still did not liek the hot April. There are blooms and I will save the seeds for next eseason and hope for mor appropriate spring weather.

06 April 2023

All Daffodils

I really like these daffodils. First, they are reliable. No coddling or special treatment is needed. They multiply. I can't count how many of the orange/white I have given away. Third, they smell great -- especially the orange ones. The other regular typical daffodils I have do not have much of a fragrance.

The latest addition to the collection (the other two) was a gift of about 10 bulbs each a few years ago. They also multiply and now have formed two sizable clumps. I am sure dividing them this spring would result in another gift being passed on to more gardeners.

27 March 2023

Not Open Yet

The Maholia buds came out recently. No blooms at first glance, but the lemony scent near the shrub proved that a few were releasing their fracrance on the warm day. It was enough to attract one pollinator, who was running from unopened bud to unopened bud looking for some treat. He left after realizing we are not yet open for business.

28 February 2023

Spring Begins

The hellebores in the backyuard are blooming. I trekked out there after seeing some blooming in Old Town Alexandria last week. Located in their preferred backyard shade means they are out back in a place I don't visit often. The two colors are mixed together; although I had good intentions to separate them for years (maybe this spring?) They were plucked from a Master Gardener plant swap, and I don't believe the owner realized there were two colors in one container.

23 July 2022

Summer Coneflowers

The summer conwflowers are looking wekll this year. This year, the pink/purple colors are the strongest they have been . I don't know why this happens. In some years they are lighter pink and in others they are more intenseely coloered. The best explanation I have is that sunlight/moisture affects them along with nutirents.

04 June 2022

Crossed Daylily

A few years ago I started to cross daylilies and bearded iris (not with each other) ... becasue I could. I wanted to see what results I could achieve. This daylily bloomed two years ago for the first time and I was happy with the results. It's at it again this year.

I like the colors but do not remember what two I crossed. Its flowers are larger and more numersous than the other resulting crosses, one of which is blooming for the first time this year. Its colors are similar, but the stalks and flowers are a bit smaller, and the colors a little duller. It may be because of the plant size because the bigger plant propduces the larger blooms - it has been blooming longer and had more time to "leap."

Two others will bloom soon, but the buds are smaller and fewer. Maybe these plants need a few more years to develop.

I believe these two were the parents.

15 August 2021

August Bloom Day

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
What's blooming in the garden on the 15th of the month

I scrounged through my phjotos I have saved for Instagram postings, and took a few tonight before the sun went down. The 15th sneaked up on me this month.

Interesting story on this. If you snoop through past years of posts, you know I like growing different dwarf sunflowers. The last cultivar tried had some seeds I saved for the birds. I planted a few the following year, and saved these seeds and planted this year. The blooms are a nice manageable size, but they are not very drawf, stading at about 5-feet (1.5 m) tall, and do not match the original hybrid. I like the flowers though.

Tithonia is new to me this year. I am impressed by the pollinators that constantly visit it, and it's preference for poor soil, and a hot dry environment.

Cutleaf rudbeckia last week, Now, after some rain storms, it's falling over but still blooming up a storm.

This is the only ruby red zinnia 'Cherry Queen' I photographed so far. Hummingbirds stop by, but I don't really know how much they get out of the flower. Beautiful color.

Just starting to bloom now, the cardinal flower lobelia was labed as 'Blue Lobelia' at the spring plant swap. Oops.

Late summer blooming garden phlox. Another pollinator love.

Find more ther garden bloggers' blooms on May Dream Gardens.

15 July 2021

July Bloom Day

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
What's blooming in the garden on the 15th of the month

I wanted to wait until dark when the moonflowers open before taking the last shots for this July. These are some of the blooms at this time of year.

Datura arrayed along the entry to the house where I enjoy the intoxicating fragrance every summer evening. They reseed themselves every year.

Rudbeckia hita native loves the sun. They last about two years, but easily reseed.

Rudbeckia laciniata picked up at a plant swap, it grows 6 feet (2 m) tall and easily falls over. Thanks to Janet, Queen of Seaford in identifying for me.

I thought a closeup of the balloon flower would be interesting. Platycodon grandiflorus reseeds but they're difficult to move because of their deep tap root.

Phlox paniculata 'Jeana' giveaway at the Washington DC Garden Bloggers Fling. Pollinators love it as much as I do.

When echinacea purpurea is planted in part shade, it gows 5 feet tall (1.5 m).

Echinops ritro is about ready to bloom and inviting all the bumbles to it.

Will it go round in circles? Watch bees on coneflowers go around the ring of pollen on the flower.

Find more ther garden bloggers' blooms on May Dream Gardens.

15 June 2021

June Bloom Day

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
What's blooming in the garden on the 15th of the month

I want to highlight some blooms that are not the usual ones I post every June.

Lychnis coronaria, Rose campion is such a work horse. It blooms in heat, reseeds well, survives winters, and the color combo of silver and magenta is striking.

Coconut lime echinacea is a hybrid that is lower in height, and not as attractive to pollinators as the native. Here, some little guy poses on a petal.

Speaking of lime ... this is lime green nicotiana. As thick as ever at this time of year, and a proflific reseeder. I keep it separated from the white in another garden to keep it from intermixing, and to maintain the green color. This year the fragrance at night is incredible.

I was lazy and did not cut off the seed pods one year. A whole lot of different hostas sprouted the following year. I kept about a half dozen including this one.

This lavendar was free at the Garden Bloggers Fling when it came to Washington DC. Lavender 'Phenomenal' is exceptional in that none of it died back in winter, and the amount of blooms is awesome.

\Once I figured out what this low-growing iris was (picked up at a plant swap), it was moved from the sunny garden to damp part shade. My native crested iris (Iris cristata) is now flourishing and I am rewarded with flowers.

An impatient visitor waiting for pollen to open.

Daylilies I crossed using the orange ditch lily with 'Night of Passion'. Very proud and pleased with the results, but the colors get washed out to a dull pale rust in bright hot sunlight.

Find more ther garden bloggers' blooms on May Dream Gardens.

15 May 2021

May Bloom Day

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
What's blooming in the garden on the 15th of the month

The smaller perennials are still growing, while some of the larger ones are blooming.

Siberian Iris are in full bloom. I picked these multipliers up at a master gardener plant swap, and now have 3 stands with 100 blooms.

Columbine Aquilegia from my mom's garden years ago.

Pea blossom. Hey, veggies have blooms, too.

Mountain Laurel Kamlia latifolia. A very red 'Sarah' cultivar.

White camassia -- not as popular as the blue.

Bearded Iris. This reblooming cultivar 'Clarence' was purchased from Walmart many years ago.

Geranium sanguineum close up.

I don't know the name of my black bearded iris. It's really hard to get the color right, when taken with a cell phone camera.

Spiderwort grows well although in a sunty location.

The white ruffled bearded iris came from another plant swap.

The tree peony 'Garden Treasure' that closes up at night.

Find other garden bloggers' posts at May Dream Gardens

02 May 2021

Now Returning

About a half dozen Dutch Iris 'Discovery' bulbs were purchsed years ago and they brought great pleasure in the late spring when they bloomed. They first showed up on my blog back in 2008. After that, they brought great heartache. They did not want to bloom again. I did not think they were in the tulip mode of blooming great one year, and then disappoointment in following years.

I kept them, and every year they might knock out one or two blooms each spring. I changed their location to give them more sunlight. I gave them fertilizer. I gave them more attention and care than other plants who were becoming jealous, but every year it was the same: very few booms.

This year I am please to report that I have 7 blooms. I also have about a dozen new bulbs that will hopefully be blooming in following years. They are not fast multiplying, so maybe they require several years of coddling before they grow enough to produce a bloom.

I really appreciate the irridescent blue, espeically when the sunlight hits them from behind. The contrast with the yellow is striking.

For The Record:
  • Well-drained soil with organic amendments
  • Full sun
  • Generous fertilizer
  • No disease