Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bloom Day March 2012

Here it is Bloom Day (thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens) and I've been so busy out in the garden, now that the weather has been nice and it's still daylight after work, that I've been lax about getting photos.  Right now, the most notable blooms in my garden might be the Pearl Bush (Exochorda racemosa).  Right now I'm looking at it in full bloom, but since it's the graceful buds that give it its name, I'll show pictures from two days ago:
I think this will be blooming for a few weeks at least.  I think this is a great, underused spring blooming shrub (or small tree in my garden).

Also finally in full bloom and putting on quite a show is the Carolina Jasmine.  Here's a shot showing the vine in all its glory.  It suits me, but I have to trim it back every time my 6'4" friend comes to visit.

And another photo showing some individual flowers.

Of course, it was the daffodils that really got spring going.  It started with the Ice Follies and Carltons (I think they're Carlton, anyway).

And then these unknown short daffodils that I can't identify that I already showed in a previous post.

And now there are various jonquil types blooming all at once.  I know that many of the all-yellow ones are Sweetness, but the ones with different colors on the cups and the perianths all came in a mix so I can only guess what their names are.  Sweetness blooms very early for me, but with a very long bloom period.  Frequently it blooms with multiple flowers per stem, and then later with a single flower per stem (presumably on smaller, younger daughter bulbs).

The hyacinths in the above photo are a nice surprise.  I had read that they will only last a few years in my climate, getting looser and sparser flower spikes each year.  I love the scent and am happy to have them as long as they last, and in fact the looser flower spikes appeal to me as much or more as the fuller ones since they seem less formal.  However, last year I dug these up to make room for a new patio and found that the bulbs had multiplied.  I spread them out and this year the flower spikes seem pretty full again.  Maybe they just tend to crowd themselves out.  The lower-growing purple in this picture and in the background of some of the other pictures is creeping speedwell "Georgia Blue."  I think the color looks good with the brassy daffodils, but it's a little faded already in this spot in full sun.  Another patch I have in part shade started blooming a little later but will last much longer.

Here are a few more bulbs for good measure:
Dutch iris.  The white ones are always the first to bloom in my garden.

Grape hyacinth.

And last but greatly appreciated, Ipheon.  These grow naturalized in people's lawns in some places around here, especially in Williamsburg.  I would love to have that but so far there seem to be exactly the same number of plants as what I originally planted three or four years ago.  They come in different shades and I really like this blue color.  I could buy more instead of waiting for them to multiply but I'm afraid I would not find the same blue color again.  I don't remember if it was a specific named cultivar. 

Other things that are blooming in my garden include the flowering quince, finally in full bloom after putting out a few flowers here and there since December.  My snowflakes are also blooming in much greater numbers now, and are doing a decent job of offsetting the color clash between the hot pink quince and red berries on a nearby nandina.  The hellebore is still in bloom and so is the periwinkle.