What’s Blooming in January

Normally I don’t think we’d have anything actually blooming in our backyard this time of year except for the Hellebore.

This winter being so frighteningly warm, we have a few more things to add to the “blooming or on the way up” list.

Here is the Hellebore, which I planted a year and a half ago.  This is its first time blooming.  It is quite small, only one flower, but it’s been blooming for a few weeks now and is lovely to see.  It rained yesterday so it’s a bit dirty, but lovely to see nonetheless.

Hellebore in bloom

My Galanthus seems to have decided that it’s officially Spring:

Snowdrops in bloom already! Last year it was March before they emerged.

That’s it for actual blooms, although several things are already poking their way through soil and up into the air…I’m not certain what most of them are, thanks to the lousy job I did labeling bulbs last year!  Time will tell, and once they’re up this year I’m going to label!

Bulbs emerging...I think this is Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) Maybe.

All bets are on Daffodils here...

I think these are crocus leaves...

Here’s one I do know, thanks to Bev who helped me to identify.  I sent her a picture and  told her it had a really unique smell when I rubbed the leaves…sort of spicy, musky…”like aftershave” was as close as I could get!  She immediately identified it as Feverfew!  I’m glad to know some of the seeds I planted last year came up (and didn’t get mistakenly identified as a WEED by me and subsequently pulled.)

Feverfew, nice and green - and it will stay green all winter!

Here’s another one I didn’t label:

this could be Foam Flower or Lavender...(it's Tiarella / Foam Flower!)

Last year Bev gave me a Purple Coneflower transplant that had some Sweet Woodruff tagging along in the pot.  Here they are, apparently doing well and starting to spread!

lovely little Sweet Woodruff

one of a few tiny patches of Sweet Woodruff

This next one has me stumped – and a bit worried…

This plant smells very strongly of oregano or thyme, or some savory herb.

It’s growing around my Mondarda (Bee Balm) and once again, my lack of labeling plants last year now puts me in the position of now knowing if this something I planted by seed or a volunteer of some sort.  Here’s the close up and the worrying part:

same plant - is that POWDERY MILDEW on the leaves??

I noticed toward the end of summer that the Monarda has a pretty bad case of powdery mildew, and this is right under it.  I hope I don’t have a big problem on my hands here! Not sure what can be done about powdery mildew, but I did notice some in that area of the garden at the end of last summer.  Yikes!  At least the Sweet Woodruff, which is in the same area, isn’t showing signs of being affected!

Garden Bloom Day – June 15, 2011

I had family visiting this week, so I’ve missed Wordless Wednesday and I’m a day late with my Garden Bloom Day photos!

Lots of things are blooming in the yard right now, especially on the west side of the yard in the border along the garage wall.  That area receives the most sun and the plants there seem happy.

Things are moving along on the east side of the yard in the border along the fence, but it’s shadier there so some things are slow to grow and bloom.  This our first June in the new apartment / yard, so it’s interesting to look around and see where things are NOT happening.  I’ll need to think about what things I can add to that East side fence line under the Privet trees for next year.  It would be nice to have SOMETHING blooming there in June, and right now there is nothing.

On to the things that ARE blooming!

This is Astilbe, ‘Peach Blossom’ – in the shade garden along the side of the house.  I’m not sure if it’s a shorter variety of Astilbe or if it’s just small because this is its first year…or maybe it’s too much shade?  Right now the plant is about 2′ tall.

the lavender plant I put in last fall has really filled out this year and is spreading out. It’s been in various stages of blooming for nearly 6 weeks now, and it smells terrific.
here’s a close up
This is Lilium, ‘Blackout’ I was expecting it to be a much darker maroon – nearly black according to the photo on Easy To Grow Bulbs, where I ordered it, however I am absolutely in LOVE with this color and I’m very happy with this Lily! I bought 3 bulbs and planted them in 3 different areas of the yard, so their blooming will be a little staggered – perfect. You’ll have to bear with me posting several pictures of this beauty – I’m a little over the moon about it!

If this Lily multiplies over the years you might hear my squeals of delight from miles away.
Day Lilies are also blooming. These came with the property. Earlier this spring I dug some up and transplanted them around to various parts of the yard.
I’m not usually a fan of the color orange, but these are just delightful.
Not the best shot, but this is the border along the garage wall. The sunniest spot in the yard, this border also benefits from being so close to the wall for protection from wind and a little extra heat off the building.  Everything is starting to get a bit more shade now as the fig trees are filling out…hopefully it won’t be too much shade a month or two from now!
This border includes: sweet basil, parsley, cilantro, bay leaves, Thai basil, lemon verbena, a 3-foot tall young lilac, foam flower, lavender, a “mystery” tomato, heliotrope, violets, lambs ears, Dusty Miller, a climbing rose, cosmos, day lilies, the Asiatic ‘Blackout’ lily, and a few weeds. 😉 Plus some begonias back on the steps in the shade.

Not yet blooming, but the Annabelle hydrangea is really filling out…
Since this is our first Spring/Summer in the yard, I thought it would help me to have an idea of how large this baby gets, how quickly it grows/spreads, etc. When we moved here at the end of last summer this hydrangea was about 4 feet tall and nearly as wide and was blooming its socks off. I divided it in the fall and gave a large division to my friend Bev in PA, where it seems to be doing well. Clearly, this hydrangea didn’t mind being divided one bit. In fact, I think it might be happier.

I’m not so sure the tree peony that I planted next to it this Spring is as happy and I hope it won’t end up getting crowded out by this enormous hydrangea!  You can just see the tip of the tree peony in the left side of the photo.

That potted plant on our portable makeshift “backyard coffee table” (a wooden half barrel with a granite slab on top) is a “mystery” clematis that came as a surprise gift from my friend Bev over the weekend, and I am SO excited.  We think it may be Autumn Clematis.  Whatever it is, it is most welcome here.  Clematis is one of my all-time favorite flowers.  Hopefully this time next year – or who knows, maybe even this fall! – I’ll be posting photos of IT blooming.