There are some flowering plants, trees and shrubs that offer only a brief shining moment of bloom, but the breathtaking beauty of their bravado makes their planting worthwhile. In our zone 7a garden tulips will grow and flower, we have the required chill time for the bulb, but just about the time of tulip bloom, our weather can get scorchingly hot, spoiling the flowers, and then get chilly again a couple of more times. Each year is different and the hope is always high that this will be the year of a longer show. One of the earlier tulips, and one that has been in the ground for ten years with reblooming is Tulipa ‘Silverstream’.
Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, flowers last only a day here, sometimes they are missed entirely. As the woodland wildflower area becomes more shady with the ever growing young maples and dogwoods to replace the gone but not forgotten red maple, click to find out more about this tree here-Ferngully, the spring ephemerals are gaining momentum. The above was a passalong from Christopher of Outside Clyde. Also showing are reinforcements from Mr. McGregor’s Daughter. Another patch that came from offspring of offspring Chickenpoet, MA and GA, bloomed during our recent absence. Coming from North Carolina, Illinois and Upper East Tennessee respectively, the plants bloom in order of warmest to coldest areas from whence they came, even though they now live close together, the plants that is. Interesting.
I have never noticed that these flowers are different from the larger yellow and do not remember buying it. Does anyone recognize this little beauty? Other Epimediums growing here are E. ‘Lilafee’, not yet blooming, with a light lavender flower on a petite plant and a couple that were purchased from the old Hinkley owned Heronswood. The tags were dislodged from the plants and they were thought to be lost when the towering shade of Ferngully bit the dust. A large leaved one has arisen from the dead but has never bloomed. Maybe there is hope for the other one, if only we can find the tags or perhaps the invoice with the names listed if and when there are blooms to identify.
Moving onward to the early blooming trees, the dark leaf peach that was a rooted cutting passed along from dear neighbor Mickey is now blossoming. This tree received a harsh pruning to limb it up to provide more light and air below for promising plants in the black garden where it resides. There are only a few branches left, a leader and some upper side shoots, all have blooms along them.
Jane the tree is always difficult to capture on pixels properly. Early morning, late afternoon, any type of lighting never seems to show what the eye sees, with either camera. She shines like a beacon in the spring garden, you will just have to take my word for it.
Two years in the garden and blooming for the first time is another small tree, Corylopsis spicata. Located under the tall pine trees at the property’s edge, there has been slow but steady growth since it was planted. Joining the Edgeworthias, Forest Pansy Redbud, various pink and white dogwoods, hollies, viburnums and azaleas, among others, we are imagining a vision of a shade loving, low maintenance privacy screen of shrubbery.
Included in that vision is the new last fall Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’. Though a small one gallon specimen, the size we prefer for all our tree and shrub plantings for ease of planting, price and faster settling in, there are rewarding flowers joining the gold foliage. Gold and yellow seems to show up best in the darkness of the tall pines. It might be noted that Ogon is fending off the intrusion of the dreaded thug Vinca major that has overtaken this bed. The plantings of perennials have been usurped by this vining ground cover, a passalong from Mae and Mickey. There is no hope of eradication, but the planting of larger trees and shrubs that can coexist is working so far.
Veronica umbrosa ‘Georgia Blue’ is anything but thuggish. The delicate flowers last for a short time in early spring, depending on the air temps, the cooler the better. Planted as a backdrop for the Little tulips, Little Beauty and Little Princess, it rarely is still open when the tulips are showing color. Maybe this will be the year, for Beauty’s buds are near opening size.
These fall planted violas were meant to be the closing shot, with a blurb about how the above normal temps, by twenty degrees! was frying their pretty petals. But something else was noticed as this post was being composed…
…a daylily. That’s right, Hemerocallis dumortieri, a gift from The Financier for Mother’s Day last year, May 10, is open. We are not sure of the naming, the label called it H. lilioasphodelus, but there were red markings on the bud and outside of the petals that led us to dumortieri. Perhaps it is neither, as explained by this good site on the subject. The reddish hue seen last year is missing. It seems we will have to get down and give it a smell, also note the length of bloom time to help with the ID. It was spied as a blotch of yellow on the ground and was assumed to be a fallen daffodil flower. Closer inspection showed it to be a crazy mixed up daylily with no stem at all, blooming right at ground level, with follow up buds in evidence. It is not known what this portends for the rest of 2010, but seems to forecast a bumpy, be prepared for anything type of ride.
There are several other short time bloomers that are featured in a simulcast posting, click to view it here-Before They Are Gone, they were way too numerous to squeeze into just one story.