Friday, November 16, 2007

Bloom Day photos

Happy Bloom Day, brrrr! I'm late again but I have a good reason this time. I was busy painting several rooms in preparation for out of town guests visiting during the Thanksgiving holiday.

These photos were all taken this blustery cold morning of November 16th. I will add captions as time permits. There were more plants blooming than I thought, though there aren't very many flowers on the plants anymore. I guess I should be more observant and enjoy these last flowers of the season.

Camellia sasanqua, Marti. The tender flowers are having a terrible time with the freezing temperatures. The outer edges of the flowers turn a bluish purple from the cold...just like people do.

Yay! I've managed to not kill the Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'. I'll be very happy if it will survive the winter.

A new variety of Delphiniums. It re-bloomed all summer and is still blooming now. If I find the name of the variety, I'll post it here.

Variegated Azalea. I added this because I thought the leaves are quite attractive on this plant. The flowers are a pinkish red which looks a little strange with the leaf variegation but that lasts only a short time and we keep the plant mostly for the leaves.

A pink variant of the Delphinium above.

Lobelia, Crystal Palace. Sorry for the out of focus photo.

A mum we bought several years ago. Though we pulled it out, apparently we didn't get all of the roots. Since the plant is so tenacious and blooms every year it gets to stay. It's turned out to be a quite lovely plant, although it gets a bit leggy because the original sunny spot where it was planted is now semi-shaded as the taller shrubs and small trees have grown.

Penstemon, Navigator series. This is a wonderful re-bloomer too. It's a dwarf and if you deadhead the spent flowers it will re-bloom.

Unknown small flowered Salvia.

White Rhododendron. I didn't think Rhododendrons bloomed in the fall but a couple of the white ones are sparsely flowering. Our PJM Rhodie was blooming just last week but there were no flowers today.

Lollipop Echinacea.

It's amazing how tough this tropical looking Gaillardia is. There are still many flowers and buds on the plant.

Phacelia campanulata bravely trying to bloom.

I thought the yellow leaves of the Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum biflora was quite attractive so I added it.

The last flower of the Cyclamen.

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta still fighting the cold.

I'm not positive but I think this is the Yellow Patches mushroom, Amanita flavoconia.
From the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms "This is one of the most common eastern amanitas, and has the longest season. Its edibility has not been established and therefore it cannot be recommended." An understatement if I ever saw one.

I first saw this mushroom under some Eastern white pine trees next to a water tower 2 years ago. It had formed a huge colony and was quite impressive. Last year the mushrooms came up in the exact same location but the fruiting was much diminished. I thought the mushrooms would appear about this time of the year and looked for them daily for about a month but I didn't see them until yesterday when I looked in a different location about 25 feet away from the original colony. I wonder why it moved?


Blogger Carolyn gail said...

Good grief, Ki, you still have a lot of stuff going on. Nice photos. Is that a rhododenron ( white ) in bloom ? I saw one in full bloom in my neighborhood the other day. In addition, a witchhazel as well. Someone's confused.

2:23 PM  
Blogger kate said...

These are lovely photographs ... seeing any flowers now makes me happy. Is that the same Rhododendron in bloom that you showed a few posts ago? It's great seeing Delphiniums too ... I wish mine re-bloomed, but they freeze too early on.

Have a good weekend ... how is your pond doing?

2:25 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

What a difference there is between your zone 6b garden and my zone 5b garden. You have a lot still blooming, and my garden is "done". I'm glad you took time from painting to take some pictures so we can all enjoy what you've still got blooming.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

3:40 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hello Carolyn Gail,
It seems more than it actually is. There's that is word again. The actual number of flowers on any given plant is very small. It is a white Rhododendron. I don't know why it's blooming now but there are about 4-5 buds starting to open. Unlike Lisa at Millertime and your neighbor our witch hazels are behaving normally. I see small buds but no premature blooming. The leaves are pretty spectacular this year though. Thanks for the comment.


Thanks Kate. Yes, it's the same Rhododendron that seems to be blooming in slow motion . I thought they were a spring kind of thing but I guess not. Maybe the huge swings in temperatures are affecting the bloom time. The cold front that just moved in today should be the end of the Delphinium flowers. We bought this new variety in spring and they have been re-blooming 'til now. If I find the tag, I'll post the name of the cultivar. It's certainly a winner and a much better re-bloomer than the common ones we've had for many years.


Hi Carol,

Thanks. I'm glad I took a break to photograph the flowers. The paint fumes were starting to get to me. The zone thing is so variable. One year we'll be freezing cold from September and the next year it could be mild until the end of November. I guess with a strong La Nina this year, we're supposed to have a mild winter in the NE. But it all depends on where the NAO (North American Oscillation) will be. I guess the zones are based on temperature averages so in any one year the variation from the norm could be huge. It is sad to think all will be brown, gray and barren in a few weeks. Thanks for stopping by.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Entangled said...

I love the camellias. I always thought of them as southern plants, but yours seem happy in NJ. I'd like to add some here, but I think they're a favorite deer snack.

Have fun painting!

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Nan Ondra said...

A lovely variety of blooms, Ki. Two green thumbs up for you, keeping the daphne not just alive, but apparently thriving. And thanks for the mushroom photo. I'd noticed the same (or very similar) ones appearing here in PA in the past few weeks and had no clue as to what they might be. I like the phrase "edibility has not been established." I went to a lecture on mushrooms last year, and when the speaker was asked about whether a particular mushroom was safe to eat, she responded that all mushrooms were edible--some only once. I guess that's an old joke among mycologists, but I thought it was amusing. Anyway, thanks for sharing your garden!

5:38 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Entangled,
Both of our Camellias are right next to the house and in fact all the growth is towards the house and not the light. Interesting that they are seeking heat more than light. Being so close to the house they have been safe from browsing deer so far. I don't know if deer like Camellias in any case?

Painting this one bedroom was a debacle. The previous owner had mixed some kind of semi-transparent paint with blue pigment and combed through it so it had a texture. I bought some texture paint so I could smooth out the valley and ridges but the paint wouldn't stick. So I used regular paint but that didn't stick either if I put it on too heavily. So I put on a very light coat, let it dry then put on a heavier coat but that kept pulling up even with the dry first layer used as a primer. Took me all day to do one bedroom! Then the color was weird too. I seemed to be a warm white but when it dried it turned a yellow greenish tinted white in daylight. Under fluorescent lighting it's a tannish white. Maybe this room was not meant to be painted. Didn't have any trouble with the other rooms so the blue transparent paint they used must be the culprit. What an exhausting day, smelling fumes for hours.

Hello Nan Ondra,

I like that joke! Like teenagers eat only one meal a day ... all day.

Since it's in the deadly Amanita family and has those warty encrustations on top, I wouldn't even want to pick it much less eat one. I went on two mushroom hunting outings with the local Mycological association. It was fun and informative but also sort of nasty because I came back with 5 ticks without even knowing that I had picked them up. Those were regular dog or wood ticks but I'm sure there are a lot of deer ticks around too and since they are like poppy seeds, I don't think I would have been aware of them until the bites got irritated. Too late if they carried the Lyme disease bacterium. So I haven't been mushroom hunting recently. The mushrooms in the photo were on our daily dog walk route.

I'm hoping the daphne will survive the winter and bloom next spring. I tried growing a much bigger specimen a couple of years ago. Though the plant was 4 times bigger than my current one it promptly died. It just turned brown an dried up even if I watered it consistently. Luckily I was able to get my money back.

Thanks for the comment and joke!

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Gina said...

Lovely plants Ki, Goodluck with your gorgeous daphne burkwoodii, I too had one but it didn't survive, I must get another and try again.. thanks for reminding me!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

What a great list, Ki--glad to see you have a lot of pretty blooms after all. :)

Between you and Craig over at Ellis Hollow, I now require some Solomon's Seal just for the fall foliage. Wow. I'm drooling... even as I head off to the web to try to determine whether I might be able to keep Camellia sasanqua alive in a microclimate area...

4:10 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Gina,
My first Daphne didn't survive either. I found that buying smaller and younger plants sometimes works better as they seem to adjust to the new environment much more readily than larger ones. They also seem to be more robust and outgrow the larger plants in a few yearsl;. Just the leaf variegations are nice on the Burkwoodii and are enough to grow the plant imho but I'm looking forward to the fragrant flowers too. Thanks for your comment.


Hi Kim,
I don't remember the Solomon's seal turning such a nice yellow last year but maybe I was just being my unobservant/inobservant self. It's turned out to be a lovely two season plant. I hope you have a very protected area if you buy a C. sasanqua. I would go for the most cold tolerant variety and build a wind barrier for more protection. Last year I used a 4x8 piece of lath that I leaned and tied on poles driven into the ground. The camellias are protected on the north side by the bulk of the house, on the west by the deck and other shrubs, on the east by a large Arizona cypress and the south by the lath. The lath lets in light and some air movement. I encircled the two camellias in previous years with burlap but that cut out too much light (camellias are evergreen) and the plants didn't seem any better than just using the lath. I wish you luck in finding a microclime.

I was surprised there were so many things still trying to flower. Now as Carol mentioned, it will be quite interesting to see what Bloom Day December will bring.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Carolyn gail said...

BTW, Ki, I've tagged you to list 8 things we don't know about you .

5:05 AM  
Blogger Phillip said...

I like that variegated azalea and I don't think I've ever seen one - do you know the name of it?

I started to photograph my daphne because the leaves are so pretty. I bought it on a whim at Home Depot last year and it doing great and even bloomed last winter.

7:11 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

You never seem to run out of flowers to photograph, Ki - and the mushrooms [and mushroom joke] were fun, too. I seldom see them here, but in IL we had some morels show up a couple of times then disappear. We were told they only grow on the roots of certain recently cut trees.

You have a pretty broad selection of flowers for November. I had no idea you had to go to such lengths to keep the sasanquas alive! Good luck with the Carol Mackie- another plant I've always admired in catalogs.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

11:53 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Carolyn Gail,
First of all, thank you for including me in the meme. Unfortunately our out of town guests arrived today so I'll have little time to do the blog and even more so when our daughter with boyfriend also will stay for the Thanksgiving holidays. Sorry to be a wet blanket and break the chain but I'm afraid I'll have to decline participation in the meme. I will think about it though and may add more information on my profile. Thanks again.


Hello Phillip,
I think it was just tagged as a variegated azalea. I believe we bought it at a big box store, probably Lowes but it could have been at the local nursery we frequently go to. I will try to see if we kept the tags. As I mentioned, the plant looks quite odd when the pink red flowers are blooming. The flowers clash with the leaf variegations. Like wearing striped pants with a plaid shirt. ;) I have never seen a Daphne at either Lowes or HD. For that matter even our nursery doesn't have them so I had to mail order it. Glad to hear they are doing so well for you. Were the flowers very fragrant? I know the D. odora are considered to have the best fragrance or at least the strongest but I wondered about the Burkwoodiis.


Hi Annie,
I loved Nan's mushroom joke a lot. What does that say about my sense of humor? ;) If I remember correctly morels are a spring mushroom and a choice one at that. I remember first eating them in Iowa. A friend had gone into the woods and found so many that he gave us some. They were delicious just sauted in a bit of butter. I seem to remember that he said something about them growing under oak trees but it could have been maples too. The camellias have been a struggle and I initially lost one. I have second thoughts about trying to grow a plant that really should be in a warmer zone. The flowers are certainly gorgeous but sometimes I feel I put the plant/s through a lot just to please myself. I was surprised as well that there were still so many flowers in the yard.

7:00 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Nice group of blooms, Ki! I really like that daphne...thanks for the wisdom about smaller plants. I would be inclined to think the opposite, and the small ones are cheaper to kill and re-try if things don't work out!

1:44 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Lisa,
I thought the larger plants would be stronger but in most cases the opposite has been true. It may be that the larger plants meant that they were longer in the pot since most seemed to be terribly root bound. There are some disadvantages buying small plants though. It may have to grow a few years before it blooms or you don't take into account the mature size and tend to plant it too closely. At least I seem to crowd plants in every available space as if emptiness were a bad thing. ;)

5:37 PM  

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