Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Super Abundance of Spring

I believe this is a species tulip, Tulipa clusiana but I'm not sure. I bought a bunch a few years ago but this is the only one remaining. A shame because it is a rather beautiful one.

New leaves of the Japanese maple, Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku'.

Rhododenrons are doing wonderfully this year. I think the wet winter had a lot to do with the abundance of flowers this spring.

This is the species Brunnera macrophylla. I thought I lost it since it died back in early summer but fortunately it's a lot tougher plant than thought.

A delicate yellow Rhododendron.

The Osmanthus barely made it through the winter because the plant was heaved out of the ground by the frost and was lying on its side until I replanted it. Surprisingly it is blooming now but I don't smell much of a scent.

I love this delicate, almost translucent, tiny, white flowered Rhododendron. We bought it at an American Rhododendron sale but the bargain plant didn't have a name.

A white Rhododendron. The buds are pink and turn white when the flower opens. It gives a nice two toned look to the shrub.

Red dogwood flowers.

Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum shoots looking like they are being charmed by a fakir.

One of the many Phalaenopsis, moth orchids blooming now.

The redbuds are blooming profusely this year. They are quite a sight to behold.

The Jacob's Ladder, Polemonium I planted last year is just starting to bloom.

White dogwood, Cornus florida.

Pink dogwood.

The long awaited Epimedium Alpinum 'Shrimp Girl' is starting to bloom. I'm a little disappointed the flowers aren't a little larger. I thought the shrimp part of the name referred to the cooked shrimp like color but it may actually refer to the size of the blooms! :) Hopefully in a few days the flowers will fill out.

The multi-petaled Kwanza cherries are just starting to bloom. It is nice that these bloom after the Yoshino so the flowering season is continuous and extended.

The white Rhododendron again.

An early Viburnum.

Another photo of this primrose. I'm more impressed each time I pass by. The plant seems to be covered with more flowers each time and the heady fragrance is very lovely.

The 'Angelique' peony tulip.

Our small but beautiful Japanese maple 'Beni Kawa'.

One of our large coral bark Japanese maples 'Sango kaku'.

Japanese maple 'Katsura' showing off its fine new leaves.

Finally a yellow leafed form of barberry or I guess gold leafed is more correct. Berberis thunbergii 'Aurea'.


Anonymous Tabatha said...

wow! so much to look at!
I especially love the pink buds in the picture with the white rhod. flower. They look like cloth.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Sarah Laurence Blog said...

Ki, I like the Japanese imports in your yard. You must enjoy those lovely blooming cherries in the spring and the bright maples in the fall.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oh my gosh, Ki. You really do have an embarrassment of riches going on there! I guess with everything else that's going on in the spring at your place, the 'Shrimp' epimedium can bloom as small as it wants to, no? ;)

By the way, I'm now trying to figure out where I can fit in some more of those Japanese maples in my teensy tiny yard. Thanks a lot! lol.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Layanee said...

This warm weather has really pushed everything hasn't it! You have so many wonderful goodies. I can't pick a favorite. They are all beautiful.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Tabatha,
Now that you mention it, it does look like a heavy pink napkin scrunched up. Thank you for your comment and for stopping to take a look!


Hi Sarah,
So many of the decorative plants seem to come from Japan. I guess the bulk of the plants were imported to Japan from China for several centuries then to Europe an the US. I believe the Japanese maple did originate in Japan but a very few trees can also be found wild in Korea. I do enjoy the cherries and maples but I don't have the mania the Japanese have for cherry blossom viewing. The Japanese maples are lovely almost year round so if I had my druthers I would pick a maple over a cherry. Thanks for your comment.


Hi Kim,
Ok, I'm twisting your leg. There's always room for one more, even if it's a small tree :)

It is kinda embarrassing. Our yard sticks out like a sore thumb. Like a street walker all tarted up. And rich we are 'cause we love all the plants we have, even if some of them are over the top.

I was looking at the Epimedium 'rubra' which looks quite a bit like 'shrimp girl' except for the difference in color. I seem to remember that I liked E. 'rubra' so 'shrimp girl' may turn out to be alright after all. I'm just too anxious and start taking pictures to show as soon as the flowers open. I should wait a few days until they mature. It usually makes for a better picture when most of the flowers are fully open but when so many things are popping it's hard to contain oneself :)

Hi Layanee,
The warm weather really has compressed the blooming season. I think the Rhododendrons and azaleas are about three weeks ahead of time and the other plants probably similarly so. This is what gardeners really live for isn't it. To see old friends, greet the newcomers and plant the next generation for future years. I too would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. Each are wonderful in their own way. Thank you for your comment.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Kylee said...

Ki, you've got some gorgeous things there! I'm very much enamored with the Japanese Maples, too, and have two new ones this year, planted last November. They're just now leafing out.
I'm jealous of your red and pink dogwoods. I've tried these three times and have given up. I've got a couple of white ones though.
The last two winters and springs were so abnormal that I'm thinking maybe this spring is actually how it's supposed to be! Our things are really growing by leaps and bounds here and flowers have opened up like crazy this past week!
I just love it.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kylee,
I know what you mean about dogwoods. I can't tell you how many we've planted that either got chewed on by deer or attacked by powdery mildew so badly the trees would decline unless I sprayed constantly. I found if you thinned the tree, you could control the powdery mildew. The heavy growth didn't let the leaves dry out quickly from the evening/morning dew which made the fungus flourish. There are usually many interior small branches that adds to the fullness of the crown and that's what I remove. Hope this helps if mildew is your problem.'re on your own!

I can't say enough good about Japanese maples. But watch out if you have deer. They like to munch of the new shoots and bark. I've lost several small trees to them. I remember you mentioning that you bought a Red Emperor. Sam's had a close out sale last year for $25 bucks apiece so I bought 5 :) They really look great now that they're leafed out. The one we planted in the front yard has a layered look which I love.

An apologia: I've been so busy lately that I barely have time write, let alone skim the many blogs on my list and read new ones constantly being introduced to me. Entangled has a thought provoking post on the subject. So I do look and skim your and many others' blogs but find it impossible to leave a comment every time. I'll definitely swing by to see your unusual and abundant plants. I appreciate your comment.

4:22 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

I'm curious about your Osmanthus - which one is that? I planted a couple of species this year and don't really know what to expect from them.

Maybe when Shrimp Girl grows up, she'll produce big sprays of those tiny flowers?

4:36 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Entangled,
It's Osmanthus x Burkwoodii. Heronswood nursery listed it as a zone 6 plant but I've seen other sites that it's only a zone 7 plant. It has a sweet pleasant smell but I have to really get close, actually stick my nose right up to the flower to smell anything. Unfortunately the ones that have the strong fragrance won't grow here. I think you should be able to grow them just fine. On the other hand the Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie' I bought at the same time seems to be thriving and the flowers are starting to open but I find them to be quite stinky.

I'm still hoping 'shrimp girl' will turn out to be a wonder ;) How could a plant with such a great name not be!

5:30 AM  
Blogger Jane Marie said...

You have such wonderful photos. I think you deserve an award! Stop by my blog to pick it up :)

7:00 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

You're making New Jersey look like paradise, Ki! Rather than standing out like a sore thumb, your house may stand as a beacon enlightening people what wonderful things they could grow. I love that yellow rhododendron and the coral bark maples.

So your plain Brunnera made it - good! My starter plant in IL was rescued from the untended yard of old, unoccupied house right before it turned into a parking lot. So they are tough.

The conversations at Entangled's anniversary post are illuminating and you're right - no one could possibly keep up with the expanding garden blog world.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

7:05 AM  
Blogger Kylee said...

Oh Ki, you don't owe me an apology of any kind. I've been so overwhelmed by the explosion of gardening blogs in the last few months that I can't possibly keep up with all of them. I have SO many that I like to read and if I read each one of them every day, I would have no time to write my own, or garden, or run, or keep house, or take care of the kitties, or work, or cook, or say hi to my husband. You're right - Entangled wrote a good post about it.
I feel so bad that I can't keep up and comment more, but I do read a lot and sometimes I will just take an evening or an hour and read just a few blogs all the way back to when I last read them.

About the dogwoods - I don't know what got them. They never survived even a year here. They lived all summer and fall then when spring came, they were dead. I don't know why the white ones do okay and the pink and red don't. Oh well. Yours are gorgeous!

Well done on the JMs! Yes, I do have an Emperor that my grandma got me two years ago. It's doing wonderfully! I just love it. It's grown quite a bit since we got it!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Last spring I planted a pink dogwood. It bloomed for me this year and looks more like a red than a pink. Doesn't matter though, it blooms really nicely and I think the little tree is quite pretty. I also have a couple of wild white dogwoods, one that has only started to bloom these past two years. I suspect the other one won't bloom for several more years.

Ahh, the Kwanzaa cherry. Such a lovely flower. I have a cherry tree that's a cross between the Kwanzaa and another type of cherry. Mine is called a purple leaf cherry. Though the flowers are exactly like that of a Kwanzaa and the growth habit is similar, the leaves of my tree are the deepest purple even in the worst heat of the summer. In the autumn, they change hues to a deep burgundy. I have pictures that I will soon be putting on my blog.

Your garden is beautiful.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Jane Marie, thanks for including me in your list of honored photo bloggers.

I can't get over how gorgeous your masthead is! Now you've done it. I'll have to find out how you did it. Just one more thing on my already overflowing to do list. ;) Thanks again.


Annie, most people don't know New Jersey is called the Garden State. You wouldn't know it driving on the turnpike around Elizabeth where the refineries and oil tanks are. Peeuuu. Paradise? Hardly. Things are extremely polluted here especially since we're downwind from all the coal burning power generation plants in the MidWest.

I do notice the newest neighbors giving sly glances at our flowering plants and trees as they drive by. This is NJ after all so they won't come up to ask us about the plants even if they're dying to do so. Or maybe I'm misinterpreting the longing glances which may actually be looks of disgust. In NJ you don't know. I do like your positive attitude though.

Maybe I don't get around enough but I haven't seen very many yellow Rhododendrons so it makes that one special. And I can't say enough good about the coral bark JMs. They seem to get even better as they mature.

Because the Brunnera died back in early summer I thought it was a goner. I was really amazed that it came back but many of the Jacob's ladders I bought at a Master Gardeners sale also died back early only to reappear this spring. It's a good thing I didn't dig up the plants or plant something else in their place.

Entangled nicely put in writing what I've been wrestling with for some time now. I find I'm spending too much time just surfing the garden blogosphere besides news and other interesting sites. I need to severely curtail my time spent just reading blogs let alone leaving comments. Indeed the garden blog world is expanding exponentially but my reading speed is not.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kylee,
Well I feel badly when I just do a hit and run w/o leaving a comment...essentially lurking... well, fast lurking. ;) But time constrains me to do so. You put it well - how would you have time to do anything else. Comments are valuable because they give you feedback about your blog so I try to leave them whenever I have time to do so.

I thought dogwoods were fairly hardy but maybe I'm wrong. I guess the white ones are the wild native trees so they're hardier than the pink or red varieties. I guess we have milder winters here because all of our trees survived ok only to suffer severely from powdery mildew.

I find I don't care for the red leafed JMs as much as the variegated or green leafed varieties but the Emperor is a handsome tree. Last fall the leaves just kinda fell off the tree without turning color. Is that how it's supposed to be? I know some of the red leafed ones turn a brilliant red in fall but others don't. I hope the Emperor is in the first category. I'd love to see a picture of your tree.


Hi Julie,
We actually have so much pink in the garden right now I prefer the red or white dogwoods over the pink. I wonder why the flowering trees all seem to be pink?

Yes, yes, we have the same dark purple leaf Kwanzan cherry. In fact we liked them so much we planted two in front of our entry. They don't seem to be as vigorous as our regular Kwanzan but I like them better because of the interestingly colored leaves when the flowers are done. You wrote we had the same taste in plants and I think you're right. Either that or we have so many plants that we couldn't help but have many of the same ones ;)
Thanks for your comment.

10:57 AM  
Blogger DeeMom said...

Splendid each and every photo

11:07 AM  
Blogger Kylee said...

I love all the Japanese Maples, except for maybe the finely cut-leaf ones, and even those I like - just not as well.

Here is a post I did on our Japanese Maples last year. There, I posted a photo of Emperor in the summer and then in the fall. A very definite color change! It nearly glowed. I'm not sure what happened with yours!

12:51 PM  
Blogger joco said...

Hiya ki,

I'm gobsmacked!
So much beauty concentrated in one single garden.

How do you manage to fit it all in? I want to come and visit.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Deemom, Thank you. All of the credit goes to the plants. No flowers, no photos. I'm just lucky to be able to be amongst them. ;)


Hi Kylee, thanks for the link. Ooo , gorgeous, now I'm already excited for fall! Funny none of ours turned the bright red like yours did. Perhaps it was the first year and they were stressed from being held too long in the unnaturally lit Sams. I just hope they weren't mislabeled though they look pretty much like your tree.

I have several of the finely cut leaf (dissected leaf) ones too. I like the green ones better than the red. I agree, I prefer the fuller leafed ones too and don't particularly care much for the drooping, cascading ones which tend to become a mass of leaves all the way to the ground. I like to see the trunk and for it to be more tree like. Thanks again.

Hi Joco,
We just indiscriminately buy up everything we see. That's not quite right. We buy impulsively but we do discriminate. The trouble with buying this way is the idea of a landscape has to always change with each new addition. Of course this is an impossible task so the plants usually end up in any open space available giving the garden a look of a garden center rather than a landscape :0 You're welcome to visit if you make it across the pond ;) Of course the photos depict individual blooming plants and not the look of the whole garden. So in my eyes the yard does not look nearly as spectacular as the photos make it out to be. I should take some photos of the whole yard to give you some idea of what I'm writing about. Unfortunately I haven't been very successful in keeping the distracting elements i.e. house, driveway, cars, neighbors houses etc. out of the photos yet. When I do I'll post them. Thank you for your lovely comment.

6:09 PM  
Blogger kate smudges said...

Talk about overwhelming beauty! Your photographs are getting more exquisite by week (the white rhodo with pink buds is beautiful.) The Redbuds, rhododendrons, the Kwanzaa cherry, the primrose (that is one prolific-flowering plant) and the Solomon's Seal are all treats to see.

They are especially so after we were hit by snow today - I'm feeling rather cocooned these days - just recovering from surgery and not minding that my garden is frozen.

9:52 PM  
Blogger kate smudges said...

Oops ... I'd love to see more Japanese Maple photos too!

9:52 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate,
I hope it was nothing serious and my best wishes for a quick recovery. I noticed a lack of posts on your blog recently and was getting concerned that something had happened.

Thank you, thank you but how can one not but take good pictures with such photogenic subjects ;)

Sorry to hear you are still in throes of a persistent winter. I'm sure with any hint of warmth your plants will do a quick time to catch up with us southerners. Thanks for a lovely comment and do take care.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Ki, I think our similar taste in plants could also be that we are in the same zone. You are closer to the ocean and therefore warmer than I by a couple of days. I'm more near the Susquehanna river and have that and the Conestoga river that keeps me warmer, as well as my closeness to Maryland. I think you are ahead of me by about two or three days.

We have plants that do quite well for us.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

I wonder if the nurseries in our area aren't supplied by many of the same growers, accounting for the varieties of plants made available to us. Of course I've augmented our garden with plants and even trees from mail order nurseries but even then most of the offerings are fairly common among the mail order firms.

Anyway I'm glad we have a nice selection to choose from.

10:31 AM  

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