Friday, April 25, 2008

What's Blooming Now?

These Anemone blanda, Grecian windflower, popped up under some birches. We've never seen them in the 6 years we've owned the property and I don't ever remember planting them so how they got there remains a mystery.

I believe this is a Berberis thunbergii 'atropurpurea', B. vulgaris, Japanese barberry, Common barberry which is blooming now. The flowers are tiny but noticeable especially in the large numbers blooming. In all the years we've had this plant I didn't ever notice it blooming. Surprising how clueless one can be in what goes on about you.

Our 'Prairie Fire' crab apple. This small tree we planted last year is literally covered with flowers on every branch.

A slightly better picture of the Epimedium 'shrimp girl'.

Surprisingly the Magnolia 'Vulcan' still has a few flowers yet to open. I may have to change my opinion about this tree even if the flowers are not red as advertised. This was the first year it's bloomed so I expect more flowers will be on the tree next year.

The Fothergilla gardenii, Dwarf Fothergilla or Dwarf Witchalder, Family: Hammamelidaceae is blooming again. The ball-like bottle brush look is fascinating and quite lovely.

This yellow Columbine, Aquilegia is the first one to bloom in our yard. It seems to be about a week earlier than the rest of the Columbines which are almost ready to bloom.

I'm happy to report the Tradescantia in a previous post seems to be happy where I planted it and has opened many more flowers. Thank heavens the stamens have not turned pink which may be an indication of an increase in gamma rays.

I don't know the name of or if this is a Rhododendron or Azalea but I love this delicate plant and flowers.

Leaf shape of the Acer japonicum, 'Otaki'.

Several of the Viburnums are blooming. Here are pictures of two.

I planted this white Rhododendron in too sunny a place. The Rebud tree that was supposed to shade the Rhodo. died leaving the Rhodo. in full sun. It managed to survive for a year in full sun but the leaves were scorched unmercifully and several large branches dies. I finally moved it last week and it rewarded me with these few blooms. Now I feel terrible I didn't move the shrub sooner.

Variegated leaves of a Red Twig Dogwood, Cornus stolinifera.

The Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie' I bought last year is blooming for the first time. I acquired this plant because of the variegated leaves and its supposed cold tolerance to zone 6. The flowers are not very fragrant and the smell is a bit stinky to my nose but I do like the yellow, green, leaf variegations.

A lilac colored azalea.

The Helleborus niger is still blooming.

Bleeding heart, Dicentra spectabilis. This plant was so vigorous it crowded out several other plants so we relegated it to the hinterlands. Despite the dry location it happily proliferates.

This is a mutation of the 'Kwanzan' Japanese flowering cherry. The leaves are a dark purple instead of green in the original 'Kwanzan'. I like the look of this tree much better than the regular 'Kwanzan'. However, it doesn't seem to be as robust nor as floriferous as the original. We like it so much we planted two in front of the entry to our home.

Original or normal flowering Japanese cherry, 'Kwanzan'. The flowers are just a bit lighter in color than the mutation above. It's not that there's more light on these flowers. If you held both up to the light the mutation would look darker.

The Blueberries, Vaccinium are starting to bloom.

Redbud, Cercis canadensis.

And last but not least the common Dogwood, Cornus florida.


Anonymous Pam/Digging said...

Gorgeous---it's hard to choose a favorite. But I think I like the cherry and the bleeding hearts best.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Jane Marie said...

Beautiful photos. I love the Kwanzan Cherry.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous The County Clerk said...

love the berberis (and all of it of course). The thing is that it is so subtle. Your garden has some real show stoppers so it hard to "see" the berberis and such like. That's fine in my opinion for exactly the reasons you state. At some point you will happen upon it, right? And THAT moment makes it all worth it (in my opinion).

Might you (at some convenient time) take a larger picture of the Dogwood? I mean, larger perspective? I'd like to see the whole tree/bush if possible. I'm becoming particularly interested in Cornus. The flowers are gorgeous, but they are a bit beyond my experience.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Pam,
I was just looking at the Kwanzan cherry this morning thinking, how even one small errant branch covered with flowers could elicit so much joy let alone the whole tree. This group of plants are all so different it is difficult to pick one I like best. I have bad feelings toward the bleeding heart since it was such a bully, crowding out several other nice plants so I wouldn't consider it to be my favorite even if it look rather nice. We also have a white bleeding heart just starting to bloom and it seems to be better behaved or perhaps because it's planted in deep shade but it hasn't shown the rampant growth of the pink ones. I'll take a photo of it to compare with the pink one.

Hi Jane Marie,
Another vote for the cherry. It definitely is the tree of the moment in our yard though this year the redbuds are giving it a good run for the money. Thank you.

Hi Hank,

I agree - sometimes the smallest or the least noticeable plants make a large impact because they are an unexpected surprise. How could I have not noticed the Berberis'flowers for this long? The Ha! moment really makes gardening especially worthwhile IMO.

I will post some pictures of the whole dogwood tree in my next post to give you some idea how it looks. I have a difficult time photographing full trees and have included very few in my blog because distracting elements intrude in the background and it's difficult for me to blur the background with my point and shoot camera when shooting from afar. At its best the dogwood can have a layered look, like sassafras, which I consider to be a great look. I have had trouble with powdery mildew in the humid summer so keep that in mind. The dogwood is an understory tree but I've seen many thriving in full sun. Howeve it may be best to plant it in a part sun location. Thanks for stopping by.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous The County Clerk said...

Taking pictures of trees is not easy. Sometimes I take pictures of my yard and they look like photos of the neighborhood.

I am here a good bit, but I just don't find the time to comment. But comments really add to the blogging thing. I should. And I will.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Indeed, the neighbors' cars, houses etc. intrude into long shot photos. I think if I use the telephoto feature of the camera, it may help with the depth of field and keep the focus on the tree subject. I'll do some experimentation. It's time I did anyway.

Many bloggers are having lack of time problems in leaving comments let alone read the numerous garden blogs that exist and have popped up especially it seems in the past year. Entangled eloquently voiced this concern in a recent post.

I find I am intimidated... to leave a comment on your blog because my offering would seem paltry and obvious compared to your more erudite commentators.

4:08 AM  
Blogger DeeMom said...

Goodness all of these pictures are stunning, I ant one of each please ;) Great photos Ki

8:08 AM  
Blogger kate smudges said...

The blueberry blooms are so pretty - there is much to admire in your garden Ki. The Japanese flowering cherry is spectacular. I have to confess that I can't help but overhear the epimedium blooms deep in conversation. They are hoping for more photograph. The Dwarf Witchalder is stunning - makes me want to reach out and touch the blooms.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Deemom,
Thank you!
I wish there was a cheap way to ship plants then we could start a plant exchange site. But I can imagine what a headache that would be since everyone is so pressed for time as it is.


Hi Kate I hope you are well on your way to recovery. I've missed seeing your wonderful posts. Blueberries are quite beautiful and photogenic, I don't know why more people don't plant them as an ornamental. We have one that has a lovely pink hue to the bells which is quite nice. I'll have to take some pictures of it when it starts to bloom. The cherries are quite spectacular this year, probably because of the very mild winter we had. And I know what you mean about the Fothergilla, you just want to feel those flowersm, they are so tactile. I haven't done so but I would imagine it would feel like those rubber porcupine like balls, not the nubby kind but the ones that look like it's covered with end on rubber bands. The epimediums are in all stages of blooming so I'll have to wait to do a round up. I just hope I have all the tags to identify each plant. Thank you for your lovely comment.

6:01 PM  
Blogger joey said...

We have many similar passions, Ki. How do you keep up with the photos? I'm scrambling in the garden and barely have time to scrub the dirt, photograph, post, cook, and keep up the the kids and grandkids! Several dwarf Fothergilla (surrounding a Kousa dogwood) are not setting my heart afire or worthy of photographing. And hey ... would you like more spiderwort that I rip out (although I do believe that Tradescantia is the non-invasive one with chartreuse leaves, a favorite that I also own). Your dogwood photo is lovely ... still waiting here for mine to bloom! My garden is catching up but my photos aren't :(

6:38 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

You know Joey, my secret is my little point and shoot camera. It's very light and small so I can easily pocket and take it anywhere. No set up time because it's a point and shoot which I leave on automatic most of the time, only changing from the flower to the camera symbols for macro or normal photos. I don't think it even has a mountain symbol for distant or infinity focus.

This way, I can take photos from all angles very quickly and I do shoot a lot of pictures of one flower or plant. But I'm done in about a minute per plant. I'm often surprised that I've shot over a hundred photos in a 5 minute walk around the house.

I can see why you would be pressed for time tough. Your gourmet meals would take forever to prepare! I'm always slavering away reading your recipes thinking about what a fine dinner you're having while eating tuna casserole :(

Your fothergilla are prob. not doing very well because the Kousa is such a shade producer and water hog. I can remember planting some plain old spiderworts at the townhouse we lived in. I can't say they were memorable plants. But the yellow leaves on the one we just bought seems to set off the flowers much more and the leaves themselves are quite ornamental.

I feel for you guys in the midwest who really had a tough winter. I'm sure you'll catch up soon enough.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Like Hank, I'm here a good bit and don't always comment... but mostly because you're gardening way above my level, and I feel that I don't always have anything intelligent to add to the conversation. I am absolutely loving these photos of the spring-flowering trees, though. And you're so right about the tree peony photo being reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe's infamous white dress picture.

By the way, 'Shrimp Girl' still looks lovely to me. Are her flowers getting larger/more showy these days?

9:10 AM  

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