In late May

The third cycle of dogwoods is now flowering, following natives (Cornus florida) the second week of April and hybrids in early May. The large flowered ‘Venus’ remains in bloom as leaves of Chinese dogwoods (Cornus kousa, below) are now obscured by flowers. All dogwoods are excellent choices, with the timing of flowers the primary consideration…

More on azaleas

Several Encore azaleas are late in flowering this spring, though this is not too unusual. The repeat blooming cycle of Encores is often disrupted by weather in more northern cold hardiness zones to veer flowering times a few weeks early or late, and occasionally a season of flowering is skipped over. I have planted Encores…

A growing collection of orchids

Flowers of several terrestrial orchids (Bletilla striata, below, and Calanthe discolor, further below) were damaged in the recent freeze, an instance of unfortunate timing and an extremely late and unusual drop in temperature to a few degrees below freezing. Orchids were not alone in suffering injury from the cold, though including the orchids, none of…

No complaints

I do not object that flowers of the ‘Stellar Pink’ dogwood (Cornus ‘Rutgan’, below) are barely shaded in pink, and most blooms appear nearly white in color. The same is true of the supposedly pink flowered ‘Satomi’ Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’). I’ve witnessed both with deep pink flowers in the much cooler northwestern states,…

Very sweet

I am enthralled by various sweetshrubs (Calycanthus floridus), though my appreciation in the garden is limited by a nose that has never fully functioned except for the most obvious scents. Also, I admit that the flowers are not showy in the manner that visitors or passersby on the road out front would stop to take…

Moving a few things

Yesterday, several of what I figure to be tough as nails terrestrial orchids (Bletilla striata, below) were dug and transplanted. I have no doubt this is best done immediately following its imminent flowering, but these few had strayed into a crowded clump of sedge (Carex), and occasionally tasks must be undertaken when the mood is…

A day in the garden

The garden, any garden, should ideally include marvelous plants that must be viewed close up, and hopefully will also include pleasant wider views. From late autumn until mid spring the wider angle in this garden is not filled until perennials break dormancy, but today it’s almost there. With the largest part of the garden in…

Spring planting

Plant orders for spring were made in the boredom of winter, long before I became aware of the pandemic that now keeps many of us off the streets and out of public places. Local garden centers are now booming, and I’ve made several purchases (so far), but a number of the oddities I enjoy so…

Nature’s garden

Many of our favorite hiking spots have been closed off, though technically the trails are not, but roads accessing them and parking lots are. Several weeks ago, just into this current crisis, I lamented that a favorite section of the Appalachian Trail bordered by trilliums might not be accessible, and sure enough it isn’t unless…

Still cool

With cool and sometimes cold temperatures through much of April, blooms remain on native dogwoods (Cornus florida, below) that typically would have faded a week or two earlier. Redbuds, that began to flower a day or two earlier than dogwoods, are past bloom, and are beginning to leaf. Dogwood crosses (such as Cornus ‘Rutgan’ Stellar…

A late freeze

Little damage was done by a recent twenty-eight degree night. This followed several nights that flirted with the freezing mark, and fortunately, seldom is damage severe on tender new leaves unless temperatures fall to twenty-five degrees or colder. Two seedling Japanese maples were at the tenderest stage of growth, with leaves just out, and while…

Comings and goings

An evergreen Pragense viburnum (Viburnum x pragense, below), once planted at the forest’s edge twenty-five years ago, has long been relegated to deep shade behind the tall and wide spreading ‘Merrill’ magnolia. Miraculously, it survives, though at a fraction of its once formidable size and with many fewer blooms. A nearby Korean Spice viburnum (Viburnum…