Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: September 2015

In my Zone 6a/6b garden in Northwest Ohio, not nearly as much is happening as usually does in September. The early summer rains and the late summer drought (or maybe it just seemed like a drought by comparison) really confused a lot of the plants. And some of them, like the Joe Pye Weed and a few others, were possibly victims of the deer buffet.

I’ve also been slack with weeding — I’m still relatively new with this gardening thing, as I kind of jumped in with both feet three summers ago when we bought this house with all its established beds and borders. I find that I’ve gotten better at weeding and deadheading each year, but every year there comes a point when I just throw up my hands and say, fine. You win, weeds. Every year it’s a different dominant weed; this year, it was bermudagrass (if I identified it correctly).

But this is bloom day! What am I thinking? Less kvetching and more pictures!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: September 2015

(more…)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: August 2015

Here in Zone 6a/6b, summer started off rainy and mild, but finally settled down to a normal, warmish, less-waterlogged typical summer.

I haven’t been out to weed or maintain my flowers for a few weeks — rain, houseguests, Life just getting in the way, as Life does (especially when one has a four-year-old son). Yesterday evening, after dinner, my son and I took the tour around my various beds and borders to document what’s in bloom this August. Here’s what we turned up.

As always, the hydrangea paniculata takes first prize amongst all my flowering perennials for Most Awesome Flowers With Least Amount Of Maintenance.

Bloom Day, August 2015

(more…)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: July 2015

Even though I missed the 15th, I’m still going to post the photos I took on the 15th. Stuff happens, you know? The preschooler has a rambunctious bedtime or three and I get backblogged — er, backlogged. Anyway, here’s a quick tour of new things blooming since last month in my NW Ohio Zone 6a/6b beds and borders!

Starting along the front fence… A landscaper once told me this was lambs ear, but it wasn’t in bloom at the time. Turns out it’s actually rose campion. I cut a lot of it back two years ago, but I’m glad I didn’t remove all of it. This biennial offers a nice splash of color under the Rose of Sharon.

Rose Campion

(more…)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: June 2015

Earlier this month in Zone 6a/6b…

Clematis

Clematis were blooming by the end of May

Pink Peonies

Pink peonies (and white ones, too) were in bloom by the end of May, as well.

Double Peonies

These come up at the base of my tree peony. I can’t bring myself to yank them out, though, just in case they’re not actually suckers.

Poppy

My poppies may have been killed with Round-Up or smothered under mulch by well-meaning landscapers. Only one bloomed this year.

The Front Fence in Bloom

Usually, this front fence is also filled with purple Siberian irises and orange Oriental poppies. This year, they were smothered by new mulch at bloom time. I think.

(more…)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: May 2015

Mid-May is a time of excitement in my NW Ohio garden, because the late-spring crowd is almost ready to bloom. The peonies and the poppies are leafing out nicely, the roses are breaking dormancy, and the leaf buds on the summer bloomers are just starting to break.

Of course, a few plants have already peaked and faded. My volunteer viburnum has already bloomed and faded, and now I’m trying to decide when would be a good time to move it to a better location.

The Dwarf Flowering Almond only bloomed for a scant few days, and I was lucky to get a photo of it in its prime.

Dwarf Flowering Almond

(more…)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: April 2015

The garden is finally starting to awaken from the long winter.

The first to awaken were the crocuses, which have already come and gone.

Instagram Photo

These are in the front of the house, viewable only from an awkward angle looking out the dining room window. I think I may move them to a more easily-seen spot in my early spring border out back, and plant some other early bloomers to keep them company.

After the crocuses, the first real wave of early spring flowers came in: daffodils, muscari (grape hyacinth), pink and purple hyacinth, and brunnera (false forget-me-nots).

Daffodil

Daffodils

(more…)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: March 2015

I’m a day early, for once, instead of posting my monthly Bloom Day post at the very end of the day on the 15th of the month. To be early is to be on time, as my high school band director used to say.

But anyway.

Technically, the only thing in bloom right now in my Zone 6a/6b domicile is one confused Thanksgiving cactus.

Confused Thanksgiving Cactus

However, that’s not going to stop me from documenting all the greenery that’s popping up now that the snow has melted!
(more…)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: February 2015

Valentine's Day Carnations

They’re in bloom, so the Valentine’s Day carnations count!

Apart from the cut flowers my husband bought me for Valentine’s Day (above) and the poinsettia that is still mightily hanging on (and looking pretty good, I must say), the only blooms in this wintry house are forced branches from the Dwarf Flowering Almond.

Forcing Dwarf Flowering Almond

Dwarf Flowering Almond

I’ve been changing their water daily for weeks, and recently moved them to a sunnier and slightly warmer location where I could enjoy their new, tiny blooms — but I’m doubtful that I’ll get even a single branch full of the pink blossoms that I’ll see outside this May. I’ll take what I can get, though!

My first attempt at forcing muscari and pink hyacinths isn’t going so well — bulb rot all around for the muscari, and lots of leaves but no blooms on the hyacinths. Maybe I’ll fare better next year.

I’m making a valiant attempt to fill my life with flowers, thanks to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! We can have flowers every month of the year!

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: January 2015

I always forget what USDA Zone I’m in, and I have to look it up, because I’m right on the border of 6a/6b. Technically, I’m in Zone 6a (Average Minimum Temperature -10F to -5F), but a mile and a half east of my house is a pocket of Zone 6b that borders Lake Erie. So, we’ll call it 6a/6b.

At any rate, everything outside is sleeping under a (relatively) fresh blanket of snow. As I mentioned last month, a few plants are evergreen, like the yucca and the yews and the arborvitae (of course) and the lamiums and pachysandra (under all the snow), but nothing is in bloom. For that, we look indoors.

About two weeks ago, on a balmy 36-degree day, I cut some forsythia branches for forcing. Today, they’re unfurling their cheery yellow blooms in my dining room.

Forsythia

 

Even the small lower branches that I removed from the larger ones and decided to force in a much smaller container are now brightening up my kitchen windowsill! (I wasn’t sure how that would work out.)

Small Forsythia

 

The Christmas poinsettia is still looking mighty nice. I accidentally killed last year’s poinsettia by following some instructions I found online to help it properly go dormant, wake back up, get bushy, and turn red again at the right time. I’m considering just treating this one like a regular houseplant like my in-laws used to do, and not putting it in dormancy in the garage or drastically cutting it back. I’ve been giving it deep drinks of water every other day or so, and hitting it with the mister, and it seems to be pretty happy.

Poinsettia

 

While my grape hyacinths (muscari) and pink hyacinths haven’t bloomed yet, most of them seem to be faring well so far. I have four small containers of bulbs forcing in gravel and water; some foliage is wiltier than others, but I’ve only had a couple of bulbs completely fail to thrive. (Not bad, considering that I dug them up from what will soon be my herb garden, and just left the bulbs sitting in an old plastic pot in the garage for a few months.)

This was my first attempt at forcing bulbs, so now I have an idea of what containers work best, how close together to place the bulbs, when to start them (earlier than I thought!), and where in my house to keep them. (A dark spot in the unheated sunroom is OK until the outside temps get below freezing; then the basement is a good spot, as long as I remember to water them…)

Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)

 

I’m so grateful for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! It keeps me from pining for the days of Spring and making grandiose plans that I may or may not manage to fulfill. Instead, I can focus on having blooms every month of the year!

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: December 2014

Outside, in my garden, nothing is in bloom. A few things are green — pachysandra, lamium, yucca, arborvitae — but no flowers have escaped the onset of winter here in Zone 6b.

Inside, of the few things that could be in bloom, only one has a teeny tiny bloom: the sedum cutting I took this fall.

Sedum

My African violet’s blooms finally faded a few days ago.

My Thanksgiving cactus had one spectacular bloom on Thanksgiving Day that lasted for a few days afterward — then, after I pinched off the spent flower, all the other flower buds wilted and fell off. Not sure if I changed my watering pattern or if bloom time was just over and done.

My kalanchoes are still relatively young (potted in April from cuttings taken in February), and I haven’t seen them bloom yet. I know from the parent plants that I should have yellow, orange, and pinkish blooms someday.

Just this weekend, I brought in one of the containers of grape and pink hyacinths that I’ve been forcing in the garage. The sprouts are still little, and I wonder if I brought them inside too early, but I just had to try. This is my first year forcing them — I took dozens and dozens of tiny bulbs out of the area where I’m planning to put my herb garden this year (and still missed some!), so I figured I’d give it a shot.

A photo posted by Diana Schnuth (@dianaschnuth) on

Despite having many windows in my home, not many of them are prime locations for plants, due to orientation (no south-facing and no good north-facing windows), interior design (some tables in prime window locations are needed for setting down drinks and snacks), and just by virtue of having a cat and a three-year-old. I have every intention of adding to my collection of sturdy plant stands as time goes on, but for now, I’ll be happy with the houseplants I have, and not be adding any amaryllis or other winter-specific blooms to the fray.

Eventually, someday, I will enjoy blooms every month of the year!