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BelleWood in Bloom

BelleWood in Bloom 2017

January February


Saturday, 25 February 2017

The greenhouse, too, continues in floriferous style.
Here's Lachenalia 'Rupert'. Love the luminous hues.

Not peculiar snowdrops. These are snowflakes, Leucojum vernum.

One of the variations that galanthophiles love to love. Notice
the green tipped petals. Aptly named, this is
Galanthus 'Virid-Apice'. Or maybe 'Viridapice'.
Authorities have opinions. Which vary.

Helleborus orientalis subsp. abchasicus Early Purple Group is a very specific type of hellebore, noticeable for plum purple flowers with conspicuously contrasting ivory yellow stamens, and red-tinged foliage when it first appears. Looking back, the earliest appearance of these hellebores in the Early Purple Group here at BelleWood Gardens was January of 2007. There are a couple of other years with February flowering, some in March, and one outlier in April. Keep in mind that the photographs were not necessarily taken on the first day the flowers opened. Also, hellebore flowers look good for a long time.

Here they are paired with the soft lavender flowers of Crocus tomasinnianus.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Peculiarly warm weather continues.
I mean, come now, today's high temperature of 66 degrees Fahrenheit is not typical of February.

Common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis is now scattering its flowers
amongst the tapestry of last year's fallen brown leaves.

Galanthus 'Atkinsii' displays its very long petals.

While Galanthus 'Hill Poë' must be coaxed
into revealing its very double center.

Winter aconites, Eranthis hyemalis, in profusion

attracting the attention of nectar-searching honeybees.

And the first crocus are now blooming, Crocus tomasinnianus

More intensely colored Cyclamen coum is also in flower.

So too, the intense sun hued flowers of Adonis amurensis.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Now that there have been two days of absurdly warm weather - 62 degrees Fahrenheit? In February? I mean, really now - regardless, the snow is melting and flowers are hurling themselves from the earth.

This hellebore has had a couple of name changes. No idea why. It used to be
Helleborus xericsmithii 'Winter's Song'. Nice name, don't you think.
Now you are likely to find it as Helleborus xballardiae 'HGC Joker'.

It is evergreen, with upright flowers flushed with rose on the back of the creamy white petals.

Another hellebore getting ready to open is
Helleborus niger, the so-called Christmas rose.

Winter aconites, Eranthis hyemalis are eagerly opening their golden flowers.


Another snowdrop is starting into bloom.
Galanthus ikariae with apple green leaves.

I am quite fond of Galanthus elwesii, with its
two green markings merged into one wide band.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Yet another pretty little narcissus hybridized by Glenbrook Bulb Farm in Tasmania, and first flowered in 1987. Seed parent was N. bulbocodium subsp. bulbocodium var. conspicuus and the pollen parent was N. cantabricus subsp. cantabricus var. foliosus.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

An absurdly warm day with a high of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. I opened windows to let some fresh air in. And went into the woods to see what might be showing in the garden.

Galanthus elwesii several of them. Gently cupped, pristine white petals,
as rounded as a cream tea spoon. Several scattered here and there in the woods.

Winter aconites, Eranthis hyemalis, just beginning to make a show.
Two here and a few there, not yet open to their buttercup semblence.

An early hellebore, Helleborus Early Purple Group, the dark flowers
and purple stained foliage ( it looks so tender) just starting.


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Native to the Cape of South Africa, lachenalia are wonderful little winter blooming bulbs, easily grown in cool conditions. They do well in my greenhouse, heated to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and reward the minimal care required with winter flowers. This is L. mutabilis.

Another of the little hoop petticoat daffodils. This is 'Julia Jane', a 1966 selection by James Archibald from wild collected Narcissus romieuxii from Morocco and named for his daughter. Somewhat later flowering than Narcissus cantabricus and just as welcome.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Narcissus cantabricus is one of the dainty little hoop petticoat daffodils. This flower is about the size of the first joint on my thumb. The species comes from southern Spain, the Balearic Islands, Algeria, and Morocco, and is extremely variable with several subspecies. Brightening up the short, dark days of winter in my cold greenhouse, the various forms flower from December through to February. Care is simple - start watering in September with occasional dilute fertilizer (something high in potash, low nitrogen at half strength every other week once the slender, almost grass-like foliage appears..) Feeding and watering should stop as the foliage dies back in May and the pots are allowed to dry out completely over the summer. I keep the pots plunged in sand, and occasionally moisten the sand near the clay pots. Repotting in a gritty, free draining soil mix is only necessary every few years.

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