Saturday, April 4, 2015

First flush of flowers...

Adonis amurensis
Spring is a long-drawn out affair in the Steppe. Or rather, we don't really ever get a "real" spring (except for 2008-2012 when we had four blissful years of English-like springs when the forsythias bloomed for months and apricots and almonds fruited almost every year--but they were the exception) Most years winter and summer simply alternate from Christmas to Memorial Day and beyond). The Adonis was in full bloom (and had been blooming for weeks) when I returned from Africa at the end of January! It can tolerate subzero cold in flower!

Helleborus niger
The Christmas rose also had flowers in January--and does most years. It's already threatening to drop seed in early April!
Galanthus elwesii Giant Form
 This too has fat seed-pods this time of year. My favorite snowdrop towers over the nearby nivalis.                                    

Crocus vernus v. albiflorus
I recall seeing masses of this on the pass near St. Moritz in the Engadine in late June in white and my little tuft is pretty modest by comparison--but evocative nonetheless. I love to grow plants I've seen in the wild: they bring back whiffs of memory of the glorious Alps and other mountains I've been blessed to tread.

Cyclamen coum
I struggled to grow this for years--maybe decades. Everywhere I planted it it would languish. Then one day it appeared in a spot I would never have planted it and it loves it--self sowing even already!

Fritillaria raddeana
I grew this for many years: the devastating April frost of 2013 killed it and many more plants in my garden. Here it is at DBG...where no doubt they will succeed with it!

Iris 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'
I suspect this is an Iris histrioides cross--and a damn nice one. Maybe even pure histrioides? Not sure who the Lady was--but she was lucky indeed to have such a stunner named for her. Here it's growing in the Plant Select garden at DBG: you can bet your patooty I'll be buying this to plant at home this autumn! I presume, perhaps, that you HAVE a patooty?

Eranthis pinnatifida
I know it's been lumped with hyemalis--but it does look different to my eyes...and the cross is sterile.

Iris 'Katharine Hodkin'
I lost a dozen plants of this in the great April freeze two years ago, but they survived everywhere at the Gardens: was it the distinct culture where they were growing there? Or was it a tad milder?

Paeonia kavachensis
Some peonies are showier when they emerge than when they bloom!

Galanthus nivalis
I remember planting these several decades ago--and now they carpet a corner of the Rock Alpine Garden...

Thlaspi (Noccaea) aff. caerulescens
The many springtime pennycresses are never planted as often as they should be. This one ramps all over several corners of the Rock Alpine Garden, just as N. fendleri did in the old Wildflower Treasures (one of my favorite, now preterite gardens at DBG--,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,but I'm not bitter)...
Iris reticulata 'J.S. Dijt'
Pronounced "Deet" like the insecticide. I cringe when people mispronounce this. Like when they try and say "Guizhou"--a cultivar name for Artemisia. That

Iris chrysantha cv.

Iris histrioides 'Major'

Iris 'George'

Iris tomasinianus

Colchicum filifolium

Iris reticulata 'J.S. Dijt' and Chionophila

Primula abschasica

Colchicum malkensis

Iris aucheri and Draba hispanica

Eremurus robustus

Arctostaphylos patula

Draba polytricha

Narcissus nanus

Tulipa humilis 'alba coerulea oculata'

Fritrillaria michaelovskyi

Saxifraga x apiculata 'alba'

Narcissus 'Jack Snipe'

Phlox kelseyi 'Lemhi Purple'

Physaria sp. and Escobaria vivipara

Fritillaria albertii

Iris sp. (Juno)
Must check my records on this one...

Helleborus x hybridus (white)

Primula elatior

Anemone ranunculoides

Coluteocarpus vesicarius

Narcissus lobularis

Erythronium 'Pagoda\'

Primula veris and Anchusa

Corydalis sp. (forgot name!)

Trachystemon asiaticum

Bulbocodium vernum

Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor'


  1. Wow, you're not kidding about spring! So many treasures, I keep adding new names to my wishlist every time you post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. If the mind is a house possessing an uncountable number of rooms, then your dreams must be furnished uncommonly well.

  3. Primula abschasica !!!!!! Insane.

  4. at the moment, since we can't be there ( DBG) thank goddess we have panayoti
    beauty bound


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