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Posts Tagged ‘bloom day’

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day at Longwood Gardens

Zinnia blossom in the Longwood Gardens trial gardens

Zinnias grew in several places at Longwood Gardens. This variety was common. I captured the photo in a trial garden among many where visitors vote for their favorite plant combinations. In the right light, you can see a purple tinge on the inside ends of the petals. If I grew zinnias, I’d track down this variety; it’s eye-catching.

I’m cheating a lot this month for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I’m posting flowers, but I’m not posting my flowers.

My wife and I recently spent the day at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. We toured just about every venue there, and I captured at least ten photographs (posted about the Meadow Garden here).

A whole bunch of my photos are closeups of blossoms. I didn’t take notes, so I can’t tell you much about the plants. Some are easy for a layperson to identify, others might challenge well-trained horticulturists. Seriously: I took no notes. If you see any blossoms here you like, maybe they’ll motivate you to visit Longwood Gardens.

Purple flower spike in the Longwood Gardens Meadow Garden

Along the path through Longwood Gardens’ Meadow Garden, we saw several spikes of purple wispy blossoms. This one had drawn attention from a butterfly that was a bit camera shy. Everywhere in the meadow garden was alive with insects of many varieties.

Fruit cluster and flower in a student garden at Longwood Gardens

A cluster of fruit, sporting a single blossom, grew in one of the “Student Gardens” at Longwood Gardens. There are four such plots, each created by a student of the institution (Longwood trains future horticulturists).

Trumpet flower at Longwood Gardens

This trumpet flower was among several growing along the Flower Garden Walk at Longwood Gardens.

Quite likely a dahlia at Longwood Gardens

I remember enjoying a blossom along the Flower Garden Walk, leaning down to read the plant marker, and marveling that I’d been admiring a dahlia; it didn’t vaguely resemble any dahlia I’d seen. This photo might show the blossom, but if you know better please provide insight in a comment.

Dahlia at Longwood Gardens

No doubt this is a dahlia. There was a patch of these along the Flower Garden Walk. I probably took ten photos of these alone.

Purple and pretty on the Flower Garden Walk at Longwood Gardens

Not going to guess about this one. It was purple and pretty along the Flower Garden Walk.

Gorgeous on the Flower Garden Walk at Longwood Gardens

Can’t imagine why I didn’t take notes about this one. The plants grew densely and the flowers were stunning. I’ll probably track down the proper ID some day… I hope they turn out to be perennial in hardiness zone 5.

In the Palm House at Longwood Gardens

The Palm House inside the Longwood Gardens conservatory offered a few exotic blossoms. Several clusters of this type peaked out from among the palms.

A most exotic tree at Longwood Gardens

The name of the tree sporting these otherworldly pink blossoms (I assume they’re blossoms) was so intuitive, I knew I’d remember it later… but I don’t. There were two of these trees in the conservatory, and both displayed more pink flower snakes than they did foliage.

Yellow Hibiscus in the Longwood Gardens conservatory

Dazzling hibiscus blossoms drew attention inside the conservatory. By the time we were there, light was fading so the yellow blooms especially popped against the darker, poorly lit background.

Purple Hibiscus in the Longwood Gardens conservatory

Blossoms of a particular hibiscus in the conservatory were sublime… but then I’m a sucker for purple.

Yellow and pink cannas in the Longwood Gardens conservatory

Longwood Gardens has a pipe organ that plays into the ballroom of the conservatory. Just outside the ballroom, there was a stand of yellow and pink blossoms I’m quite certain were cannas. I like!

 
Small Kitchen Garden – Longwood Gardens: Meadow & Green Roofs

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Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, Aug 2012!

Bean blossoms look far too complicated; I’m glad bees can figure them out. The green bush beans I planted this year have pink blossoms; a nice change from the white bean blossoms of past years. In the bottom-right of the photo, you can see a bean starting to develop.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day originates from Carol Michel’s blog, May Dreams Gardens. She wants to see blossoms all year long, and the garden blogging community rallies: post blossoms on your blog, then link to it from her blog. It’s simple, and it helps other people find your blog!

Please enjoy my Bloom Day post. Then, come back on the 22nd and participate in Post Produce. Just as Carol does, I’ll write my Post Produce post and include a Linky widget before I go to bed on the 21st. On the 22nd, you write your own post about what you’re eating from your garden, then link to your post from Your Small Kitchen Garden. I hope you’ll join me on August 22nd and Post Produce.

Here’s what’s abloom in my garden today:

If it’s Bloom Day and tomatoes are in bloom, you’re going to find at least one tomato blossom in my post! This photo is more about hairy stems than it is about blossoms. I’ve harvested about a bushel of tomatoes so far. Barring a late blight incident, I may see three or four bushels from my plants this year.

My thyme plants are struggling a bit this year. One has some seriously involved fungus that I’ve treated a few times with the copper-based fungicide I use on my tomato plants. Amazingly, the stems of that plant touch the stems of a perfectly healthy-looking thyme plant. Too much information? This flower stalk is from the healthy thyme plant.

The mint has been in bloom for weeks. It has overwhelmed the planter holding it, and blossoms hang over the sides. I fear an impending mint invasion and will be vigilant for plants that decide to germinate next to the planter.

Bush cucumber plants I set in a deck planter have grown vines as long and tendrilly as the non-bush cucumbers I planted in my garden. Cucumber blossoms look happy against the deck flooring.

Pepper flowers are among my favorites.

For flower drama in a vegetable garden, you can always count on squashes! This is a butternut blossom, and it clearly understands flower sex. For this photo, it attracted four pollinators, though the reliable pollinator was holding the camera. Despite all the bee activity among my summer and winter squash blossoms, I hand-pollinate every female flower. The bees didn’t budge when I brushed this female flower’s “parts” with a male flower’s “part.”

 

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Small Kitchen Garden Bloom Day—May 2012

The forget-me-nots are getting old, and the light was weird today. All told, my photo makes them look pale. But pale or deep baby blue, forget-me-nots are among my favorite flowers. This is about the twelfth season we’ve had forget-me-nots from when I first planted seeds.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day celebrates flowers the world over. Learn more about Bloom Day at Carol’s blog: May Dreams Gardens. My small kitchen garden is still getting started (though peas may be in bloom within ten days), and there was quite a bit of rain today. So, I toured my yard and found several plants in bloom that had nothing to do with my vegetable garden. If the photos have a common theme it’s wet. (I mean that “wet” is the theme.)

I’ve always enjoyed Bloom Day and felt there should be a similar opportunity to show off your homegrown produce. Last autumn I started Post Produce to fill the void. The 22nd of each month is Post Produce. Write about whatever you’re eating – or growing to eat – from your garden. Then visit my Post Produce post and use the Linky there to add a link to yours. Find more about Post Produce at this link; I hope you’ll join in. In the meantime, please enjoy:

There is but one bachelor button abloom in my yard. Oddly, last spring I planted bachelor button seeds along with four or five other types of seeds. There wasn’t a bachelor button plant in the garden all season. This spring, that planting bed erupted in lush green growth very early: nearly all bachelor buttons. This is the second blossom. In a week or two, there ought to be dozens of blossoms.

Sage is the only food plant in my small kitchen garden that made Bloom Day this month. Only a few branches have blooms on them, but there are buds all over the plants. Soon I’ll be singing that it’s great to be in Texas when the bloom is on the sage. Except it’ll be Pennsylvania.

I once looked up this plant so I’d know what it is. Of course, I can’t remember. It’s on the same schedule as our azaleas. The lighting made the image look quite a lot like an impressionist painting.

A photograph of flowers or foliage? The azaleas are a day or two away from dropping their blossoms… but they’ve put on a terrific show. These flowers are two steps from the fence of my main vegetable bed. Peas, cauliflower, broccoli, and lettuce all are doing well in that bed, and I’ll be planting tomatoes and peppers over the coming week. Along the way, I’ll be serving frequent lettuce salads as my earliest planting is mature enough now to harvest. I’ll show and tell about it on May 22nd when I celebrate Post Produce. I hope you’ll join me and create your own Post Produce post. Follow this link to learn about Post Produce.

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Small Kitchen Garden Bloom Day 11/11

This lone pink blossom is on a plant my wife set in one of her ornamental beds. A clump of buds just behind the blossom looks ready to pop. Forecast temperatures suggest the buds have a chance.

It was a challenging Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for this kitchen gardener. Mainly, my small kitchen garden was finished by late summer. Rain, blight, rain, mud, rain, rot, rain, insects, rain, and rain conspired to shut things down well earlier than in any previous year. After all that, we had a significant snow storm in late October when peak fall colors were just starting to fade. Oh, and guess how the weather was when I went out to take photos? Yep, it was raining and overcast.

It impresses me that anything is in bloom around here, so I stepped out of my small kitchen garden and scavenged blossoms wherever I found them in the yard. Most of what’s in bloom is in ornamental beds or containers, and it’s all barely holding on. Please enjoy what’s left of summer in my wet little chunk of central Pennsylvania.

A diaphanous puff of white clings tenuously to a stem just a few feet from the pink blossom in the preceding photo. The two blossoms are all that remain on annuals my wife planted in late spring.

There are four potted plants on our front porch. They might have served as centerpieces at some banquet during the summer. Two have wilted back to their roots (one I recognized as a begonia). The other two show signs of stress, but they continue to put out blossoms resembling asters; the ornamental-savvy among you will have to ID them.

The second of two potted plants on our front porch that continues to produce blossoms despite many overnight lows in the twenties and a significant snowfall in late October.

Somehow, this makes sense to me: the holly bush that came with the house is in bloom, though it has more buds than it has blossoms. Still, if it’s just blooming now, will berries form within the month? Come to think of it, in 18 years, I don’t recall ever seeing berries on this plant.

Rain stunted my broccoli this year, but one plant continues to taunt me by putting out tablespoon-sized florets.

In the department of confused, a forsythia in a back corner of the yard is in bloom. Is it because an unseasonable warm spell followed a cold spell? Is it because the rain paused for two weeks after the freak October snow? Perhaps this branch of blossoms thinks winter ought to be just four days long?

Nutmeg provided drama on this month’s Bloom Day. She happily accompanied me on my photo shoot and discovered poop in the grass when I paused to photograph the broccoli. If my dog is going to roll in something stinky, I choose carrion. Sadly, today she chose poop. She’s damp in this photo because I dragged her straight to the shower where she had the lather, rinse, and repeat treatment twice! I’m pretty sure the camera captured a smirk; Nutmeg has a lot of attitude for several hours after a shower.

Don’t Forget to Post Product Next Week!!!

Your Small Kitchen Garden blog hosts Post Produce on the 22nd of every month. Create a blog entry that shares what you’re eating from your garden-what you’re harvesting, what’s ripening, what you’re cooking or preserving, or even what you’re taking out of your larder for an off-season meal. Then find my Post Produce post and create a link back to yours. Follow the link here for find more information about Post Produce.

 

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Touch Me Not on Bloom Day

The flowers of Jewel Weed are small but quite pretty and they attract all kinds of native pollinators. Jewel Weed prefers damp soil, so look for it along stream banks.

This Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in my Small Kitchen Garden is a real downer. 8 inches of rain last week drowned roots of my climbing beans and my chili peppers… and I must believe the winter squash isn’t happy. The rhubarb is also looking pretty bad which is especially distressing because rhubarb should be building up stores to help it through the winter.

Stepping out of My Small Kitchen Garden

To escape the ugliness, I stepped out of the garden for September’s Bloom Day post. I found one of my favorite common plants, the Touch Me Not, which many people know as Jewel Weed, and shot a few photos.

What I Know About Jewel Weed

I know Touch Me Nots from when I was a kid. It grew in thickets at the summer camp I attended. There were three things I loved about the plant then… and I still love those things:

Jewel Weed produces small pods that contain one or more seeds. As the pods mature, they become plump, and you can eventually see dark spots through their skins. The spots are seeds which are ripe when they turn dark.

1. The flowers are gorgeous

2. The seeds are edible and they taste pretty good

3. The seed pods explode

I’ve since learned a few other tidbits about Jewel Weed:

1. The sap is a cure for itchiness—particularly for poison ivy. Supposedly, if you crumple up and crush a leaf and rub it on a rash, the itchiness will diminish for several hours.

2. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

What’s not to like?

When you bump a ripe seed pod, it explodes and sends its seeds up to several feet away from the parent plant. I contained the explosion of this under ripe pod to capture the seeds and provide a look at the springy parts. Find a stand of Touch Me Nots, gently harvest a bunch of ripe pods, and contain them when they explode. Then snack on the dark-brown seeds. The flavor may remind you of wild hickory nuts.

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Small Kitchen Garden Bloom Day, August 2011

There are three pots of basil on the handrail of my deck. I put far too many seeds in the pots, and the poor plants grew up stunted. Still, the flowers are delicate and beautiful.

My small kitchen garden, like so many gardens in the US, has struggled through the season. Happily, things are finally moving along, though I’m afraid there is a fungus trying to kill my tomato plants.

But today isn’t about the problems, it’s about the bling! The 15th of every month is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. You can learn more about it over at May Dreams Gardens. I failed to capture decent shots of the flowering mint and cilantro. Also, I neglected to photograph corn silk. Still, there were a lot of blossoms today. Please enjoy the photos of what’s abloom in my kitchen garden.

There are two windowsill planters of cucumber plants under the handrail on my deck. This flower snuggles beneath the handrail, and it is one of dozens that have popped in the last week or so.

A bell pepper flower appears healthy and robust. Oddly, my bell pepper plants are thriving while my jalapeno, banana, and poblano pepper plants are struggling.

Despite the appearance of something blighty on some of my tomato plants, they continue produce flowers. I don’t suspect late blight because all the lesions are on lower stems and some lower leaves. I’ve seen no signs of sporulation, so it doesn’t seem likely to move from plant-to-plant. Still, I fear for my tomato crop: it may be quite limited this season.

How’s this? I understand it’s the male flower on a corn plant. My sweet corn is growing ears, and the silk on those is, technically, the female flower. This corn tassel is red and the corn lower down on the plant is also supposed to be red. I’ve never tried red sweet corn, but I suspect it will taste a lot like yellow sweet corn.

That’s a cosmos trying to hide behind a corn leaf. I planted cosmos with my corn because I heard from an online acquaintance that this would keep away corn ear worms. The first ears are nearly ready to harvest. I don’t see evidence of worms, but they can be pretty sneaky, so I won’t know for sure if the cosmos helped until I start shucking.

As long as I’m confessing about planting flowers, here’s an even bigger sin: My wife ceded an ornamental bed to me so I could grow more climbing beans. I set about ten beans across the back of the bed, and then planted five or six types of flower seeds through the rest of the bed. From the looks of things, only two types of flower plants survived, and the first to bloom is a zinnia. The leaves way back against the wall of the house on the left are Kentucky Wonder bean leaves.

On the subject of beans, here’s a flower on one of my bush wax bean plants. The plants suffered heavy chewing by insects until I treated them with insecticidal soap. With new leaves, the plants show more vigor toward reproduction. I’ve harvested a serving of wax beans and anticipate being able to preserve about a gallon of them before the season is over.

Weed. There’s quite a bit of it near my small kitchen garden, and just a few stems actually in the garden. The flowers are pretty so it’s hard to go all anti-weed on them.

I had to finish with a winter squash blossom because it’s all that! This is the biggest squash blossom in my small kitchen garden. It belongs to a neck pumpkin plant and was one of about a dozen gorgeous blossoms peaking out from rain-soaked leaves this morning. Oddly, my blue Hubbard plants have produced about 8 female flowers and only one male flower. I’ve pollinated the blue Hubbards using male flowers from the neck pumpkin plants. So far, they seem to accept this hybrid pollination, but I can’t predict whether the seeds will be viable next year (and if they are, what the squashes might be like). Perhaps I’ll find out next summer?

 

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