Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wildflower Wednesday- Orchids

This is a quick addendum to my previous post on Crane-fly Orchids, back in July.  This native ephemeral plant has those beautiful green basal leaves that are present in the winter and then a flower stalk in the summer. Well, this week while walking through the shade garden I noticed a spent flower stalk.

Tipularia discolor

Difficult to photograph with a cell phone, the automatic focus function has a hard time focusing on the slender stalk.  I persevered and was able to get a couple shots. Here is the best. Look at all those seed pods! I believe we will have a nice stand of Tipularia discolor, Crane-fly Orchid for years to come. 

Be sure to stop by Gail's blog for Wildflower Wednesday.

©Copyright 2019 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Number Three - Fragrance in the Winter Garden

The third and final post in the Fragrance in the Winter Garden series includes two shrubs. First is one of our native Witchhazel, Hamamelis vernalis or Ozark Witchhazel. I have ordered a number of  these Witchhazel from Missouri Department of Conservation over the past few years. You order them in bundles of ten bare-rooted seedlings. I have planted them all over the property --most have survived but few have bloomed. One day I hope to share photos of a large shrub, full of fragrant spicy clove blooms.  Be sure to check out the link for the Department of Conservation, the seedlings are a nice size and a great price. 

The second shrub I have included in this winter fragrance round-up is Tea Olive, Osmanthus fragrans. Tea Olive blooms multiple times during the year, this is not its only nor its heaviest bloom period but it is appreciated at this time of year. 

This photo below shows the cluster of tiny white blooms on a bare stem. This shrub for some unknown reason lost all its leaves, bloomed heavily, leafed out again, then died. When it had its first leaf drop I thought for sure it was voles eating the roots because this shrub variety has few pests or disease issues. Sadly it was not the case, so it is still a mystery.

These tiny white blooms are hard to photograph. The fragrance has been equated to Fruit Loops cereal-- kind of funny.  Mature size can be 10- 15 feet tall and wide. It can handle part shade to full sun.  Deer leave this shrub alone, another bonus in my garden.

I have seen some pruned up to be a small tree and others a full shrub. It is quite adaptable to pruning.  This one by our shed is well over the gutter line of the roof on the shed. You can see it behind the Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'. It is one of seven Osmanthus fragrans in my garden and the largest. It gets more water than some but not as much as others....hard to tell why this one is doing so well.

Thanks for stopping by to see what's fragrant in my garden. Do you have fragrant blooms this time of year in your garden?

©Copyright 2019 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

More Fragrance in the Winter Garden

This is the second in my series of Fragrance in the Winter Garden. This past fall and early winter I haven't been in my garden as often as usual. A couple days ago I went out, camera in hand to see how things were doing and get reacquainted with my garden. I was so thrilled to see so many plants in bloom. There are a number of winter bloomers that do quite well in my zone 7b/8a garden.
This post showcases Edgeworthia chrysantha. Its common name is Paperbush plant. It reliably blooms from January through March and yes, is incredibly fragrant.
This deciduous shrub is native to China. The inner bark is used to make quality paper, hence the name. While my focus for this post is the fragrant blooms, its leaves that emerge in the spring are noteworthy as well. These oblong leaves are large, up to 5 inches long and a couple inches wide, are fuzzy and deer resistant. With the large canopy of leaves in the growing season I get a micro-climate under the Edgeworthia for ferns, hosta, Hellebore, and other shade loving plants.

The fuzzy umbelliferous flowers have up to 40 tubular florets, white on the outside and sunny yellow inside, visible once open. These flower buds form in the late summer, undetected because of the large leaves. After a few frosts and the leaves fall off the buds are quite apparent. Before the flowers open one might say the fuzzy buds look like pussy toes.

Once the whole bush is in full bloom, the entire yard is filled with its fragrance. The shrubs are hardy zones 7- 10. They can take direct sun but do better when protected from hot afternoon sun. Edgeworthia is said to get between 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. I am finding that to be pretty accurate. It does put up a lot of suckers at the base of the shrub. These suckers can be dug up and shared with friends.

One side of my house has four full sized Edgeworthia and the fragrance that wafts from these beauties makes sitting on the deck enjoyable, even on a chilly day.

©Copyright 2019 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Fragrance in the Winter Garden

Do you have blooms in your winter garden? Those of us who live in the moderate climates can have blooms AND fragrance. In the next few posts I will share some of my reliable favorites. The first one is Prunus mume 'Hokkai-bungo', a Japanese flowering apricot. It blooms January through February, though I have had a few buds open in December.

The first one I saw was in a friend's garden. Hers was in bloom and I was sold! You can read about my visit here. These double blooms are dark pink-red and have a spicy cinnamon fragrance. The fragrance really fills the air when all the blooms are open. Mine is planted by the driveway so I can enjoy both the blooms and fragrance. It is so nice to have something blooming in January.

Hokkai-bungo grows to 15 to 20 feet at maturity and is hardy to zone 6. My tree is still young and is about 7 or 8 feet tall. Many Prunus are used as Bonsai trees. As this tree ages its growth pattern is said to be gnarly with dark bark. 

I have read this tree produces edible apricot fruits but the fruit is reportedly quite sour and often pickled. As I only have one tree I am not sure that mine will fruit. I can't find information on whether it needs a second tree to cross pollinate to produce fruit.

Prunus is susceptible to freezes. The bark will split and crack causing stress to the tree.  I know mine has some bark peeling, I hope it is minor and will not cause it to die. I am keeping an eye on it. Watch for more posts in the coming years as this flowering apricot fills the front part of my garden.

Stay tuned for more posts on fragrant plants in the winter garden.

Look at all those buds ready to pop

©Copyright 2019 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.