While I’m traveling

The first of the blackberry lilies (Iris domestica, below, aka Belamcanda chinensis) is flowering this morning, the first from seeds gathered in late summer two years ago. Reports of flowering in the first summer are likely to be when seeds are started in a heated greenhouse, while mine is not and tiny seedlings are planted in spring. Seeds germinate easily without special treatment, as mine are often neglected.

No matter, I am thrilled to have patches of blackberry lilies scattered through sunnier parts of the garden, and as with all plants started from seed, the price is right. Unfortunately, I will miss other emerging flowers while I travel the next few weeks, though I’m hopeful flowers will persist until my return.

Vitex just beginning to flower.
Clethra ‘Hummingbird’ is a week away from flowering.

While many gardeners prepare plans for watering while they’re away, somewhat regular rainfall in this Virginia garden makes this unnecessary. I have weeded a bit more before leaving so the garden is not overrun when I return, but no other preparation is required.

Flowers of Kirengshoma koreana are likely to open tomorrow, and will have faded upon my return. More shaded plants will flower later, so I’ll be home.

I am pleased that the bottlebrush buckeyes (Aesculus parviflora, below) are slightly behind their typical schedule with flowering spikes nearing their peak as I leave on this annual trip touring nurseries from New Jersey to Alabama. These should reach their peak just prior to my return, so for once I will not view only their decline. Interestingly, two bottlebrushes in part sun (and damp soil) are behind an older shrub in deeper shade (and dry soil).

A single blueberry was harvested today, but of course there are many that will soon ripen (below). I am not disappointed that the crop will be harvested by the garden’s resident birds. Years ago, a row of blueberries in full sun yielded a substantial harvest, but increased dampness in the lower, rear garden forced their transplant. Now, in a shaded setting they grow tall, with many berries far above my reach, so all but a few are deeded to the birds.

Soon to ripen blueberries.
Jane magnolia flowers sporadically through midsummer.
Fruits of the evergreen Empress of China dogwood will soon turn red.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Chuck says:

    Clathra hummingbird has been a disappointment…it gets protection from afternoon sun but seems to wilt …very sporadic flowering .. It has only been in the ground two years but I am already thinking of yanking them out…maybe I need to have more patience

    1. Dave says:

      One Ruby Spice clethra planted two years ago in shade has not flowered, but an older white clethra ten feet away does flower so it could flower some day

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