What do you see on your garden walk, 2015?

Submitted by Cockcroft on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 17:12

Spring seems to have sprung in the Pacific Northwest, where we have enjoyed a very mild winter, in sharp contrast to the eastern US.  Here is a glance around the garden today.  Very ordinary plants still give a lot of pleasure.

A 'Satsuma' plum in full bloom, Corydalis dicentrifolia, Anemone nemorosa 'Virescens', Anemone blanda

'Satsuma' plum   Corydalis dicentrifolia  

Anemone nemerosa 'Virescens'   Anemone blanda

'Satsuma' plum
Corydalis dicentrifolia
Anemone nemerosa 'Virescens'
Anemone blanda


Submitted by Cockcroft on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 17:17

Trilliums are just getting started.

Trillium rivale in white and in pink (with nice leaf markings), Trillium kurabayashii, Trillium chloropetalum, Trillium cuneatum

Trillium rivale   Trillium rivale

Trillium kurabayashii   Trillium chloropetalum

Trillium cuneatum

Trillium rivale
Trillium rivale
Trillium kurabayashii
Trillium chloropetalum
Trillium cuneatum

Primulas, especially julie hybrids, have been blooming for a while.  Crocus have been sporadic bloomers this year.

Primula 'Schneekissen', Primula 'Devon James', Crocus vernus albiflorus

Primula 'Schneekissen'   Primula 'Devon James'   Crocus vernus albiflorus

Primula 'Schneekissen'
Primula 'Devon James'
Crocus vernus albiflorus

Last entry: Erythronium dens-canis, Cyclamen rhodium (first bloom of seedlings), Pleione 'Tongariro' (just getting started), Arisaema kishidae 'Jack Frost

'Erythronium dens-canis   Cyclamen rhodium   Pleione 'Tongariro'  

Arisaema kishidae 'Jack Frost'

Erythronium dens-canis
Cyclamen rhodium
Pleione 'Tongariro'
Arisaema kishidae 'Jack Frost'

Submitted by RickR on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 20:34

What a nice breath of life, Claire!

We've had a few days of upper 50s to low 60s, and I went to see if the wild Trillium nivale were peaking up.  The only thing actually growing was the Watercress (Nasturtium sp.).  Sure is a welcome green, though!








I thought you had as much snow still as Mark have? How has your winter been?






Submitted by RickR on Sun, 03/15/2015 - 05:25

This Minnesota winter, as far as overall temperature, has actually been pretty normal, and what a surprise!  Snowfall only slightly less than normal.  There is no snow left where I am.  But we did have some early sudden drops in temps that may prove problematic. 


With climate change, Minnesota is trending to have the fastest warming winters in the USA, excluding Alaska.

Yet, Lori still has early spring plants sprouting before I ever do!

Everything is covered in a few cm's of snow again today but here's what it looked like the day before yesterday... pretty bleak, as usual for this time of year, enlivened only by the blooms on Colchicum bulbocodium/Bulbocodium vernum  hinting at spring!


A perfect, furry little rosette of Townsendia condensata and golden(ish) buds of Pulsatilla patens emerging:



What an amazing variety of spring plants, Claire!  Does the Pleione stay outdoors through the winter?

I'd love to go for a walk through that hardwood forest, Rick.  What are the trees?  Looks like very little understory so I'd guess the shade is quite dense?  Nice stream.

Submitted by RickR on Tue, 03/17/2015 - 19:34

The woods is mostly oaks and Sugar maples, sprinkled with basswood and hickory.. It is part of the Hastings Scientific and Natural Area that I have a separate thread about here: https://www.nargs.org/forum/hastings-scientific-and-natural-area-minnesota-usa  This is just a different, "less interesting" part. 


The lack of understory isn't such a common thing around here, and yes, likely due to the heavy summer shade.  But it's not as "empty" as it looks.  That is a very steep hill in the background, and you can't climb it without choosing your steps carefully..

My pleiones stay outside all year round.  They live in pots sitting on grit in a raised planter on the north side of my house.  During the winter the frames are covered.  With the recent coming of milder weather, I've uncovered all the frames except the one full of Primula marginata.


Trillium rivale is in its full glory.  Here is a sample.

Trillium rivale

 Trillium chloropetalum in rose and in white.

Trillium chloropetalum  Trillium chloropetalum

Trillium pusillum and Trillium albidum.

Trillium pusillum    Trillium albidum

Trillium rivale
Trillium chloropetalum
Trillium chloropetalum
Trillium pusillum
Trillium albidum

Primula kisoana is starting to bloom.

Primula kisoana   Primula kisoana

Primula 'Peter Klein' lives next to a small bog.

Primula 'Peter Klein'

Primula frondosa (or is it farinosa?) is a reliable self-seeder in my other pots.

Primula frondosa

Primula kisoana
Primula kisoana
Primula 'Peter Klein'
Primula frondosa


This part of spring is always very hopeful here but, actually, very slow and boring! It'll be some time yet before there's any real progress.

Submitted by RickR on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 19:06

The wee ones are especially cute, but I like them all!

We received some welcome snow in drought stricken Minnesota.  (Yes, most of Minnesota is officially in a drought.)  At least there will be no river flooding this spring.  The snow will help my frit seed germinate.

Yesterday and today:


Submitted by Hoy on Tue, 03/24/2015 - 02:21


Very nice! Here the earliest Trilliums are soon to open their first flowers but many are still too young to flower.



Glad you got some snow since you needed it but I hope not to get snow here!


I like the white rivale in the lower right hand corner.  Something about those widely separated petals appeals to me.  Have you marked this yet?  Or maybe you have so many special ones you've given up on marking them.  

I've also got a couple of rose colored sessile western trillliums.  One came as seed labeled chloropetalum and the other is a seedling off kurabayashii (I think).  Actually I'd be perfectly fine with calling them all western sessiles or damn fine trilliums.


Submitted by Hatchett on Sun, 03/29/2015 - 16:49

I took some pictures of some of the plants that are blooming today(3/29/2015). Astragalus  ceramicus, Hymenoxys lapidicola and Eriogonum caespitosum.

Submitted by RickR on Wed, 04/29/2015 - 20:51

Corydalis nobilis and Helleborus 'Ivory Prince'



Hacquetia epipactis, Colchicum x agrippinum foliage.  And could this be a dwarf form of the weedy Thlaspi arvensis?




Clematis ochotensis from seed collected in Japan (Mt. Tokachi) and buds of the first flush blooms of an unknown iris.  These stay very short (8-10 inches).  The second flush is in June on 2 foot stems.



Pulsatilla pratensis ssp. nigricans Unknown pulsatilla from seed collected in Sweeden.  The leaves are like needles!



Leibnitzia anandria



Mertensia alpina seeded into the limestone driveway.  Thalictrum thalictroides 'Schoaff's Double', discovered in a Minnesota cemetery.  Lycoris chinensis still survives here in zone 4 after nine years, but never blooms.






A couple from the garden today:-


Aethionema 'Warley Rose' Been in flower a couple of weeks now and will be so until early Autumn when it will get a haircut. Very good garden value.

Tulbahgia 'Purple Eye'. Again very good value, been in flower a couple of weeks and will flower until towards the end of November when it will get a 'shot' of Sulphate of Potash


Thalictrum thalictroides 'Schoaff's Double', discovered in a Minnesota cemetery.


Lovely to see all the colour folks.

Rick the Thalictrum is a real beauty.Only saw it once in a garden a few years back.Unfortunately it has died out so not sure if it's being cultivated any longer here in NZ.crying


Submitted by Hatchett on Sat, 05/02/2015 - 17:22

A few things form the garden today.


Pulsatilla pratensis ssp. nigricans from seed collected in Sweeden.  The leaves are like needles!



Lovely selection of plants, Rick!  

The pulsatilla shown would not be Pulsatilla pratensis ssp. nigricans, though.  The upfacing flowers are wrong for it. 

Submitted by RickR on Sat, 05/09/2015 - 06:05

Oh goodness, how could I be so stupid!  They bloomed for the first time last year, and like many pulstatillas, first blooms in a pot are not always like the true form that develops in future years.  This is second year bloom for these plants, and even last year I had questioned the identity.  Too many things going on this spring, I had completely forgotten about it, except that this season had a different flower form.  Not thinking (right), I automatically thought this must be correct. I'm really quite embarrassed here: the nodding flowers was the whole reason why I ordered the seed!


The seed came from the SRGC seed ex as wild collected seed from Sweden.  There are pros and cons of not revealing the seed source donator, but for me, I wish I could have that information.


So thanks for pointing this out, Lori.  What then, could it be?  I think I'm going to need to post this on the SRGC forum...

Submitted by Hatchett on Wed, 05/13/2015 - 18:57

Love to see all the cool plants people are growing so successfully. I took some pictures of some Penstemons out in the garden today..

Penstemon debilis, one of my favorite penstemons.
Penstemon davidsonii, from the Wallowa mountains.
Penstemon I am too lazy to key out.
P. laricifolius from southern Wyoming

Lori, I don't know how rare P. debilis is in captivity but it is rare in the wild now. This plant grows very slowly in my garden. This fall I will sow the last of the seed collected in 1997 ( which this plant originally comes from). Unlike many penstemons, this species seems to require cross pollination.