GB Bloom Day in April

I went over to the University of Hohenheim’s Spielhaus garden for the first time in months yesterday to see what was blooming in mid April.  The cherry trees that were so amazing this time last year had finished and the magnolias were also winding down.  The perennial beds were still pretty subdued, except for this very nice bit just below the terrace and wisteria arbor.

I thought this combination was great: Tulipa clusiana ‘Tubergen’s Gem’ and yellow Aurinia saxatilis ‘Compactum’. The little weeping tree above them is Sophora japonica ‘Pendula’.

The Spielhaus (play house) was built in the 1780s for Grand Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg and Franziska von Hohenheim, his mistress and then morganatic wife. It originally only had one floor and was one of about 60 folly-type structures in their “English garden” of Hohenheim Palace.

In another part of the Spielhaus garden, these small tulips were really sweet.

I loved these Tulipa clusiana var. clusiana.

I also loved the Tulipa sylvestris, although I didn’t take a very good picture of them.

I like the way they all turn in more or less the same direction.

To see the mid-April flowers of other garden bloggers, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Our August yard

August 16, 2016, enclos*ure

Here are some mid-month pictures of our shaggy backyard on one side. (Click on any thumbnail image below to enlarge it.)

The pattern that I cut in the grass in May has blurred quite a bit, but I still enjoy it, especially in the morning light.

August 16, 2016, enclos*ure

Our little corner bean-shaped flower bed has produced a surprising number of blooms this summer, considering that I had pretty much written it off last fall and had started using it as a compost pile. I thought this would kill off everything but the golden spirea and the “Fairy” rose, and then I could start over with better ground.

Instead, the previously sickly looking hydrangea, hybrid tea roses, and sedums seem to like growing under at least 3″ to 6″ of half-rotted leaves and grass clippings (and some coffee grounds).  I did smother a lot of weeds, but I don’t know what has happened to the mice that were living there too.

My plan to follow the Spielhaus Garden this year for Bloom Days and Foliage Follow Ups has not worked out very well due to travel, rainy weather, and a sometimes hurting foot — with surgery planned in a few weeks — but I hope I can get over there sometime this month and bring you an update.

Thanks to Pam at Digging for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Follow Up on the 16th of every month. And to see the mid-month flowers of other garden bloggers, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Bloom Day in July: France

Hollyhocks 2, Normandy, July 2016, enclos*ure

We spent July 15 in France — driving home across Champagne, Lorraine, and Alsace.  For almost eight hours, we looked at the gorgeous wildflowers along the sides of the highways (a lot of Queen Anne’s lace) and listened to sad, reflective compositions on the classical radio station, Musique. It was the best comfort they could offer, the announcer said, for the awful news from Nice.

But for the previous three days, we had been in Normandy, where these bright hollyhocks were blooming in the little gravel courtyard of the house where we were staying.

To see the mid-July flowers of other garden bloggers, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

GB Bloom Day in May

in the pleatpetal purring of mouthweathered May.

Karen Volkman, from “May

The Chinese tree peonies are definitely the stars this month in the Speilhaus garden of the University of Hohenheim.

Bloom Day, 2016,enclos*ure

I took these photos yesterday evening.

The garden has around ten mature specimens.

Paeonia Suffruticosa Hybrid ‘Yoshinogawa’

Paeonia-Suffruticosa-Hybride 'Yoshinogawa'
Paeonia Suffruticosa Hybrid ‘Yoshinogawa’

Unfortunately, we had several days of rain last week, and the blooms were not at their best.

Paeonia tenuifolia 'Plena'
Paeonia tenuifolia ‘Plena’

The fern leaf peony shown above was new to me.

Looking across the garden to the Spielhaus.

Beyond the peony bed, I liked the combination, above and below, of light-purple geraniums and orange euphorbias.

Geranium tuberosum and
Geranium tuberosum and Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fire Glow’

Euphoribia griffithii 'Fire Glow'
Euphoribia griffithii ‘Fire Glow’
Iris Barbata-Media-Grpuppe 'Antarctique'
Iris Barbata-Media-Grpuppe ‘Antarctique’

Nearby was a planting of bearded iris.

In the photo above, the bright yellow at the top, just below the arbor, is mountain goldenbanner, which is native to the western United States.

Thermopsis montana
Thermopsis montana or mountain goldenbanner
Asphodelus albus
Asphodelus albus

White asphodel  — “that greeny flower” — was also blooming in the garden.

The pretty blue-violet flower above was close by, but I didn’t get a picture of its label.  I think it’s another Asphodelus. It’s a Camassia, a North American native in the asparagus family (see the comments below).

Looking south across the garden from behind the wisteria arbor, you can see the row of tree peonies.  In the lower right-hand corner is a planting of yellow asphodel or king’s spear.

Asphodelus lutea

Looking across the garden from the east to the west, a beautiful pink blooming Judas tree draws the eye.

The tree is native to Southern Europe and Western Asia.

The flowers are edible and are said to have a sweetish-acid taste.

At the other side of the garden a Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum or purple gromwell drapes over the steps. The flowers emerge purple reddish and then mature to deep blue.

A last look from the northeast. At mid-month, the wisteria on the arbor (right side) has only a few blooms.

To see what’s blooming today for other garden bloggers, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

GB Bloom Day for April

A bit late, I’m afraid. . .

The tulips are T. Clusiania 'Tubergen's Gem. The purple ground cover is Aubrita-Hybride ‘Lavander’.
The tulips are T. Clusiania ‘Tubergen’s Gem’. The purple ground cover is Aubrita-Hybride ‘Lavander’.

This month, I’m again stalking the pretty display garden of the Spielhaus* at the University of Hohenheim, which is close to our neighborhood.

What’s blooming? Low groundcover plants, tulips, and magnolias.

view of Spielhaus, enclos*ure
The purple groundcover is Aubrieta-Hybride ‘Tauricola’ and ‘Lavander’.
view2 of Spielhaus, enclos*ure
The pale yellow-blooming shrub is Corylopsis pauciflora. I believe the low white flowers in the foreground are Arabis caucasia ‘Schneehaube’.

There were several kinds of Tulipa clusiana or Lady Tulips.Tulipa clusiana 4, enclos*ure

Tulipa clusiana 2, enclos*ure
I believe these are Tulipa clusiana var. clusiana, although there were also var. chrysantha in the same area (as well as ‘Tubergen’s Gem’), and I realized after I got home that I hadn’t been careful enough keeping the flowers with the labels.

Tulipa clusiana 1, enclos*ure

Tulipa clusiana 3, enclos*ure

Tulipa Clusiana 20, enclos*ure

Tulipa Silvestris 3, enclos*ure

Above and below are Tulipa sylvestris subsp. sylvestris.Tulipa Silvestris 4, enclos*ure

Tulipa Silvestris view12, enclos*ure
En masse.

Aubrieta 1, enclos*ure

Phlox 1, enclos*ure
I could not find a label for these smallish pink tulips.
Euphorbia, enclos*ure
Euphorbia epithymoides growing among Scilla.
Pumonaria, enclos*ure
Blaues meer means blue sea.

P. angustifolia ‘Blaues Meers’ are also called blue cowslips.Pumonaria 1, enclos*ure

Fritillaria 1, enclos*ure

The fritillary were still blooming.  They have also been called snake’s head fritillary, chess flower, frog-cup, guinea-hen flower, guinea flower, leper lily (from the bell once carried by lepers), Lazarus bell, chequered lily, chequered daffodil, and drooping tulip.Fritillaria 8, enclos*ure

There’s a good article about them here, from the online garden magazine Dig Delve.P. Spinosa1, enclos*ure

Just behind the Spielhaus were a collection of magnolia, cherry, and plum trees.

P. Spinosa2, enclos*ure

P. Spinosa3, enclos*ure

Magnolias, enclos*ure

Heaven Scent1, enclos*ure

Heaven Scent3, enclos*ur

M. soulangiana3, enclos*ure

M. soulangiana1, enclos*ure

M. soulangiana5, enclos*ure

M. Susan5g, enclos*ure

This cultivar had long flower petals that were all leaning in the same direction.M. Susan3, enclos*ure

M. Susan2, enclos*ure

M. Elizabeth43, enclos*ure

Not far away was this creamy yellow M. Cultivar ‘Elizabeth’.

To see what’s blooming today for other garden bloggers, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

*Part of the University’s botanical garden.