Monday, September 15, 2014
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: September 2014
Bit by bit, the garden is recovering from a brutal winter. It may not look like much from above: there are a couple of empty spaces where palms used to grow, the hardy banana (Musa basjoo) hasn't grown nearly as big as it did last year (see Everybody loves my big banana), and the figs were killed to the ground and are coming back from the roots, but hidden underneath all that foliage are some plants that are just now hitting their peak.
View of the garden from our roof deck
Quite a few plants are blooming right now but today's GBBD is dominated by two very different genera: Seemannia and Begonia. Seemannia is a gesneriad (family Gesneriaceae), closely related to the genus Gloxinia, with brightly colored flowers that are very attractive to hummingbirds. I've been breeding gesneriads for 30 years, with Seemannia only the latest of several genera I've worked with. While I've grown begonias (family Begoniaceae) off and on since high school it's only recently that I've begun to breed them, primarily as foliage plants. I'm working to develop both genera as bedding and container plants; I've already written about them in the past (see Seemannia: a gesneriad with commercial potential and The begonia that broke my heart) and I'll write more about them in the next few weeks; for now just enjoy the pretty pictures! For more Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts from all around the blogosphere, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
Begonia grandis (pink), male flowers
Begonia grandis (pink), unopened female flowers
Begonia grandis (white), male flowers
Begonia grandis hybrid, naturalizing in a narrow crevice with Pteris multifida
Begonia grandis 'Nanjiang Silver'; a new wild collection with silver-splashed leaves
Begonia formosana, a species from Taiwan that has been hardy for me; male flowers
Begonia 'Charles Jaros' (not one of my own hybrids), male flowers
Seemannia 'Little Red'
Seemannia 'Little Red' (slightly underexposed)
Unnamed Seemannia hybrids
Seemannia, unnamed hybrids
Seemannia, unnamed hybrid
Seemannia, unnamed hybrid
Ipomoea × multifida, cardinal climber; very attractive to hummingbirds!
Hosta plantaginea, "august lily" on its last legs
Clerodendrum bungei, a "beautiful monster" that blooms all summer
What is it with carpenter bees and Clerodendrum bungei?
Clematis terniflora, sweet autumn clematis, a beautiful but aggressive weed here
Ageratina altissima, white snakeroot, another common weed
American Begonia Society
Potomac Branch of the American Begonia Society (Facebook)Gesneriad Society
National Capital Area Chapter of the Gesneriad Society