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Spring Poppies

June 5th, 2017

The bright spring poppies started blooming last week. They used to grow throughout the front foundation garden, but I’ve slowly been reducing their numbers and letting them grow in one specific spot. They are allowed to grow and bloom at the base of the rock wall below the living room windows.




I think buds are just as pretty as the flowers actually, their gooseneck shape is stunning, especially with the low evening light. This area should be aflame for the short season they bloom. To be honest, orange isn’t my favorite color when it comes to flowers, I’m also not a fan of super vibrant flowers. My favorite blooms definitely are more pastel and range from purple to white.

What’s blooming in your garden right now?

Plant Spotlight: English Bluebells

May 1st, 2012

Last fall I planted some Hyacinthoides non-scripta back in the maple grove. I planted them along the pathway interspersed with some daffodils. I’ve been patiently waiting for them bloom and late last week they finally started blooming. I read about these lovely in A Year at North Hill : Four Seasons in a Vermont Garden and added them to my list of must have plants. Since we have a lot of shade due to the many large trees, I’m always looking for beautiful things to plant among the woodlands.


English Bluebells. Circa 1500s, this fragrant, woodland naturalizer features dark violet-blue, pendant flowers on strong spikes. Commercially grown in the Netherlands as Scilla nutans (synonymous with Scilla non-scripta), this is most closely related to the indigenous English Bluebell, also known as the Wild Hyacinth. (from Van Engelen)


These little beauties should spread and eventually carpet this area of the garden, which I’m especially happy about because nothing grows in this area. Another great benefit is that these are deer resistant, since we have a big problem with deer eating everything in site that makes bluebells all the more attractive.

What’s your biggest issue that you have to keep in mind when choosing garden plants?

The Parade of Tulips

April 23rd, 2012

I promised a parade of tulips when every single one had finally bloomed. Last week the last of the later tulips opened. Barring any extreme heat, the blooms will last for a couple more weeks. All-in-all, I should get over 2 months of beauty. There were a few glorious days when all the varieties I planted were blooming at the same time.

Just in case you’re wondering how I kept track of the tulips I planted, I cut the photos/names from the catalog and pasted them on a piece of paper grouping them by order of bloom. This gave me a handy chart to quickly be able to identify what was blooming. It also came in handy when making my order so I knew which tulips I was buying so I didn’t end up with all late flowering tulips.


‘Rai’ parrot tulip, a beautiful dark pink/purple and green parrot tulip. I only purchased 8 bulbs for this and they were planted in a pot by the back door. Parrot tulips are just as interesting in bud form as they are when in full bloom. This is the first time I’ve had parrot tulips in the garden and I must say, I’ll always have some from now on! (I won’t relist the Parrot King tulip, you can see this post if you’d like to see them).

All of the bulbs listed below were purchased from Van Engelen in lots of 50 or 100. I’ll include their description of the tulips after the name. The tulips will also be listed in the order in which they bloomed in the garden.

Blooming first was ‘Passionale’, which I’ve had in the garden for many years. Described as: huge, lilac-purple tulip has dark purple flames on the outside of its petals while the inside of the petals is beetroot-purple with a tawny-yellow base. Bulb size: 12cm/up. April/May. 16″


Along with ‘Passionale’ the ‘Rembrandt’s Favorite’ tulip bloomed as well. They make a perfect combo! This tulip is described as: a mutation out of Hans Anrud, this strong and sturdy bicolor is glistening snow-white with deep blueberry-purple flames. Bulb size: 12 cm/up. Late April. 22″


‘Pimpernel’ is a lovely lily flowering tulips, one of two varieties I planted. Rich purplish-red with green featherings. Bulb size: 12cm/up. May. 16″. HZ: 3-7.


‘China Pink’ One of the most popular of all Lily Flowering Tulips, this award-winner has lustrous, soft pink flowers with a white base. Bulb size: 12cm/up. May. 18″.

‘Cum Laude’ circa 1944, Cum Laude is dark campanula-violet with a white base. Bulb size: 12cm/up. May. 24″.


‘Virichic’ this jaunty beauty has an elegant, almost Lily-like form and exotic coloration. It opens dreamy pale rose with tawny yellow highlights and green flames and matures to a darker purplish-pink with green flames. Bulb size: 12 cm/up. May. 18”.


‘Greenland’ Also known as Groenland, this award-winner is a charming old rose color with soft green stripes from the flower’s base to its tips. Bulb size: 12cm/up. May. 20″.

‘Green Wave’ A terrific cut flower, this sport of Greenland is pastel mauve-pink with green flames and an exterior white base. Watch how wide it opens! Bulb size: 12cm/up. May. 20″


‘Elegant Lady’ Subtly changing colors as its blooms mature, this beauty has pale creamy-yellow flowers edged in soft violet-red. Bulb size: 12cm/up. May. 24″. HZ: 3-7.

‘Queen of the Night’ is a deep velvety-maroon, appearing as glistening black in the sunlight. Circa 1940, this award-winner is still the “blackest” tulip to date. Bulb size: 12cm/up. May. 24″. I have grown this variety of tulip for many years here at Chiot’s Run and it’s the one tulip that I find that doesn’t get eaten by various deer. The black color must make them bitter or something. There have been years when this is the only tulip to bloom in my garden.

I think my favorite combination from this year was ‘Queen of the Night’ and ‘Elegant Lady’. I planted these two varieties in a few clumps in the front foundation bed and I think they’re perfectly stunning together.

I also have a few other kinds of tulips that bloom throughout the garden that I planted a few years ago. I definitely gravitate towards the purple/pink/green range when it comes to flower colors. I’m not sure if I could pick a favorite, it might be ‘Queen of the Night’ or it might be ‘Green Wave’. I’m certainly happy I don’t have to choose!

Which of these do you like the best?

The Parrot King Tulip

April 9th, 2012

Today we’ll be taking a break from the cleaning series because I didn’t get home until late from the family Easter celebration and didn’t have time to take photos & write the post. Also because a few of my parrot tulips are blooming. These ‘Parrot King’ tulips are a show stopper and they’re stealing the show by my back door, the OOPS ones that I accidentally left in the garage. I can’t help but stop and stare whenever I’m head in or out!


I planted these in pots specifically to be able to examine them closely. The detail in these flowers is so amazing and hard to capture with my camera. They’re stunning from bud to bloom. The variety of colors in each bud, the fringe on the petals, the way the colors change and they get deeper as the blooms age.




Normally, I’m not one for blooms with flourish like these. I don’t even really like orange and yellow flowers, but for some reason I’m enthralled by these beauties. They remind me of Spanish Flamenco dancers with all the ruffles and their bright colors. Definitely focal points wherever you plant them. I’ll never have a garden without parrot tulips from now on and I don’t think I’ll go without forcing some in a pot to admire by the back door each spring.

Do you have a plant/flower that you love that doesn’t fit in with your normal gardening tastes?

For more photos of this beauty head on over to my Flickr photostream.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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