Garden Bloggers‘ Bloom Day – January 2019

First Bloom Day of the year – and there aren’t many blooms to show. Winter here in Central Europe so far has been mild but too cold for many of the winter bloomers in my garden. I probably have to get more plants that bloom reliably in this season.

Sarcococca confusa seems to be starting to bloom. I don’t smell anything yet, so I’m not sure if the blooms are open. Sarcococca confusa and the fern Polystichum polyblepharum make an elegant combination in the shade garden.

There was heavy snow just a couple of days before. It has melted, but it left flattened blooms on Mahonia media ‚Winter Sun‘ behind.

Lonicera color pop.

Viburnum tinus is my favorite „common“ garden plant. It provides great winter interest with its superb evergreen foliage and the scented winter blooms.

There are only buds on Prunus mume, but I’m already excited for the show in spring!

My noid Hamamelis hasn’t opened the flower buds either, there is a tiny bit of yellow showing on there, though.

Garden Bloggers‘ Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens.


Foliage First! – January 2019

I’m starting this new feature „Foliage First!“, which is inspired by the hashtag #foliagefirst on Instagram. I participated in Garden Bloggers‘ Bloom Day and thought to myself: in winter, the foliage in our gardens is much more important, so why not start a similar feature showcasing foliage in all its glory? With „Foliage First!“ I’m showing the finest foliage that I can spot in my garden at the first day of every month. So let’s go ahead:

Agarista populifolia is a really exotic looking shrub (from Florida!) with its ficus-like, evergreen foliage, which shines especially in winter.

Agave neomexicana ‚Sacramento‘ with a spoonful of snow. Easy to grow with good drainage.

Doesn‘t look like much right now, but it‘s quite a special plant: a young, gangly Aristotelia fruticosa, grown from seed, between Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‚Fastigiata‘. It‘s a divaricating shrub, a typical habit of New Zealand plants, from mountainous regions, so hopefully it proves winter hardy in my climate. The species is really polymorphic: brown, dead-looking foliage to green and lush, deeply lobed to rounded leaf.

A. fruticosa is a cousin to the bigger Aristotelia chilensis from, you guessed it, Chile. This Genus shows a clear Gondwanan range: From Chile to Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. A. chilensis freezes most winters to the ground, but is quite hardy.

I love the foliage of Ceanothus gloriosus x masonii ‚Blue Jeans‘. Hardy and easy.

Choisya ‚Aztec Pearl‘ looks always good, year-round. It’s really easy to propagate, so don’t buy it at a store and just ask a friend for a cutting.

Cornus kousa x capitata ‚Norman Hadden‘ is almost semi-evergreen. The few leaves that are left look great right now.

Corokia cotoneaster, another divaricating New Zealand native. Does well in shade for me. It is somewhat semi-evergreen after hard frosts.

Straight foliage on Cytisus scoparius ‚Apricot Gem‘.

Dryopteris wallichiana is an awesome evergreen fern. It almost sparkles;)

Elaeagnus umbellata v. rotundifolia still has some leaves.

Eryngium agavifolium.

I do love Hebes. One of my favorite is Hebe ochracea, a so-called whipcord hebe. Great combination with Lavender.

Silver colored Hebe pimeleoides.

Hebe ‚Theo‘ tried to flower before the frosts struck.

Another divaricating plant from New Zealand (there seems to be a pattern, here): Hoheria angustifolia.

Ilex vomitoria, a Ilex species that can be used like Mate tea.

Sparkling, silver foliage: Jacobaea maritima.

Lomatia fraseri isn’t hardy enought for me, it grew back this year from being cut back to the ground.

My favorite hardy Olearia: Olearia virgata lineata. It looses its leaves most winter, though.

That’s it!
Are you interested in participating in this feature? Leave a comment!

Garden Bloggers‘ Bloom Day – December 2018

After a couple of harder frosts (-3°C/27°F), there aren’t many blooms left in the garden.

A very nice winterbloomer is Viburnum tinus. It got lots of buds, and some of them already opened.

Arbutus unedo ‚Compacta‘ is still blooming away, though the delicious berries are long gone.

My only Camellia (I need more!) has some buds in preparation, for the first time. Will it flower this winter or will the cold get to them first? We’ll see. The cultivar: Camellia sinensis ‚Large Leaf Form‘.

Cytisus scoparius ‚Apricot Gem‘ has a few flowers, which isn’t normal. More blooms are bound to come in spring.

Dalea bicolor has still its foliage, but it’s done with the blooms. Like many other plants…

This late planted Helenium ‚Mardi Gras‘ still wants to push on. Not for long probably.

This Lonicera (noid) has a few blooms every winter. I wish there were more on the plant.

Mahonia media ‚Winter Sun‘ seems to look even better as winter progresses.

Malacomeles (Amelanchier) denticulata should be grown more. It is almost hardy in my climate, not too fussy about the wet weather, and seems to bloom twice a year: Winter and late spring. It’s an evergreen Amelanchier with edible berries from Mexico.

The blooms aren’t really showy, but it got lovely foliage. (Here with spikey Echinacea remnants.)

This Pulsatilla (noid) is flowering for some reason.

Hopefully the blooms of Sarcococca confusa will open soon. A great plant for shade, I want more of.

Tiarella ‚Cascade Creeper‘ is surprisingly blooming.

No blooms, but such nice fall color: Cotinus coggygria ‚Lisjo‘

Garden Bloggers‘ Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Garden.

Garden Bloggers‘ Bloom Day – November 2018

I thought I would join with this „meme“ (not really a meme) of posting pictures of blooms in the garden every 15th of the month hosted by May Dreams Garden. Maybe it will encourage me to post more regularly.
We didn’t have any frosts here in the lower regions of Switzerland yet, so most of the plants are still well and alive. This will change presumably next week.

So let’s start with Arbutus unedo ‚Compacta‘, which is a dependable bloomer.

The fruit ripens when Arbutus starts flowering.

Bulbine bulbosa self-seeded. I think I grew this Australian native two years ago, it didn’t survive winter, but two self-seeded plants grew to the flowering stage this year.

This tall Cosmea flopped over recently. It will be probably gone by next week’s frost.

I planted this Dalea bicolor this year and it’s already flowering! Will it survive our wet winter, though?

A hot pink, random Delosperma bloom.

This Zauschneria (Epilobium) californica ‚Western Hills‘ is a champ. It is blooming since early summer and looked stunning for a long time. I want more of it!

The last of the Kniphofias still blooming: Kniphofia ‚Mango Popsicle‘. It glows from miles away. Beautiful!

Mahonia media ‚Winter Sun‘ smells so good when it’s warm and sunny. But I’m a bit disappointed with the pale flower color.

Tiny blooms on Muehlenbeckia axillaris (it counts!). It grows well together with Coprosma acerosa var. brunnea. They’re a great combination. Color pop from a Coprosma berry.

Pomegranate blooms!

Ricinus is still standing and blooming.

Last but not least: Rosemary.

That’s it for my garden besides a couple of weeds blooming;)

Garden Tour – September 2018

Some plants and blooms after this exceptional summer.

Vitex rotundifolia survived winter and is now flowering for the first time. Gorgeous!

Sisyrinchium angustifolium blooming with some fern. On the right is the slow-growing Escallonia alpina.

Eucomis bicolor past flowering, setting seed.

Agave neomexicana ‚Sacramento‘ making pups quite far away!

This self-seeded Bulbine bulbosa is gonna start some blooms, soon.

Coprosma acerosa var. brunnea ‚Blue Beauty‘ has a few berries for the first time this year. It grows beautifully with Muehlenbeckia axillaris.

Jardin botanique de Genève

In July I visited the Jardin botanique de Genève. The trip was long but worthwhile. Compared to other Swiss botanical gardens it’s quite big.

Already in front of the entrance, I was greeted by an interesting and beautiful plant: A Senna or Cassia, probably Senna didymobotrya.

The garden has a huge rockery, where we spent most of our time here. I gravitated of course to the plants from the southern hemisphere. Two splendid Acaenas: Acaena myriophylla and A. pallida.

Escallonia rosea from Chile.

This bulb was labelled Zephyranthes rosea, but I believe it is Z. andersonii.

Interesting placement of Opuntia.

Oenothera speciosa.

Daphne gnidium.

Huge Eucomis pole-evansii (a South-African) and another Eucomis (bicolor?).

A carpet of Phyla nodiflora.

Could this be hardy? Lessertia frutescens.

Myrsine africana planted out and thriving.

Berkheya purpurea, a classic.

Crassula setulosa. Crassula is kind of the Sedum counterpart of Southern Africa.

Elegant Daphne tangutica.

A huge Podocarpus macrophyllus.

A nice specimen of Arbutus unedo.

I really liked this Cephalaria leucantha.

Cool Berberis aetnensis.

Tree-like Ericas: Erica terminalis and E. scoparia.

On pictures I thought Cneorum tricoccon looks boring, but in person it’s great.

Origanum scabrum.

Intereting Catanche caerulea.

Veratrum nigrum.

European Ericaceae: Rhodothamnus chamaecistus.

Another Opuntia. O. vulgaris.

Two totally different looking Saxifragas: Saxifraga sancta and S. pensylvanica.

Daphne alpina.

Almost a tree fern: Polystichum aculeatum.

Loiseleuria procumbens.

Rhodiola rosea.

Helianthemum lunulatum.

Genista sagittalis looks like one of the leafless plants from New Zealand.

Cool leaves on Hypericum balearicum.

Those are actually flowers on Acantholimon acerosum, not dried seed pods.

Several garden beds were holding different plant families. In this one were Sedums: Sedum sieboldii looked interesting.

Sedum stahlii is from Mexico. Want!

Now I found the Australasian part of the garden: First Raoulia glabra.

I don’t know which of these plants stay outdoor in winter. I don’t think all of them.

Hymenthera obovata.

Phormium tenax.

Cool Coprosmas: Coprosma propinqua.

Coprosma robusta.

Comprosma rugosa, my favorite of the bunch.

Stays Griselinia littoralis really outside in winter?

Haloragis erecta.

Derwentia derwentiana.

Plagianthus divaricatus. I want this bundle of sticks!

Carmichaelia enysii should be hardy.

Here I’m not sure: Carmichaelia australis.

A mature Podocarpus from New Zealand.

I love Eryngiums from South America: Eryngium agavifolium.

Eryngium pandanifolium.

Berberis mucrifolia looked interesting.

A winter hardy Cinnamon: Cinnamomum japonicum.

Winter hardy? Euphorbia coerulescens.

Nice looking Euphorbia virgata.

Xerophytic ferns are great: Asplenium ceterach.

The Jardin botanique had also cool conservatories.


The gesneriad collection.




A Puya chilensis outdoors?!


Magnificent Opuntia santarita.

Yucca desmetiana.

A shrubby Dianella.

Some highlights in July

Chitalpa x tashkentensis ‚Pink Dawn‘ produced for the first time a single bloom. Cute!

Deinanthe coerulea x bifida ‚Blue Wonder‘ is lightning up a gloomier part of the garden.

Dianella brevicaulis has lots of edible (okay tasting) blue berries.

Kniphofia ‚Poco Red‘ with poking red flower spikes.

Morina longifolia is quite pleasing.

I expected more from Verbascum chaixii. The two-year-wait wasn’t worth it. But it makes nice pictures.