Snowdrops under the contorted beech

It’s a late spring in the northeast, but we’re quickly catching up.  Two years ago hellebores and witchhazels were blooming in the 3rd week of March- and this year- they are two to three weeks behind that- still blooming now- and some just started!  The snow piles have depleted with some warm rains and it’s looking hopeful!

Here are some photos of what’s blooming now.

Helleborus purpurascens

Helleborus niger (Christmas rose)

Hamamelis Jelena (we think)

Chionodoxa labitica (Glory of the Snow)

Hamamelis Arnolds Promise

Hamamelis x intermedia Hiltingbury (we think)

Iris reticulata

iris histrioides Katherine Hodgkin

Crocus chrysanthus Cream Beauty

Crocus sieberi Tricolor"

Crocus chrysanthus Blue Pearl

Petasites japonicus giganticus Variegatus

Erica carnea cultivar (Heath)

Pulmonaria- self-seeded. First to show color this spring.

autumn’s colors

October 14, 2009

We’ve had our first hard frost here in Bristol- this past Monday night.  On Tuesday morning, the lawn was white, and the large leaves of the Paulownia were drooping.  Whatever sensitive plants we didn’t get under cover are history now.  Just up the hill, there was snow.  Still, the colors of fall are stunning, and many flowers continue to bloom including Aconitum, Anemone, Aster, Rosa, Phlox, Solidago and Gentian, (to name a few).  The Heptacodium’s white flowers have faded and now we’re enjoying the pink capsules and sepals- it’s beautiful!  Michael Dirr referred to this plant as the “Northern Crape Myrtle”- I like that!


I made a decision to remove all but one of the Hazelnuts from the garden.  Right now they’re cut back and the effect is both shocking and gratifying.  It’s nice to take in a larger wide angle view of the garden.  When I bought Rocky Dale in 2004, we had 8 large clumps of Hazelnuts that had been growing on this property for over 30 years.  I removed two clusters right away to minimize the “green wall” that was eliminating views into the garden.  Each group easily occupied a minimum of 225 square feet and in most cases considerably more. They have a beautiful vase shape and grow 12-15 feet high.  Their fall color is a tapestry of red, orange and yellow.  They produce heavy clusters of Hazelnuts that Blue Jays seem especially attracted to.  One down side is that they produce a lot of dead wood and they need to maintained in a formal setting.  Their flowers are insignificant.


The Hazelnut AlleeThe Hazelnuts Before

IMG_9678The Hazelnuts After

IMG_9670The Hazelnuts After



So- you can see why it was hard to make the decision.  However, we are running out of room to showcase new varieties of plants as the garden has matured and trees have taken up significantly more space.  I thought one group of Hazelnuts was a good representation for a plant very few people have shown interest in.  I now look forward to having space to plant new varieties and bring back some old favorites including:  A variegated River Birch, a variegated Cornus mas, Nyssa ‘Autumn Cascade’, Acer rubrum ‘Candy Ice’, Stewartia ‘Gold Spring’ and Scarlet Sentinel’, Cercis ‘Covey’, Cledastris,  Sorbus magnifica, and a few more.  the list is long and there isn’t enough room for all of them!  We’ll start getting them in the ground next spring.

Here are some photos of the garden taken yesterday.  Enjoy the season- fall is a great time to work in the garden!

Some of our bulbs arrived today and the bulk of them will be here by the end of the week. Most of the bulbs we’re carrying have been grown in our garden; since we liked them so much, we’re offering them for sale.  And then a few are new for us-  we were intrigued, and hope you are too!

Here’s a list of what we’re carrying this year with some of our own photos and  some taken from that great library called “the internet”.  If you scroll over the image and leave your curser there for a second, it will reveal the name of the bulb depicted in the photo.  Enjoy the show and see you soon!

  • Allium ‘Christophii’
  • Allium ‘Gladiator’
  • Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Allium aflatuense 'Purple Sensation'

  • Chionodoxa Lucilliae

Chionodoxa labitica

  • Crocus Chrysanthus ‘Cream Beauty’
  • Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’
  • Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’

Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor"

Crocus chrysanthus 'Cream Beauty'

  • Eremurus himalaicus
  • Eremurus ruiter ‘Cleopatra’
  • Fritillaria persica

images-2 images-1 images

  • Iris danfordiae
  • Iris histrioides ‘Katherine Hodgkin’
  • Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

iris histrioides 'Katherine Hodges'

Iris reticulata

  • Muscari ‘Valleri Finnis’
  • Muscari ‘Dark Eyes’

Muscari armeniacum

  • Narcissus ‘Fortissimo’

Narcissus 'Fortissimo'

  • Narcissus ‘Hillstar’

Narcissus 'Hillstar'

  • Narcissus ‘Katie Heath’

Narcissus 'Katie Heath'

  • Narcissus ‘Professor Einstein’
  • Narcissus ‘Palmares’
  • Narcissus ‘Altruist’
  • Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’

  • Narcissus ‘Thalia’

Narcissus Thalia

  • Narcissus ‘Accent’
  • Narcissus ‘Sailboat’

Narcissus 'Sailboat'

  • Narcissus ‘Pistachio’

  • Scilla siberica

Scilla sibirica

  • Tulip ‘American Dream’
  • Tulip ‘Daydream’
  • Tulip ‘Ivory Floradale’
  • Tulip ‘Kingsblood’
  • Tulip ‘KungFu’

  • Tulip ‘New Design’
  • Tulip ‘Passionale’
  • Tulip ‘Princess Irene’
  • Tulip pulchella violacea
  • Tulip saxitallis

Tulipa pulchella 'Violacea'Tulipa 'Princess Irene'

  • Tulip ‘World Expression’
  • Tulip ‘Antoinette’
  • Tulip ‘Ballerina’
  • Tulip clusiana ‘Cynthia’
  • Tulip ‘Early Harvest’
  • Tulip ‘Apricot Impression’

Tulips 'Ballerina'  (the orange ones)Tulipa kauffmanii 'Early Harvest'Tulipa kauffmanii 'Early Harvest'

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