Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Fritillaria & Mahonia

Fritillaria is a pretty bulb plant which name means a cup for dice, has also popular names 'snake's head' or 'chess flower'. The plant is represented by 179 species, common in the temperate zone of Europe, Asia and North America. Places of growth of different species can be separated from each other for thousands of kilometers and be in different climatic and natural conditions.

I grow Fritillaria of two species: white Fritillaria Meleagris alba and Fritillaria
Meleagris beautifully marked. Meleagris alba grow between tujas since many years. I'd planted 5 bulbs of the 'chess flower' Fritillaria last year. As you see the only one of these Frittilaria bulbs  blooms, others have no buds.

Fritillaria bulbs should be always planted in groups of one species, imitating natural clusters of plants. Large species are magnificent in single planting, especially since they bloom much earlier than other ornamental flowers. 

Low species look better in rock gardens. Fritillaria of especially small species are grown in pots, several plants can be grown in one container.

My another plant of this post is Мahonia aquifolia. This plant is found in the west of North America, in forests and on slopes. It's enough drought resistant, evergreen shrub up to 1.5 m tall, has interesting large, leathery, shiny leaves.

In my garden Mahonia blooms from mid-May for a month, sometimes blooms again in October. Elliptical, dark blue edible, sweet-sour fruits up to 1 cm ripen in August or September if weather is not warm enough. Thus the bush gets a unique originality.

Mahonia is a cross-pollinated plant. I grow 2 plants and they yet have not had fruits. But they say that if cross-pollination is successful, then the plant may be covered with fruits. So I will wait for the berries :-).

Do you grow these plants in your garden or balcony? What is your experience?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

My Garden in Mid-May

rose floribunda   

It's mid-May. The long-awaited spring is here. The beginning of May was cold +5 C (40F), dark clouds with snow and hail. Then it became warmer, the leaves on roses began to grow, the sun appeared every day, the grass turned green again.

               climbing rose 'Flamentantz'

What makes me happy this spring? The greenhouse. I sowed parsley, coriander, celery, lettuce, everything grew, despite the first cold May days, because the greenhouse is warming up in the sun. Petunia and begonia seedlings, decorative bush cuttings are also there.


Nature finally came to it sense. The night/day temperature is +10 C/ +20 C (50/68 F) leaves began fast growing on gooseberry and currant bushes, lilac, elderberry, lonicera, dogwood and physocarpus.


Black currant


Sambucus (elderberry)

Daffodils and scillas bloom beautifully, hyacinths and tulips started opening due to warm days. I hope to see all my tulips in full bloom soon.



Spiraea 'Golden globe' looks nice. Its young yellow-orange leaves decorate the green lawn. I love this plant because I always prune spirea to have a nice spherical yellow bush.

spiraea 'Golden globe'

I was worried about rhododendrons, their wintering. Now they are fine, evergreens and azaleas have many flower buds.

rhododendron 'Helsinki University'

azalea 'Mandarin light'

Plum trees are in bloom

What is the weather in your place? How are your plants in May?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Winter Garden in Helsinki, Finland

I was recently in Helsinki, the capital of Finland and visited an interesting greenhouse called the Winter Garden.  
Many flowering plants, cacti, orchids, calla lilies, daffodils, hyacinths, clivia, as well as chicken figures and painted eggs decorated the greenhouse on Easter week. I was fascinated by the Winter Garden.


The Winter Garden founded in 1893, has been a resting place for Helsinki residents for more than a century. No matter what time of year it is, an exquisite oasis of exotic plants invites you to take a tour of the greenery. In addition to plants, spray drops in the pools delight visitors.


Especially on a cold day, when the temperature outside is not comfortable, this elegant greenhouse feels like a hot tropical paradise with exotic flowers.

There is the Palm room with tall palms, island pines and over hundred-year-old camellia trees. 

I liked a space with tables and chairs provides a beautiful view over the palm room and fish pond with a cute little fountain.

Today, the Helsinki Winter Garden contains a good collection of more than 200 plant species in 3 halls. One of them presents a collection of desert flowers, succulents and cacti.

I was glad the fact that Winter Garden is located just a few kilometers from the center of Helsinki, admission is free.

Source: internet