Six on Saturday. Fleeting Beauties.

When I did my Top Ten April Blooms post several bloggers politely suggested that I can’t count. So as I join in with Six On Saturday this week I will keep careful tally. This first week of May we have to start with blossom.

1 Blossom. There seems to be lots of beautiful apple blossom this year. I hope it’s not too cold for the bees.

Apple Blossom

Even prettier than apple blossom are the cup -shaped flowers of the quince tree, Cydonia oblonga. They are white just lightly tinged with pink.  They have lilac stamens and are  fragrant. I grow the variety called ‘Vranja’. Last year I had an abundance of golden fruit.

Cydonia oblonga ‘Vranja’ Quince blossom

I used to have a lovely little crab apple tree called Malus transitoria. It had dainty white blossom and fruit which looked like a profusion of little yellow beads. The tree was too big to bring with me when I moved, but I am delighted that the tree I grew from seed turned out be very similar to its parent.

Malus transitoria from seed.

Can I count Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’ as blossom? It is  covered with pristine white blooms, what a shame they don’t last longer.

Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’

Now there might have been four pictures but it is all blossom so it counts as one. Anyway, that’s how I count it. So now I will move on to number two.

2. Roses. I have two roses which always bloom in April. As I was going away, I wrote my Top Ten April Bloom post in the first half of April so these two didn’t get featured. They are still looking lovely. First is the primrose yellow ‘Canary Bird’ which makes a large spreading shrub.

Rosa xanthina  ‘Canary Bird’

Rosa xanthina ‘Canary Bird’

The second, ‘Helen Knight’ is deeper yellow, rather like extra rich butter from Jersey cows. The flowers are slightly  larger.

Rosa ecae ‘Helen Knight’

Rosa ecae ‘Helen Knight’

3. Peonies. My first tree peony is coming into bloom, it has huge soft pink flowers.

Paeonia suffriticosa. Tree Peony.

I went all the way to the Gargano in Puglia, Italy hoping to find Paeonia mascula growing in the forest. Meanwhile back in my own garden it was blooming away and this is the last flower, at least I didn’t miss every bloom. How sad that some of the most exciting flowers are so fleeting. I seem to have missed the yellow Paeonia mlokosewitschii, ‘Molly the Witch’ entirely.

Paeonia mascula ssp.mascula

4 Camassias.
Another really fleeting flower is the starry blue Camassia. One clump of Camassia leichtlinii  bloomed whilst I was away and I missed it completely. But this dark blue one, Camassia cusickii blooms slightly later and is still looking good.

Camassia cusickii.

5 Dwarf Irises. Irises are another brief floral pleasure. I love little Iris pumila but I wish it would hang around for longer.

Now I have seen them growing in meadows in the Gargano peninsula, Puglia I want to seek out Iris bicapitata and Iris pseudopumila and grow them en masse. There were enormous variations but Christina and I voted these next  two our  favourites.

Wild Iris. Monte Sacro,  Gargano.

Wild Iris. Monte Sacro. Gargano

6. Gladiolus tristis. It is difficult to choose number six because so far I have not featured any tulips this year which is a sad omission. And in the greenhouse Geranium maderense is in full glorious bloom. But I have decided to go with the modest beauty of South African Gladiolus tristis. What a strange name for it, as there is nothing sad about this beautiful flower.  It must be the earliest gladiolus to bloom. It is difficult to imagine anything further away from Dame Edna Evarage’s oversized monstrosities than this delicate flower. It is the palest lemon with green stripes. And as if this wasn’t enough it is fragrant. I have read that it is not reliably hardy but mine has lived outside for three years now.

Gladiolus tristis


Gladiolus tristis

I have some really lovely epimediums that I would love to share with you but I can’t see anyway to sneak them in and I’m getting a bit sensitive about people telling me that I can’t count. So there we have my Six on Saturday. Many thanks to The Propagator for hosting this meme. It is the second anniversary and an ever- increasing circle of people round the world are sharing six things each Saturday. So a celebration is in order. It is always a lot of fun, so do join in.

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48 Responses to Six on Saturday. Fleeting Beauties.

  1. On Chloris such beautiful blooms in your garden. The tree peony is exquisite, I love iris gingerbread and those camassias. Fab

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Dorris. The tree peony was here when I came and I like the way it blooms early. But the ones I get excited about are the ones that I grew from seed but they are not quite there yet; perhaps next week with a bit of sun. Sorry I have just realised that I madd a mistake, the Iris is ‘Gingerbread Man’, not ‘Gingerbread’.

      • Gingerbread man, I shall remember that when I’m looking at iris sellers. I am so impressed that you have grown your peonies from seed but I do like your inherited one, really lovely

  2. fredgardener says:

    Camassia flowers are very pretty. I discovered last week Camassia cusickii, thinner and also nice…
    Your Paeonia suffriticosa is gorgeous. After the paeonia delavayi that I purchased, a suffriticosa will be the next
    Nothing to see but Puglia is a very beautiful place of Italy to visit. I went there a long time ago I was 12 years old and I think it was there that was the start of my passion for plants

    • Chloris says:

      Peony time is always eagerly awaited in my garden. I love the single species varieties but the big blowsy sumptuous ones are irresistible.

  3. There are so many beautiful blooms I’m glad you can’t count. The apple and quince blossom looks so fresh and beautiful. I love peering into peonies as they open – you have captured the moment beautifully.

  4. bcparkison says:

    Beautiful if only for a short time. That yellow rose is especially pretty.

  5. What a beautiful selection – I love them all, those yellow roses, the tree peony, the Exochorda, dwarf irises and Gladiolus tristis (does that mean sad gladiolus?)

  6. Christina says:

    Glad you didn’t miss too much while you were away; a bed full of the glorious Gargano Irises would be wonderful.

  7. Heyjude says:

    Your Gladiolus tristis is so pretty and would look nice along with my Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus (Whistling Jacks) which is just beginning to open. And that crab apple is not too shabby either 😉

    • Chloris says:

      I have seen Whistling Jacks growing wild in Cornwall, they are lovely and spread so well. Gladiolus tristis doesn’t seed around, I must remember to collect some seed.

  8. cavershamjj says:

    Wow that exochorda is quite something. Mine it very poor in comparison!

  9. Lora Hughes says:

    There’s nothing like fruit tree blossoms, the way they get packed together on a tree. Love that tree peony. I’ve been teetering on the verge of getting one & your photo doesn’t help me resist!

    • Chloris says:

      This tree peony was here when I came but it never has more than a handful of blooms. The three that I grew from seed are big bushes and will shortly be covered in flowers. They take 6 or 7 years to bloom from seed but it is worth the wait.

      • Lora Hughes says:

        I imagine they are, based on everyone’s photos. At my age, however . . . do you have any idea why the one you inherited doesn’t bloom well?

      • Chloris says:

        I think my seed grown ones are a different variety. The seed catalogue called them Paeonia rockii and I imagined I was going to get beautiful white flowers with maroon centres. The bees had been busy though so they were shades of pink and magenta but still with the lovely dark centres. I believe the correct name for them is Paeonia ‘Gansu Mudan’. I will post about them when they are in bloom, they are gorgeous.

  10. Kris P says:

    So it appears that we’re entering what I think of as peak peony envy period. I shall go outside momentarily to berate my 2 pitiful specimens for their failures. I’m very impressed by your Gladiolus too.

    • Chloris says:

      Ah yes, very soon I shall be doing some blatant boasting when my three seed grown tree peonies are looking their best. They are full of buds. Gladiolus tristis would do well for you I should think.

  11. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    The Helen Knight rose is a beauty. I’ve seen a lot of camassias on SoS lately. I may have to give them a go.

  12. Jim Stephens says:

    So many things get left out of sixes at this time of year I find, sometimes it moves me to do a blog midweek to give them their moment, more often not. Helen Knight and Gladiolus tristis have been added to the wanted list.

    • Chloris says:

      Well. I can thoroughly recommend both. I don’t know why Helen Knight isn’t grown more often, it is nice to have such an early rose and it is always smothered with flowers.

  13. What a colourful six! I particularly liked the Gladiolus tristis . … I am glad you chose this instead of tulips… this is different 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      I would like to have this gladiolus in a pot as it is so deliciously fragrant at night. It would be lovely to bring it into the house as I don’t go snuffling about in my flower beds at night.

  14. Oh dear – I think that I was one of those bloggers casting nasturtiums on your counting abilities Chloris. Hangs head in shame! Do please tell us about the epimediums please! Gladiolus tristis is quite beautiful and if she can stand the winds in the east she must be made of fairly stern stuff.

    • Chloris says:

      I know Anna, I am only joking, I can never resist sneaking a few extra flowers in. I don’t mind you casting nasty urchins. Gladiolus tristis is in a very sheltered place but I would like some in a pot too.

  15. bittster says:

    Such a beautiful collection, I love the peonies and yellow roses especially. There’s something about the rose leaves, the folding and crinkling perhaps, but it’s something melianthus also shows and that’s another thing not hardy enough for here. The roses would be hardy, but I suspect riddled by disease.
    I should have looked at the tree peony a little longer at the garden center. Such a fat bud coming along and it would have been so exciting considering my species seedlings are still years away from flower.
    Enjoy May!

    • Chloris says:

      These two roses are very healthy and never get rust or blackspot. If you ever come across Helen Knight, she is worth a try. Peonies do take a while to bloom but they are worth the effort.

  16. Frog says:

    Oh, very beautiful ! I am impressed you grew tree paeonies from seed ! That little iris is very interesting – I only have ordinary purple bearded iris from a neighbour but I really love them. If only they lasted longer ! In my small garden, I can’t let them multiply as much as they would like to but I wouldn’t be without them. Thank you for sharing this fine selection !

    • Chloris says:

      The tree peonies take 7 years to bloom from seed but it is worth the wait, they are stunning. Maybe if you are short of room you could try some dwarf iris.

  17. Cathy says:

    Your garden must be awash with blossom and blooms Chloris – beautiful even if fleeting. That gladiolus is very pretty and something I will look out for.

  18. snowbird says:

    With a garden like yours you simply have to refuse to count, I would…so, I now appoint you Head Gardener of the gardening blogging world. Arise Queen Chloris, one of the many privileges of your new position results in NO counting…EVER.
    Hasn’t the blossom been delightful this year? Yours is lovely. LOVING that pink peony….just stunning!!! I love gingerbread too, the one you sent me is a little like that, it’s spreading but not flowering

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you very much Dina. Counting is not my strong point and I always want to slip a few extras in, specially at this time of the year when everything is so wonderful. I’m sorry your iris hasn’t bloomed yet, I hope it will next year.

  19. Oh, I love that ‘Canary Bird’ rose! So gorgeous! The Exochorda is a new one to me.

    • Chloris says:

      I love these early blooming roses, they are always smothered in bloom. Exochorda is a delight. It’s common name is ‘Pearl Bush’ because the buds look like pearls. But as you know I have no truck with common names.

  20. tonytomeo says:

    I do not think of quince blossoms as pretty. I just grow them for the fruit. I suppose they are pretty, I just don’t notice them much. They bloom after the foliage unfurls, so they don’t stand out like apple or pear blossoms do.
    I do dig the Gladiolus trisits though! I have not grown them yet, but I did get some Gladiolus papilio last year from another writer. I as SO pleased to try a small perennial gladiolus. I like the showier ones too, but they do not get enough chill to naturalize here.

    • Chloris says:

      I grow quince trees because I think the blossom is so pretty. Here they bloom after the leaves appear. The fruit looks lovely too but a little goes a long way. I have Gladiolus papilio too and it has a modest charm, Gladiolus tristis has much larger flowers.

  21. antonia_ says:

    Beautiful flowers!

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