Narcissus x medioluteus

Twin Sisters / Cemetery Ladies / April Beauties (13 W-Y) (Narcissus x medioluteus)

I became curious this week about my last-to-bloom narcissus. With its white perianths and very small cup coronas it’s been in my April garden since 2014.

N. ‘King Alfred’, ‘Tete-a-Tete’ and ‘Thalia’ are all finished just as this little one is starting to open. I wondered why the flowers sit inside the middle of the foliage and what to call it and tried to remember where I bought it.  It was I think just a little temptation in the small floral section of a neighborhood grocery, just a few bulbs lacking identification but packaged to entice.

Surprisingly quickly I found images online that matched my narcissus, read several stories about others who also searched for more information about this daffodil and concluded this is Narcissus x medioluteus.  (Please let me know if you doubt or have more information.)  It is a naturally-occurring hybrid between Narcissus poeticus and Narcissus tazetta. First discovered in France it is naturalized in many places now, including my state of North Carolina in the US.

Twin Sisters / Cemetery Ladies / April Beauties (13 W-Y) (Narcissus x medioluteus)

The common names I came across most frequently are cemetery ladies or twin sisters—twin sisters because they usually have a pair of flowers on each stem; cemetery ladies because they were often planted around graves in old cemeteries. That they normally exist in pairs threw me at first. I hadn’t at first noticed second buds piggy-backing on the stems, but yes, sure enough.

Twin Sisters / Cemetery Ladies / April Beauties (13 W-Y) (Narcissus x medioluteus)

Other common names for this little daffodil are Primrose-peerless, April beauty, loving couples, pale narcissus,  two-flowered narcissus. The poignant “Cemetery ladies”is the one I shall most likely remember.

Twin Sisters, Cemetery Ladies (13 W-Y) (Narcissus x medioluteus)

Division 13 – Daffodils distinguished solely by Botanical Name
Consists of the Species, Wild Variants, and Wild Hybrids found in natural daffodils.

Twin Sisters / Cemetery Ladies / April Beauties (13 W-Y) (Narcissus x medioluteus)

In A Vase On Monday – Cerinthe With Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Cerinthe With Pink

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

I noticed some of the cerinthe is beginning to set seed. It’s the first time I’ve really seen it bloom so I’m not sure if cutting it will help it keep growing, but it seemed like a good choice to feature in this week’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Cerinthe With Pink

Small stems of redbud and spirea were used as color accents.

In A Vase On Monday – Cerinthe With Pink

A Fenton handpainted glass vase echoes the colors displayed in the cerinthe and makes the redbud pop.

In A Vase On Monday – Cerinthe With Pink

Materials
Flowers
Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Foliage
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Container
Hand painted Fenton Glass Vase – USA

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Sights and Sounds At Easter

Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’

It is a beautiful Easter weekend in Chapel Hill. We will wait to see how the hydrangeas do but otherwise the garden survived a couple nights of below freezing temperatures. Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ is the second iris to appear this spring. It opened just before the cold snap but looked cheerful afterwards.

Soon gracefully nodding columbine flowers will be open everywhere in the garden, as well as in  many places beyond where it decided to wander. This first one to open is homesteading in a south-facing position next to the drive.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

This past week I have watched peonies rising with amazing speed. Peony ‘Coral Charm’ is always the most eager to bloom.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

I counted a dozen buds.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Here are a few flowers and a video with birdsong from yesterday’s Instagram post.

 

My husband and I went retro yesterday and colored eggs for the first time in many years. If you are looking for a creative way to be in the present moment, I recommend dye. Watching its transformation brings on a true sense of awe and wonder.  Wishing you all a wonderful Spring day on this Easter Sunday.

Easter Eggs

In A Vase On Monday – Fanciful Flight

In A Vase On Monday – Fanciful Flight

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

This Ikebana-style design reminds me of flying or dancing.

In A Vase On Monday – Fanciful Flight

While Heuchera leaves reach out and stretch away from the vase, an arching piece of spirea  sports tiny stems playfully pointing upwards. I had intended to use the white flowers of spirea but removed them on a whim.

A young camellia bud leans forward and up; its fully open counterpart keeps the entire design gently grounded.

In A Vase On Monday – Fanciful Flight

Muscari adds texture and balances the deep coral of the camellia.

In A Vase On Monday – Fanciful Flight

Materials
Flowers
Camellia ‘Coral Delight’
Muscari ‘Armeniacum’
Foliage
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Spirea Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Fanciful Flight

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Friday Blue And Whites

It has been a busy week of weeding and mulching the garden but there is more to do, always more. Several hours before dawn we awoke to a powerful lightning storm but it carried little rain so far.  I ventured outside around eight o’clock to secure the tarp covering my mulch and to catch a few quick pictures.

In the past couple days the spirea has opened even more fully.

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Muscari is finally visible above the greenery of this bulbs planted in 2018.

Muscari ‘Armeniacum’

Anemones are awesome flowers. I have planted many over the years but few actually have made it to this stage. These were planted several years ago.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

More of the cerinthe flowers have opened.  Hope they seed all around.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

Candytuft is one of my favorite groundcovers. This is a small patch planted 20 years ago in a front sidewalk border.  Try as I might I cannot seem to get it to thrive in other areas of the garden for very long.

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Have a safe and happy weekend.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

I gathered the first Thalia Daffodils this morning thinking they would feature in today’s vase. Stems of spirea, camellias, snowflakes and bits of foliage of different sorts, including fresh rosettes of unfurling columbine–all collected up as well.

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

But hellebores being conditioned in a drinking glass engaged my attention and inspired me to use them on their own without adornment.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

For a container today I had already decided to use my grandmother’s burgundy teapot so I shifted the hellebores into it.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

Three sprigs of Cerinthe seemed to add a nice final touch.

Helleborus x hybridus

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

Helleborus x hybridus

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

Materials
Flowers
Helleborus hybridus
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Foliage
Container
Grandma’s Teapot. McCormick Tea, Baltimore Md., Made In USA (some history of this teapot)

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to try arranging flowers to share. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Spring Opening 2021

Vernal Equinox: March 20, 2021 5:37 am.

Spring officially arrived this morning in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

After a week of severe weather warnings here on Thursday we saw only light rain showers on a day that sadly brought damaging tornados nearby and across the region. 

I managed only a couple hours of cleanup this week but it was satisfying to measure a bit of progress. A delivery of mulch scheduled for mid-week is a huge incentive to get busy weeding today.

Narcissus ‘King Alfred’

In fall of 2018 I layered tulip and muscari bulbs in a big blue pot. Last year a few tulips surprised me with blooms but muscari foliage was the bigger surprise. It never died back last summer, nor over the winter. So there is a tangle of leaves with little flowers now beginning to open.

Muscari ‘Armeniacum’

Muscari ‘Armeniacum’

After the winter a crinum lily is lifted way above ground.  I read it should be planted with soil up to the neck of the bulb, which it was, but like my daughter who couldn’t tolerate turtlenecks as a child, the crinum didn’t like being restricted either apparently.  Is the solution to dump more soil around it? It is already growing new leaves. I also read these bulbs could grow to 20 pounds so getting the planting right early on is important.

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

I have tentatively identified a mystery plant in another pot as Matthiola incana (Stock). I think I pulled it up last fall by mistake and temporarily potted it until I could get back to it.

Matthiola incana (Stock -Giant Imperial Blend)

There is a very small clump of anemones starting to flower. Even one of these richly colored flowers is impactful when added to little bouquets of summer snowflakes and daffodils which I have been happily sharing with neighbors.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

Some of the Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’ planted last year but enjoyed only by the rabbits have begun to emerge. The Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ is waking up. Spiraea seems very late this year but a few flowers have begun to show.

Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

The hellebores continue to open and now the garden is looking more colorful when viewed more than six inches away.

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Before I finish I must mention I am haunted by the recent tragedy in Atlanta. Please keep in your thoughts the Asian women who were targeted and murdered this week. Amidst such suffering in the world we must find a way to bring compassion into our hearts.

Helleborus x hybridus

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a productive and exciting spring!

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

More spring-like weather moved the garden along this week so there was a bit of choice as to what could go in this week’s vase. I gathered various flowers but settled on a large bunch of summer snowflakes to serve as background for cerinthe.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Only two stems of cerinthe proved ready to cut but I forged ahead, styling the flowers in a very pretty blue wine glass I thought would complement the cerinthe.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Unfortunately the distinctive blue color and etched pattern of the glass disappeared once filled with the green snowflake stems and the vase turned rather bland. The glass was a bit too tall as well, making the proportions seem off.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

I shifted to placing coral-hued camellias in little containers, thinking I could group them with the glass of cerinthe and snowflakes. The effect was still not what I had in mind.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Eventually I settled on using just the trio of camellia flowers, two in vodka shot glasses and one floating atop a milk glass punch cup.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

I was happy with the camellias but not quite satisfied that the cerinthe didn’t make the cut. So I tried the snowflakes and cerinthe in a Caithness bud vase. The vase color worked this time but the opening was much too small to hold many stems.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Materials
Flowers
Camellia ‘Coral Delight’
Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Foliage
Camellia
Container
Assorted glassware; Punch cup paneled grape Milk Glass (Westmoreland); and Caithness glass bud vase

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Regardless of vase styles or arranging collections of vases, at this time of year each flower seems perfect—all make the cut.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to try arranging flowers to share. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Approaching Mid-March 2021

More hellebores are in flower. These, planted along the north side of the house in 2016, came from Pine Knot Farms (PKF) in southern Virginia. They have not bulked up much in all these years but I am happy to see them again.

Helleborus ’Black Diamond’ (Winter Jewels® Black Diamond)

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Apricot Blush’ (seedlings)

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Apricot Blush’ (seedlings)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Also in the northern side garden this camellia is looking fine today. Just a few days ago its buds barely revealed color so I was surprised it opened so suddenly.  Last year it bloomed 10 days earlier.

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

The weather has been delightful all week, spirit-lifting really. On several days I managed to spend a few hours weeding and performing general clean-up. It is taking longer than expected but far from being a chore this year I am finding the tasks to be immensely satisfying.

Unknown Narcissus (Daffodil)

I showed these cerinthe flowers recently but am compelled by their rich colors to share them again.  I planted seeds last May in two locations. There is no sign of them in the back garden location, but this spot beside the house and next to the driveway is where they found happiness.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

Wordless Wednesday – Spring By The Front Corner

Daphne odora (Winter daphne) – View from front porch

Daphne odora (Winter daphne) – View from front porch

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

As each week begins Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

The increasing hours of daylight are a gift that cannot go unremarked.  Spring is in the air. Since last Monday one small patch of Tete-a-Tete daffodils opened with conviction, dancing and swaying in the sunlight (yay, there was actual sunshine the past week). I filled the vase with a mass of the solid yellow flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

Tips of spiraea branches still in tight bud were used to lighten and lift the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

Materials
Flowers
Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)
Foliage
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Container
Hand-thrown Seagrove Pottery (olive-artichoke glaze)

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Wordless Wednesday – Signs

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake) hanging above Columbine

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’

Helleborus Honeymoon ® ‘Vegas Nights’

Helleborus Honeymoon ® ‘Vegas Nights’

Helleborus Honeymoon ® ‘Vegas Nights’

Helleborus Honeymoon ® ‘Vegas Nights’

In A Vase On Monday – Glimpse Of Spring

In A Vase On Monday – Glimpse Of Spring

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share each Monday a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Glimpse Of Spring

Cold and rain are due back Monday but Sunday brought respite—sunshine and temperatures reaching 77 degrees. Mostly weeds are blooming here, but also I spotted the first yellow of daffodil, not quite open but the sighting is reassuring.  

Around the garden hellebores at last are filling out and I included a creamy double in today’s vase. It proved to be floppy-headed but I could not be deterred.

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

The rich color of Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ is thrilling to see. I find it very difficult to grow and after many years of introducing new corms again only a couple of plants have shown up.

I grew ‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe from seed last year. It got off to a late start and suffered through last summer’s heat. But a few plants have overwintered. I am not sure if the mottled appearance of the leaves is normal but all the plants turned out this way.  I have seen cerinthe in other’s Monday vases that is more dark purplish and green and had expected this to look similar.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Daphne odora appeared ready to bloom a few weeks ago. I found one stem with flowers that have opened but most are still holding back. The lemony fragrance is delectable.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Materials
Flowers
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Daphne odora (Winter daphne)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Foliage
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Glimpse Of Spring

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share each Monday a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

While so many people suffered from snow, ice and lost power, we felt fortunate to have had merely another cold, rainy week and then the winter sun even reigned over the weekend. Late afternoon yesterday I gathered hellebores and placed them into one of my favorite containers, a porcelain Ikebana vase titled Rectangle Blue Zen.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

The hellebores are very late this year and most have not begun blooming. These come from a patch along the north side of our house.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

Materials
Flowers
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Foliage
None
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Zen

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what surprises she and others found to place in a vase this week.

In A Vase On Monday – February Mini

In A Vase On Monday – February Mini

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share each Monday a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

More rain has kept the garden drenched, but the sun has sparkled here and there. Days seem longer and I feel general optimism that spring is nearby.  The hellebores and winter daphne remain timid about blooming, but even one open winter daphne flower is a fragrant treat.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

The purple, heavy glass dish measure 3-inches in diameter and may actually be a candle holder, although I bought it several years ago for tiny flowers.

A couple of indoor cyclamen offered up one bloom each for this week’s diminutive vase. I also braved cutting one of 4 orchid stems from a gifted Christmas plant to make the purple vase pop.

In A Vase On Monday – February Mini

In A Vase On Monday – February Mini

Materials
Flowers
Cyclamen
Orchid
Foliage
Daphne odora (Winter daphne)
Container
Purple glass vase, 3-inch diameter

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what surprises she and others found to place in a vase this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Tardy

In A Vase On Monday – Tardy

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share each Monday a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Tardy

As it is Tuesday there is no denying my unpunctuality so I have duly noted it in my title. The hellebores and winter daphne deserve their share of the title as well—both seem a bit late this year by at least two weeks compared to last year.

A couple of hellebores braved 2021 last week and a few more buds are visible at ground level, but I had thought there would be plenty in flower by this week’s vase time. Instead of flowers we have suffered rain (sorry Kris!).  Sunday it was pouring rivers all day long, perhaps the hellebores were glad they had stayed tucked away. I know more hellebores will be open soon so I gathered what I could.

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Similarly Daphne odora (Winter daphne), which first flowered last year on January 6, is delayed by comparison; however, my two shrubs promise many flowers and rich fragrance in due time.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Materials
Flowers
Helleborus x hybridus
Foliage
Daphne odora (Winter daphne)
Lavender
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Wishing you a great week.  Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what surprises she and others found to place in a vase this week.

Wordless Wednesday – Beginnings

Helleborus x hybridus First hellebore to bloom this year–this one opened yesterday in the northern side garden.

Helleborus x hybridus First hellebore to bloom this year–this one opened yesterday in the northern side garden.

Helleborus x hybridus First hellebore to bloom this year–this one opened yesterday in the northern side garden.

Helleborus x hybridus opened today in southwest corner of the garden.