Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bloomday – held over for special extended coverage

If you’ve spent time on my blog you know I’ve been very excited about the first bloom on Clifford, our Magnolia macrophylla. Luckily he rewarded us with not only 1 bloom but 2. We were out of town when the first one opened but got to see the second one go from bud to open bloom. Here’s a recap… Even though it has turned brown it's still gorgeous...the petals are so thick and leathery!My Dracunculus vulgaris (Dragon Lily) also unfolded this week. While the smell isn’t nearly as powerful as that of the Voodoo Lily it is still strong enough attract a swarm of flies. There is something vaguely disturbing about getting close to a flower to photograph it and finding it is covered with flies. It’s all worth it though, this one is gorgeous! Up the street from us there is a (seemingly) deserted house; it’s the kind of place that kids would dare each other to go ring the doorbell of on Halloween, if kids still went out on Halloween. The house was built in ’48, I think the original blinds are still hanging in the windows, I hope the original owner isn’t still inside. The house has a built in brick planter under the front window, it’s full of Dracunculus vulgaris.
It’s terribly fitting that a spooky house has an entire jungle of these out front don’t ya think? Every year I’ve wanted to get a close up when they bloom, but always been a little afraid to get so near the house (lest a curse be placed on me), this year I finally did it. I wish I would have had a ruler with me to measure the longest bloom; it had to be at least 12”. I would love to know when they were planted and what the person who planted them was like. This isn’t your normal 50’s gardening housewife sort of plant.


  1. I love this post...chuckled throughout reading about the Dranunculus. I have several of them in the woodland. They come up all lush and vigorous, then flop over and die without blooming. Is it just a matter of time? I am also still waiting (6 years) for a magnolia to bloom. Thanks for dropping by my site...especially since it led me to yours. I have been hoping to find more PDXers in cyberspace. I'll be back.

  2. AnonymousJune 16, 2009

    DG~~ What a captivating mystery. There must be an "enchanting" story behind this enigmatic facade. Love the original blinds and peeling trim as well as the unconventional planting. LOL

  3. AnonymousJune 16, 2009

    I was so captivated by the Dranunculus I forgot to compliment you on your Magnolia blossom. Its pristine whiteness would make Martha Stewart jealous.

  4. Some of your close-ups just scream Georgia O'Keefe! Awesome shots!!!

  5. The magnolia is beautiful. I like it big and thick petals. And those dragon lilies look very unique to me. But the smell... hmmm... I am not sure... coz so many of them.

  6. Beautiful magnolia! Bizarre dracunculus!
    This post could have been called "Snow White and the Wicked Witch(es)."

    Thanks for the contrasts!

  7. Ricki - odd, I wish I knew more so I could help you. My Dranunculus has only been in the ground for a year, but then who knows how old it was before I bought it as it came from a plant rescue place. What kind of Magnolia do you have? Thank you for visiting!

    Grace - Glad you enjoyed the extended Dranunculus story. Martha jealous!? Wow, I've made the big time! Thank you.

    Island gardener - that is serious talk! Georgia O'Keefe!? Thank you!

    Stephanie - I wish you could feel the petals, they seriously were like the leather of a luxurious handbag! The smell really wasn't that bad, and it faded fast.

    Jane - I love it! I'm going to have to consult you for my future post titles!

  8. Those are the best magnolia flowers ever. You should start including a ruler for scale.
    BTW this is my favorite collection of bloomday pictures out of the history of bloomday, glad you did an extended post.

  9. What a great post - I have Dracunculus here in Zone 5 Ontario Canada, to my absolute amazement, but it hasn't flowered yet..... thankfully, as it is right next to the front porch. I never thought it would over-winter here without protection which it didn't receive because I knod of forgot about it..... I know! How could you possibly forget a plant that looks like this!

  10. Megan - thank you! I can't wait to see a whole tree full of the magnolia flowers someday (god I'm getting greedy). You are right about the ruler...but that's another thing to carry with me and some of my handbags aren't big enough! (maybe I should track down one of those cool folding ones). I am honored to be 'author' of your favored bloomday post.

    Teza - hey thanks for visiting! This is good to know, I will have to encourage my mom in zone 5 to give it a try. I wonder how I got so lucky that mine has bloomed? Maybe I got a really old bulb (tuber? - I don't know what it is)?

  11. wow, that is a weird window box plant. And so many. Spooky.


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