A peony seedling flowers for the first time, it is one of four that flowered from a batch of seeds from the American Peony Society. Most are lactiflora hybrids and I anticipate many more blooming next year in a variety of colors and forms.
This is the mountain columbine of Colorado, these seeds came from NARGS and some variations appeared which is expected when different aquilegias grow together as they often hybridize. There are quite a few other species near them so it will become a lovely mix of many mongrels in the future.
Crinum "Super Ellen" awakens from her long slumber under a wood chip mulch. Reputed to be as hardy or nearly as hardy as C. bulbispermum, "Super Ellen" has large pink flowers in summer. So far I have not been able to set seeds on it but some supposedly have had limited success.
This double Trillium grandiflorum came via way of gardening friends. It is supposed to have originally come from the late Harold Epstein's garden. I had never seen his gardens but I sure have heard about them, his epimedium collection among other things was legendary.
A Hedychium hybrid, probably based on H coccineum, emerges stronger than ever. Protected by its own dead foliage, wood chips, and a position right next to the house it has made it through several winters including a bad one or two. Later in summer the orange fragrant flowers appear on tall stems.
A lovely Pacific Coast Iris flowers for the first time. These hybrids based on species found mainly in California and Oregon are very pretty low growing irises. They have been bred such that they come in an amazing array of colors, color combinations, and flower shapes but are almost never seen outside of the West Coast, the UK, and New Zealand. The ancestral species include some that may not be so well adapted to cope with our winters and summers but some are, and by growing them from seed or getting divisions of plants proven to survive here they can be grown successfully. Breeding them here in the east would enable the creation of strains well adapted to our weather, which is needed since the best breeding has been done in very mild California conditions so many if not most of those varieties may not do well here. One other hindrance to their commercial success is that they need to be transplanted rather quickly when it is cool and they are in active growth, ideally early spring. They are not like bearded iris in that they cannot go bone dry before planting nor do they seem to like being divided up in the heat of summer. However, seeds are readily started under cool conditions indoors in fall or winter and can be transplanted to the garden in spring before it gets hot so they can establish themselves. Plants can bloom in three years from seeds.