Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June Blooms

click on collages if you'd like to enlarge them.

Better late than never, here's some of what's blooming here this month, starting at the top, left to right - Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red,' and a new salvia - 'Blue Hill,' planted near the veggie garden to (hopefully) attract more pollinators there, and lamium, which will bloom off and on all summer.

2nd row: a dragon wing begonia, an experimental Pelargonium with Spring Fling Supertunia courtesy of Proven Winners (the experiment is a geranium/Pelargonium in very little sun - less than 3 hours a day of filtered sunlight, budding and blooming very nicely,) and double impatiens in a hanging basket.

3rd row: Geranium 'Rozanne,' Oxalis triangularis, which has seen three summers, overwintered indoors the last two years, and a pansy still looking good in our (so far) cool spring.
Again starting from the top left, this is the last, and always the sturdiest Digitalis grandiflora of three. They were among the first perennials I planted here 6 springs ago. I'll be saving seeds later this summer in case it doesn't come back next year. Next are Campanula carpatica, a pretty little thing with a long bloom period, a squash blossom, and Geranium sanguineum var. striatum.

2nd row: yes, that's a mum blooming in June. Billed as a 'spring blooming mum,' and very cheap at the big box store, I got two of them, this one and an orange. Spring-planted mums are more likely to survive winter. In my last house I had a bunch of mums planted in the spring that came back year after year. I'll probably take some cuttings of these two - mums are very easy to start from cuttings. After the mum, a pea blossom, Aquilegia 'Cardinal,' (a/k/a columbine,) and a mini-rose that's been blooming in part sun for six years, along with a red one.

3rd row: another Geranium sanguineum, this one is a/k/a bloody cranesbill - one of the few plants brought here from a previous garden, it's been very slow establishing, but has hung on for six years. This is the first year it's been of any size at all, blooming for about a month, and I accidentally broke off most of it pulling maple helicopters out of the mulch. Next is Nepeta x faassenii 'Blue Wonder,' a shorter catmint. I've grown this one for years in previous gardens. It may be heresy to some, but I like it much better than Walkers Low or other tall catmints. Next is a pepper blossom. Don't ask me what kind, as none of the peppers (or tomatoes) were labeled. Did I ever mention I like surprises?

The last photo is Juneberries (a/k/a serviceberry,) an Amelanchier, an unknown cultivar, maybe canadensis, that's been here for many years. I know, they're not blooms, but they're pretty and fleeting - thought I'd get a shot of them before the birds gobble them up. June berries are very tasty - sort of a cross between a cherry and a blueberry. They're more seed than berry, and we leave them for the birds who will be spending a lot of time in this beautiful shrub as the berries ripen over the next couple of weeks. As if serviceberries weren't beautiful enough to recommend themselves on their own, the varieties of birds they bring into the garden in June makes them must-have shrubs for me.

This is finally the year this shady garden is beginning to come into its own. I'm sure the copious rain this spring hasn't hurt. But after six years, although it will never be 'done,' the garden is full of plants. There are no big empty spots anymore. Older plants are establishing well, and newer plants are thriving. There were a lot of natives added this spring, but then, that's a whole other post(s) for another time.
Here's one full-size photo. This is Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo,' planted in spite of dire warnings of its invasiveness. Spreading by above-ground rhizomes, I find it's very easy to keep in check. I love it's evergreen foliage, (often red over the winter and in early spring,) it's long bloom period, and the wonderful, spicy fragrance of the foliage.

Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens, who I got to meet at Spring Fling (and she's a sweetheart,) for hosting Garden Blogger's Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.


  1. Lovely blooms. I am feeling optimistic about my Red Husker seedling having seen your one but I think I may have to wait another year for it to establish.

  2. Hi Linda, ooh, collages! My favorite are the service berries! Actually, my mums regularly get buds by this time of year, but I cut them off (note to self: go outside and cut off buds) to delay the blooms until fall(ish).

  3. Just beautiful, Linda! I love 'Biokovo' and don't mind it spreading..perfect photo with the statues!

  4. Linda how gorgeous is your garden girl !! LOL .. We share a lot of the same plants .. and my new little Serviceberry "Autumn Brilliance" has loads of berries too ! .. the mum thing .. I missed out on all the really pretty ones in the Spring .. I'm so mad at myself for that ! You are right about when they are planted and their survival .. next Spring I will be snapping the good ones up this time !!

  5. What's blooming makes a lovely collage. I like the way the statues have settled into the shade garden.

  6. Hi PG, I think you'll enjoy your penstemon. They're awfully pretty, and so graceful on a breeze. The bees and the hummingbirds love them here. Even though they're towards the back of the garden, I can see the bees visiting them from the patio by the way the flower stalks move.

    Mine are three years old. If they got more sun they'd probably be bigger, but I'm happy with their performance in dappled sunlight.

    Hi Monica, the rabbits already 'pruned' the blooms off the orange mum. I thought it would be just a matter of time before they got the pink one too, but since they haven't I should probably disbud it. I used to pinch my mums in May and July to keep them compact - maybe that's why they never bloomed so early.

    I thought the serviceberries were as pretty as any of the blooms. Since they disappear as soon as they turn red, I grabbed the chance to snap a photo!

    Thank you Lynn - I like the geranium there - the kids help keep it contained, and I like that there's something there behind them besides the tree for a little winter interest - I love the evergreen foliage.

    Thank you Joy! I've noticed that we have a lot of similar plants.

    You are tempting me sorely with those sumacs, let me tell ya! I just love them in the fall, but I'm a little afraid of how they spread.

  7. Thank you Donna! I really love those statues. I admired them in my sister's garden, and then she gave them too me when she moved. Those kids are hea-vy - good thing I don't have to bring them in for the winter!

  8. Lovely array of blooms. ~ bangchik

  9. Very interesting and pretty Linda! Thanks for identifying all of them. I have two perennial geraniums that are doing quite well too.

  10. My goodness, Linda, your garden is looking great in spite of all your time away from it! I don't think it's heresy at all to prefer your variety of nepeta; I have the "Walker's Low," and while I love it, I didn't realize just how big a space it would occupy. I want to add more shrubs around here; I'll have to remember the serviceberry. Looks like your vegetable garden is really thriving as well!

  11. So much blooming there Linda. I really like that colombine 'Cardinal'. I have mostly shade here and am on a colombine kick. Makes it simpler not to fight it. I enjoy hearing about your struggles with it too but your garden is most lovely!

  12. June is such a great month for gardens. Yours is looking great. A geranium that likes shade? I need some Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo. Your statues are lovely.

  13. Thank you Bangchik and Kakdah!

    You're quite welcome Beth. I'm mostly fairly relaxed about listing botanical names, but it's good exercise for me too, to keep track of them. I make myself do it every so often. Bloom Day's an especially good day for taking the time to identify them.

    Thank you Rose. I'll feel a lot better when maple helicopters are gone! Sheesh, that's a hellish job. Thank goodness I'm doing it in the shade.

    Walker's Low has such a deceiving name!!! In my last garden I tried it, and it was a little too thuggish for my liking. This smaller one is much-better behaved. It sprawls a bit here, but it's a very tidy and shapely mound in full sun. I just sort of 'direct' it's sprawl to best advantage. Pollinators adore it. Any nepeta that works in anyone's garden is worth having for that reason alone, and they're pretty and fragrant too.

    Hi Tina, I've always absolutely loved columbines. I have far fewer of them in more shade here than I ever had in less shade in previous gardens. This year I added Aquilegia canadensis. It will be fun to see how it, and current and future columbines play together!

    Columbines are one of my very, very favorite flowers, and there are so many different varieties and forms. Why fight it, right? Life's too short!

    Thank you K&V! I highly recommend 'Biokovo.' I'm very tempted to find a spot for a piece of this one where it can really stretch its legs. They establish and begin spreading pretty quickly, and make a really nice ground cover. I'm not sure if they're evergreen in your climate, but they are here.

    If you like, email me your address and I'll be happy to send you some of it. After it's finished blooming I'll be cutting it back some.

  14. Hi Linda~~Your blooming spring flowers make me feel so good...I love a garden that has columbine, serviceberry, roses and penstemon all blooming at the same time! I think the geranium Bioskova is destined for the Garden of Benign Neglect...I would love to see it wending its way about! Have a good day~~Gail

  15. Hi Gail! They make me feel good too! I love the garden best when I can just sit on the patio and take it all in.

    Hi GG, thanks for the visit!

  16. I like your collages. I really must work on figuring out how I can create good ones like yours. Your shade garden is lovely!

  17. Everything looks beautiful! Of course I love that 'Cardinal' columbine; we share a love of all things Aquilegia!

  18. Thank you Jean - the collages are pretty easy in Picasa. I had a slideshow, but google was having a temper tantrum with it - had to start from scratch and the collages seemed a good way to cram in as much as possible!

    Thank you Rose! Love those columbines - gotta get more!

  19. Like the Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo' -- invasive tendencies can be welcomes in unwelcoming spaces such as dry shade.

  20. All I got blooming in my garden are weeds. I'm really envious of all you have blooming.

  21. I couldn't agree more Helen! There's nothing invasive so far in this (normally) dry shade garden with one exception. We're having an unusually wet spring, but still the only things that are invasive are the silver maples. I do stay away from stuff that spreads by underground runners - those things scare me, dry shade or no.

    CG, I'll trade your weeds for all these blasted maple helicopters. I still have about 1/4th of the garden to go, and I have to pull back and sift through the mulch to get at all of them. They won't be composted here, and I've filled two large yard waste bags and part of a third hand-picking them.

    I'm seriously thinking about looking into those corn gluten pre-emergents, but they still don't solve the ugliness of millions of helicopters laying on top of the mulch. Ugh! And don't even ask me how my back feels. (Ouch!)

    Oh well, I'm getting a lot of buckthorn and other wind-blown invasive tree seeds in the process of doing this. Can't wait to be done!

  22. Hi there, Garden girl… it’s been a while :-)

    Wow… what wonderful colours and blooms you have in your garden just now… just stunning. Love the montages but having difficulty picking a fav plant from your garden but love the last pic. Well worth your six years of hard work I’d say. Happy Bloom Day :-D

    My post is up too if you would like to visit. I’ve videos for this month :-D

  23. Hi there Shirl! It sure has been a long time! I've missed visiting you - been so busy with Spring planning Fling, and getting caught up - now that it's over I'm starting to get my life back, even had time for some blog hopping today since it was rainy.

    I've already popped over to your blog, and am so glad to get an update on the goings-on in your garden. It was especially wonderful to see the blue tit fledgling and the hedgehog photo, and of course your garden is gorgeous as always!

  24. Anonymous10:58 PM

    You property looks like a good size. I've told you how tiny my garden is but I get a whole bunch of those helicopters here. I can't image having to keep up with them in a garden that is larger than mine. I just realized there is a tree growing under our front porch--with no direct sunlight!

    Feel bad that I'm going to have to cut it down.

  25. MBT, I think it's 1/3 to 1/2 acre, and the shade garden under the trees is pretty substantial, maybe 1/3rd or 1/4th of the back yard. It's a royal pain sifting through the mulch and pulling out the helicopters! But it's rewarding - it looks so much better, and I won't have as many seedlings to pull out.

    Silver maples will grow about anywhere it seems - they're worse than buckthorn in my yard. I love the shade but don't like the trees. at all. Good riddance to the one under your porch! I think cutting it down is about equivalent to stepping on a cockroach or squashing a slug.

  26. Anonymous11:39 PM

    You have very sweet gardens and so many blooms. I enjoyed the tour. I'm so jealous about that PW plant. I want one.

  27. Thank you Anna - glad you enjoyed the tour! Jealous. . . you? I'M jealous of all the Proven Winners plants you get to trial!

  28. Interesting to read about your pelargonium-in-the-shade, and your 'Biokovo' geranium. I have a shady patio (why, in Scotland, would anyone build a house with a SHADY patio??), and am always on the look-out for suggestions.


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