Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June Bloom Day

It's hard to believe it's already mid-June - time for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, when garden bloggers around the globe play show and tell with what's blooming in their gardens on the 15th of each month. June has been by turns, hot, humid, and sunny, other times, cool, humid, and rainy. It's been one of those Junes when we've had plenty of rain, and even the pots have needed little to no supplemental watering.

This pot was overwintered in the basement, primarily for the geranium, (in the center of the pot, budding.) The surprise here is the Spring Fling petunia (swag from Proven Winners.) I never expected it to be happy in the basement over the winter. I had cut it back severely, and left it in the pot to see what would happen. THIS is what happened! The geranium looks a bit lost, and the petunia spread, rooting itself in three places in the pot, making a nice second-year memento of Chicago Spring Fling.

Rocky Mountain columbine is almost finished. Columbines have been blooming here since early April.

I tried Diamond Frost euphorbia for the first time in the center of a few double impatiens baskets a few years ago. They're overwintered in the basement too. Each year they get larger and more glorious, blooming sweetly and adding their airy loveliness in pots and hanging baskets, and even in the ground. Easy-care, drought-tolerant and blooming well even in our dry shade, they're favorites here.

Happy returns daylilies start blooming in late May, and have continued, with intermittent rests through frost. Last season they never rested. I hope for the same performance this year.

Walker's Low catmint is nice, but a bit too large, sprawling, and spreading for this spot. This is Nepeta x faassenii 'Blue Wonder.' Shorter than Walker's Low by at least a foot, it blooms respectably in part sun.

I love Dragon wing begonias. A cross between wax and angel wing begonias, they have nice foliage, graceful form, and bloom all season. There are a few here that are overwintered indoors, where they continue the show until they're cut back in winter. Within weeks, they're blooming again.

Penstemon 'Husker Red' was moved last fall. This spot is (normally) a little sunnier than where they were before. They're happier and more upright than they were in their previous spot.

Indian Pinks are natives. New to the garden last year, I fell in love with their unique, adorable blooms when the Chicago Spring Fling committee got together last summer for a reunion lunch date and trip to Gethsemane Garden Center on Chicago's north side.

Speaking of Spring Fling, I was inspired by alliums in the gardens we visited. I'd never grown them here - didn't think they'd be happy with so little sun. The purples are finished blooming, and their seedheads are wonderful. The whites, whose foliage is nicer than the purples, are just getting started. Time will tell if we have enough sun to keep them happily blooming in future years.


'Rozanne' is my favorite geranium. It starts blooming in late May here, and will continue non-stop until frost. I love long-blooming perennials, especially those that are happy in our mostly-shady garden.

It's been a wonderful spring for astilbes with all the rain we've had. There are pink and white ones blooming here.

The red mini-rose continues to hang on. They're sweet, yet short-lived. This is the last of five the Lawn Man gave me a few years ago. It's the same one that bloomed, covered with snow, in December last year.

The last foxglove blooms. (See those seed pods, Monica?)

This geranium is one of the few plants that made it here from my last garden. (Chicago Gardeners shouldn't move in February!)

I was thrilled to see the first nasturtium bloom! Renee's Garden provided free seeds for a group of about 40 bloggers participating in the Seed GROW project. We're sharing our trials and triumphs, all growing this 'Spitfire' Nasturtium. On Renee's advice, I thinned this pot a little. Too cute to kill, I carefully lifted a few and transplanted them to one of the veggie beds, where they'll mingle with peas and cukes on the trellis.

It's supposed to be a TALL bellflower, but the rabbits have chewed them all down almost to the ground. They're still hanging in there, and finally started blooming. Our garden is beginning to look kinda funny with all the little fences I've put up trying to protect the most vulnerable plants. One might think a crazy plant woman lives here.

This little sundrop was found blooming in the wayback yard behind the Cornelian cherry hedge. It was discovered about this time last year, and moved into the garden where it struggled and wilted the rest of the season. I was happy to see it come back this spring. I think it's some kind of primrose. They have such bright, cheery blooms, I'm happy to have these (sometimes considered) lowly blooms in our garden. The first time I had these in a garden was nearly 30 years ago when an elderly neighbor shared some from her garden. She just called them sundrops, so I will too. It's a fitting name for them.

Also blooming are single and double impatiens, perennial bachelor's buttons, peas, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, arugula, wax begonias, fuchsia, cyclamen, lilies, other hardy geraniums, Johnny-jump-ups, several kinds of coral bells, feverfew, a hellebore that holds onto its blooms until after frost, celandine poppies, a few sporadic old-fashioned (pink) bleedinghearts, wax begonias, and a white blogalong passalong penstemon from a dear blogging friend. Thank you Gail!

For more June blooms from gardeners around the globe, please visit the host of Bloom Day, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Wow, lots of gorgeous blooms going on in your garden. I am going to have to try that basement thing. I would never have thought you would get that much to come back. Do you water them a little through the winter, and are they under lights?


  2. Great blooms in your June garden, Linda. Glad to see the beautiful Indian pink you purchased on our visit to Gethsemane.

    Happy June.

  3. Beautiful blooms for bloom day! And you're correct...it's not a good idea to move during the Chicago winters. I've done it twice. UGH!

    Your penstemon is really pretty!

  4. That's great about the petunias from Spring Fling! What a nice memento. I also am loving 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia. Your garden looks great!

  5. Indian pinks: very cool!

  6. You're so funny, Linda, because when I saw that yellow foxglove, before even reading the words I was all like "Ooh, soon those will be mine, all mine!" and rubbing my hands together like Mr Burns on The Simpsons. :) About the Walker's Low, I had it int he cat garden along a fence in full sun and it got HUGE. At home I have it in part-shade and it's a lot shorter and more manageable, about the height of your Blue Wonder. BTW, I'm bringing a surprise for the Lawn Man on Friday, but don't tell him! Or George, who may also be interested, lol. :)

  7. Been raining on and off almost every day here too. Not much rain in inches but enough to make it gloomy and humid.

    When you say overwintered in the basement, do you mean under lights? Just wondering. I'd love to overwinter some of my annuals.

  8. I do like your Sundrop, dont this we have anything like that in the UK. I have the same penstemon, Red Husker but it hasnt flowered and I wonder if it is in too much sun

  9. Hi Eileen, pretty much everything in our pots and hanging baskets came from the basement. I start veggies there too, cuttings for our garden, and for freebee perks for my clients. I also dormant-overwintered a few tropicals in the garage's basement stairwell.

    I spent under $100 on the garden this spring, and that includes seeds, plants, potting soil, and organic fertilizer. Even the impatiens came from the basement - the doubles were cuttings, and the singles seeded themselves in overwintering containers. I won't say what I used to spend, but suffice it to say the big light I splurged on paid for itself in less than a season.

    The basement is warm so nothing goes dormant there, and watering is done as needed. The ones in the garage stairwell get watered about once a month.

    I LOVE that plant Carolyn! They seem to be a bit late emerging, and I was so, so happy to see it finally come up. It was even later than the hostas. It's really a tough plant, and although the culture info says it needs moist soil, it's doing great in our dry shade. I hope it seeds itself here!

    Ugh is right Kimberly! I hope to never do that again.

    I never expected them to make it to a second season Rose. I'm thrilled, especially since they're so much fuller and blooming so much more this year than they did last year.

    Aren't they the coolest Katie!

    I put that photo in this post on purpose for you Monica! ;) It won't be long now and I'll be sending you lots of teeny tiny foxglove seeds.

    Mum's the word on the surprise. You've piqued my curiosity now!

    I accidentally bought Walker's Low 12 or so years ago, (fooled by the name, and couldn't remember the name of Blue Wonder that I had in another garden.) Walker's Low was in part sun on the north side of my last house, and it pretty much took over, so I'm a little afraid of it now. ;)

    It's been off and on again today here too Marnie - makes it hard to get outdoor stuff done, but the garden sure is loving all the rain.

    We have a big sodium light fixture with a stand-alone ballast Marnie. That's all I use for light for all the plants, until early spring, when I add a full-spectrum bulb and a florescent fixture. The extra light in early spring helps get stuff ready to go outdoors. It's taken a couple of years to figure out best time for starting cuttings, and I also now know to pinch stuff as it's growing so it's fuller, and closer to greenhouse quality. I fertilize stuff in spring too, to help jump start growth before I start hardening them off in mid-to-late-May.

    I think they're just the happiest, brightest, clearest yellow blooms Helen. I was SO happy to see them growing in the wilderness behind our hedge. Every once in a while I spot a real gem back there, probably planted by a bird from some other garden in the area.

    Husker Red was happy and bloomed well in full sun in my last garden. Is this their first year in your garden? Sometimes they don't bloom until the 2nd year. I think they should be fine in your climate in full sun. Maybe they just need more time to mature before they bloom?

  10. I'm very impressed at the Spring Fling petunia's resilience! All your flowers look so pretty. I wonder if your yellow flower is an Oenothera (evening primrose)? I used to have a pink one that looked similar.

  11. Hi Diane, I was visiting your blog while you were here - neat coincidence!

    I thought it might be evening primrose, except the ones here stay open all day, same as the ones I had many years ago. Whatever they are, I just love their clear, bright yellow color.

  12. p.s. I'm pretty impressed with the petunia too, and I love that it blooms with not much sun.

  13. I have Indian Pinks, too. Just noticed today that they match my resident cardinal--or he matches them?

  14. I am just amazed at all that you over-winter, Linda, and how well they do. I can't believe that petunia from Spring Fling! This year I managed to keep only several geraniums; I had a large rosemary plant and a lovely begonia that lasted all the way...till March. Apparently, I forgot to water them before I left for Arizona:(

    You have lots of lovely blooms. I'm always surprised, though, how many new plants I see on different blogs. The Indian Pinks are something I've never heard of before; I'll definitely have to check these out.

  15. The darn rabbits have done quite a number on some of my plants as well. Silly critters. You've got a lot of blooming going on there though. My astibles didn't bloom this year, but I assume it's because they were just transplanted last fall???

  16. That allium and hosta combo is awesome!
    And what a nice surprise to have your petunia overwinter so splendidly! I might have to try that. I love petunias but hate buying them every year. Plus it is hard to find the right variety some years.

  17. It didn't even occur to me to try to overwinter my PW plant from Spring Fling.

    Nice to see that you did and that you're enjoying it again.

    Also, congrats on the alliums!

  18. Adrian, aren't they the sweetest little blooms! They really stand out with their bright colors.

    I can't believe that petunia either Rose. I figure it might eat the rest of the garden by fall! I'll try overwintering my rosemary this year. I've never even tried overwintering rosemary, since everyone's always told me how it is to keep them alive. I figure if my mom and daughter kept theirs alive, it's worth trying.

    I'd never seen Indian pinks until that trip to Gethsemane. The minute I saw them, I knew I had to have one! I'll try saving some seeds - they have ricocheting seeds, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to capture them. I'll probably have to 'dress' the spent blooms in pantyhose to try to catch the seeds. Alas, so far no self-sown babies yet.

    They're so cute Cindy, but so destructive! Our neighbor's cat chased a baby onto our patio last weekend - the poor thing was terrified and hid under the grill. I 'rescued' it, and took it to the front lawn, since there's a nest up there. It was so sweet, and so soft, I could have held and petted it all day. (It wasn't big enough for rabbit stew. ;)

    Thank yo Sylvana! I like how that photo turned out with the hosta backing up the allium. I'm still shaking my head about the petunia - never thought it would be in the garden for a second year!

    MBT, who'd have thunk it'd make it through the winter to bloom another season! I sure didn't think it would, but it has surprised me.

    Love the alliums! I'd hoped they'd discourage the rabbits from other stuff planted around them - no such luck, but oh well, I'm still really happy to have them.


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