Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June Bloom Day

Happy Bloom Day from Chicago's south suburbs, where it's 98 degrees one day, 58 the next; and where one can't be sure if there'll be blazing sun and oppressive humidity, or torrential rainfalls and power outages. The weather has kept us on our toes this month. While a little beaten up after over 5 inches of rain last week, the gardens here continue to bloom nicely, even as weeds and tree seedlings sprout in record numbers and grow at record speed.

Starting at the top left and going clockwise. here are some of our June blooms: The hellebore 'Mrs. Betty Ranicar' started out white earlier this spring, is still lovely in June, and has aged to a pretty soft green. The Lawn Man wanted to see more annuals blooming, and brought home (among other things,) some white and red New Guinea impatiens - plants we haven't had here for a few years. Last fall's pansies are still hanging around in spite of last week's oppressive heat, and the mini-rose that has outlasted all the others has half-open buds and is fuller and healthier-looking this spring than ever before. Last year's Lacinato kale came back to bloom and set seed which I'll collect for next year's vegetable beds.

I fell in love with Tahitian bridal veil (Gibabsis geniculata,) in a hanging basket when I saw it last fall in the Master Gardener office. Although it was labeled as African bridal veil at the nursery, when I wanted to learn more about it, everything I found on the internet calls it Tahitian. Whichever, it's lovely. The blooms close in the early evening, and open again each morning. It's growing and blooming well even with very little sun.

Lamium 'Pink Pewter' has settled in well after a few years of underwhelming performance, and has been blooming since April. The hanging basket begonia was another gift from the Lawn Man, who was a bit underwhelmed by the overwintered double impatiens cuttings which grew very slowly during our chillier-than-usual spring. In the center, snow peas, also a bit slow this spring, have the loveliest blooms that would be just as much at home in an ornamental garden as they are in our vegetable bed. They look like little orchids to me.

The blooms of Heuchera 'Lime Rickey' are tiny, but I enjoy them all the same. I enjoy their delicacy, and they glow in the waning light of evenings enjoyed relaxing on the patio. I've been a little afraid of spiderwort's spreading ways, but I've always loved them and said yes to a few passalongs. Penstemon 'Huskers Red' has been a stalwart of our June garden since the beginning. It was one of the first plants I added to what was, eight years ago, a barren bed of mulch under three huge silver maples. The yellow foxgloves Digitalis grandiflora have been here almost as long. A few more were started from seed two years ago and they're blooming for the first time this month.

The tall blue bellflowers Campanula persicifolia 'Telham Beauty' were passalongs from Mom, taking the place of the ones that broke my heart just a little when they didn't make it the first time I tried them here. Their translucent violet-blue blooms have been favorites in several gardens before this one. They glow just as beautifully in moonlight as they do in midday sun, and our bumblebees visit them from early morning to dusk.

Penstemon digitalis is a native plant relatively new to our garden and blooming for the first time this year. It's a little floppy thanks to our torrential rains, but it's pretty all the same, and the pollinators are loving it. It's time to divide Geranium x Cantabrigiense 'Biokovo,' and it's a little worse for wear after the rain, but the bees don't seem to mind a bit. Nepeta x faassenii (catmint) attracts lots of pollinators too, and I like its shorter, less sprawly form better than 'Walkers Low' (a misnomer if you ask me, since it gets about three feet tall. :) Oops there's another pea blossom - guess you can see I really like them! And finally, in the center is Centaurea Montana also known as Mountain bluet, and a favorite of mine for longer than I can remember.

There are quite a few other things blooming here in June, but lest this turns into a book as I wax on over this month's blooms, I'll leave it at this for now. Happy Bloom Day all. To see more June flowers from gardens all over, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Such a lot! My garden is moving into an over-grown stage where I lament the flowers which are passing so much I haven't got round to welcoming the ones which are newly open yet.


  2. I've always admired the 'Husker's Red' but never had any luck growing it... that was many years ago. One should return to earlier failures and give them another dry... oftentimes these can bode success because of the 'growth' of the gardener or the improvement of the soil or numerous other things. I hope all that rain has a positive effect on your garden... Larry

  3. Hi Garden Gal. Happy GBBD! You are some lovely blooms in your garden. Nice mixtures of the blues and whites. Happy Gardening!

  4. Blooms are fleeting, just as everything else (including we!) are Esther. I'm making a practice of doing a better job living in the moment and letting go of the past. The garden is a perfect ground for reinforcing that. :)

    Because our garden struggled for years and so much didn't survive in the first few years, I've definitely overplanted here. I like to think of it as lush and full instead of overgrown. One big advantage of having it like this besides how pretty it looks to my eyes is how it denies light to the weeds and crowds them out.

    I've been so happy with 'Huskers Red' Larry. I highly recommend giving it another try (not that your gardens aren't GORGEOUS without it!) I've given up too easily in the past on those things that didn't survive, as I've learned when trying most of them again. Quite often on the 2nd try they've been passalongs or started from seed since so much $$$ has slipped through my hands on dead plants!

    Thank you Lee! Blue and white are plentiful here, especially in spring. I have such a soft spot for blue blooms, and white is wonderful in the evening, in spite of the challenges photographing it!

  5. What great photos. It's hard to name all the bloomers in June. And they do come and go with greater rapidity the older I get. Enjoying the moment is the only answer.

  6. Hi GG,

    Beautiful blooms! I must look for that tahitian bridal veil, reminds me of baby's breath. Does anyone grow baby's breath anymore?

    I had Husker's Red at my last home, so many plants I do not have room for now.


  7. Beautiful Blooms in your GBBD show!

  8. I keep trying digitalis, but no success. I think I'm going to give it one last try in another area... then I quit :) yours is beautiful!

  9. It has been an unpredictable spring, that's for sure. Bloom times are so different here this year, and I also have pansies that have surprised me by continuing to bloom even in last week's heat. We have many of the same blooms, Linda, though I envy you your foxgloves--I can't seem to keep them here more than one year. How sweet of the Lawnmower Man to bring you some New Guinea impatiens and a begonia. My Mr. P. hasn't set foot in a garden center for years:)

  10. Love the colors. Been to Chicago once, the colors were outstanding, as is your garden.

  11. Thank you Pat! I agree - enjoying the moment is the way to appreciate those fleeting blooms, and good approach to life in general.

    Thank you Eileen. The bridal veil reminds me of baby's breath too - it has that same soft, airy look, only in a trailing plant. The foliage form and habit is a lot like wandering Jew, only more petite.

    Thank you Gardening Blog!

    Hi Danielle, most foxgloves are biennial, but Digitalis grandiflora tends to be much longer lived. The original has been here for five or six years now. I haven't gotten any self-sown seedlings, but they are very easy to start from seeds. I'd be happy to share some seeds if you're interested in trying them.

    It sure has Rose! I've noticed the difference in bloom times too - most things here are blooming at least a week or two later than usual.

    Let me know if you'd like to try some foxglove seeds. Although they don't self-sow here, they're so easy to start - no stratifying or scarifying required, and pretty much 100% germination. I start them in pots so I can better control watering, since the seeds ripen when it's usually hot and dry here, and transplant them into the garden in late August or early September.

    Thank you Greggo. I hope Chicago's new mayor keeps the color going in the city planters. All the flowers downtown add so much color and beauty!

  12. I would love some seeds if you have some to share. Since my gardens are just beginning (only 1 season old) I have plenty of space to seed. I think seeding is the way to go. I am waiting on one I planted last year to see if it comes back in the spring. Crossing my fingers it does, it was a pretty one!

  13. Danielle, I have some saved from last summer I could send, or if you'd prefer to wait, this year's will probably be ready sometime in July. Let me know, and email me your address. (lintys2057@gmail.com I'll send whichever batch you would prefer, or if you want to try the older ones first and they don't sprout, you could let me know and I could send you fresh ones later).

  14. OMG...thank you for reminding me of the crazy weather in the Midwest...I really DON'T miss the humidity! Isn't 'Huskers Red' amazing...such a wonderful plant, in and out of bloom.

  15. It seems to be getting crazier and crazier in recent years Scott, but then, that seems to be the case in a lot of places.

    Yep, I love 'Huskers Red!' It just keeps getting better and better here, even with very little sun.

  16. Despite the crazy weather, this is a wonderful time for blooms! Love the picture collages!

  17. Love your garden and love your "blues" Thanks for inviting me in to see it.

  18. I may be very far away but the weather here is as haywire. Yesterday I heard thunder but no rain later. Sometimes, the rain just pour down like nothing without any warning. Nonetheless, your plants are so gracious - doing well and blooming also. They are so good!

  19. At least the sun is shining through the rain this morning Rose! :)

    Thank you Paul, and thanks for visiting!

    It seems like the weather is pretty crazy almost everywhere Stephanie! The garden is definitely enjoying all the rain. It's getting to be a jungle out there! (including the mosquitoes.) :(

  20. Well, your garden blooms are just lovely...even though we've experienced the strangest weather. Everything is lush and growing by leaps and bounds. Things we planted are overgrown now and will need to be moved in the fall. Gardening is all about change...isn't it. Balisha

  21. Thank you Balisha! Strange weather indeed. I'm amazed how much things have grown this spring - clearly the garden is enjoying the rain. Looks like some dividing and moving will need to be done here too. Gardens, just like life - always changing!


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