Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June 2012

Stipa tenuissima and Lilium 'Lollipop' at Hayefield

Oh my goodness, what an embarrassment of riches to choose from for this Bloom Day. I’ve left out most of the foliage to focus on the flowers, and it’s still hard to decide what makes the cut for this early-summer celebration.

Allium season continues: the species change but the flower form remains the same. Leaving some produce in the garden over winter provides terrific summer flowers from ordinary onions (Allium cepaCepa Group)…

Onions in flower at Hayefield

and leeks (A. ampeloprasum Porrum Group, below).

Leek in bloom at Hayefield

Last month, I mentioned that I haven’t had much luck with Allium atropurpureum lasting for more than a year. This month, though, there’s another deep purple allium that’s been through two winters and shows no sign of weakening: Allium ‘Forelock’.

Allium 'Forelock' at Hayefield

I’d expected its flowers to be smaller, so I planted the bulbs quite close together. I plan to buy more this fall and will allow about a foot between the bulbs, so the globes are spaced out better.

Allium 'Forelock' at Hayefield

Clematis glaucophylla at Hayefield

The clematis are coming along nicely, too. Clematis glaucophylla [above] started last month and is currently loaded with fresh flowers and buds.

Clematis viorna at Hayefield

A couple other leather flower clematis are just starting to bloom now. Above is C. viorna.

Clematis addisonii at Hayefield

I’m not positive about the one in the photos above and below, but I’m pretty sure it’s C. addisonii. It’s only 2 to 3 feet tall and used to be rather sprawly, but now a neighboring shrub has grown close enough that the clematis can scramble up through the branch tips.

Clematis addisonii at Hayefield

Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet' at Hayefield

Honeysuckles (Lonicera) are in fully glory now, too. Above is L. x brownii ‘Dropmore Scarlet’; below is L. x heckrottii ‘Goldflame’. Both are very pretty but a little disappointing: I don’t get any fragrance from either of them, and they’re usually covered with aphids in late spring, just as the blooms start to open. ‘Goldflame’ also gets powdery mildew by midsummer.

Lonicera x heckrottii ‘Goldflame’ at Hayefield

I’m much more fond of late Dutch honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’, below). Though it’s growing fairly close to the other two (it’s at the front steps, and they’re on the side), it rarely seems bothered by either aphids or powdery mildew. And, its fragrance is strong enough that you notice it as you walk by.

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’ at Hayefield

Some other early-summer stars are the sea hollies (Eryngium). I started Miss Willmott’s ghost (E. giganteum, below) from seed about 4 years ago, and one of the four seedlings finally decided to flower. So much for being biennial.

Eryngium giganteum at Hayefield

Eryngium x zabelii ‘Big Blue’ at Hayefield

I also have a couple of other sea hollies at the moment. They’re supposed to be perennial, but I’m usually lucky if they last long enough to be annuals. I had to buy these this spring for a project, so I’m going to fully enjoy them however long they survive. Above is Eryngium x zabelii ‘Big Blue’; below is E. x zabelii ‘Donard Variety’.

Eryngium x zabelii ‘Donard Variety’ at Hayefield

Papaver 'Lauren's Grape' at Hayefield

Speaking of annuals, there are a few in bloom at the moment, including ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppy (Papaver, above), ‘Purple Twist’ snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus, below)…

Antirrhinum majus 'Purple Twist' (snapdragon) at Hayefield

…and ‘Angie Blue’ blue pimpernel (Anagallis monelli, below).

Anagallis monelli 'Angie Blue' at Hayefield

Lychnis coronaria at Hayefield

In the biennial category (for real), rose campion (Lychnis coronaria, above).

And then, the perennials, starting with dwarf culinary sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Nana’, below).

Salvia officinalis ‘Nana’ at Hayefield

Lavandula angustifolia at Hayefield

Above, English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)with a bit of purple toadflax (Linaria purpurea), Euphorbia palustris ‘Zauberflote’, and creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum).

Below, Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas).

Lavandula stoechas at Hayefield

Tanacetum parthenium ‘Aureum’ at Hayefield

Above, golden feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium ‘Aureum’). Below, ‘Amazone’ tuberous Jerusalem sage (Phlomis tuberosa).

Phlomis tuberosa 'Amazone' at Hayefield

I’ve been growing ‘Brookside’ geranium (Geranium) for five or six years now and was very frustrated with it for most of that time. It forms a nice mound in spring, but soon after it starts flowering, it sprawls badly and looks very untidy, like this:

Geranium 'Brookside' at Hayefield

Clearly, it’s not great at the front of a border. I used to get annoyed and chop it back to the ground in early June, but then I missed out on many weeks of the flowering season. A year or two ago, I missed cutting it down, and I noticed that, where it could crawl up through shrubby companions, it looked very pretty indeed.

Geranium 'Brookside' with Cornus sericea 'Cardinal' sport at Hayefield

Above, it’s with golden cranberrybush viburnum (Viburnum opulus ‘Aureum’); below, it’s with a variegated sport of ‘Cardinal’ red-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea). I’m finally catching on that it’s far better toward the middle of a border, where it can weave and wander without the open center being so obvious.

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Cephalaria gigantea at Hayefield

Giant scabious (Cephalaria gigantea, above and below) is another perennial I have mixed feelings about. It’s very tall – 6 to 7 feet –and kind of gangly-looking in bloom, and it’s not very interesting once it’s done flowering. It’s been established in my little orchard area for many years now, though, and has seeded around, so I just enjoy the flowers and ignore the plant the rest of the year.

Cephalaria gigantea at Hayefield

Thalictrum flavum subsp. glaucum at Hayefield

A couple other tall things are just about finished now: above is yellow meadow rue (Thalictrum flavum subsp. glaucum) and below is valerian (Valeriana officinalis).

Valeriana officinalis at Hayefield

Astilbe biternata at Hayefield

For a long time, I thought this clump in the “shade” border (above) was goat’s beard (Aruncus dioicus). (I really ought to do a better job keeping track of the labels in my seed pots.) But when I took a good look at it a few days ago, I realized that the terminal leaflet is three-lobed, rather than entire, so that makes it false goat’s beard (Astilbe biternata). Darn. I really don’t like astilbes, but now I may have to revise my opinion. It’s a lot more open and graceful than most astilbes, to about 4 feet tall.

Rubus rolfei (R. pentalobus, R. calycinoides) at Hayefield

At the other end of the height spectrum is creeping bramble (Rubus rolfei, a.k.a. R. calycinoides or R. pentalobus, above), at just a few inches tall. I think this is the first year it’s been practically covered with flower buds. Usually, the leaves – and the flower buds too, I guess – get winter-killed, but the foliage stuck around all through this past winter.

Digitalis x mertonensis at Hayefield

A couple of cottagey pinks: above is strawberry foxglove (Digitalis x mertonensis), with ‘Heavenly Habit’ Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium caeruleum). Below is the miniature rose ‘Sweet Chariot’, which has a wonderful perfumey fragrance that carries through much of the side garden.

Rosa 'Sweet Chariot' at Hayefield

Tithonia uvaria 'Flamenco' at Hayefield

Some spiky favorites flowering now: above is seed-grown ‘Flamenco’ torch lily (Kniphofia uvaria), which keeps getting better each year, even though it really shouldn’t like my winter-wet soil. In front is Euphorbia ‘Golden Foam’; behind it is golden elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’).

Below, on the other side of the same elderberry, is Veronica grandis.

Veronica grandis at Hayefield

Teucrium hyrcanicum (hircanicum) at Hayefield

Above is Caucasian germander (Teucrium hyrcanicum, or hircanicum, if you prefer), in front of ‘Moonshine’ yarrow (Achillea).

Below is moth mullein (Verbascum blattaria) and its white version (V. blattaria f. albiflorum). They must have seeded in from the meadow, because I didn’t plant them but they’re coming up all over.

Verbascum blattarium and V. blattaria f. albiflorum at Hayefield

Heuchera 'Miracle' at Hayefield

I’m not crazy about heuchera flowers in general, but this clump of ‘Miracle’ (above, with ‘Caramel’) looks pretty nice at the moment.

Lily (Lilium) season is starting, too. Below is ‘Freya’, a super-sturdy Longiflorum-Asiatic hybrid.

Lilium 'Freya' at Hayefield

Lilium 'Monte Negro' at Hayefield

Some hotter colors out front: above is ‘Monte Negro’ Asiatic lily, a terrific rich red; below is ‘Orange County’, a lovely clear orange Asiatic hybrid.

Lilium 'Orange County' at Hayefield

Below is ‘Oranges and Lemons’ say the bells of St. Clement’s blanket flower (Gaillardia) against Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’).

Gaillardia 'Oranges and Lemons' at Hayefield

Baptisia alba at Hayefield

Up on the sand-mound meadow: above is white false indigo (Baptisia alba); below is pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), with some Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) and wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) in the background.

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Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’ at Hayefield

I couldn’t resist a few bits of foliage: above is variegated pokeweed (Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’) with golden meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea’); below is Sorbus sorbaria ‘Sem’ .

Sorbus sorbaria 'Sem' at Hayefield

Angelica 'Ebony' at Hayefield

Above, the glossy black leaves of Angelica ‘Ebony’ mingled with Geranium wlassovianum, smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), and ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora).

And below, a bit of fruit, in the form of ‘Pixwell’ gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa).

Ribes uva-crispa 'Pixwell' (gooseberry) at Hayefield

Stipa tenuissima, Penstemon 'Dark Towers' and Nigella 'Cramer's Plum' at Hayefield

Now, some combination shots, starting above with Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima), ‘Dark Towers’ beardtongue (Penstemon), and ‘Cramer’s Plum’ love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena).

Below, ‘Sweet Chariot’ miniature rose, Euphorbia ‘Golden Foam’, ‘Erica’ Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum), and Veronica grandis.

Rosa 'Sweet Chariot', Euphorbia 'Golden Foam', Veronicastrum 'Erica' at Hayefield

Euphorbia 'Golden Foam' with Cotinus 'Grace' at Hayefield

Above, golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’), more Euphorbia ‘Golden Foam’, and ‘Grace’ smokebush (Cotinus).

Below, ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’ bigleaf ligularia (Ligularia dentata) with Island Brocade sedge (Carex siderosticha ‘Shima-nishiki’) and smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens).

Ligularia dentata 'Britt-Marie Crawford' at Hayefield

Gillenia stipulata at Hayefield

Above, American ipecac (Gillenia stipulata), variegated boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Elegantissima’), giant fleeceflower (Persicaria polymorpha), and the spiky foliage of ‘Immortality’ iris.

Below, more ‘Immortality’ iris with ‘Cramer’s Plum’ love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena), ‘Brookside’ geranium, and Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima).

Geranium 'Brookside' at Hayefield

Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra' with Knautia macedonica and Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic' at Hayefield

Above, Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’), ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppy (Papaver), crimson scabious (Knautia macedonica), and ‘Red Majestic’ contorted hazel (Corylus avellana).

Below, more crimson scabious with ‘Gerald Darby’ iris (Iris x robusta).

Knautia macedonica with Iris x robusta 'Gerald Darby' at Hayefield

Front border and path at Hayefield

And above, the promise of lots more color to come along the main path through the front garden.

To see how other summer gardens are coming along (and what winter’s like in Southern Hemisphere gardens), check out the list of links in Carol’s main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.

Verbena bonariensis in Stipa tenuissima at Hayefield

21 responses to this post.

  1. I like those stripey snapdragons. On the wish list.

    I got is as a bonus with my seed order from Summer Hill Seeds this year, Susan. It looks like it’ll be more speckled as the summer progresses.
    -Nan

  2. Posted by Kerry Sanders on June 15, 2012 at 2:10 am

    What a treat! Love it all. Such a change from my own view of nude trees,tired perennials, and muddy fields.

    Love all the magenta/purpleness in your garden. The poppies and scabious in front of that contorted hazel is inspired. I want!

    Also love the Sorbus ‘Sem’ – wow! Never heard of it – How does this perform for you?

    And I must try to find that black Angelica. I grow the purple-headed A. gigas and the usual A. archangelica here but as far as I know NZ doesn’t have a black one. Do you grow it from seed?

    Hi Kerry! Apparently ‘Sem’ can be a vigorous spreader, but I’m still waiting to see that for myself. It’s been pretty much the same size for the last few years but is finally showing signs of being more vigorous this year, so I have hopes that it has finally settled in. I left a large amount of space all around it, so it’s welcome to start spreading any time.

    ‘Ebony’, the black-leaved angelica, was from seed from Plant World Seeds. I grew it to flower several years ago, but it didn’t set seed, so I had to start again with purchased seed. The one that I ended up with will probably bloom next year; I hope to get some seed when it does.
    -Nan

  3. Oh, where to begin and where to end I suppose.

    I had the same problem, Greg!
    -Nan

  4. You do have so many blooms!

    We’ve had a cool June (70s for the highs most days) and your bloom season and mine are just about the same right now! I don’t think I’ve seen that since following your blog. We’re usually scorched by now.

    I’ve had the same frustration with geranium ‘Brookside’. I thought it was just the ones in my garden! :-)

    Your ligularia is delicious! Not for here, but I’ve seen it in gardens in the NC mountains and think it’s such an incredible perennial.

    Have a great weekend!

    How interesting that we’re about at the same stage, Freda. Isn’t that ligularia splendid? And, its seedlings are just as gorgeous. I’m surprised that it’s done so well here: it gets morning sun and afternoon shade (in one of the few spots that I can provide shade), and a fair bit of moisture from the roof when it rains, since I don’t have gutters back there.
    -Nan

  5. Posted by phillipoliver on June 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Great post as always. That variegated pokeweed is interesting! And I really like the way you did your pathways.

    Thanks, Phillip. Mom and I redid the timber-and-gravel path this year, taking out the old beige-and-gray gravel and replacing it with Timberlite gravel, which is a beautiful mix of rust, cream, and black. I like the effect a lot better.
    -Nan

  6. Oh my Nan, I just love it all! Fantastic!!

    Thanks so much, Brooke. Happy Bloom Day to you!
    -Nan

  7. aloha,

    beautiful garden, i love that purple twist and the alliums are dazzling, thanks for the wonderful garden tour its and amazing collection:)

    Hey there, Noel – thanks for visiting today!
    -Nan

  8. Posted by Donna B. on June 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Oh Nan, you know how to cheer up a gardener in all the right places. ♥
    Everything is just, wow. I know I say it a lot, but wow wow wow!!!
    I could go on forever gushing, but you already know how amazing your gardens are. I will definitely be on the lookout for the Mexican Feathergrass.
    Oh! And I meant to tell you before, and I’ll have to get photos of them after I get home tonight… but as I was leaving for work, I always do a little look-over of the whole yard; and the lil’ neglected cups with your aquired seeds from last year had LIFE in them!!! Now I think I can start to locate which is what! Hee hee.
    I feel sad though, because I just had to cull a beautiful pokeweed from the middle of one of my garden beds! I hope the varigated one will brighten my garden! It looks WONDERFUL from your photo above!!!
    [I could go on forever… hehehehe…]

    That’s terrific news about the seeds, Donna! Believe me, I’ve culled out plenty of pokeweeds over the years, and yes, it’s hard sometimes, because they look so lush and sturdy. But once you’ve tried to dig out one that’s been in place for a few years, getting rid of the babies isn’t quite so difficult. The variegated one is so much less vigorous, it’s never been a problem for me.
    -Nan

  9. Gorgeous. You are right Forelock allium would be perfect. Now I need to remember to order it. I like heuchera flowers as long as they stand up but most of them flop. Where did you get straight species H.
    arborescens? All I ever see is Annabelle. I can’t grow Oranges and Lemons. Is there a secret? My Miss W took three to four years too. ‘Goldflame’ is very fragrant for me but only at night. It doesn’t get aphids and is beautiful. You might try more shade.

    Just FYI, my ‘Forelock’ alliums came from Van Engelen. And the Hydrangea arborescens is from seed – from the HPS/MAG Seed Exchange a number of years ago. I have to confess that the ‘Oranges and Lemons’ is new this year – another perennial I needed for a project I’m working on. Thanks for the info on the eryngium, and on ‘Goldflame’, too. Interesting about the fragrance. I’m usually outside until it’s fully dark this time of year, and I’ve never noticed a scent, but now I’ll make a point of taking a sniff as I head inside. It gets shade from about 2 pm on, which is about as much shade as anything around here can get.

    P.S. You are SO right, Carolyn – the scent at night is wonderful. Thanks so much for that tip. I can’t believe I never noticed it before.
    -Nan

  10. Posted by Kerry Sanders on June 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I’m pleased you mentioned that you had revamped the gravel paths. I thought they were looking lovelier than ever. I am building up the materials to begin formalising a 200m path – how wide is your path and does this work well for you?

    Wow – you noticed! My path is only 4 feet (1.2 m) wide. It has worked out very well: there’s a nice scrunch underfoot from the gravel, the drainage is super, and the timbers give it enough solidity that I can run a wheelbarrow over it with no trouble. Good luck with your new path, Kerry – that’s a huge undertaking!
    -Nan

  11. I so look forward to your posts, especially your GBBD ones. Always a feast for the eyes and a learning experience. I love how you redid your paths, the combination of wood and gravel looks great.

    Thank you, Alison. We owe Carol a great debt for coming up with Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. These are my favorite posts too!
    -Nan

  12. Incredibly stunning, Nan. So many good plants to take note of, like that Euphorb Golden Foam — wonder if it would like my dryish garden. And that allium ‘Forelock’ is a gem, so glad it returned for you.

    I’m not sure how ‘Golden Foam’ would perform for you, Denise; I’ve seen it in only one other garden here. My original seeds came from Plant World Seeds; Chiltern sells it too, and they’re having a 20-percent-off sale on all seeds at the moment. I should warn that, like many euphorbias, ‘Golden Foam’ does seed around a lot.
    -Nan

  13. Wow!!! There’s no shortage of beauties here, but my favorite shot by far is the one of Mexican feather grass/‘Dark Towers’ beardtongue/‘Cramer’s Plum’ love-in-a-mist. Stunning combination!

    I’ve taken a ridiculous number of photos of that combination, Gayle, starting from the time that the white flowers started to open; they were pretty, but the plum-colored pods were even more amazing. Nigellas have such a nice way of putting themselves in the perfect place (well, pretty much everywhere, really).
    -Nan

  14. Beautiful blooms but I have to say I love the grasses in the very first photo the best. Great photography.

    Thanks, Rhonda! I’ve been growing a bunch more Stipa from seed and finally had enough to add them along that bit of path. I think it might be impossible to take a bad photo of this grass, though I could probably do it if I tried really hard.
    -Nan

  15. Posted by Emilita Aráoz on June 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Hi, Nan, I live in Argentina, South America and I follow you blog with enthusiasm, your photos are great!! it´s fun to see the Verbena bonaerensis , native of Buenos Aires, growing so elegantly in your gardens!! Regards, Emi.

    How kind of you to visit and comment, Emi! I’m honored to have a bit of your country in my Pennsylvania garden.
    -Nan

  16. Gorgeous, Nan! Sorbus ‘Sem’ is now on my wishlist–along with ‘Ebony’ angelica–because I love those dark leaves. By the way, I’m pretty convinced that there must be very few places where ponytail grass does NOT look good. I absolutely love it en masse in your last photo!

    Hi Kim! Just make sure you read up on what others have to say about ‘Sem’ before you get one, so you get the fair picture of its potential to spread.
    -Nan

  17. Posted by kate patrick on June 16, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    A visual smorgasbord! So many wonderful plants its hard to pick a favorite. I love the Dark Towers penstemon…haven’t been able to find it here yet. I also like Lauren’s Grape poppy. I sprinkled a couple of handfuls of really old seed of the ordinary papaver somniferum about my flower beds and every one of those suckers germinated! I had a bumper crop of poppies and will refresh my supple of seed for yet another year. The new path looks very crisp and a great contrast to the soft lines of the plants. I am looking forward to see how that bed matures over the summer as I studied its first incarnation very carefully in Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer. I now have a sort of proprietary interest in it… Thanks for another great Bloom Day

    If you can’t find it locally, Kate, you might try mail-order: Bluestone and several other well-known places offer it.

    How funny that you mentioned about the front border being in the book; I’d completely forgotten that I’d documented some of the early years of the border in there!
    -Nan

  18. So glad someone else shares my love of Gillenia stipulata!

    It’s a beauty, isn’t it?
    -Nan

  19. Wowza!!!! I have nothing to comment. Just wowza! Happy Bloom Day.~~Dee

    You’ve said it all, Dee – thanks!
    -Nan

  20. Posted by Annvdr on June 25, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Nan, it’s absolutely gorgeous! You are so much further ahead than us. We’ve had a cool wet spring in Calgary, and it still feels like spring, not summer.
    I think you have answered a question that has been plaguing me for a while now – how to tell the difference between astlbe and aruncus dioicus! Are the terminal leaves tri-lobed in all astilbes?

    Thanks so much! I’m afraid I can’t give you a definitive answer about the astilbe leaves; I don’t have much luck with the plants, so I don’t have much material here for comparison. Maybe someone else here knows?
    -Nan

  21. Hi Nan,
    I’m so glad you added these marvelous foliage shots with the bloom day. I don’t mind at all! In fact, I’m such a foliage fanatic you could do all foliage and not hear a single complaint.
    David/:0)

    I’m a big fan of foliage too, David, but once I tackle Bloom Day, I never seem to get around to doing a separate post for whatever leaves are looking good. So, I’m glad folks are fine with them being mixed in with the flowers!
    -Nan

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