You have no idea how much time I spent trying to come up with excuses for a rather paltry offering for this month’s Bloom Day post. After all, this time of year isn’t the best for the gardens here. It was just a few days ago that I finished planting out the last of the annuals, and they look very silly compared to the established perennials.
Even worse, though, is that once I get an area planted, I then go through and cut back most of the perennials, either to freshen up those that are already finished or to delay and/or control the size of the later-bloomers. (I used to do the pruning first, but then I ended up putting in way more annuals than I needed, because I didn’t take into account how much space the perennials would fill when they bushed out again.)
The approach works well, for the most part, but it does mean that the lush growth and pretty combinations of late spring end up looking really rough after the pruning frenzy. The hybrid bluestars (Amsonia) above, for instance, were barely finished flowering when I got around to that part of the garden, and it was the work of a few minutes to chop them and the lamb’s ears. If I’d left them alone, that area would have looked lovely for another 4 to 6 weeks, at least. But I know from experience that if I didn’t give it some tough love now, the bluestars would be all floppy and the lamb’s ears would have been smothered or rotted by mid-July and look bad for the rest of the season. So, needs must, and all that.
I’ve been taking lots of pictures anyway during the last few weeks, and when I reviewed the images a few days ago, I realized that there are some good things going on out there. Really wonderful things, actually. So, forgetting about all the excuses, I present the highlights of early summer at Hayefield.
Now, how to arrange the best moments? By color, I suppose, so let’s start with the abundance of pinks.
Above is skunky-but-pretty crosswort (Phuopsis stylosa) with the stripy foliage of ‘Kwanso Variegated’ tawny daylily (Hemerocallis fulva). I’ve made a point of cutting out the all-green bits of the daylily this spring, which makes the whole patch look better and gives Duncan and Daniel some nice snacks too. (I think they like daylily foliage even better than the flowers.)
Below is more crosswort, this time with Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) and ‘Dark Towers’ beardtongue (Penstemon)—well, one ‘Dark Towers’ and a bunch of its seedlings, many of which look just like the original.
Out in the meadow, the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, above) is coming into bloom, about 10 days after the showy milkweed (A. speciosa, below) started in the garden.
Above, ‘Pixie Star’ pink (Dianthus) with ‘Argentea Variegata’ sweet iris (Iris pallida) and chives (Allium schoenoprasum).
Below, lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina) with creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum), Sedum hispanicum var. minus, and what came labeled as Sedum acre, though it’s much tinier than the stringy, rampant spreader I’ve grown under that name.
Above, ‘Amazone’ tuberous Jerusalem sage (Phlomis tuberosa) with Pink Knock Out rose (Rosa ‘Radcon’). And below, blue-leaved rose (Rosa glauca).
Wow—that’s really bright! There’s rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) mingling with Geranium ‘Brookside’ and Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuisssima). Let’s cool things down again before we leave the pinks, with Sicilian honey garlic (Nectaroscordum siculum).
Now for the whites. Above is Ornithogalum magnum with Salvia ‘Caradonna’. Below is climbing hardy asparagus (Asparagus verticillatus). It’s a hard plant to take a good picture of, because it’s so wispy, but it’s really cool up close. I’ve had to move this clump several times in the last 10 years, and it hated it each time. It’s been in this spot for about 4 years now, though, and it’s finally settled in; right now, it’s about 7 feet tall.
Above, wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) is just starting its months-long bloom period. Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’, below, blooms for only a week or so, but it’s very pretty too.
Above, variegated rough deutzia (Deutzia scabra ‘Variegata’): an excellent example of why it’s pretty much pointless to have white flowers on a white-variegated plant. But then, the bees certainly don’t find the flowers to be pointless.
Below, the first flowers on ‘Governor George Aiken’ mullein (Verbascum), seeds of which came to me from one of my readers in Vermont (thanks, Alice).
Above, angelica (Angelica archangelica).
Below, beautiful blooms that would probably be prized if they were on a rare plant instead of a relatively common snow pea variety (‘Mammoth Melting Sugar’).
Above, ‘Innocence’ mockorange (Philadelphus), which flowers about 2 weeks after P. coronarius.
Sometimes, weeds serve a purpose. These oxeye daisies popped up in a difficult spot in the front garden, and they showed off so nicely in front of the ‘Fiesta’ forsythia that I decided to leave them—for a while, anyway.
Above, a vignette from one of the beds in the shrubbery, of ‘Henry’s Garnet’ Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) with foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis).
Below, one of the white false indigo (Baptisia alba) clumps in the meadow on the sand mound. The other baptisia species I grow here are done by this time, but these have just started flowering because I mowed the whole area to 4 inches in mid-April, so they got set back a bit.
Getting into the yellows, with ‘Butter and Sugar’ Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) above and rue (Ruta graveolens) below.
Above, yellow foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora) against a hybrid bluestar (Amsonia); below, king’s spear (Asphodeline lutea).
Two chartreusey, self-sowing annuals: above is hare’s ear (Bupleurum rotundifolium) and below is Euphorbia ‘Golden Foam’.
The beauty above—golden hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata ‘Aurea’)—also comes true from seed.
Below, yellow meadow rue (Thalictrum flavum subsp. glaucum) with a lost-label hosta.
The flowers of ‘Lion King’ Dutch iris include both purple and orange, but I figured they could go here since they’re with yet another yellow (Euphorbia nicaeensis), and ‘Toffee Twist’ sedge (Carex) as well.
Getting to the more distinct purples and blues, starting with a bunch of alliums.
Above, blue globe onion (Allium caeruleum [A. azureum]); below, hybrid ‘Forelock’ allium just coming into flower.
Above, star of Persia (Allium christophii) with golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’) and giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima). Below, hybrid ‘Gladiator’ with ‘Edith Wolford’ bearded iris.
Several days in a row of 90+ degrees in late May fried many of the irises, but I figured I’d include this one of ‘Gerald Darby’ (Iris x robusta) for the folks who were so impressed by its purple foliage last month.
Below, heartleaf speedwell (Veronica grandis), originally from Plant World Seeds.
Gift seeds of an ornamental cabbage mix (thanks, Clark!) produced some really cool plants; above is one with ‘Blue Wonder’ catmint (Nepeta).
Below, one of a bunch of Canterbury bells (Campanula medium var. calycanthema) down in the cottage garden.
Above, some Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) in the sand-mound meadow.
June is also the time for the leather flower clematis. The one below is Clematis viorna.
The flowers of these two look very similar, but the one above grows just 2 to 3 feet tall. I’m pretty sure now that it’s Clematis addisonii. The one below, which I think is Clematis versicolor, grows 5 to 6 feet tall.
Not many edibles so far, but a few include ‘Pixwell’ gooseberries above and ‘Golden Sweet’ peas below.
The 16th of every month is Foliage Follow-Up day, hosted by Pam at Digging. Since I never seem to get around to doing a separate post for it, I’ve included some of my favorite foliage shots here.
Lovely Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum), above with ‘Othello’ ligularia (Ligularia dentata) and below with feather-leaved rodgersia (Rodgersia pinnata), some Astilbe chinensis var. pumila, and a bit of ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ bugbane (Actaea/Cimicifuga).
Above, Miss Willmott’s ghost (Eryngium giganteum) getting ready to bloom; below, ‘Big Ears’ lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina) with ‘Voodoo’ two-row sedum (Sedum spurium) and a bit of an unnamed Japanese maple (Acer palmatum).
Bits of the same Japanese maple appear in these two shots as well. Above, it’s with ‘Gerald Darby’ iris (Iris x robusta), Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’), dwarf fleeceflower (Persicaria affinis), and ‘Sun Power’ hosta.
Below, it’s behind Wine and Roses weigela (Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’), Magic Carpet spirea (Spiraea ‘Walbuma’), ‘New Hampshire Purple’ bloody geranium (Geranium sanguineum), ‘Oehme’ palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis), and, out of focus along the right edge, the new growth of ‘Latifolia Maculata’ boxwood (Buxus sempervirens).
Above, ‘Elizabeth’ two-row sedum (Sedum spurium) with a variety of hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum).
Below, variegated pokeweed (Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’) with golden meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea’).
And a few general garden shots, starting with the shrubbery beds I worked on expanding last fall.
Part of the border out front, above, with the same clump of giant fleeceflower (Persicaria polymorpha) visible from the other side in the front-garden shot below.
Lots of chartreuse (maybe too much?) in the front garden.
And a couple of shots of the side garden.
To see what’s blooming in other June gardens around the world, be sure to visit Carol’s main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens. But before you go, I have two bits of blog business to mention.
First, I probably won’t be doing a new post on the first of the month, as I usually do, so I can get caught up on some work deadlines. I’ll be back for Bloom Day on July 15th.
Second, I’m already starting to think about this year’s seed-sharing project. If you see anything in my Bloom Day posts that you’d like seeds of, please don’t hesitate to mention it in a comment, or send me an email; it’ll help me plan which seeds to collect this summer and fall. (I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to get them, or that they’ll come true, but I’ll do my best.)
Though I probably shouldn’t do this (talk about counting one’s chickens before they’re hatched!), I can’t resist mentioning two new things I’m really excited about and looking forward to sharing with those of you who are interested.
I managed to score ‘Glass Gem’ corn seed from three different sources this winter and have two nice patches of it started: one in my very best spot out front and not-very-elegantly protected with chicken wire to keep the rabbits out. If the gardening gods cooperate, there should be plenty to collect and pass along. (If you haven’t already seen pictures of this gorgeous corn, you can see some here: Glass Gem Corn.)
And thanks to one of my readers (you’re so generous, Rick), I was able to start a whole flat of the rare species Petunia exserta. You can read more about this treasure here: Petunias Rare and Red. I’m keeping my fingers crossed to collect seeds of this one: it deserves to be enjoyed everywhere!