Now that we’ve finally gotten some rain again here in southeastern Pennsylvania, I decided to plant out a few pansies.
Yeah, no–just kidding, obviously. But this is part of the spring tradition around here: making the rounds of area nurseries, including Ott’s Exotic Plants in Schwenksville, PA, home of the magical mountain o’pansies. Here at home, things aren’t spectacular on the grand scale, but there are many wonderful small things happening.
Once the rain returned, the weeds really took off, and for a while, I was so busy catching up with planting that they kind of got out of control. In a way, it’s a lot easier to pull weeds once they have some size on them, especially if you’re clearing everything out of a bed or path. Sometimes, though, there are tiny treasures that need to be saved, making the process much more time-consuming. There’s nothing worse than pulling out a bunch of weeds and finding the tops of long-nurtured seedlings in the handful. Oh, wait, there is one thing worse: ending up with a handful of poison ivy. (Thank goodness for Tecnu!)
Anyway, my point is that it’s worth being careful. Back in the Happy Garden, I found lots of cool things: many seedlings of wild gingers (both Asarum europaeum and A. canadense), as well as a bunch of the dwarf Formosa lily (Lilium formosanum var. pricei) seedlings that I’d set out last year and forgotten about.
I thought I’d lost my beautiful variegated ‘Bill Archer’ borage (Borago officinalis), because I ended up giving all the seeds away last year. A few days after I cleared out the white clover, though, a dozen or so plump little seedlings popped up right where the patch had been last year. Whew!
(By the way, I also managed to give away all of my ‘Tiger Cub’ corn seeds, which is terribly disappointing. If any of you got some in a previous giveaway, had luck with them, and have a few extras that you’d be willing to share back, I’d be pathetically grateful.)
Out front, I found three seedlings from a previous year’s ornamental sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas). The only one I grew out there last year was ‘Camouflage’, but none of the seedlings were close to where it grew, and I can’t recall if it even flowered, so I’m not sure where they came from.
Last year, I skipped deadheading my ‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) plants , with the intention of sowing the seeds in pots to see if the seedlings would come true. I forgot to collect them, though, so I figured I’d try again this fall. It turned out that the plants took care of the experiment for me. I was disappointed to find more than a dozen green-leaved seedlings in the first bed I weeded.
Around each other ‘Isla Gold’ clump, though, I found only yellow-leaved seedlings: hooray! So, it’s safe to say that the seeds come at least partly true, anyway. I’ll make sure to collect some this year for my giveaway in case any of you would like to try them.
Finding this blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) seedling was a surprise too. It must have sown itself into this ever-expanding patch of Tatarian aster (Aster tataricus) several years ago, and I just didn’t notice it until it bloomed this year.
I wondered why none of my other baptisia species and cultivars had ever self-sowed in the garden, then finally realized it’s because I usually cut them all back hard after flowering to control their size. Since the long dry spell has kept the plants on the short side already, I’m going to leave them alone this year and scatter their seeds around to see what else I might get.
I must have been pretty careless when I dug my tender bulbs last fall, because I missed quite a few things I’m sorry now to have lost. It was a delight to uncover these shoots of ‘Oakhurst’ pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa), though.
I know the species is supposed to be hardy here, but I’ve not had luck in my few experiments with leaving it or ‘Oakhurst’ in the ground before, and it was certainly cold enough this winter for a fair test. It would be terrific to have one less thing to haul indoors every fall.
Several other nice surprises came from seeds that some of you have sent me over the past few years. I was thrilled with the rich color of ‘Twilight Serenade’ meadow sage (Salvia pratensis), and the pretty bicolor blooms of ‘Madeline’ too.
Thanks again for those seeds, Christine, and for the fringecups (Tellima grandiflora), too!
From a friend in Italy (thanks, Clark!), I received some seeds he’d collected in the Netherlands, labeled “Fluffy Seeds from Venlo.” They finally flowered this spring and, rather amusingly, turned out to be a perennial that’s native to Pennsylvania: Anemone cylindrica.
Technically, red clover (Trifolium pratense) is a weed in the garden (except for the variegated selection ‘Susan Smith’), but it’s actually rather pretty. I’ve been leaving some of the clumps and regularly picking their flowers as snacks for Duncan and Daniel.
Red feather clover (Trifolium rubens) gets much more credit for being ornamental, maybe because it’s less common. I always have a few plants at any given time, but they’ve moved themselves around over the years. I really like how this one paired itself with ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint (Nepeta).
One more wonderful surprise of the last two weeks has been the ripening of the ‘White Pine’ pineberries (Fragaria). (If the berries are shaded by the leaves, they may stay white when ripe; sun brings out more of a pinkish blush.)
I splurged on six plants last year and grew them in containers so I could pamper them. They produced a few fruits, but they were kind of mushy and not especially flavorful. By midsummer, the plants exploded with runners, which cascaded over the edge of the planters and ended up rooting into the weed barrier cloth below. This year, those plants have been producing loads of really tasty berries, and lots more runners too. I’m going to set some flats of potting soil around them for the runners to root into, then use them for a groundcover in a spot I plan to clear later this summer.
Ok, well, enough of the surprises and on to some flowering highlights of the past month, starting with the bluestars (Amsonia).
A couple of bellflowers (Campanula)…
…and dianthus (Dianthus).
It’s also the season for perennial salvias (Salvia)…
…and irises, of course.
And what would early June be without peonies…
…and roses, of course.
Rose rosette disease (RRD) is still an issue around here, but I’ve pretty much stopped losing plants, and those that are left seem to be doing well. Flower Carpet Amber (Rosa ‘Noa97400a’) is thriving, thank goodness, and though my original Knock Out (‘Radrazz’) plants are declining, I think that’s due to age, since they’ve never shown any signs of RRD, nor have my Pink Knock Out or Blush Knock Out plants, or any of the rugosas or rugosa hybrids.
Back in the “wild garden,” I have a good-sized patch of the Gallica rose ‘Belle de Crecy’, which has also been unaffected so far. In fact, it flowered more abundantly this year than it has for quite a while. I couldn’t resist using some of the Flower Carpet Amber and ‘Belle de Crecy’ (plus one bloom of ‘Dr. Huey’ and some sprigs of lady’s mantle), to make a nosegay for a friend.
Lots of clematis have been blooming here, too, including…
…and several “leatherflower” types, including:
My efforts to add more late-spring and early-summer interest have been paying off, with lots of miscellaneous herbaceous bloomers strutting their stuff over past few weeks, including…
A few stars among the woodies include…
And to finish, some foliage features:
Goodness, that was a long one, but there was a lot to cover. Eventually I’ll get back to writing on other topics, but for the next few months, at least, I’ll be sticking to Bloom Day posts while I put the finishing touches on my next book and then get ready for my seed giveaway. Speaking of books, I’m making the Kindle version of Tried and True Perennials available for free on Amazon from today (June 15th) through Friday, June 19th; if you’re interested, you can get it here. If you’d rather enjoy a virtual tour of other early summer gardens, then visit Carol’s main Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens to see the whole list of participants. It’s bound to be a big group this time!
24 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June 2015”
Thanks for stopping by today, Stephen.
It is always a delight to see the blooming frenzy in your garden. Happy GBBD.
Since the rain has returned after 5 weeks of almost nothing, it’s like having a second spring. The plants are so happy now, and so am I. Hope things are growing as well in your part of the world, Lisa!
I always look forward to your bloom day posts Nan. Thank you. Love the combinations this spring. I’m off to Tulsa this morning with a friend to hit their nurseries. They have better ones than Oklahoma City. I hope to score a golden elderberry, maybe the lace one, and a ‘Snowflake’ oak leaf hydrangea. Glad to also hear that RRD is slowing down in your garden. I pulled out four more roses this year, but that gave me room to plant other things which is great. I still have a lot of roses. Probably too many. Hugs from Oklahoma.~~Dee
Hey there, Dee. I hope you had a lovely day and found lots of wonderful new plants. I managed to score a Lemony Lace elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) this spring, and it seems to be settling in well, but in general, I have much better luck with Sambucus nigra. Sorry to hear that you’re still losing roses. May you too reach equilibrium soon!
Nan — inspirational as always. Plus you showed a photo with the name of a plant I recently saw in a botanic garden that was unlabeled. I took a photo hoping that I could find to what it was. So doubly enjoyed your post today!
How fortuitous! I love when that happens. Happy Bloom Day to you, Linda.
Beautiful as usual! I created a huge new planting bed last fall and applied a thick layer of mulch to help with the weed seedlings that were bound to crop up. I’d like to allow it to thin out in the future to encourage self sowing of the plants I want. I know it’s a lot of extra work but you have shown me that it can also be a lot of fun seeing all the free plants that pop up.
Thanks, Debbie. That sounds like a good plan. I’ve gotten loads of free plants that way, and some wonderful plant combinations that I would never have thought of too. Just watch out for the poison ivy!
Well worth the wait! Thanks so much for this banquet of delights.
The image of Dianthus ‘Frosty Fire’ grabbed me; I grew it more than a decade ago and loved it so. Thankfully, I gave some to a friend before mine got overwhelmed during a period of neglect, and your picture makes me want a piece back ASAP.
That’s the wonderful thing about sharing, isn’t it: having a good chance of getting some back if you lose yours. I’ve gotten some nice seedlings from ‘Frosty Fire’ too, though they’ve all been shades of pink, not that rich red.
I loved loved this post! Your garden is so beautiful! I saved it to go back and enjoy it again and again. Love your combinations of flowers, and the nosegay was so cute! I can’t imagine how many hours you must PLAY in the garden. Looking forward to your new book and Thank you for all your beautiful photos, and all of your knowledge. I learn so much from you.
You’re so kind, Karen; thank you. Yes, it’s hard to separate work time from play time in the garden. In fact, I’m planning to start a new plant-related project in the next week. If it works out, I hope to share the results next month. Happy gardening to you!
I have Tiger Cub growing from seeds you gave away 2 years ago; just three plants but as soon as the pollen is ripe I will hand pollinate in hopes of having a few ears for seeds. I will be sure to save some for you.
Bless you, Alana! I’d really hoped to preserve the strain, since it seems to have disappeared from the trade. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Hi Nan, Goodness hasnt your garden come on in leaps and bounds. It doesnt seem that long since it was under several feet of snow and here we are almost Midsummer. Glorious photos and comments of your wonderful plant combinations as always.. Thanks for including the valerian it is the exact plant I need to give a bit of height in a border.
Hi Allan! It is hot and humid enough here to feel like July or August. I should warn you about the valerian: it’s a nice size this year (about 4 feet) but more typically reaches about 6 feet tall. It also self-sows readily. But, it *is* a lovely white, very free-flowering, and ideal for early-season height.
Hi Nan, Thanks for the warning! However, I already have the plant, just in the wrong place. You are correct about the height, 7 feet in my case. I dont know whethet I am lucky or unlucky but mine has never self sown until this year (its been in place 2 or 3 years). The place where I might move it or the only self sown one, to is next to Verbena bonariensis (which again for me has never self sown).The 2 can fight it out for space. Incidentally did you know there is a golden leaf form? Apologies if you know or already own it.
Oh, goodness–Valeriana phu ‘Aurea’! I had it in my previous garden, but it wasn’t happy there and faded away after a few years. I should track it down and try it again here. Thanks for the reminder, Allan.
Always love every post. How far back do you cut your baptesia after blooming? I didn’t realize growth could be controlled in that way.
I usually cut them back by about half their height, Ann, but if the clumps are really big or on the crowded side, I’ve cut as low as 1 foot. The plants look terrible for about 2 weeks, then they leaf out again and are bushy and fresh-looking for the rest of the growing season. I figured this out after Canada thistles worked their way into the section of meadow where I have a bunch of Baptisia alba plants established. To keep the thistles in check, I usually have to mow (to about 4 inches) around the time the baptisias are in full bloom, and they still come back after that; they even tolerate it when I mow again about a month later.
You always have such a great variety of flowers for Bloom Day, and I love how you show plants in combinations. I’ve stolen a few ideas from you in the past few years. Thanks for the link to your free Kindle book! Have you grown fringecups before? I don’t know how it will behave in your climate, but in its native PNW where I live, it has a tendency to self-sow very aggressively.
I’m honored, Alison, because you have a good eye for combinations yourself. Thanks for the warning about the fringecups. I’m collecting the seed, so my plants probably won’t have much opportunity to self-sow. But right now, I think they’re so cute that I’d be happy to have even more of them (within reason, of course).
Nan, I think this my favorite time in your garden, at least until I see your next post! I love all the soft colors and the many shades of green. I think of you when I see my purple plantain come up each year. It has begun to sow itself around in a polite fashion. I have enjoyed salvia ‘Twilight Serenade’ also. I like the combo of it and the tickseed. I need to go out and grab some seed heads before the finches eat them all. Thanks once again for sharing so many wonderful ideas and images.
Good to hear from you, Kate. So, you were already a fan of ‘Twilight Serenade’–you’re smart. I am sorry that I didn’t catch on to it sooner, but you can believe that I’m scattering a lot of the seedheads around now (and collecting a lot too), because I need more of it everywhere!
Nan, it’s always so wonderful when I open my email and there’s a blog post! You always take so much time to put together a great group of photos with lots of information. It’s always a pleasure, and I go back to each post multiple times before the next one comes out.
A note on Tellima……I have had it in my garden here in NH for about 4-5 years or so. Started a couple from seed, and haven’t had a single seedling from them. I don’t deadhead them. Maybe we’re just too cold here? Halfway wish I would! It’s a nice little plant!
I appreciate you sharing that info, Susan. Thanks to the seeds Christine shared with me, I have about a dozen fringecups plants scattered around in the side garden, and I’d be happy to have a few dozen more. I think I’ll let some self-sow and see what happens.
Once again, your photos leave me salivating, even though my climate and current water restrictions seriously restrict my plant selections. Still, your photos have pushed me to reconsider Kniphofia and, if I find I can keep my water use within specified guidelines this year, maybe I’ll invest in a few amber Flower Carpet roses next winter. Best wishes with your ongoing work on the new book and I look forward to seeing it on my book shelf.
Hi Kris! It impresses me how easy ‘Flamenco’ kniphofia is to grow from seed, and it’s interesting to see the variation in the flower colors, though I’m partial to the orange-and-yellow ones myself. I’m sorry you have to deal with the water restrictions, and I wish you all a season of soaking rain (but, you know, not too much at one time…).
YOUR GARDENS LEAVE ME BREATHLESS AND RESTLESS TO GET TO EVERY GARDEN CENTER WITHIN REACH!!!!!!!
That kind of response makes blogging worthwhile, Lynn. May you have a glorious summer in your garden!
Hi,I am new to your site and all I can say is wow! I am an avid gardener who is always looking for information and pictures to inspire me. If it is possible could I be on your list of people you gift seeds to?This year I have been doing tropical plants from seeds and succulants. My main gardens are all perennials with some tropical(I overwinter these in the house) sprinkled throughout.
Welcome! I’m happy to have you as a reader. My seed offer is open to everyone. I post the list toward the end of the season–usually sometime from September to November–so keep checking back. I also encourage you (and others) to let me know if you see something in my recent posts that you’re particularly interested in getting seeds from. (You can leave a comment on one of the posts, or email me directly at nan at hayefield dot com.) In an effort to keep things fresh, I sometimes skip collecting from plants I’ve already offered several times. I might not think to collect from something you particularly want if I don’t know of your interest, or I might have a small amount to share but not enough to add it to the general offer. I can’t promise that the seeds will all come true, but I do my best to make sure they’re clean and properly identified, at least. And hey, they’re free!
What a delightful post! I’m now wiping the drool off my keyboard, lol. I have added several of your lovely pictures to my ‘plants desired for my garden’ pinboard. Looking forward to whatever you blog next!
Thanks, Ginny! I’m just getting into Pinterest myself and having a blast with it, but it sure does take time away from the gardening that needs to get done.
Ugh, I just lost my comment when my fat little fingers tapped on just the wrong thing. The curse of the touch screen!
Things look fantastic, you are doing well with the late spring/early summer lull, I wish I could say the same, all I have here is green! I love the combos and I particularly love all your yellow foliage. I’m trying to cut back but I just can’t pass them by….
I’m behind in nearly everything of course but as I was looking through the seed bin picking out the last plantings I set aside your ‘tiger cub’ seeds. There are still about a dozen seeds left if you’re interested, I could easily fill their spot with something else….
Hmmm maybe I can make the trip to Ott’s for a new plant :)
“A” new plant–from Ott’s??? Good luck with that, Frank. With the ‘Tiger Cub’: since you have a spot for it, I’d be thrilled to know that you were growing it this year. I’ve already planted pod corn and an interesting red-kerneled “8-row” corn too, from a friend in Italy, and I’m tempted to sow some of his ‘Pignoletto Giallo’ seeds as well, but I’m running out of places where I can keep them sufficiently separate.
I have admired your dwarf fleece flowers and want to edge a bed with it. Mail order sources are very limited, but I found one here in Virginia that sells several varieties. Two named varieties of persicaria affinis they carry are ‘Darjeeling Red’ and ‘border Jewel.” Do you happen to know what variety you have? I really want to choose one that turns the beautiful red in the fall like yours.
I started with Persicaria affinis (or Polygonum affine, as it was known back then) ‘Dimity’, and that’s what appears in most of my pictures. But a few clumps are seedlings, I think, which is why I don’t use the cultivar name any more. They all turn red in fall; I believe it’s just something that the species normally does. So, you’d probably be fine with either of those selection, Debbie.
Nan, you must be so happy to be among these wonderful blooms. I enjoyed seeing the lush plantings. ‘Elfin Pink’ beardtongue is a lovely shade–very pretty with Nepeta. susie
Hi there, Susie. Yes, that penstemon is charming and goes with many other colors. It was also nice with the really rich blue of Salvia pratensis ‘Twilite Serenade’.
I was wondering if you can help me with some questions I have on a few of your plants?
Flamenco torch lily,ascot rainbow euphoria and serious black clementis. Did you grow by seeds or buy plants? Do you recommend any nurseries? I have gardens in zone 6 and 7. My oldest garden is in Audubon NJ only a few hours from you. I have been reading your past posts and am enjoying them so much.
Hey, Sandra! I’ve grown ‘Flamenco’ from seed, but I also saw beautiful plants for sale this spring at Herbein’s Garden Center in Emmaus, PA (Lehigh County). The ‘Ascot Rainbow’ euphorbia was from Black Creek Greenhouse in East Earl, PA (Lancaster County) last year. It’s not hardy outdoors for me; I overwintered it in my basement. And the Serious Black clematis–well, that was from the original Heronswood Nursery back in the 1990s, I think. It’s been hard to find for ages, but a major perennial producer seems to be growing it now, so there’s hope that it will become more available. I’m planning to collect seed to share, but the seedlings it produces will be variable in color.
If you ever decide to plan a PA shopping trip, I’d be glad to recommend some other places I think are worth visiting, depending on what you’re particularly interested in (woodies, perennials, exotics, annuals, natives, etc.).
As always, I love to sit and slowly scroll through your posts. When I see a nifty combo I stare outside to see if I can find a place a similar scene! Thanks for sharing. I’m just getting around to your bloom day post, so I was sad to miss the Free Kindle version, but I hope you’ll keep us posted on its availability. Also, the last photo with the ‘Sun Power’ Hosta, how much sun does that spot get?
Hey there, Shelley! Sorry you missed the free offer. Amazon sets limits on the length and frequency of Kindle promotions. It’s always available for the regular price ($5.99), though. The ‘Sun Power’ hosta gets sun from dawn until around 2 pm; then it’s shaded by taller plants around it.
I just got your book The Perennial Care Manual. Even a seasoned gardener can gain tips and insights. I have also enjoyed your past posts especially about your boys. They have the most beautiful faces. Question.. I have a very old wisteria that I think I have been pruning at the wrong time. When would you prune?
It’s super to hear that you like the book; thanks! I’ve only ever done maintenance pruning on wisterias in other people’s gardens–I’ve never grown it myself or attempted to renovate an old one–so unfortunately, I can’t give you any first-hand advice. How about asking on the pruning forums at Dave’s Gardens or GardenWeb?
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