Friday, June 16, 2017

Taking a (Late) Stab at June Bloom Day

As usual, things have been crazy. I've been feverishly working on expansion of the front gardens I started last year so I have room to combine heeled in plants I moved from my old garden with new purchases and annuals. Soon the yet to be developed patio and back gardens will be calling and I'll have to switch gears.

Speaking of the patio, last night we had a productive meeting with the landscape designer. We nailed down some final details and made an appointment for tomorrow morning to look at stone. Work is scheduled to start at the end of next week (yay!). I'm excited about the design and can't wait to see the finished product. More on that to come.

Since most of the plants around here are new or have been recently moved, not a whole lot is blooming. Containers provide some color but are still partially sulking over the chilly, wet spring. I struggle to find a shot around the house right now where the background isn't a mess. Brush piles, tarp covered garden amendments, idle cars and just plain crap-I've got it all.

So let's stop the whining why don't we and get to the flowers...

Inherited unknown Rose in my new garden

Roses are red, roses are pink. I love roses but they think I stink.

Right smack where the patio will be installed are four poorly sited, struggling roses.  All are climbers and I have no experience with climbers. I had planned to shovel prune them and then this one started blooming. Now I'm thinking maybe with some good soil, plenty of sun, water and compost this rose could be a nice addition to the garden.

Ha! Roses suck you in. It's what they do. Then before you know what hits you along comes the sawfly larvae, the blackspot, and the crushing disappointment of one day of flowers followed by heavy rain. Sign me up!

Papaver orientale 'Queen Alexandra'

Here's another bloom day offering you would never have seen in my old garden. But I have more room and more sun now so I decided a few of these 'Queen Alexandra' poppies tucked between a group of Pennisetum to hide their declining foliage would be the perfect pairing. How strategic of me. I think.

Corydalis lutea

Corydalis lutea took the move from my old garden like a champ. May it continue to be happy and cheerful and provide me with many offspring.

What happens when Allium christophii marries Astrantia 'Vanilla Gorilla'? In my experience, a grove of Allium which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided to remove some lawn and expand this edging of miniature Hosta into more of a mixed planting area. It wasn't long after I started planting that I discovered the rock formation is larger than can be seen and extends under the lawn.  Any recommendations for shallow rooted plants would be appreciated.

Mixed containers have always been a huge component of my garden.  I'm struggling a bit with them creatively this year but I'm happy with the simplicity of this one.

Heat and humidity melts them so pansies only do well here in the spring.  I usually spring for a couple of six packs in April when they are pretty much the only thing for sale at the garden center. When the time comes to yank them out, I sometimes pinch a few back and tuck them into the sides of my mixed containers.

Symphytum x uplandicum 'Axminster Gold' is one of my top ten favorite plants. I always say I'm going to cut off the flower stalks because they can get ratty. Then it blooms.

Symphytum x uplandicum 'Axminster Gold'

So far no sign of ratty and growing to well over four feet tall in a fair amount of hot afternoon sun. Rain is becoming more scarce and days are getting warmer so  I figure the other shoe is about ready to drop and I'll be cutting this one back soon.

Achillea 'Moonshine'

I brought Achillea 'Moonshine' from my old garden where it barely limped along and never bloomed. Voles decimated some of it over the winter here but I replanted. Now I'm eyeing cultivars in other colors.

I decided it was time to find out if all the Digiplexis hoopla is warranted. So far, so good but ask me again in September. The last time I tried this plant, I bought non blooming basal foliage. Don't do it. I'm not sure if this plant is perennial anywhere but it's an annual here and I learned it needs vernalization to bloom. If you don't see flower stalks at the nursery, don't take a chance.

Veronica longifolia 'Charlotte'

Veronica is a mixed experience plant for me. I blame lack of sun in my old garden but I never rule out gardener error. When I saw this subtly variegated variety at a local garden center this spring I decided it was time to try again.

Orange Calibrachoa in the blue fish pot

The fading flowers of Physocarpus 'Little Devil'

Raise your hand if you love Physocarpus as much as I do? The foliage provides so much structure in a mixed border and the cool cultivars keep coming. You could argue the same for Sambucus but I haven't had great luck with them. They tend to come up strong in the spring then just wilt and die one branch at a time. I read it was due to borers that overwinter in old stems but I always cut mine back hard and still had the wilt issues.

Antirrhinum majus nanum 'Black Prince'

Through gardeners that I follow on Instagram, I discovered The Bunker Farm in Dummerston, Vermont. One of the farm's products is unusual annuals and perennials grown from seed. A few weeks ago we were in the area and stopped by. I picked up some hard to find plants and a bunch of plants I had never seen before including this old fashioned Snapdragon.

A few miscellaneous bloomers:

Phlox glaberrima 'Triple Play'

Sunpatiens Variegated Spreading White

Aruncus 'Misty Lace' (I think)

Allium christophii

Photo credits to Dave for the rest of these shots. He was home chipping brush yesterday while I was at work and knew I needed material for this post. Maybe I'll let him take all the pictures for July <wink,wink>.

Geranium 'New Hampshire Purple' was a gift from my friend Deanne many years ago and moved from my old garden,

Clematis 'Arabella' mingling with maidenhair fern Adiantum pedatum

This inherited peony is planted in a sea of variegated goutweed (Aegopodium) and chameleon plant (Houttuynia) in the old vegetable garden. I'd like to save it but will have move it completely bare root to avoid exposing other garden areas to those invasive bastards.

Dave got a way better shot of the poppies than I did.

So there you have it. Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting is monthly event. Next week I will be attending the Garden Bloggers Fling where I look forward to meeting many of the folks behind the blogs. I'm the token poser, the one nobody will know. With any luck no one will call security before checking with the organizers.



  1. Despite the disclaimer at the top of your post, there's a lot going on in your garden! I wonder what surprises await you once your get your landscape design in place and really settle into this new garden? Six years ago, I moved just 15 miles and found myself in a different world, where what worked in the old garden didn't stand a chance of surviving but a whole lot of new plants crept in that loved it here. And I'm still learning...As an aside, although technically perennial here, Digiplexis did NOT work for me except as a grossly over-priced annual.

  2. I'll vouch for you Sue!

    It was 102 here today and I'm hiding inside . Maybe I'll go out tomorrow at about 7 and snap a few shots for a Bloomday post. More heat on the way here.
    I had great luck with Digiplexis;it bloomed for about 2 years straight. I finally dug them out because they had grown so large. I bought a new one this spring.

  3. Some very fine plants here! I like the Astrantia-Allium christophii combination. And thanks for showing the Symphytum - that provided an ID for a mystery plant I saw recently. Quite dramatic foliage!