Monday, June 15, 2009

GBBD: June Blooms

Can you believe that we are halfway through June already? Where has the time gone? Of course, the good part of it being mid-month is that it's once again time for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Spring blooms have long since faded, but June is the real beginning of summer beauty in the garden here in Zone 5. Let's have a quick look around to see what is blooming today.

In the "back forty," as I call it, where things grow wildly without much help from the gardener, the first hollyhock bud has opened. Judging by the number of buds, there will be many more blooms in the coming weeks.

Last fall I had the bright idea to turn a small area in this back yard into a "wild" garden, planting some native plants and others to attract butterflies. I started with some passalongs, like this false sunflower given to me by my friend Beckie. I remember how long it took her to eradicate these from her garden as they spread all over. I have lots of space, so I don't think I'll regret planting these--they're really quite pretty, aren't they?

I've also added starts from some of my "spreaders," like the "Appleblossom" yarrow pictured above as well as some coneflower seedlings. New plants and many seeds were added this spring, but nothing else is ready to bloom yet, so I am going to wait until later in the summer to do a post on this area--that is, provided it turns out:)

Behind this area there are some less desirable plants, like this shrub that has turned into a small tree. It's what I generically call a "weed tree," but can anyone identify what it is?

Speaking of spreading plants, the daylilies "Stella d'Oro" have just begun to bloom. It's no wonder these lilies are ubiquitous in commercial plantings--they are so easy to grow, and they multiply like crazy. After seeing how congested mine were getting last year, I decided to divide them this spring. I gave away extras to friends and family and still had leftovers! The leftovers sat in a bucket for over a month until I decided out of desperation to plant them in front of one of the machine sheds. I'm not sure if Hubby, aka Mr. Procrastinator, appreciated the new landscaping there.

Another prolific self-seeder is the coneflower, but I will never grow tired of these. It's still too early for the real coneflower show here, but I was surprised to find two already beginning to bloom in the roadside garden.

Moving to the shade garden, the first hosta blooms have just appeared.

But I was really excited to see these astilbe blooms. I have killed more astilbes than I care to remember and had decided not to even try planting them anymore. I could have sworn I let this one die last year, too, but obviously it survived my neglect. I love these delicate blooms, and I've promised it I will keep it watered this summer.

Here's a plant no amount of neglect can kill--lamium (specific name forgotten). I do like this groundcover in the shade garden, but it has spread all over. I took some time this spring and dug most of it up, transplanting it nearby where it can spread to its heart's content.

Here is proof for my hypothesis that the best blooms appear on the 16th or the 17th of the month, just after Bloom Day. The pink-tinged outer petals of "Let's Dance Moonlight" suggest it will burst into full bloom any day now. This was a bargain purchase made last fall, so I am anxious to see what its blooms will actually look like.

Several plants have been blooming for a few weeks already. The knockout roses began to bloom before I left for Spring Fling, but they're not looking as good as usual this year. I had to prune them quite bit after our harsh winter, but I think there is something else going on with them which I haven't figured out yet.

There's no problem with the catmint, Nepeta "Walker's Low," though, other than the washed-out photo. This plant just keeps getting bigger each year and was one of the first perennials to bloom here.

It is definitely a bee magnet. Judging by the number of bees swarming around it this spring, there should be lots of pollination going on in my garden this spring. And are they ever busy bees! I must have taken 20 or more shots to get this one mediocre photo of one.

Although I have many, many annuals in bloom right now, I wasn't going to include those in today's post. But I do have to share this ivy geranium which attracted the first butterfly of the season. The noon-day sun makes its color faded, but I believe this is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail--butterfly experts, am I right?

And last, but not least, my very own "river of salvia":) Okay, so it's not quite as impressive as the Lurie Gardens', but I have only three plants compared to the hundreds in the Lurie. Actually, there may only be two plants now--one of the two "East Frieslands" may have succumbed to the more robust "May Night." The "May Night" is definitely a vigorous salvia and one I would recommend, but the "East Frieslands" were planted for sentimental reasons, as my ancestors came from this part of Germany.

Speaking of the Lurie Gardens, I had the good fortune during Spring Fling to meet Carol of May Dreams Gardens, our hostess for the monthly Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. And in case, you're wondering, yes, she is as lively and entertaining in person as she is on her blog. Be sure to visit her for other Bloom Day posts today.


  1. Hi Rose, your blooms are wonderful and plentiful! I can imagine what your wild area is going to look like, and think Beckie's thug is a beauty. Your bee shot is as well. Looks like an Eastern Swallowtail to me. Do you have bronze fennel, dill or parsley? The caterpillars adore the members of the carrot family. Happy Bloom Day! :-)

  2. The 15th slipped up on me-but thank goodness you remembered. Your blooms are all beautiful! And I love the butterfly- yes according to my butterfly guide, it is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, yellow.

    The Stellas and yarrow you gave me are blooming here too. I am so happy with them. Can't wait to see your 'wild' area.

    Great bloom day post and isn't it wonderful to have so many blooms to share?!

  3. Hi Rose,
    What great blooms you have already. Love that salvia!! My Stellas have buds but no flowers yet, and probably not for a week. Must be because we live so close to Lake Erie and the very cool nights we've been having.
    All great pics as usual!!

  4. Rose, I hope you don't regret that false sunflower. Wait, let's have no regrets in our gardens! I think it will be beautiful if you have a wild area for it to grow in.

    And I wish I did know what your weed tree was, it seems familiar, but it is early yet, it will come to me just as soon as someone else names it.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  5. Rose girl what pretty blooms you have for this post ! .. I love the salvia .. mine has lots of buds and will open soon I hope .. with some sunny weather (we are in rain mode right now).
    It is funny about astilbe and some ferns .. just when you think you have killed them (mistakenly of course) they sneak back up on you !! LOL

  6. Love all your blooms. Shrub looks like a viburnum, only that's not really "weedy." I had a heck of a tie photographing my spiderwort (even in shade) which is dark vibrant blue... also have trouble with white flowers sometimes.

  7. So much and diversified bloom. I love the wild area. We have noticed a lot of yellow swallowtail butterflies this year, especially on the pink lilac. I have no idea why.

  8. I love hollyhocks. Finally planted some this year along the fenceline.

  9. Your apple blossom has a lovely colored bloom. I added two new yarrow this spring but they haven't bloomed yet.

    Your comment and something MMD said makes me think I should move my new lamium away from the more sissified plants in my woodland garden;)

  10. Yup, looks like a lovely river of salvia indeed. Lots of great blooms up your way. I do think the false sunflower is great. Does it self seed around? Or by runners? I have some but it's never spread itself around. I wouldn't mind but not by runners. I wish I knew your weed tree. I am thinking maybe an elderberry? I see them blooming all over alongside roads. I thought wild hydrangea at first, but now maybe elderberry but it is a tree I am not familiar with so what do I know? Lovely blooms Rose!

  11. Hi Rose, I can't believe it's the middle of June, either. Time has flown by! Your garden beauties are...beautiful. Your wild garden is a great idea...I do have some plants for it...but will save to send when autumn arrives...hypericum, Penstemon X and PPPP. I think the weed tree looks very like a member of the dogwood family, but ...tree and shrub folks might know otherwise. Happiest of bloom days, my friend! gail

  12. I can't keep astilbe alive either. I wonder if they don't like to have "wet feet"? Which they would definitely have here!

    You have so much going on, Rose! It looks just beautiful. I think your "wild" garden is going to be wonderful.

  13. Dear Rose,
    I so enjoyed your garden tour today! Seeing your Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was wonderful. I also love seeing your bee! Your wildflower meadow will be my favorite of all! The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail loves Joe-Pye-weed and the butterlfy bush is a magnet! The Black Swallowtail loves the fennels and parsleys for host plants.
    Thank you again for a wonderful bloom day!

  14. Hollyhocks just shout "summer." I'm thinking your "volunteer" woody plant is either a Viburnum or a Dogwood. The leaves & flowers look very Cornusy to me. If the leaves are kind of fuzzy feeling, it's not a Dogwood.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who leaves Daylilies in pots awaiting a new home. I've got to get that poor plant into a permanent home soon.
    It looks like your new Hydrangea is a winner. I look forward to seeing photos when it's in full bloom.

  15. Thanks for visiting my garden! I really wanted to comment, so I dug up my old Google account info - you might get more comments if you had a name/URL option for comments.

    As to the lamium being unkillable - HA! I say to you! I managed to kill one in very short order, unfortunately. I really wanted it to live, but I think it was just too wet where I planted it.

    I think your tree is some type of Cornus (dogwood). The leaves definitely look like Cornus, and the flowers are just like the ones on my Red Twig Dogwoods.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely garden.

  16. Your garden is so beautiful.I just wish that some f those lantings would grow in Florida,but,alas,the they don't tolerate the heat and humidity here.But I can appreciate your garden.

  17. These are wonderful shots. I just saw your PROFILE image on a favorite blogger of mine and thought I would invite you over to my page. I blogged some fabulous roses yesterday after a visit to a local greenhouse.

    Stop by soon!

  18. I always wish I can grow Lamium. I have tried I can't count how many varieties and have killed them all. I am envious of yours. It is beautiful now while blooming. Everything looks so pretty in your garden Rose. Happy GBBD.

  19. Bloom Day snuck up on me- I posted about planted Sweet Corn today! Maybe I'll post flower pictures tonight. If you haven't had a chance, check out my post from yesterday about identifying a plant- I bet you'll know what it is!!!

  20. We have a huge blob of lilies - I don't know if they're exactly the same as yours but are about to bloom and keep spreading. I will have to try separating them next year. Look! I sound like a gardener!

    Meanwhile our astilbe is trying again for the third time but is looking rather pathetic at the moment.

    Your garden is a real delight.

  21. Dear Rose.....I love the wild will be so beautiful as each year passes....buzzing and teaming with life....absolutely wonderful...

    I love the bee and butterfly....I am so pleased that you have lots of bees visiting, such good news.....precious honey bees......

    Lovely blooms Rose and you are quite right, middle of June already, where has the time gone??

  22. Frances, right now the "wild" garden is growing lots of weeds and grass:) I'm hoping Beckie's thug chokes out the weeds. I did plant some fennel, dill, and parsley just for the butterflies.

    Beckie, aren't we getting good at identifying these butterflies:) Of course, I had to look this one up to be sure, but at least I knew it was a swallowtail. So glad the Stellas and yarrow are blooming for me; you may not thank me next year:)

    Flydragon, it's been fairly warm here this June, so everything is really taking off. My only disappointment this year is that I never found an Illumination Begonia.

    Carol, The false sunflower is purposesly planted in this area--it can spread all it wants and choke out some weeds:)

    Joy, The salvia are stalwarts here; if I expand another garden area, I'll probably plant even more of them. I like surpises like the astilbe:)

    Monica, I do hope that is a viburnum! I will have to check out on some websites. For some reason, many of my photos didn't turn out well this time, probably because I was taking them mid-day.

    Commonweeder, I was surprised to see this swallowtail before any other butterflies. Last year I had lots of painted ladies.

    Janet, All my hollyhocks are old ones, planted by my husband's grandfather or transplanted from my mother's garden. I guess they truly are heirloom plants.

    Marnie, I like this yarrow because it's pink and white, but it sure does spread. Definitely move the lamium now! It's a great groundcover, but it can overtake fussy plants if you're not careful.

    Tina, I don't think my "river of salvia" will outdo the Lurie's plantings:) I don't know how the false sunflower spreads, but I remember Beckie had it all over her garden. She gave me several starts, but I killed them all before last year's success. I hope I don't regret planting it.

  23. Gail, Thank you, and I would love to have some of the plants you mentioned this fall! I'm going to have to research this tree--if it's a dogwood or viburnum I'd be thrilled.

    Joyce, astilbe needs lots of water, and mine are planted next to a large spruce tree that drinks up so much of the moisture. As the summer gets hotter, I get lazier about keeping it watered:)

    Sherry, Thanks for this helpful information! I did plant some fennel, dill, and parsley just for the butterflies, and I do have two new Joe-Pye weeds. But somehow I forgot to make room for a butterfly bush. What was I thinking?

    MMD, The leaves are not fuzzy at, I'm going to have to check this out now. I was about ready to chop it down! Any other plant of mine would have died long ago in that bucket, but not the Stellas:)

    Kim, I will check out the comment options; I am somewhat technologically illiterate, so I'll have to figure that out. Isn't it strange how one plant can do so well for a person and not another? The lamium apparently like it here.

    Chris and Jon, Thanks for visiting! You might not be able to grow the same plants as I, but believe me, in January I am very envious of Florida gardens:)

    Bren, Thanks for visiting! Your greenhouse shots are beautiful.

    Lisa, I gave some lamium starts to Beckie, and they died for her, too. Mine is planted in a lot of shade, so maybe that's what it likes; who knows? I certainly haven't pampered it:)

    Laura, Your sweet corn has my mouth watering. I'm not very good identifying a lot of plants; hope my guess wasn't totally off base:)

    Liz, A blob of lilies is a good way of describing my Stellas; and, yes, you do sound like a gardener!

    Cheryl, I am hoping this new garden does well--right now it's pretty sad, although I did notice a few nigella seedlings coming up today! The nepeta usually attracts bumblebees, but I've never seen as many honeybees around it as this year.

  24. Lovely to see so many pretty bloooms. "Let's Dance Moonlight" is my favorite, it looks so beautiful almost in bloom, lovely colours :-)

  25. I enjoyed walking round your garden Rose with its glorious June blooms :)

  26. Two more things in common: a tendency to kill (or at least maim) astilbes and patches of natives that we're patiently waiting to see bloom. We are kindred spirits, my friend!

  27. Beautiful blooms today Rose. I love your mini sea of Salvia. I've found Maynight to be a bit more vigorous too. That definitely looks like an Eastern Swallowtail to me too. Your wild area has me intrigued, can't wait to see how it looks. :)

  28. Your beds must be looking pretty good Rose cause you have lots of lovely blooms. Nice butterfly picture.

  29. Your flowers look scrumptious!! I love hollyhocks. My mother used to grow them up against the house. I still remember the pink ones. I thought they were so big!!

    Yes, where has June gone?? Hold on. We don't want this nice warm weather to run away!
    Lovely post. I enjoyed your garden tour.

  30. Rose,

    I don't see anything 'mediocre' about that bee picture. It is very hard to take pics of them and you did a great job.

    It was nice meeting you at CSF and hope to get a chance to do so again in the future.

  31. I left my astilbe to die last year too, and miraculously, it is back and 10x bigger! It may even bloom finally after 3 years of death throes. What a difference one winter can make.

  32. Oh how pretty Rose all of it!

    I couldn't agree more on how great catmint is for pollinators. Short or tall it's a good thing to do for the bees in any garden.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  33. "Let's Dance Moonlight" looks gorgeous, as do all your other blooms. Nice river of salvia. ;-) The mystery plant's leaves look like maybe a viburnum although the flowers look kind of like a eupatorium (boneset). More likely a viburnum though.

  34. Hi Rose~
    Oh, your garden is just teeming with blooms! Lucky you :) I love the last photo "river of salvia" it looks like a greeting card. Any plant in the salvia family seems to be a favorite of mine. Thanks for the visit last week. Happy toad hunting with your granddaughter!

  35. Suburbia, I can't wait to see this hydrangea in bloom either; don't you love its name?:)

    Anna, Thanks; so glad you stopped by!

    Rose, Who knew we had so much in common!

    Racquel, I would definitely recommend the "May Night" to anyone. The "wild" area may be just that--wild, including weeds:)

    Susie, Thanks; I was so happy to get that butterfly photo.

    Wendy, I have quite a few hollyhocks, all of them from old stock. I used to think of them as being almost like weeds, but I have a sentimental attachment to them now.

    MBT, Thanks for stopping by! As you can see, Spring Fling weekend had many lasting effects on all of us who attended. Thanks again for all your hard work.

    Sylvana, I don't know what the secret to growing astilbe is. Maybe they just like to tease us:)

    Linda, I do love the catmint; it usually attracts lots of bumblebees, but this year it's full of honeybees instead.

    Ana-Marie, Thanks for visiting!

    Jean, Thanks for the possible id's. Several people mentioned viburnum, so I'm going to check that out.

    Karrita, Do you make toad hotels? I seem to have a convention of them here:)

  36. Rose, I agree that your wild tree is some type of elderberry. I know it's native to many parts of the U.S. I see it here in my part of Texas fairly frequently.


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