The Middle of June 2011


There are several plants in my garden now in bloom.  Most notable are the Asiatic lilies.  I think they are wonderful and any garden that can grow them should have them.  They start from bulbs which can easily be planted in the fall.  I have also moved the entire plant (be sure to dig up the bulb) when they have stopped blooming.  It is best not to wait too long to do this if you desire it.  The later you wait the more likely the stalk and the bulb will separate, leaving you holding a useless stalk in your hand and a bulb that will soon be starving.

asiatic lilies

I prefer to design so that plants of the same kind and variety are all together in one mass, but I also like to move things around in the garden.   Moving them about has caused for some lilies to be out of place and mixed up.  I carefully worked out a color scheme last fall to be sure to maximize the best colors.  I am disappointed this year that my mass turned out to be less harmonious than in my mind.  These were supposed to be all white blooming at once after the orangy ones finished.

Asiatic lilies

Apparently they didn’t all get the notice…and how did those pink and yellow get in there?

Red Hot Pokers or Torch Lilies

Another great plant is the red hot poker, but it is blooming early it seems or the asiatics are blooming later.  I divided them last fall so they will not produce as many blooms this year.  They are gorgeous in large masses.

“Indian Summer” Blackeye Susan

I discovered this Indian Summer Black-eyed Susan a few years ago.  I like them better than the Goldsturms for these reasons:  they do not spread by root but multiply by seed which seem easier to control; they bloom earlier and longer; they have larger blooms.   That being said I also like the Goldsturm for the opposite reasons.  It all comes down to having the right plant in the right place.  I have both Indian Summer and Goldsturm, but only the Indian Summers are currently blooming.

pink astilbe

Another plant I especially love is the astilbe.  This pink one reminds me of the color of cotton candy.  They are in an unlikely place— hidden between my knockout roses and the chain-link fence.  This was not where they originally were planted.

When we first moved here 12 years ago there were two large oak trees that bordered our property.  The oaks were huge and provided lots of shade, as did the two large elms that grew in the front yard.  Sadly the elms came down with Dutch Elm disease and died.  The oaks met their fate (I believe) from the power company. Before the trees died, though, I had acquired and divided numerous hostas, astilbes, and other shade-lovers.  The placement of the astilbes here is simply an attempt to find enough shade to preserve them (which right now is anything taller and bushier).

rose campion

I like rose campion for its gray foliage but enjoy its blooms as well.  It doesn’t take up a lot of space and it looks good just tucked in anywhere.  Rose campion provides a kind of filmy, airy look…a similar effect to baby’s breath.  They reproduce from seed and are biennials. Those little gray plants to the right of the picture came up this spring.  They will not bloom, however, until they reappear next year, then they will seed and die.  It is good to allow them to go to seed so you can keep them coming.  They are easy to transplant.  They also come in blooms that are a dark fushia, but I like the white ones best.

groundcover lilies

These are groundcover lilies, a type of daylily that will take over any spot it’s allowed to get started in.  They are lovely for places where you want a large mass of something to fill in without a lot of maintenance.  This is actually a section of land between my neighbor’s fence and the cal-de-sac.  The older gentleman who used to live nearby asked me to do something with it to make it more attractive.  I started out about ten years ago with just a few lilies. They have multiplied and are extending onto my other neighbor’s property.  Everyone seems okay with them being there though.  I had to cut out a few saplings that were growing among them this spring, but other than that I don’t do much but enjoy them.

Annabelle hydrangeas

I planted three of these Annabelle hydrangeas a few years ago.  They are spreading out and look good in mass.  I find it hard to keep them from flopping over though.  Sometimes I place small stakes around the edges to help hold the heavier blooms up.

coreopsis

I love combinations of grasses and coreopsis.  These are shallow rooted plants and are so easy to divide.  If I want more I just pull them up and use a spade to chop the roots apart.  Their ferny-like texture looks good among the grasses even when the plant isn’t blooming.

miniature Snowcap daisies next to heuchera

One of my finest purchases were these Snowcap daisies.  They don’t get very tall so they look great mixed in with low growers like heuchera.  When they aren’t blooming, they still have a nice green foliage that remains green throughout most of the year.  I have tried to get more of these by collecting seeds, but they don’t germinate.  Guess these are sterile.  They can be divided but I have lost some trying to do this.  They like semi-shade and moisture but have survived some dry summers.

thyme

This is another great little foliage plant that makes a semi-groundcover.  It is blooming now, but I never grow it for its blooms.  I just love the tiny little leaves and the color of it.

Santolina

Another great groundcover is Santolina, sometimes called lavender cotton.  It’s really a tiny shrub that gets wider than tall.  The tiny little yellow button blooms appear about this time in June.  Yet it is grown for its foliage which stays gray year round.

yellow creeping jenny

Another great groundcover is yellow creeping jenny.  It gets tiny yellow blooms but they are insignificant for the most part.  I love the color which gets greener in shade and more yellow in sun.  This area gets a combination of sun and shade, making it the perfect color beneath my azaleas.

I’ve found that foliage is as important in gardening as any kind of bloom.  Little areas like this sedum creeping into my hens n chicks makes an attractive look.

bergenia, pulmonaria, creeping jenny in front of my red azalea

No blooms here, but I like the textures and blends of green in front of the azalea that has finished its blooms.

sedum and heuchera

I also find this clump of sedum and heuchera very attractive.

groundcover sedum

I like the tiny yellow blooms that cover this sedum, but this is another largely foliage plant.  The blooms are just a little bonus in June.

I also like to tomatoes and other vegetables, so I tuck them in wherever I can find a place that works.  This may not be the most attractive place to grow them but it seems to be an excellent choice for production.  I’ve added marigolds to add color and to repel bugs.

I have four hills of cantaloupe planted.  I am hoping they do well since I love cantaloupe and hate the prices they are asking for them.

I like to mix petunias and allyssum around my cabbages.  This one has some bug damage, but should yield a reasonable head.  I left town for three days this week to visit relatives.  When I returned I found this cabbage.  Think it’s too late for him?

 

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About Glenda

Retired ... taking it slow and enjoying the simple things in life
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2 Responses to The Middle of June 2011

  1. drfugawe says:

    You are receiving your reward for all the hard work in getting the yard ready for summer – it’s beautiful.

    I’ve had cabbages that looked much like yours – we have very aggressive slugs – I think you probably could salvage that cabbage, but I’ve found that at that size, the slugs get inside the head, and they do unseen damage – and you don’t want to discover them when you cut the cabbage open. Since your garden space is limited, I’d pull him and use the space for something else.

    I wish I could grow cantaloupe here, but I think we just don’t have enough heat to ripen them. Strangely, I have no trouble getting winter squash to fully mature, but not cantaloupe – or tomatoes either.

    • adnelg says:

      I’m not sure the cantaloupe will be successful for me either. They will grow here but sometimes want to split when the fruits are about the size of a baseball. I’ve put them on a raised area where I have mulched with pine bark, and hope that makes a difference. I will just have to wait and see I guess. As for the cabbage, it does look like it has had it. I sprinkled some Seven on it. I will probably never attempt to eat it, but now I just want to see what will happen if I leave it there. It is now just an experiment. Here it is getting close to “a little late” to add new plants in (or I’d gladly take your advise), so I’ll just watch it and see what happens.
      So sorry to hear you can’t grow tomatoes! If I could only grow one plant for food, I’d choose tomatoes. I’ve never bought one at the store (even the so-called vine ripened ones) that taste the way a homegrown tomatoe tastes. Thanks for reading and commenting on my posts. It’s nice to know that someone out there is reading and enjoying them. Hope your wife’s health is improving.

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