Late June Garden Highlights and GBFD

Daylily

Daylily

Summer arrived officially on Monday, and right on schedule the season was underscored by higher humidity and temperatures this week. The late June garden is full of flowers. Cicadas vibrate their song, hummingbirds sip at the offerings of Monarda and Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red,’ fireflies pulse their glowing presence in early evening. Sitting on the front porch we often observe Carolina anoles (Anolis carolinensis) scuttling about. They exhibit a range of color from brown to green and occasionally we see males with extended red throat fans searching for mates.

Day lilies have added bright color and interest to the eastern border, much happier than in recent years.

Daylily

Daylily

Daylily

Daylily

Last year Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers,’ a dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea, quickly faded to brown under the severe heat and drought. Now with sufficient rain, after three years it at last has fulfilled its promise of colorful summer flowers. These started out crisply white and have taken on a blushing red aspect.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Phlox paniculate and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) have made a welcome return to the western border.

Phlox paniculata and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Phlox paniculata and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

This phlox, possibly Robert Poore’s, is especially attractive this year. In last year’s drought it scarcely bloomed at all.

Phlox paniculata, possibly 'Robert Poore'

Phlox paniculata, possibly ‘Robert Poore’

Phlox paniculata, possibly 'Robert Poore'

Phlox paniculata, possibly ‘Robert Poore’

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) once again has self-seeded. It has a fascinating flower structure.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Two hybrid echinaceas add spark to the summer garden, ‘White Swan’ and ‘Big Sky Sundown.’

Echinacea 'White Swan'

Echinacea ‘White Swan’

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Hybrid echinaceas are nice and pollinators love them, but the unnamed ones make a larger impact in my garden. Echinacea is reputed to be drought tolerant but adequate rain brings superior performance. It has spread itself in satisfying ways and runs throughout the northern border.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

More echinacea is planted against the back of the house which has western exposure and so receives the hot afternoon sun.  This view is from slightly behind the border at the corner near the north end gate, looking toward the meditation circle. In this area echinacea plays a supporting role Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm).

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Beebalm actually makes up the larger portion of this area. Bees love monarda, as do hummingbirds.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Shasta daisies line a border against the house between the back garage steps and steps leading to the screened porch. (That’s the red monarda peeking through the railing from the opposite side of the house.)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Looking very fresh this daisy grows at the far end of the same border, in front of the hydrangeas.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Dahlias both bright red and rich deep mahogany or wine red have returned from last year and I look forward to using them in indoor arrangements.

Dahlia (from Libby)

Dahlia (from Libby)

Dahlia

Dahlia

Breakfasting this morning on the screened porch overlooking the garden we watched as a baker’s dozen American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) sat feasting on Verbena bonariensis in a small island at the southwest corner. I have tried many times to photograph bird visitors but my camera produces dismal results at this distance.  Still you may be able to spot the males clothed in brilliant yellow and the equally lovely females wearing more subdued greenish garb.

A baker's dozen American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) feast on Verbena bonariensis

A baker’s dozen American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) feast on Verbena bonariensis

Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day (GBFD)

For the first time in a long while I missed sharing Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day on the 22nd with Christina and others, so thought I would include in a few images to illustrate how the foliage is holding up. This time last year even rigorous daily watering, which generally I am loathe to do, could not keep things green. This year feels totally different though. Because of plenty of spring rains and some recent heavy thunderstorms, the June garden feels lush and green.

For some unexplained reason the Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) barely tried to flower this year. Perhaps the poor weather last year kept it from properly forming buds last fall for spring display. Its foliage however looks nice. Often by now the leaves are drying and turning brown but this year it remains happy. To its left Callicarpa americana (American beauty berry) has grown immensely in the past couple of years and is forming flowers.

Also ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress adds evergreen structure to this corner that forms the northwest boundary of the garden.

Arizona Cypress, Callicarpa americana, Cornus florida

Arizona Cypress, Callicarpa americana, Cornus florida

I have kept the flowers of Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ for the time being but went ahead and removed those of Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ several weeks ago.

Euphorbia 'Shorty' (Shorty Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’

This passalong dusty miller makes a nice complement to the ‘Ascot Rainbow’ forming a nice ground cover as it threads itself along the western border. Columbine which was cut back after blooming has freshly regenerated leaves.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', Dusty Miller and Eastern columbine

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’, Dusty Miller and Eastern columbine

Somewhat resembling the passalong Dusty Miller seen above, the Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) seen below behaves much differently, forming a well-behaved mound of silvery foliage. Something I often show for GBFD, it is at its best this year.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD each month.

I will leave you with two more images I am out of time to describe. I am off to get ready to celebrate 39 years of marriage with my sweet husband this evening. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Petunia Easy Wave ‘Red Velour’

Petunia Easy Wave ‘Red Velour’

 

 

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24 thoughts on “Late June Garden Highlights and GBFD

  1. Cathy

    The wet spring has worked wonders here too Susie. Your Verbena forest is wonderful! No wonder the birds are happy to visit. The Euphorbias are looking great too. I have found my daisies are about a foot taller this year due to all the rain. Yours look so healthy. Hope you had a wonderful evening to celebrate your anniversary!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Realized as I was writing this post how many times I was mentioning the rain, but it really has made an impact for the better this year. Thanks for your good wishes, we had a nice anniversary.

      Reply
  2. An Eye For Detail

    So many beautiful images here, Susie! That last one of the petunia….almost all my petunias have gone in the recent heat, as have my snapdragons. We were away all last week and thank goodness for the watering system I installed last year! My hydrangeas have really flowered for the first time in three years…thanks to the warmer winter and then the lovely rain we’ve had. Happy Anniversary: always a special day!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Libby, did you see your mom’s dahlia is flowering again this year? Was worried it may have had cold damage but it pulled through beautifully. Glad your hydrangeas are doing well. We had a wonderful anniversary dinner at Elements.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Judy, we’re working on 40 years now! I love that sweet pea. It’s a passalong but not the sweet smelling ones. This has no fragrance but still pretty.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Pauline. I was wishing I had your new telephoto lens to capture the Am. Goldfinches in action! We enjoyed our anniversary, thanks.

      Reply
  3. Christina

    Many congratulations to you both, I hope you had a lovely evening. Your garden is looking so beautiful, the rain has made such a difference, my Hemerocallis are also much much better this year and I always think of them as not needing water but they are so much more floriferous than in past years. You speak of humming birds so causally and yet to me they are perhaps the most exotic bird.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Christina, we had a wonderful anniversary dinner at Elements! The rain has been a bit miraculous this year, but I’m afraid it’s beginning to wane unfortunately. You’re right about Hemerocallis enjoying water. I watched a little hummingbird this morning circling a large cleome flower. I still remember the first one I ever saw and they still amaze and delight!

      Reply
  4. Chloris

    Happy anniversary Susie. Your garden looks wonderful. All your June flowers are ones we don’ t see until July and August here. I love your echinaceas and monarda.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks so much. It’s so nice to share some flowers that you also grow, even if slightly off-schedule. Monarda has been gorgeous this year but it’s been hard to capture its essence with photos this year.

      Reply
  5. Kris Peterson

    Happy anniversary, Susie! I hope you enjoyed your celebration. I certainly enjoyed the beautiful flowers and foliage in your garden. Everything looks pristine! I’m jealous of your Monarda and Echinacea in particular. I haven’t had much success with Monarda here but I’ve been offered seeds to a variety said to tolerate our climate (‘Peter’s Purple’) that I’m anxious to try next year. I’ve planted Echinacea in the past here but they seem to melt away within 2 years so I’ve been hesitant to try them again but they do send a siren’s call every time I visit my local garden center.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks so much Kris! We had a great evening out last night to celebrate. The garden is not pristine, but selective vision allows me to enjoy the garden and ignore the chores it needs. Some neighbors grow a purply monarda and I like it a lot. Mine is the straight species I suppose, spreads like crazy so it’s pretty much taken over one bed. Maybe you’re right to try to ignore that siren’s call. My echinacea looks terrible in years when it’s dry. I’ve also lost a number of those fancy new hybrids–those seem to be very short-lived.

      Reply
  6. johnvic8

    Your combination blog is a winner. My ‘White Swan’ coneflowers have been tasty delicacies for own neighborhood deer. Alas! I hope you are protected.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Sorry the deer like your White Swan. Didn’t think they would eat echinacea but guess they eat anything they take a mind to try. My White Swan is in the front yard unprotected by fencing so they must be enjoying someone else’s delicacies at the moment. Last year these didn’t bloom at all last year I the drought and heat, just turned brown and dried up, so I’m really enjoying them this year.

      Reply
  7. gardeninacity

    Great blooms! I don’t think I’ve ever seen double daylilies before. My Monarda didyma is just about to start blooming. LOVE the picture of the Goldfinches on the Verbena. I’m also jealous of your Purple Coneflowers – I used to grow quite a few but had to quite because of aster yellows.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Those goldfinches adore the verbena and congregate at that spot frequently. They won’t allow me to get close though. There’d be no summer garden here without purple coneflowers. I am concerned about aster yellows because I’ve had some strange formations and removed several coneflowers the year before last; so far the rest seem ok.

      Reply
  8. rickii

    Lotsa yummy eye candy in this post. I used to have dahlias come back but my luck seems to have run out. All of mine are in pots this year to foil the gophers. I’ll either treat them as annuals or pull out the tubers for overwintering.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I’m fairly new to growing dahlias and have lost many more than I’ve had survive. Admire people who are willing to pull out tubers and overwinter them and replant them. Doubt that will happen here but it would give better results.

      Reply

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