Sunday, June 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- June Blooms

I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull off a Bloom Day post this time 'round, having just got home from Europe on Thursday, but the sunshine beckoned this morning, and I really like the idea of recording the blooms each 15th so here goes. I simply went out into the garden first thing, walking around the yard and snapping. Then, as you must all know, the laborious part is uploading all those photos 5 at a time to my blog. As there are now only so many hours left in the day, I think I'll skip the moving around of those photos and just explain them where they end up on the page. Okay? Here goes . . .
First, still springing up but in a subdued fashion is a plant I first tried out in the Darwinian garden by the sea -- the one where we see who can adapt to survive. I probably have the label tossed in "that drawer" somewhere, but I'll have to leave finding it for later. It's an odd little plant with a vaguely skunky scent. (added later: I've remembered, this is Phuopsis stylosa)
Across the terrace from it, also in a challenging spot is this germander -- I'm a sucker for its silvery glaucous leaves and pale blue flowers, but its sprawling shape is a challenge. We saw many of these, though, pruned into submission in Paris, and I'm going to take a tougher approach from now on.
Just next to the germander, the ceanothus (California lilac) is finally hitting its stride, and I suspect there'll be no stopping it now. In fact, I'm thinking we should get a few more in this area since they do well what few can here.

Also a very useful, adaptable shrub, that I've written about here before, is the Leycesteria formosa, or Himalayan honeysuckle. A fabulous, fabulous, long-blooming contributor (apparently, this can be invasive so do your homework before adding). Its berries last even beyond its flowers so there's interest year-round.
The rosemary is in full bloom in the same area (lavender's out soon, I hope).

And some native volunteers participate in the action. Here are the wild roses that mix their fragrance with the salt air and the scent of rosemary to make my afternoon tea a delicious experience.

And this little brambleberry bloom . . .
In the back yard, the Choisiya ternata, Mexican orange, is almost finished blooming, and badly in need of a trim.

Across the pond from the Choisiya blooms this lemony species day-lily, (Hemerocallis something-something?? Again, I'll have to go label-hunting), foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), borage, corydalis lutea, and this water grass which will have to go unnamed.
Johnson's Blue geranium thinks about scooting over the rocks for a swim and the dainty coral bells froth up beside it.
More digitalis spires 'cause I just don't think you can see too many of these in June.
Alchemilla (lady's mantle) almost covers the gravel pathway on one side while another Geranium (ballerina something?) sprawls over to meet it from the other side. The alchemilla alpina is also blooming right now, but those blooms will get chopped off as soon as I find a minute -- they just look scruffy, leaves (they're dark green, edged with white, quite miniature, stunning) are the attraction there.
My columbine were almost done when we got back, demanding a severe pruning, but a few remained to have their exquisite structure admired. I so love purple and green together in the garden, brightened by that spark of yellow.
And the roses are just getting ready to burst open -- I'm so pleased they waited for my return. Here's the start of Felicité and Perpetué which will keep blooming 'til fall. Just next to this, the New Dawn sport, Awakening, a very pale pink, quartered, fragrant climber is just getting going -- it's having quite a problem with black spot, mainly because the spot wasn't well chosen for air circulation. I don't fret too much, though, as I love the roses even with "the plague"!

And here's the first Complicata, which will be joined this week by Constance Spry, and they'll both bloom their hearts out for a few weeks and then be done for another year.It's impossible to say too many good things about the fabulous Graham Thomas -- fragrant (I won't have a rose that's not), gorgeous, easy-going, although it's thorny as hell. This one was a gift from my good friend, Alison, quite a few years ago. It really needs a better spot, but it would take a braver person than we know to tackle moving it now.The rugosa rose, Hansa, below, is the clone of one in the front of the house, seaside. We'd barely had it planted, 9 or so years ago, when our rambunctious Golden Retriever broke it quite drastically. I stuck the broken-off portion into the ground, kept it watered to see what would happen and, years later, this branch of the family grows contentedly. . . Even though I trimmed the bloom of the Anthriscus sylvestris 'Raven's wing' (black variety of Queen Anne's lace) before we left to ensure it didn't seed everywhere, there's some lace happening again which I'll enjoy for a few days before chopping. In the foreground here, perhaps you can see the Astrantia. Top left is a peek at the Clematis, Guernsey Cream. Reminds me that I never did get a shot of the Jackmanii that's blooming beautifully right now on the far side of the cottage. (Also forgot to photograph the hardy fuschia which draw the hummingbirds like crazy)
I did get a shot of this floriferous clematis, although most of it wanders over to my neighbour's side of the fence for the sunshine. A shot, I said. I never said a good shot. Sorry.
Yet another rose, 'though this one is not really grown for the flowers. Rosa glauca -- the name says it all, and just look at those glaucous leaves. Love 'em!!
There are weeds. They will get pulled soon, really! But they are pretty, and buttercups always evoke childhood for me. You can also spot tansy/chamomile in this photo, and it's beginning to open through the garden. I tend to pull out most of them but leave the odd one here and there. I think they make a nice unifier and filler, but I don't like to let them take over.
This physocarpus is blooming nicely -- the bees really like it, and I really like the bees.
Cheap and cheerful -- love the centaurea cyanus. Like its common name better - Bachelor's button -- can't you just see one in a lapel?
Same colour, different flower. Dad and Mom brought these over years and years ago -- they don't get divided enough to do as well as they should, but I do love them, both for the flower and the slim sword-shape leaves. Dad always called them Japanese Iris.
Last little bit now, over in the corner. If you peer very carefully, right in the centre of the photo, you can perhaps spot the mauve flower of this variegated-leaved rhododendron. I almost missed it completely which would have been a shame as this is the first year it's bloomed. Another gift from my good friend, Alison.Unfortunately, with the sunshine, you can't really see the contrast between the dark, dark leaves and the shocking pink flowers of this Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty' -- I couldn't be happier with this corner -- to the left of the Sambucus, the coppery orange of the rose, Royal Sunset, at the Sambucus' feet, the glaucous green and mauve of the Erisymum 'Bowles mauve' and a lovely big hit of chartreuse from the billowing Lady's mantle flowers to the right. It's a vision I've imagined for a few years and it's finally all come together for the next week or two. Next year, I suspect that Erisymum will have worn itself out so I'm going to be sure to get out and get some better photographs in the next few days before this ephemera vanishes forever.
What do you think? A June garden? Is there anything better? I guess we'll have to wait 'til next Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to see.
Now I'm off to let Carol at MayDreams Gardens know that I'm participating in her Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- you should check out all the other gardens. Fun to see the huge range in what's blooming across the Garden Blog-o-sphere.


  1. I am so in awe of your's like an enchanted fairy forest!

  2. Thanks, Pseu. I get so much pleasure from it, especially at this time of year. Being a cottage garden means I can get away with less pruning and weeding than a more formal approach would demand.

  3. I sure like that California lilac.

  4. Gorgeous!! With a garden like that I bet it isn't hard to come home from Paris and Portugal. Lovely!!! Did I tel you how much I missed you? Well, I did! ;-)

  5. It must be lovely to come back to so many blooms. Your garden realy reminds me of Margery Fish's Garden at East Lambrook Manor. I went many years ago, it was very beautiful. You seem to share a similar love of 'controlled accidental'which I love.

  6. Tina: Isn't it great? And in our climate, at least, it's easy care.
    LBR: I missed you guys too! Glad to hear you're taking your laptop along so we won't have to miss you.
    And yes, to you and Alison, the garden does make it easier to accept being home. And Alison, I googled the Margery Fish garden, and wow, holy compliment, Batman!!
    I love that expression: 'controlled accidental' -- reminds me of the quotation I have posted on the side "Coherence is born of random abundance."

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  8. I've finally made it over for my virtual tour and virtual glass of iced tea. I appreciate your hospitality and enjoyed the tour of what is blooming in your garden right now. So much!

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  9. Carol, thanks for your kind words about my garden, but also thank you for organizing this monthly celebration of our blooms!

  10. huh... amazing thread :)


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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