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The Early Summer Garden: GBBD, June 2010

June 15, 2010

Mock orange blossoms (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) June is one of my favorite months in the garden, because it brings a burst of early summer blooms. With so much going on, I’ve organized this accounting of what’s in bloom by area of the garden.

Circular bed in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) The circular bed marks the turn into my driveway from the dirt road. Here, blooms of Allium giganteum ‘Globemaster,’ Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Danielle,’ Geranium x ‘Brookside,’ and the last bloom of an old-fashioned violet Iris sibirica are surrounded by blooms of Alchemilla mollis and Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ and ‘Karmina.’

Circular bed blooms in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from top left: unknown Iris sibirica, Allium giganteum ‘Globemaster,’ Geranium x ‘Brookside,’ Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Danielle’

Mock orange in bloom (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) At the front of the house, the mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) outside my bedroom window is in full bloom; and, beneath it in the bedroom border, the tall spires of Heuchera ‘Raspberry Regal’ combine with two different colors of Geranium sanguineum and two varieties of Tradescantia x andersoniana, ‘Danielle’ and ‘Pink Chablis.’

Bedroom border blooms in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from lower left: Geranium sanguineum album, Geranium sanguineum, Heuchera ‘Raspberry Regal,’ Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Pink Chablis’

Back slope in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) The back slope is one part of the garden that is in a fairly quiet period. On the lower part of the slope, a few remaining blooms of siberian iris combine with fading chive flowers. At the top of the steps, self-sown violet tradescantia mix with several clumps of Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Osprey.’

Back slope blooms in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Left to right: old-fashioned blue siberian iris (possibly Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother’) and Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Osprey’

Fence border in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)The back garden is a particularly lovely place to spend time in June. The flowers of Achemills mollis and Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Karmina’ and ‘Biokovo’ in bloom along the front edge of the fence border echo the planting along the outer perimeter of the circular bed at the front of the property. The fence border also has two varieties of Geranium endressii in bloom, along with two varieties of Tradescantia (a self-sown plant in shades of blue-violet and a division of ‘Osprey’). The peony blooms are fading, bending over their hoops and shedding their petals on the ground.

Fence border blooms in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from upper right: Unidentified Geranium endressii, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Karmina,’ Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’

Deck border in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)The big show in the deck border is provided by the frothy flowers of Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo,’ blooming en masse all along its front edge. The delicate pink of these blooms is echoed in the pink-tinged Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Pink Chablis’ and in the barely pink flowers of columbine (Aquilegia). (Yesterday, the first blooms of Astrantia major repeated this palest of pinks, but they were eaten by the resident woodchuck sometime during the past 24 hours.) These pale pinks contrast beautifully with the deeper pinks of Geranium endressii ‘Wargrave Pink,’ Geranium x oxonianum ‘A.T. Johnson,’ blooms on Heuchera ‘Raspberry Ice’ and ‘Vesuvius,’ and Iris sibirica ‘Carrie Lee.

Deck border blooms in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from upper left: Iris sibirica ‘Carrie Lee,’ Heuchera ‘Raspberry Ice,’ self-sown Aquilegia, Geranium x oxonianum ‘A.T. Johnson’

Blue and yellow border in June (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)Across the walkway from the deck border, the blue and yellow border is in a predominantly blue phase as the blossoms of two late-blooming siberian irises, ‘Tiffany Lass’ and ‘Yankee Doodle Boy,’ combine with the electric blue flowers of Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Zwanenburg Blue,’ the blue flowers of Geranium x ‘Brookside,’ indigo flowers of Baptisia australis, and the more red-violet flowers of Geranium x ‘Nimbus.’ Yellow accents are provided by the last blooms of the early species daylily, Hemerocallis flava, and the chartreuse flowers of Alchemilla mollis.

Blue and yellow border blooms in June (photo credits: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from upper left: Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Zwanenburg Blue,’ Baptisia australis, Iris Sibirica ‘Yankee Doodle Boy,’ Alchemills mollis, Geranium x ‘Nimbus,’ Hemerocallis flava, Iris sibirica ‘Tiffany Lass’

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what is in bloom this month in gardens around the world.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2010 8:40 pm

    Everything looks wonderful in your garden, Jean. I particularily like your back garden with the little wooden fence behind it. That’s lovely.

    I was also interesting in your mock orange. I know ‘zilch’ about flowering (or any kind) of shrub, but I planted some this year anyway. One is a mock orange. It is still small and I don’t think it will bloom this year. I can’t wait to see how it does though. I just planted it in April.


  2. June 15, 2010 9:41 pm

    Hi Jean. Since we are pretty much the same zone, you might like to try the Explorer roses. I’ll post some pictures of the entire plant when more flowers are blooming. Right now, only the one is.

    • Jean permalink*
      June 16, 2010 9:20 pm

      Diane, I used to sit out on the deck and look out at the clothesline; the 12′ section of fence screens the view of the clothesline as well as providing a vertical element in that section of the garden and a place to plant climbers (clematis on one side of the fence and annual morning glories on the other side).

      I can’t take any credit with the mock orange; it came with the house, and I had never even heard of these shrubs before I inherited this one. It really is lovely when it is in bloom, and it is a favorite nesting spot for the robins.

      I don’t know if I’m quite ready to try roses yet, but I’ve flagged your post on the explorer roses for reference when I am ready.

  3. June 15, 2010 10:43 pm

    Once again, your collages of flower close ups are extraordinary.

  4. June 15, 2010 10:48 pm

    Lovely blooms Jean and I love how you lay this post out… beautiful collages. Your mock orange looks so happy and must be delicious floating up from under your bedroom window. Great photos! ;>)

  5. June 15, 2010 11:41 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I enjoyed the way you organized your blooms and included close ups as well as views of the beds. Things are looking great your way. I organize by areas this time, too, but didn’t do the lovely collages like you did.

    Someone told me in a comment that it’s interesting to see the differences in our bloom times. I am noticing that with your blooms, too. My irises, baptisias, and columbines are finished. The spiderworts have been blooming a few days, and the geraniums have been blooming a few weeks. I love them!

  6. June 15, 2010 11:50 pm

    This is a nice tour.

    I agree, the difference in bloom times is interesting.

    • Jean permalink*
      June 16, 2010 9:39 pm

      Allan, Carol and Sue, I’m glad you all enjoyed the collages of flower close-ups. I got a little carried away with them and ended up putting an inordinate amount of time into them. (It’s a kind of creative challenge I enjoy, but I did have other things I was supposed to be doing!)

      Dorothy, Sue and Adrian, What I love most about Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day is getting to see what is in bloom when in different climates. Sue, I wonder why my spiderworts bloom so much earlier than yours. Mine tend to bloom about the same time as the siberian irises or even a little before. In my warm, south-facing, against-the-foundation iris bed, both the irises and tradescantia started to bloom in mid-May; and they were in bloom in the rest of the garden by the end of May.

  7. June 16, 2010 4:38 am

    What a splendid display of blooms you have here, Jean. They are so sweet and lovely.

  8. June 16, 2010 7:53 am

    You gardens are wonderful, Jean. It’s obvious you spend a good amount of time and energy making them so … and you are justly rewarded with a ton of lovely blooms.

    I especially enjoy the many trandescantia varieties. I must very carefully site my common blue trandescantia to hide them from deer.

  9. June 16, 2010 9:02 am

    Your garden is so beautiful. I have some of the same flowers and I’m not sure my garden is anywhere close to looking as fabulous as yours.

    • Jean permalink*
      June 16, 2010 9:47 pm

      Thank you all for visiting.

      Joene, I had no idea that deer ate tradescantia. I don’t have the kind of big deer problem that you do. We have some deer in the neighborhood, but it’s not a big herd and they still have plenty of wild habitat. As long as I go out and walk around the garden every day, they tend to stay away. If I go away for a week or so, they’ll move in and start nibbling. But mostly they stick to the hostas — and in the winter, they eat my euonymous, which is still exactly the same size it was when I planted it 7 years ago!

      Urban Dirt Girl, I must confess that I choose which plants to grow by how well they like to grow in my garden. I give up pretty quickly on the ones that give me trouble and just keep dividing and growing more of the ones that are happy here. (Thus, I have geraniums, siberian irises, and tradescantia all over the place because they either form big clumps that need to be divided frequently, or they self-sow, or both.)

  10. thevioletfern permalink
    June 16, 2010 9:22 am

    Jean your gardens are beautiful! You do have to add Geranium Espresso to your incredible collection of Geraniums! I think I must add some Spiderwort – I especially love Osprey and it would be so fitting here as we have many Ospreys on the river. I must compliment you on your use of color – what an eye for discipline and design. Wish I could smell that Mock Orange … hmmm, it’s available at the nursery the next town over – oh oh!

  11. June 16, 2010 3:05 pm

    I love your blue & yellow garden, it’s sublime. I think you might be even more into Geraniums than I am (which is saying a lot). They are terrific plants. I have a volunteer Geranium that looks a lot like your ‘Karmina.’ Too bad the woodchuck got your Astrantia. They are such pigs.

    • Jean permalink*
      June 16, 2010 10:01 pm

      Violet Fern and Mr. McGregor’s Daughter, I often joke that I never met a hardy geranium that I didn’t like. Because of our cool summers here, many of them will bloom from May or June until frost. This is true for the tradescantia, too.

      Violet Fern, I am definitely adding Espresso to my wish list for the new flower bed; it will be perfect for that location. If you can’t find the ‘Osprey’ variety of tradescantia for sale, let me know; I find that, unlike most of the hybrids, these often come true from seed, so self-sown seedlings keep popping up all over the place. Just this year, I’ve found one in the iris bed, cozying up to the ‘Zwanenburg Blues’ planted there, one in the deck border, and one in the walkway at the top of the back slope. I could easily pot one up and mail it to you.

      Mr. McGregor’s Daughter, I think the G. x cantabrigiense hybrids are sterile, but they look an awful lot like the G. macrorrhizum varieties that are one of their parents. If you have macrorrhizum in your garden, that may be what your volunteers are. Thanks for your sympathy about the woodchuck. This one is living under the deck with convenient access to my flower beds. It had been intimidated by a fox kit that was hanging out in the garden. But I haven’t seen the fox in a few days, so the woodchuck must have been emboldened. This woodchuck seems to be more of a gourmet eater who prefers flowers to whole plants. So I didn’t have one of those experiences where you find a clump of half-inch long stems and ask yourself what it was you had planted there. Instead, I found several plants (including petunias and nasturtium growing in containers on the deck!) with all their flowers eaten off. I’m hoping that these plants will be stimulated by the pruning to make new buds.

  12. June 16, 2010 5:09 pm

    Such beautiful blooms Jean!! I am quite envious of your circular garden, the colours are perfect together and it is so lush, full & well thought out. Was it planted all at once or did it evolve as a work in progress? I’ve got to find a spot for some giant allium next year…

  13. June 16, 2010 7:52 pm

    Goodness Jean, once spring decided to stay, your garden had no trouble catching up! Your mock orange looks fabulous, as do all your flowers!

    • Jean permalink*
      June 16, 2010 10:22 pm

      Rebecca, The circular bed is a mix of evolution and planning. I have had some plants growing in a circle at that location since the first year I lived here. First it was a little circle of annuals; then I expanded it to about a 5′ diameter and planted some gift perennials from a friend and some other plants that I bought here and there. About 5 or 6 years ago, I decided to redo it. I expanded the size to 8′ in diameter and created a plan for the whole bed. I kept some of the plants that were already growing there, but moved them around, took out many, and added lots of new things. The bed consists of a single purple delphinium at the center surrounded by three concentric rings of plants. The inner ring has five fairly tall plants that bloom at different seasons: the allium blooms first, followed by siberian iris, then a yellow heliopsis that keeps blooming till frost, and white liatris and platycodon in late summer. The next ring has several varieties of blue and violet geraniums, several daylilies, and the white tradescantia. Finally, the outer ring is made up of lady’s mantle and G. x cantabrigiense. I must admit that the inspiration for that outer ring came mostly from needing to thin out the ‘Biokovo’ geraniums at the front of the deck border and needing a home for them! I love the way this flower bed changes its colors and character through the summer. In June, it’s all soft pastels; In July, the intense purple of the delphinium and the blue of the various geraniums contrast with the strong yellows and oranges of the heliopsis and daylilies. By August, the predominant colors are yellow, orange and white.

      Clare, I think New England may be the only place in the U.S. and Europe where spring came early this year! We had record-breaking warmth in both March and April, followed by a pretty warm, dry May. The result is that everything is blooming 1-2 weeks earlier than normal. Usually, my first siberian irises would bloom at the end of May or the beginning of June and the last would bloom in late June/early July. This year, the first ones bloomed in mid-May and the one that blooms latest, Yankee Doodle Boy (true blue and usually in bloom on the 4th of July), is already blooming and will probably be done before the end of June.

  14. June 16, 2010 10:26 pm

    I enjoyed this visit to your summer garden. I love the cool colors of the flowers, especially the allium. The colors are soothing to my ‘desert’ eyes 🙂

    • Jean permalink*
      June 16, 2010 10:32 pm

      Noelle, The cool colors seem to go with the cool weather that we have here in June. (I still haven’t taken my down comforter off the bed for the summer!) In July and August, the weather gets hotter and so do the colors in my garden — with lots of yellows and oranges in blooms of daylily, heliopsis, and rudbeckia.

  15. June 17, 2010 11:52 am

    Hi Jean, very lovely! Is the mock orange a double? I have 2 shrubs that came with the house. They will be open in a few days. I really enjoyed all your varieties. G

  16. June 17, 2010 9:45 pm

    Jean – I always enjoy your flower collages; all the plants in bloom in your garden just blow me away. wow! -Shyrlene

  17. June 17, 2010 11:39 pm

    Beautiful as always, Jean. I always enjoy my visits here.

  18. June 19, 2010 5:34 am

    I love the frothy chartreuse flowers of Lady’s Mantle mixed in among the purples. June is one of my favorite times as well… it seems that every day there is something new happening in the garden. Your June gardens are lovely! 🙂

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