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June’s Beautiful Bounty: GBBD, June 2014

June 16, 2014

back garden june 2014In many parts of the north temperate zone in the United States, May is the month when gardens burst into life with new blooms. But in colder climate gardens, like mine in Maine, June is the month that rewards the gardener with a beautiful bounty of new flowers.

After what seemed like an endless winter and a spring that promised more than it delivered, June is the month when Mainers are finally sure that summer is coming. And it comes on all in a rush. Although my garden is not as far along as it has been at mid-June in most years, it is still a beautiful place to be. So let’s take a look around and see what is blooming.

On the back slope, the rhododendron is near the end of its bloom, with just a few blossoms remaining, and the flowers of wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) have been replaced by those of chives. Both the blue Siberian irises and the blue tradescantia have begun to bloom.

back slope june 2014

circular june 2014Construction has begun on the new addition to my house and all that remains of the former front flower beds is the circular bed at the turn into the driveway. This is an oasis of beauty amid the chaos of construction, with soft pastel shades of pinks and violets in the current blooms of Siberian iris, Geranium x cantabrigiense (‘Biokovo’ and ‘Karmina’), Allium, and Geranium x oxonianum.

circular bed irises

For calm, I retreat to the back of my property. There, the raised bed that was built and planted at the end of last summer is already filling in nicely, and the first flowers have appeared on Geranium ‘Biokovo’ and Amsonia hubrichtii.

raised bed first blooms

This raised bed separates the driveway and clothesline area from the Serenity Garden, which is mostly leafy loveliness at this time, with the last flowers of Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’ and of hellebores fading and those of Geranium ‘Biokovo’ just beginning to open.

serene serenity

fence border june 2014Walking back toward the deck takes us to the heart of the back garden. Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and Geranium x cantabrigiense (‘Biokovo’ and ‘Karmina’) are blooming along the front of the fence border, and several other plants (like these peonies) are showing off fat buds.

biokovo & karmina peony promise
In the deck border, masses of pink geranium flowers have begun to bloom along the walkway, and Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Album’ is blooming more profusely than it ever has before. deck border june 2014

deck june blooms

blue and yellow bluesThe biggest flush of flowers is across the walkway in the blue and yellow border. There blues predominate in the flowers of Tradescantia x ‘Zwannenburg Blue’, Siberian irises, Amsonia hubrichtii, Linum perenne ‘Saphire’, and blue geraniums ‘Nimbus’ and ‘Brookside.’ Yellow accents appear in the flowers of Lady’s mantle, Siberian iris ‘White Swirl’ (just beginning to open), and Baptisia australis ‘Carolina Moonlight.’

blue and yellow june flowers

The tiger swallowtail butterflies that have been flitting around the garden for weeks are enjoying all these new sources of nectar. And this is just the first flush of summer flowers. The garden is full of swelling buds promising more blooms to come, and every day brings still more flowers.

swallowtail nectaring

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day (for which I’m a day late) is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see the beautiful bounty of June blooms from gardens around the world.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2014 11:40 pm

    I always love the flowers in your garden, the colors are so full of joy.

    • June 18, 2014 9:45 pm

      Thanks, Charlie. The garden, especially at this time of year, makes me joyful.

  2. June 17, 2014 2:14 am

    And Jean will be there EVERY DAY to watch the season unfold! 🙂

  3. June 17, 2014 7:47 am

    Absolutely beautiful. Enjoy every minute of it, Jean. xx

    • June 18, 2014 9:47 pm

      Diane, I am enjoying it. Today was a perfect June day in Maine, and I sat out on the deck for hours just mesmerized by the view of the garden. Bliss.

  4. Nell Jean permalink
    June 17, 2014 11:03 am

    Everything looks so fresh and spring-like. We are at extremes of the seasons. Late March and April here looks like June at your place. Summer is arriving daily here, one tropical blossom at a time. It takes weeks for spring to march northward. I am glad it finally arrived at your place.

    Your garden points up why you plant pastels and cool blues and I plant the hottest colors. The light is different. Certainly the sun’s angle is different. I so enjoy visiting, especially on a hot day here.

    • June 18, 2014 9:50 pm

      Nell, Years ago, when I was teaching in Maine, I had a conversation with a colleague who was from South Carolina. I was arguing that Maine jumps from winter to summer with almost no spring. He begged to differ: “Maine has a long spring that lasts until fall,” he said, “what’s missing is a real summer.” We are having what I consider to be perfect summer weather — sunny with relatively low humidity and breezes and with daytime high temperatures in the upper seventies. It probably sounds (as well as looks) like spring to you! 🙂

  5. June 17, 2014 1:23 pm

    Your garden pictures convey a feeling of peace, Jean. I’m glad you still have spots in the garden to find refuge during your construction project – although exciting, I imagine the process can also be unnerving.

    • June 18, 2014 9:52 pm

      Kris, The garden often makes me feel peaceful and relaxed — almost meditative. When the day ends and the workmen and their noise leave, I can sit out in the long luxurious evenings at this time of year and just drink in the peace and beauty.

  6. June 18, 2014 5:27 am

    Hi Jean, I love the stand of Iris Sibirica, ours are all over now and it was good to see them featured in virtually all of the Chelsea Flower Show show gardens. A very popular plant this year.

    • June 18, 2014 9:54 pm

      Sunil, My Siberian irises seem to be going by quickly this year. Today, almost all the varieties I grow (including the earliest and the latest) all had flowers open at once. These are my favorite irises; I love the way they combine with other plants.

  7. June 18, 2014 8:24 pm

    Maine is agreeing with you! Green is always a welcome color after months of winter white.

    • June 18, 2014 9:57 pm

      Kevin, It’s true. I’ve never been able to get excited about snowdrops, because white is the last color I want to see in spring! By August, though, when the white phlox, platycodon, and liatris bloom, I love the feeling of coolness that they bring to the garden.

  8. June 19, 2014 9:48 pm

    Hello Jean, you have lots of colors now aside from green, and it is so wonderful to see the first butterflies isn’t it. Here in the tropics, we are supposed to be already in the beginning of the rainy season by June but since the climate is still confused we are still hot and dry. I’ve decided to shift my hobby into hoyas, they can survive the dry climate with little attention. Our usual plants dry totally during our dry months, at least my hoyas give us a lot of happiness, color and fragrance, and some insects are pacified too.

    • June 22, 2014 2:48 pm

      Andrea, Climate change is a challenge for all gardeners (and other living things!). In recent years, we’ve had some very wet Junes and I was beginning to think this was a new pattern. This year, however, the June weather has seemed more “normal” to me. Because our spring was late this year, the flowers are blooming profusely to catch up with the season. (Autumn frost can come quite early here, so they don’t want to dally too long.) I hope your rainy season arrives soon.

  9. June 19, 2014 10:51 pm

    Your geraniums are just incredible! I divided and transplanted mine last fall so they’ve decided not to bloom this year in protest. I’m hoping they are soon as lush as yours. 🙂

    • June 22, 2014 2:52 pm

      Tammy, If you want to have geraniums that look lush in a hurry, try planting ‘Biokovo.’ Be warned, however, that they may turn out to be too much of a good thing. One year, I took a few divisions from my Maine garden and planted them in Gettysburg. They spread so fast so quickly (they are a groundcover that takes the designation seriously 😐 ) that, by two years later, I was giving a way thinnings to anyone who would take them. I sometimes wonder if I am personally responsible for all the Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ growing within a 50 mile radius of Gettysburg, PA.

  10. June 22, 2014 3:23 pm

    Jean I can see where your garden blooms and mine is just a bit ahead with so many of the same flowers…without the extreme heat we can have in June the flowers are lasting longer as are the cooler veggies. I can see why you retreat to your garden…it exudes such a peaceful loveliness!

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