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June’s Beautiful Blooms: GBBD, June 2016

June 16, 2016

Although April and May provide some preliminary blooms, June is the month when my garden really comes into its own. The primary display at this time of year is provided by varieties of Siberian iris,

Siberian irises 2016_1

…hardy geranium,

geraniums 2016

…and tradescantia (spiderwort).

Tradescantia 2016_1

walkway to patio_1I am taking particular delight in the new flower beds around my front entrance that I put in last summer, especially the porch border. It’s hard to believe that this lush planting is less than a year old. Repeated clumps of Geranium x oxonianum and Tradescantia ‘Pink Chablis’ are playing a supporting role here, but the real stars are the flowering spires of  Heuchera ‘Raspberry Regal.’ This is an old-fashioned heuchera variety, from the days when these plants were grown heuchera spikesfor their flowers rather than for strange foliage colors and when the common name of “coral bells” made sense. I bought one plant of it 15 years ago and planted it at the front of the house, where it never got very large and put up 3-5 inflorescences each year. Last year, I dug it up from my holding area and divided it into four small pieces that I planted along the front of the porch border. Ten months later, each of those divisions is larger than the original plant ever was, and each has more than a dozen spiky blooms. Given the color and shape of those flowers, it is not surprising that this is a favorite hangout for the ruby-throated hummingbird.

dianthus shooting starAcross the walkway, there is less going on in the patio border, but the flowers of Dianthus x ‘Shooting Star,’ a gift from a guest, are providing a lovely display.

Along the lavender walk, the lavender plants are full of buds, but not yet flowering. Between the lavender plants, though, the newly planted ice plant (Delosperma) ‘Table Mountain’ is covered with blooms.

lavender walk June 2016 ice plant blooms
In the back garden, the blue and yellow border is in its blue period. back garden blues
June yellow & blue Although the flowers of Iris sibirica ‘White Swirl’ and Baptisia x ‘Carolina Moonlight’ do provide some contrasting yellows.
I always find Amsonia tabernaemontana  particularly lovely at this time of year. amsonia 2016
self-sown irises Leaving the back garden and walking down the driveway, I find the Siberian irises that have seeded themselves down the back slope are putting on a lovely display.
At the other end of the driveway, the circular bed is in its beautiful, soft June mood. circular bed June 2016

June is a wonderful time to be in the garden enjoying its beautiful blooms. For beautiful June blooms from other gardens, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, where she hosts Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2016 11:23 pm

    I always love blue flowers anyway, but your garden is a delight…especially as we are in the middle of a wet and cold winter here in Canberra (Australia)

    • June 21, 2016 8:25 pm

      Gerry, I also find blue flowers irresistible. We had a not-so-cold, not-so-wet winter here this year, but summer still arrives as a special treat.

  2. June 17, 2016 9:26 am

    You have so many lovely blooms there right now Jean. It’s been a pleasure seeing around your garden this June.

    • June 21, 2016 8:27 pm

      Thanks, Angie. I always feel as though the garden is in a kind of exhilarating crescendo at this time of year, with more and more flowers blooming each week until sometime in the second half of July, when things begin to slowly wind down.

  3. June 17, 2016 12:22 pm

    How wonderful your garden is looking, Jean! I particularly liked the blue and yellow border with the pale Iris sibirica ‘White Swirl’ and the Baptisia (is it a pale yellow one? A bit too far away to see in the picture). And the growth on your new borders! Interesting what you say about the old heuchera cvs.

    • June 21, 2016 8:30 pm

      Cathy, I fall in love with my garden all over again each year at this time. Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’ is a very soft, buttery yellow. (You can click on any picture to see it in a full-screen version.) I don’t understand why, when plant breeders and nurseries started promoting heuchera as foliage plants, they dropped the one with showy flowers. Can’t they be both foliage plants and flower plants?

      • June 27, 2016 1:47 am

        The baptisia is just gorgeous – I’ve steered clear of the more modern heucheras because their colours are a bit jazzy for me. But a post like yours changes my mind. I enjoy your garden so very much – and admire the way you are continually creating.

  4. June 17, 2016 3:01 pm

    that ‘one year old’ exuberant perfection is a gardener’s delight. Yours, and mine!
    When we came home from our walk, I looked at our front garden, where a year ago was blank slate and builder’s rubble.

    • June 21, 2016 8:31 pm

      Diana, I don’t think I’ve ever before had a planting look this lush in year one! And, yes, it makes me so much happier than the mess left behind by the builders!

  5. June 17, 2016 6:23 pm

    All the blues and soft colors make yours a very peaceful garden, Jean. I love those Siberian Iris.

    • June 21, 2016 8:43 pm

      I love the Siberian irises, too, Kris. They’re much more slender and elegant than the bearded irises and, I think, they’re easier to combine with other plants in the garden. Unfortunately, they like moister conditions than we’ve had in our current drought (nothing compared to your drought, but an unusual dry spell for us), and as a result, they’re going by much too quickly this year.

  6. June 17, 2016 9:42 pm

    Dianthus ‘Shootiing Star’ seems very interesting with flowers of a slighly unusual shape.
    You are ahead of us in my part of Ontario. Our tradescantia have not started to bloom yet.

    • June 22, 2016 8:49 pm

      Alain, ‘Shooting Star’ seems to be a cultivar in the “cheddar pinks” group of Dianthus. I don’t know if its shape is unusual for that part of the genus.
      Do you know what kind of tradescantia you grow in Ontario? I ask because the T. virginiana’ flowers seem to bloom a bit earlier than T. ohiensis.

  7. June 19, 2016 7:55 am

    Although the foliage of the newer heucheras is lovely, I still favor the old varieties with the bright red flowers, too. I am starting my landscaping from scratch in a new home and had difficulty finding the old-fashioned coral bells, so I tried starting my own from seed. Epic fail. I finally found some plants and hope to be able to divide them to have more in a few years.

    • June 22, 2016 8:56 pm

      Vicki, Have you tried any of the mail-order nurseries. I noticed that Digging Dog Nursery in California lists the cultivar I am growing, Heuchera ‘Raspberry Regal’ in its catalog.

  8. June 19, 2016 8:48 pm

    Jean, can you explain why the heuchera has done so much better? improved soil? more light? or do you think that dividing it was the key?

    • June 22, 2016 8:57 pm

      Pat, I have no idea! I wish I did; if I knew the secret to this plant’s sudden happiness, I might be able to replicate it. 🙂

  9. debsgarden permalink
    June 20, 2016 4:42 pm

    Wow, Jean, it is great to see the amazing progress in your front border. The coral bells demonstrate what a difference the right location and soil can make. It is a joy to see all your blue blooms; I love the collages!

    • June 22, 2016 9:00 pm

      Deb, When I planted these heucheras along the front of the border, I had no idea that they would be the main attraction at this time of year — a delightful surprise. I do enjoy all the blue flowers at this time of year. We’re about to shift to more pink as the astilbes bloom. In July, yellows begin to dominate.

  10. June 22, 2016 3:45 pm

    Wonderfull Irises! Wish I had some. Also I like your mix of Spiderworts and Geraniums.

    • June 22, 2016 9:04 pm

      Jason, the fancy I. sibirica cultivars are not always happy in my garden, but the species plants self-sow like crazy. They are tough plants; a friend of mine once divided some in the fall and forgot that she had left the bare-root divisions in plastic bags at the top of the driveway. They spent the winter there, and when they emerged from under the snow banks in spring, they bloomed in their plastic bags.

  11. June 23, 2016 4:05 pm

    Hello Jean, I love your Iris Sibirica flowers, particularly the white ones. Mine are pretty much all varying blues apart from one small potted plant that is white, unfortunately it was dead-headed before I could collect the seed!

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