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Springing Into Summer: GBBD, June 2019

June 15, 2019

spilling rhododendron flowersBecause of our long, cool, wet spring, my Maine garden is lagging behind where it would normally be in mid-June and is just beginning the transition from late spring to early summer blooms.

My big sprawling rhododendron on the back slope would normally look like this about two weeks earlier; its flowers are just starting to fade. Other spring flowers that are still blooming include bluets (Houstonia caerulea) and moss phlox (Phlox subulata).

bluets still blooming moss phlox June

There are still quite a few flowers on the wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana), but they’ve now been joined by their frequent companions, the later-blooming dwarf cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis).

strawberries still blooming strawberry and cinquefoil

The flowers of the lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) are fading fast, but the roses have begun to bloom.

lilac fading Rose Therese Bugnet

weigela bloomingAmong the shrubs I added to my garden last year, the Fothergilla and the pinkshell Azalea (Rhododendron vaseyi) have finished blooming, but Weigela ‘Alexandra’ has just begun, and the maple-leaf viburnums (Viburnum acerifolium) are loaded with buds.

When I look around, I see so many plants about to burst into bloom. Along the walkway to the patio, the flower spikes of Heuchera x ‘Raspberry Regal’ have just begun to open. When they are fully open, these will be a magnet for hummingbirds, and I saw my first ruby-throated hummingbird of the season checking them out today.

raspberry regal opening raspberry regal flower spike

Other flowers that have begun to bloom this week include creeping thyme, Dianthus x ‘Firewitch,’ Tradescantia virginiana ‘Zwanenburg Blue,’ and Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis).

creeping thyme firewitch
first tradescantia flowers alchemilla flowering

I am thrilled to have our native sundial lupines (Lupinus perennis) blooming on the front slope. I planted these from seed last year. Today, the first of the Siberian irises (Iris sibirica) opened, two weeks later than last year. These plants have loved all our spring rain and are loaded with buds. They should provide a lush display in the next couple of weeks.

Sundial lupine2 first siberian irises 2019

The display of hardy geraniums is also just beginning. So far, two varieties of G. maculatum, G. sanguineum, and G. x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ have begun to bloom; but there are many more yet to come.

Early geraniums

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is a virtual garden party hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see a dizzying array of June blooms from other bloggers’ gardens.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2019 12:09 am

    GREAT POST and AWESOME photos!

  2. June 16, 2019 3:58 am

    Very pretty!
    And thanks for ID on Moss Phlox – I have it here, but did not know (or have forgotten) its proper name. We call it Thrift, but I know that Thrift is a different plant entirely.
    Hope you are having a great weekend!

    • June 18, 2019 8:22 pm

      Oh, those common names are tricky. The plants called “bluebells” in England and the plants called “bluebells” in Virginia are at best distant relatives; and my bleeding hearts are not in the same genus as your bleeding heart vine (which is lovely!). Who’s to say that the “correct” common name for Phlox subulata is moss phlox and not thrift?

  3. Anonymous permalink
    June 16, 2019 5:56 am

    Beautiful. I love reading your blogs😊

  4. June 16, 2019 12:15 pm

    Lovely post …we are into summer …Have a great week ahead..

    • June 18, 2019 8:28 pm

      Arun, Summer is coming on fast here — although I have a feeling that the weather we call “summer” in Maine would seem more like spring to you.

  5. June 16, 2019 1:08 pm

    Your garden looks awesome!

    • June 18, 2019 8:29 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. The lush beauties of the summer garden are a special treat after Maine’s long winter.

  6. June 16, 2019 8:30 pm

    That Rhododendron is impressive, Jean. Late in arriving as it may be, I’m glad that you’ve had an opportunity to enjoy your spring blooms before summer arrives. We’re experiencing a similar lag of about 2 weeks in the case of our summer blooms – not that I’m complaining!

    • June 18, 2019 8:32 pm

      Kris, My mother brought me that rhododendron as a little seedling that her next door neighbor had dug up from the woods behind their houses. That was almost thirty years ago, and you can see what a sprawling giant that little seedling has grown into. It has almost finished blooming; once it does, I’m going to get in there and give it a good pruning. (It has started to flop over the back steps in winter, and there are whole other gardens buried beneath it.)

  7. June 17, 2019 1:38 pm

    It really does look like spring. Our seasons are late too, but most spring blooms are finished by now. Oddly, we still had lilies blooming last week! It was odd but nice.

    • June 18, 2019 8:34 pm

      Tony, I’m once again reminded how different your seasons are from mine. Lilies are a mid-late summer flower here.

      • June 20, 2019 2:39 am

        Oh, of course. I should remember that. We do not get much of a chill, which is why we do not grow many other bulbs. So many want more chill than they can get here. Some of those that do not need a serious chill can start growing early.

  8. June 18, 2019 7:10 am

    A wet (early) spring here too has given my phlox some mildew for the first time in years. I especially like your heuchera.

    • June 18, 2019 8:37 pm

      Ray, I almost always get some powdery mildew on the tall garden phlox that bloom here in late summer. I just tuck them in at the back of the border where other plants will hide their ugly mildewed foliage.

  9. June 20, 2019 9:44 pm

    Hi Jean, your lovely garden looks like a breath of spring to me! Everything is so refreshingly pretty. Your rhododendron is amazing.

    • June 21, 2019 8:01 pm

      Deb, It’s amazing how much has happened in the garden in the six days since I posted this. The rhododendron is now finished blooming, but Siberian irises are now blooming in many parts of the garden, as are tradescantia. Peonies and allium are now blooming, 5 more varieties of hardy geranium have joined those in bloom last week, goatsbeard has begun to bloom, and flower scapes are emerging on daylilies. It may have been a little delayed, but June is finally busting out all over here.

  10. July 9, 2019 5:42 pm

    I shall think of you when I see lupines as we hike – mostly the leaves which are distinctive.

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