The garden is in full swing now, even though the first week of June was cold and rainy.
Usually high temps in the first two weeks of June average 74-77 degrees F. For the first week of June, we ran 10-20 degrees F below those, with highs in the low 50s to high 60s and lots of rain. That was right after I planted my cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, green bean, and herb seedlings, some annuals, and arugula, Swiss chard, and lettuce seedlings. Not a happy state of affairs for anyone except the arugula.
This last week, nature sought some sort of perverse balance, setting the solar death ray on stun. Highs ranged from 78 to 95F, which is almost 20 degrees F above average. Some years we don’t have temps in the mid-90s even in July or August. It’s been in the 80s and 90s since Saturday. This the veggies like better, but I had to mulch and water those that survived the first week to to protect them from climate whiplash. So far, I have replaced about half the cucumber plants.
Anyway, there is a lot to talk about now, and to show, including the veggies, but also the perennials, shrubs, trees, weeds/wildflowers, compost, insects, etc.
Bulbs: The only bulbs really happening at the moment are large purple alliums (shown with variegated Solomon’s Seal) …
… and scilla (aka wood hyacinth), which just seems to have sprung up in the front yard without my planting it.
So-called Weeds: Some of the prettiest flowers in the yard.
Perennials: Where to begin?
An all-time favourite of mine is Rodgersia, a plant that not only likes shade, hallelujah, but looks positively tropical. And the flower, which is about to bloom, smells heavenly. If you don’t have one, get one. Or six.
The pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is entirely kaput, but I like it that way.
Centaurea (perennial bachelor button) always looks fabulous, with a very photogenic deep blue and purple bloom.
The geraniums are starting to bloom like crazy; these were plant sale buys whose names are lost to history.
The hostas are happy campers, except that the deer keep eating them, especially Gold Standard and So Sweet. I’ve shaved some Irish Spring into their leaves, which has always nipped this nipping in the bud, so to speak. We’ll see. They’re not blooming yet, so just a couple of photos now, with more to come in later months.
Next, a couple of nice ground covers, Mother of Thyme, which spreads quickly, and yellow archangel, a false lamium that I’ve read can be very invasive but it certainly isn’t in my gardens in Maine and New Hampshire.
Baptisia and amsonia are spring perennial mainstays in my area. This year, I was given some more yellow baptisia by a neighbour, what a gift. I transplanted them less than two weeks ago and they seem to have adapted:
I also have other yellow baptisia (not shown yet), and some of the more common blue variety as well, in four different parts of the yard.
I’ve got two kinds of amsonia, ‘Blue Ice,’ with dark blooms (the first three photos), and an Amsonia tabernaemontana, with a paler, more delicate bloom (the last photo), planted in three different spots in the garden. It’s just starting to bloom now.
Speaking of things blue, salvia …
and lupine …
And then there are pink things, are there not?
Like ‘Pink Profusion’ Bowman’s Root, another favourite.
And comfrey, which is sort of pinkish purple. And it needs its first chop-and drop, for instant mulch, soon, before I have to stake it.
And dianthus, in the back and front borders.
I should also mention the woodland plants, mostly in the rock wall, but some are tucked into other spots as well.
A hodge-podge of a few other perennials coming to life now:
This is the time when the rhododendrons make their splash. I didn’t plant these but I have been hacking away at them for seven years; it only encourages them.
I also didn’t plant these cream-orange and red azaleas, but I LOVE them, especially contrasted with the boulder and the Japanese maple tree.
Lilacs are about finished — here are Ludwig Spaeth, Beauty of Moscow, and Sensation before they lost their oomph —
but the little Miss Kim is going strong.
The pagoda dogwoods have flowers now.
The buddleia, which should reach about five feet in height, is off to a slow start, but it’s growing. The photo on the left was taken on 1 June, the one on the right on 14 June.
Food Crops: Not much happening yet, though most have been planted by now.
The peas are flowering:
And the peach trees have so many peaches on them that I will have to remove 5/6 of them to get a good crop of decent-sized sweet, juicy peaches. Apparently there should be one nub the size of a dime every 6-8 inches on a branch. It’s going to be farming torture to thin them next week.
Fungi: I don’t know who, but they’re growing in the rock wall.
Compost: I am actually using compost I have lovingly handcrafted from kitchen scraps, tossed cut flowers, leaves, some grass clippings, dirt, pruned shrubs and perennials that aren’t diseased, and whatever else finds its way into the bin. It’s dark and crumbly!
Animals: You know, insects, deer, fox, bears and cubs — the usual suburban garden fare. (Some photos courtesy the motion camera.)
I’ll finish up with a few landscape shots.
Thanks for stopping by!
More GBBD, hosted at May Dreams Gardens:
… danger garden – always fun for me to see interesting spikey things that don’t grow here
… Late to the Garden Party (south coastal California, so exotic!)
… Commonweeder in western Mass. is more my speed
… Southern Meadows (northeast Georgia, zone 8a) has great insect shots
… Dirt Therapy in Vancouver, WA
… Rogue Eggplant in Maryland