Yes, it really is that color: herbaceous peony ‘America’.
Even though it is not technically summer yet, we have been hit with weather that my twenty-year-old son informed me is more suitable for August. Six of the last eleven days (as of June 10) have been over 90 degrees, and on June 9 it topped 97 degrees (36 degrees C). Nevertheless, we have reached the middle of the month when I encourage each of you to walk around your garden and assess what you need to add to make early summer an exciting time in your landscape. Do you need more flowering trees, shrubs, and vines to give you a reason to stroll in your garden? Could your garden benefit from more perennials that bloom in June after the spring rush?
Native hybrid false indigo, Baptisia x variicolor ‘Twilite Prairieblues’, provides a cool oasis for the eyes.
Spiny bear’s breeches, Acanthus spinosus
Make a list and take photographs so that when you are shopping for plants you know what you need and where it should go. It’s beautiful outside now that the temperatures have dropped back into the 70s and low 80s (June 11), and you never know what you might find waiting in your garden like the jaw-droppingingly beautiful red peony (photo at top), which I photographed during my own inventory.
Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ on an antique church gate.
Native hummingbird magnet Indian pink, Spigelia marilandica.
June 15 is Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for June when gardeners around the world show photos of what’s blooming in their gardens (follow the link to see photographs from other garden bloggers assembled by Carol at May Dreams Gardens). Here are some more highlights from my June stroll through Carolyn’s Shade Gardens:
Sicilian honey lily, Nectaroscordium siculum ssp. bulgaricum, just appeared in my garden one day, but I am glad it did.
Readers really enjoyed my photos of woody plants–trees, shrubs, and vines–so I have been photographing every woody plant that has come into bloom since May 15. Most have finished blooming now due to the excessively hot temperatures, but I am including them anyway. Let’s start with the trees. You know by now that I love magnolias so here are my last three:
Oyama magnolia, M. sieboldii, was still in bud on May 15, but came into bloom shortly thereafter. It is a great tree for part shade.
I can’t decide whether I like the bud just before it opens or the flower better.
The gorgeous flowers point down and are best viewed from below.
Native sweetbay magnolia, M. virginiana, also grows in the shade.
The flowers of sweetbay magnolia have the best fragrance of any magnolia I grow.
My native southern magnolia, M. grandiflora, will never compare to specimens growing in the south, but it is still a beautiful evergreen tree suitable for part shade.
Southern magnolia starts blooming in mid-June.
I am also a huge fan of dogwoods and extend their season by growing lots of different kinds:
Native pagoda dogwood, Cornus alternifolia, suckers to form a colony.
The flowers of pagoda dogwood produce beautiful pink-stemmed blue berries loved by birds.
The Rutger’s hybrid dogwood, Cornus x ‘Constellation’, is a cross between Kousa dogwood and our native flowering dogwood.
‘Constellation’ flowers between its two parents–great for extending the dogwood season– and is disease resistant.
Kousa dogwood, Cornus kousa, flowers the latest of all my dogwoods.
The flowers of kousa dogwood are followed by very showy cherry-like fruit.
I have a very old golden-chain tree, Laburnum wateri, which I love but really should replace.
June is a great month for shrubs:
The shrub rose ‘Westerland’ is truly magical. The deep red buds open to this gorgeous apricot flower, which ages to a peachy pink.
Rugosa roses are completely foolproof, just requiring occasional pruning. Clockwise from upper left: Rosa rugosa ‘Polar Ice’, ‘Hansa’, ‘Alba Plena’, ‘Alba’.
I guess Knock Out roses are considered passe in rose circles, but I can’t help thinking I am going to my first prom every time I look at ‘Blushing Knock Out’.
Native oakleaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia, nestled in full shade at the base of my huge black walnut.
Oakleaf hydrangeas are ornamental 365 days a year, but nothing is more spectacular than their gigantic conical flowers.
Peonies remind me of my childhood, and I love their fragrance. Clockwise from upper left: ‘Coral Fay’, unknown, unknown (dug from a friend’s grandmother’s garden), ‘Raspberry Sundae’.
Clockwise from upper left: ‘Cheddar Cheese’, ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, ‘Angel Cheeks’, ‘Karl Rosenfeld’.
Linden viburnum, V. dilataum
The flowers of my linden viburnum never produce berries.
Redvein enkianthus, E. campanulatus, grows in full shade.
The exotic flowers of redvein enkianthus cover the shrub completely.
Chinese sweetshrub, Sinocalycanthus chinensis, grows in full shade too.
Its flowers are plentiful and gorgeous but not fragrant like our native.
Native hybrid sweetshrub, Calycanthus x ‘Hartlage Wine’, is a cross between the Chinese sweetshrub above and our native.
Its flowers and foliage are more beautiful than its parents, but it has no fragrance. Still it is one of my top five favorite shrubs.
Old-fashioned weigela, W. florida ‘Wine and Roses’, has deep burgundy leaves. It flowers later than my other weigela cultivars.
The showy pink flowers of ‘Wine and Roses’.
Vines are a favorite of mine:
Clematis clockwise from upper left: ‘Warsaw Nike’, ‘General Sikorski’, solitary clematis (C. integrifolia, really a perennial not a vine), alpine clematis (C. alpina ‘Stolwijk Gold’). I grow ‘General Sikorski’ up through my ‘Yellow Bird’ magnolia, and I grow gold-leafed ‘Stolwijk Gold’ up the ‘General Sikorski’–you can never have too many vines.
American wisteria, W. frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’, flowers after the Asian varieties.
The tightly packed flowers of ‘Amethyst Falls’ American wisteria.
I adopted this vine as a tiny plant at a rock garden society sale. It turned out to be a rare hardy jasmine, Jasminum x stepanense. Two years later it was covered with these fragrant pale pink trumpets–what a deal!
The charming flowers of hardy jasmine vine.
This climbing rose with a multitude of small pink flowers in bloom right now came without a name. I grow it around and through my anemone clematis, C. montana var. rubens, which flowers earlier. If anyone knows the name of the rose, please let me know.
A few scenes of the flower beds in June:
Main sunny perennial border: not a full day but as sunny as it gets at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.
The shady gold garden under a 120-year -old London plane tree.
Our cat Otto enjoying the wall garden.
Please let me know in a comment/reply what flowers are blooming in your spring garden. If you participated in GBBD, please provide a link so my nursery customers can read your post.
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