Ah, June. It’s a happy month in the garden. The temps this year have been mild and we’ve had enough rain. I’m getting ready for my big shindig next Saturday which means I’d better hurry up and get the last of the annuals planted. I have a flat of purple petunias to put in and a few red impatiens. And there is a dwarf sweet spire that I need to find a place for. I’ve ordered two more chairs for the sitting area in the Secret Garden. And, I’m in the process of getting estimates for a new fence that separates my yard from the park. And, of course, I am enjoying my new brick pathways. What a lucky gardener I am…
This is my first bloom day of the season! A shout out to May Dreams Gardens for starting this wonderful tradition of reporting out what is blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month. I love going to her website and following the links to gardens all over the world.
My big news, though, is that in a couple of weeks my crushed limestone paths in the Secret Garden will become bricked pathways. I initially thought I would hire a landscaper to do the job. But my garden guru Dale has a neighbor who needed to get rid of more than a thousand bricks that were once a retaining wall. And, my friend Maja in Maine volunteered to lay the bricks. So, rather than the sterile perfection of a professionally laid path, I’m going to get something far more interesting and meaningful.
And, of course, I’ve been playing with bricks. At first I thought I would need to get rid of the crushed limestone, but now I think it will create a good foundation for the bricks. This means the pathway will be a little higher than it is “supposed” to be, but I suspect that won’t be a big issue, especially when fresh bark is spread on the garden next spring.
The temps rose yesterday to 90 degrees, but the heat isn’t unexpected. And, we are not experiencing a drought like last year. July blooms are on schedule and it seems like the whole garden is making up for last year. The cherry tree is still full of gorgeous red tart cherries. In fact, I picked 4 cups last night and made a cherry crisp. Last year I didn’t even bother with picking. The early warmth and subsequent freeze killed last years crop.
It’s pretty bleak in the garden, but there are signs of life. We’ve had a slow spring, and that’s just fine with me. A year ago the garden was seduced into early bloom. This spring the juncos are still around, but the robins have returned, and the cardinals are singing. And the hellebores are blooming!
Wow, it’s still hot. And the garden is baking. The day lilies that were in glorious bloom just a week ago are now fading. I’ve begun removing bare scapes and scraping at the lifeless brown leaves that seem more prevalent this year than seems normal. The garden gets watered daily thanks to the in-ground system. Michigan, surrounded by water, rarely gets water restrictions. But the heat is taking its toll, especially on the hydrangeas. In fact, I may lose a couple even though I give them extra water each day. Sadly, there seems to be no end in sight. At best, we have a chance of thunderstorms this week. Weeks of 90 degree heat just isn’t what my garden is used to.
May is an anxious time for me in the garden. I haven’t gotten the annuals in yet. And, the 12 yards of shredded bark have not arrived. So, the gardens look good from a distance, but up close, they are messy and there are bare patches where the annuals will go. Mind you, a little anxiety is good. It goads us forward. And I have no excuses to move forward because the watering system guy came this afternoon to hook everything up and repair the damage the snow plow did to one of the lines this winter.
Everything, of course, is early. The McFarlane lilacs are out, and so is the mock orange.
The cheddar pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) are going crazy! I love how they brighten up this shady little nook under the old dogwood, especially since I haven’t shopped for annuals and baskets yet.
The old dogwood is host to birds, bees, and fuzzy clusters of tiny flowers. The kousa dogwood hasn’t quite arrived yet, but I suspect it will be gorgeous in a couple of days.
The Wild Spice Hansa roses have been blooming for a few weeks, though, they got nipped during a frost. Sill, nothing seems to deter them.
I was surprised to find a spiderwort (tradenscantia) blooming in one of the entrance gardens. I didn’t plant it. In fact, I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to get rid of the last vestiges left by the previous owner.
The heuchera and heucherella are looking really good. The entrance garden is further along than the heurchera in the Secret Garden, but the entrance garden gets full sun.
The tiny amsonia stars are blooming, too. These were a lucky find at a garden center a couple years ago. I think they were $1 per pot. I’ve certainly enjoyed them!
This little columbine kept coming back year after year, much as I tried to get rid of it. It, too, was left over from the previous owner, and now I’ve decided I quite like its pretty pink and white blossoms.
And how I wish that those saucers of clematis would bloom all summer! How can such delicate looking vines burst forth with such huge flowers. I remember the first time I ever saw a clematis blooming. I thought perhaps they were plastic flowers that someone had stuck on a piece of lattice. There are still a few bleeding hearts (dicentra) blooming.