June 15: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

East Friesland Sage in the Secret Garden

East Friesland Sage in the Secret Garden. There is a family of wrens in the bird house.

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…

Many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

Alchemilla and Blue Ice Amsonia in the Secret Garden

Alchemilla and Blue Ice Amsonia in the Secret Garden

Entrance garden.  That is Walker's Low Nepeta in the foreground.

Entrance garden. That is Walker’s Low Nepeta in the foreground.


Daddy Long Legs on Wild Berry Hansa Rose


Looking east in the Secret Garden. The Kousa dogwood is in bloom. The huechera in in bloom under the dogwood.

Heuchera in the Secret Garden

Heuchera in the Secret Garden


Looking into the Secret Garden. Those are red begonias at the entrance.


White poppies are almost finished blooming


Berry White Nemesia in the corner nook.


Purple Smoke Baptisia in the False Garden


Rose Campion


Walker’s Low Nepeta with a friend


Persian Star Allium. I didn’t plant this but found it in a well established day lily bed.


Bleeding Heart


Old white climbing rose in the corner nook


Looking through the Kousa dogwood in the Secret Garden


Lisanthus in the corner nook


The northwest corner of the Secret Garden


Tradescantia in the corner nook

Wild Spice Hansa Rose in the Lower Garden

Wild Spice Hansa Rose in the Lower Garden


Cranesbill geranium with  annual geraniums in the Lower Garden

Cranesbill geranium with annual geraniums in the Lower Garden

Corner nook, old white climber and bleeding heart.

Corner nook, old white climber and bleeding heart.

Catmint and Other Blues

Walker's Low catkin in the entrance garden

Walker’s Low catmint in the entrance garden

It’s been almost a year since I removed the Pana rhododendrons from the entrance garden and planted Walker’s Low catmint.  That filled in nicely, and, while I knew the Walker’s Low wasn’t really low, I was not prepared for the wonderful blue spires that greet me every time I come home.  It is taller now than the three-foot cat statue that sits in the middle of that bed.

Catmint, or Nepeta, is thought to have been named after the Roman city Nepeti where people used it as an insect repellent and brewed it for tea.  It is a relative of catnip, but is far easier to manage and far more attractive.  It has many of the same cat attracting qualities as catnip and, in fact, my cats love it.  When the Cool Cat catmint in the Secret Garden is first greening up in the spring, Callie likes to lounge underneath it and chew any leaves that are within nibbling distance.  Kittens have to mature into a reaction to catnip and catmint, so Moe didn’t take any interest in it until he was about nine months old.  But his first reaction was intense.  He couldn’t stop drooling and the fur on his face was saturated.  Both cats like to eat catmint and rolling in it seems to provide an additional pleasure.

I’m now in the process of planting more catmint under the sunroom window and off the kitchen.  And the replanted bed right outside the Secret Garden already has a border of catmint.

The catmint isn’t the only thing “bluing” in the gardens.  The clematis by the back door is a lovely tumble of saucer sized flower.  I wish I could remember the name of this clematis.  I suspect the tag is lurking in the various garden books I try to maintain, but I’m too lazy to find it.  In the Secret Garden an uninvited guest has popped up in the daylily bed.  I suspected it was an allium and, yes it is–Persian Star.  I’ve always meant to plant allium, so I guess the garden fairies have acted on that intent.  The Blue Ice amsonia is in full bloom.

While prowling through a garden center I found a lovely annual that I first thought was some sort of rose.  But it’s Lisianthus.  I bought three of them and clumped them together in the nook outside the sunroom and dining room.  On the same trip, I found this gorgeous morning glory.  Since the Sweet Autumn clematis did, indeed, fall victim to our hard winter, I bout two of these to fill in while the new Sweet Autumn gets started.

Morning Glory

Morning Glory



Persian Star allium

Persian Star allium

Blue Ice Amsonia

Blue Ice Amsonia

Clematis by the back door

Clematis by the back door