Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bloom Day - June 2014

It's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day.  Hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens, it's a time to take stake of what's blooming in one own's garden and an opportunity to have a look at what's flowering in gardens across the US and in other parts of the world.

My May garden was dominated by Agapanthus and, although some blooms are now looking a bit bedraggled, the flowers still dominate my garden in mid-June.

Agapanthus in the backyard border

Agapanthus in the front yard



Most of the daylilies finished blooming last month but a few are still putting on a show, most notably Hemerocallis 'Indian Giver,' which is new to me this year.

This clump of Hemerocallis 'Indian Giver' has pumped out an impressive number of bright purple blooms this month

In contrast, this clump of H. 'Indian Giver,' obtained from the same grower at the same time and planted only several feet away from the clump featured above, hardly looks like the same plant

Hemerocallis 'Persian Market' got a late start but is still putting on a nice show

And Hemerocallis 'Spanish Harlem' is still producing blooms in the front yard border (against a backdrop of mostly dead grass) 



Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum), a short-lived perennial generally grown as an annual here, has added a bolt of purplish blue to my backyard border.

Eustoma grandiflorum 'Borealis Blue' stands out next to Achillea 'Moonshine'


Borage (Borago officinalis), another annual, is filling in some of the empty spaces in the border we added early this spring as an extension to the bed surrounding our backyard fountain.

Borage, planted among Salvia 'Mystic Spires, lobelia, and red-orange daylilies



The first of the Echinacea have returned.

Echinacea 'PowWow White' alongside Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum'



Shrubs making a splash in the backyard include:

Hebe 'Wiri Blush'

Lupinus chasmissonis

Leonotis leonurus



While none of the common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) I planted last fall have done well this year, the perennial Digitalis x mertonensis and the hybrid Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' have fared better.

My Digitalis purpurea, if they bloomed at all, produced only short, stumpy bloom spikes like this one

Digitalis x mertonensis 'Polka Dot Pippa' was attacked by aphids but seems relatively unfazed and isn't the color pretty next to Yucca 'Bright Star'?

Only a few weeks after I cut the central bloom spike of this Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame', the plant has produced almost a dozen new bloom spikes



On the southeast side of the house, an area seemed to suffer most from our May heatwaves, Verbena bonariensis and Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Horizon' have added a welcome touch of color.




On the outskirts of this section of the garden, two plants less known for their flowers than their foliage are providing an unexpected floral display.

I usually cut the flowers off this Helichrysum petiolare 'White Licorice' in the belief that they detract from the foliage but I let them do their thing this year

Crassula radicans 'Small Red' has produced a mass of flowers this year (despite very little water)



On the largely unattended back slope, crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) and Yucca elephantipes are demonstrating their ability to take care of themselves.

I inherited this Bignonia, a plant I'd intended to avoid after it swallowed a fence at our former house

Yucca Elephantipes continues to produce one giant bloom after another despite my husband's battle to cut the plant back to a more manageable size



And last, but not least, a Phalaenopsis sitting in a pot in an area along the street I largely ignore, is proving that orchids don't deserve their reputation as difficult or demanding plants.

I water this unidentified Phalaenopis when I happen to pass by it, which isn't often - nevertheless, it somehow it made it through 2 horrible heatwaves outside in partial shade



That's it for my June bloom highlights.  Please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to discover what's blooming in her garden and to find links to posts from gardeners far and wide.


32 comments:

  1. That 'Spanish Harlem' is a looker! My agapanthus buds are swelling and going to burst open any day now, yours seem to last forever.

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    1. The Agapanthus got an early start this year - actually, you could argue that they never stopped blooming last year as I've had blooms on and off since then.

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  2. Oooo-la la, 'Spanish Harlem ! Your 'Indian Giver' issue is similar to problems I've had with daylilys here-they just don't seem very stable in terms of color. Things are looking colorful in your garden !

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    1. 'Indian Giver's' variability is disappointing, especially given what the clumps cost, Kathy. I'll have to wait and see if the differences remain consistent next year.

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  3. Your garden is wonderfully floriferous and colourful at the moment! Spanish Harlem is especially gorgeous!

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    1. 'Spanish Harlem' almost didn't make the Bloom Day cut given that I've featured it so many times already but those blooms are so dramatic they demand inclusion.

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  4. As usual you have so many lovely things in bloom Kris. That Spanish Harlem is an absolute winner. I love your swathes of Agapanthus and your Digiplexis just goes on an on. It all looks fabulous.

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    1. I'm very impressed by the Digiplexis, Chloris. I had low expectations for it as the performance of Digitalis here is spotty (I don't think it likes our unpredictable heat spikes) and I quickly killed Isoplexis when I tried to grow it. Digiplexis seems more resilient than either of its parents.

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  5. So beautiful with all agapanthus blooming.
    Mariana

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    1. Thanks Mariana! The Agapanthus are mainstays of my summer garden here.

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  6. I just love visiting your blog Kris - you've a truly wonderful garden. Look at the Phormium with the Hebe - WOW! Still loving the yellow and blue border too. Then there's the borage bed - I could be here all day, so will keep it short and say, it's all perfect!
    Happy Bloom Day :)

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    1. Thanks Angie! Like you, I tend to focus on what's "off" in the garden rather than what's right about it. We both need to learn to accept and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us in our own gardens.

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  7. Lovely post - so much to see, and just that much ahead of the UK, it's like a wonderful movie trailer of some of the things we've still got to come!

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    1. Thanks for visiting! Our seasons do seem to unfold very differently. The blooms showing in the UK now always make me think of early spring.

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  8. I suppose it is no good to look longingly at some of your blooms- like the perennial foxgloves. I didn't realize there was such a thing. Or that digiplexis, such a beautiful color. I suppose these plants like cool evenings and not quite so much heat or humidity. Now when it comes to that orchid you would think we had the prefect temperatures and humidity. Your garden is beautiful on this June Bloom Day.

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    1. I didn't know there were perennial foxgloves either, Jenny. As this is their first season, we'll have to see how they do when summer here really gets going. The Digiplexis demonstrated remarkable tolerance during our May heatwaves (it got up to almost 105F one day and we didn't cool down significantly overnight) but August and September will be the true test.

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  9. So many great blooms! I love the large numbers of agapanthus and 'Spanish Harlem' is gorgeous. The rebloom on your Illumination Flame finally has me impressed with this plant.

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    1. I was afraid I'd blown it by not cutting back the central flower spike on the Digiplexis earlier, Evan, but the blooms returned with interest anyway. The smaller plants seem somewhat slower to react but they're also showing the development of new blooms.

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  10. So many beautiful flowers! Love the Spanish Harlem Lily and the Agapanthus.

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    1. Thanks for visiting! 'Spanish Harlem' is definitely a winner.

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  11. Leonotis leonurus is one of those plants I buy every time, knowing it will die over the winter! Yours is so pretty! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful flowers!

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    1. I'd been on the verge of taking this shrub out, Renee. It was very woody and the light pruning I gave it in 2012 didn't make much difference. I cut it back much harder last fall and it's looking pretty good now, although still a bit spare at the base. I think I'm going to try cutting it back even harder this fall.

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  12. Gorgeous gardens Kris! I've been watching other's to see how Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' would preform. Very cool that it produced many secondary blooms. It's a stunner. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Jennifer! I've been very pleased and surprised by Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame.' I had relatively low expectations but now I can't wait until the other colors under development are released.

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  13. Love Hemerocallis 'Spanish Harlem', I think I may have said that when you showed it before, but it is a wonderful colour. My Hemerocallis are only just opening now. Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' also attracts me with that lovely dark foliage. I always read your posts wishing I could obtain the plants you have. I must look harder into growing some of them from seed.

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    1. Both 'Spanish Harlem' and 'Illumination Flame' are dramatic plants, Christina - they'd look great in your expansive garden. As the Digiplexis first gained notice at Chelsea in 2012, I'd have expected that it would be readily available in Europe - it's certainly flooded the market here (at least on the west coast).

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  14. As always, I enjoyed seeing all your blooms. I loved the photo of the giant yucca with the cityscape in the background. Agapanthus is on my wish list. Yours add such a wonderful blue touch.

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    1. People tend to dismiss Agapanthus here, Deb, as the plants are literally everywhere - planted along streets, in shopping centers, etc. I love them regardless of their overexposure.

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  15. I wish Agapanthus would do as well here as it does for you. All but one died last winter, and it is bravely coming back with just one leaf showing. Poor things - I should have given them some protection... Anyway, I marvel at the juxtaposition of the Digiplexis and the grasses. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen it look so good! Might have to copy you on that one! Also, I love the brown, velvety color of the Spanish Harlem daylily. Stunning!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Anna! I'm very fond of the Digiplexis, despite its current overexposure.

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  16. I think every gardener has plants not suitable for their climate that they lust after -- and agapanthus is at the top of my list. Seeing yours only increases my agapanthus envy; they are such a beautiful blue. -Jean

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    1. So true, Jean. I keep telling myself to accept my zone but I can't stop myself from gambling on inappropriate selections at times. At least my gambling is limited to plants...

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