The Lurie Garden in June (2018)
In late May and June the River of Salvia flows through the Lurie Garden. I visited Lurie with camera in hand on the 14th and 15th of this month. There were patches of the river that were done blooming, showing only bare flower stalks.
Fortunately, Lurie Garden plants a mix of Salvia varieties: ‘May Night’, ‘Rugen’, Blue Hill’, ‘Dear Anja’, and others. That extends the bloom period of this floral river, and provides a number of variations on the theme of blue and purple.
I think the light blue here is ‘Blue Hill’.
The Salvia was very popular with honeybees, as well as some native bees.
Along with the Salvia, Lurie Garden is currently featuring frothy masses of Smooth Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis). The two complement each other really well, each with its own flowery spires – one clothed in white, the other in blue or purple.
Here’s a closeup of the Penstemon.
And they look good together no matter which is in the foreground.
Another plant with blooming spires notable at this moment is White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba).
White Wild Indigo tends to grow taller and bloom later than its cousin Blue Wild Indigo (B. australis).
Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) is kicking off the Coneflower season.
Eastern Bee Balm (Monarda bradburiana) looks like it is just past its peak bloom. If only I had known about this plant when I planned my Sidewalk Border. Instead of engaging in domestic disputes with Monardas aiming for a height of 5′ or more, I’d be living in harmony with this polite Bee Balm which is satisfied at a mere 2′. Though those taller Bee Balms provide color later in the season.
Patches of bright golden yellow stand out amid all the blue, white, and pink. This is the Yarrow (Achillea) ‘Moonshine’.
I noticed several patches of Prairie Smoke (Geum Triflorum), still sporting their wispy seedheads. I’ll have to ask the staff how they manage to keep their Prairie Smoke from being overwhelmed by taller neighbors (especially the ones that self-sow), a problem I have in my own garden.
Climbing the stairs into the Dark Plate, I got a nice view of the Knautia (Knautia macedonica). I wouldn’t be surprised if this plant provided some inspiration to the pointillists.
There are several nice patches of the Hardy Geranium ‘Orion’.
One morning I ran into Lurie Garden Director Laura Ekasetya and she pointed out that these Geraniums, though not native, seemed to be very popular with native bees.
Behind ‘Orion’ is a big patch of Phlomis (Phlomis tuberosa ‘Amazone’). To my eyes this is just an odd-looking plant, but it does get your attention.
There are also some large stands of Bowman’s Root (Porteranthus trifoliatus). This North American native grows up to 4′ tall and 3′ wide, something I need to remember since I planted two in my back garden that are currently only about 3″ tall.
They have these dainty little flowers in spring along with deep red stems. Their fall color is supposed to be good though I’ve never noticed.
June is a transitional month, a bridge between spring and summer. In Lurie Garden, June brings rivers of purple and spires of white, attended to by a myriad of bees.