Garden Keeping Calm for the Moment

This is not one of those times when the garden is a riot of color. It is bursting with lushness and growth, true, but tranquil greens predominate. There are some blooms, but mainly in cool whites and lavenders.

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Here’s a view of the front garden from the street. Masses of self-sown Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) bloom in the Parkway Bed and along the front of the Sidewalk Border.

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Here’s a close-up. Most Wild Geranium are lavender, but years ago I bought a white flowered form from Prairie Moon, and ever since then the white and lavender have been romping around the garden together.

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A robust clump of Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) is blooming at one end of the Sidewalk Border. Normally I need to give the Bluestar some support, but this is one of those years when certain plants try to make up for a late start by blooming while shorter than usual.

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Bluestar flowers are a cool steel blue, appropriate for the cool spring weather. We also have a cultivar in the back called ‘Blue Ice’. It’s blooming now, but it seems to be in decline rather than spreading as I had expected.

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Here’s a view of the sidewalk from the other end. You can see the Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) are still blooming.

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At the front of the East Side Border there are two Fringe Trees (Chionanthus virginicus). In this picture the sunlight is filtering through the flowers. You can see why another common name for this small tree is Old Man’s Beard.

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Here’s another picture. Each Fringe Tree has only male or female flowers. It’s hard to know if you’ve got a female tree for sure until it starts bearing small purple fruits. Mine never have, but I’m hoping we may see fruit in the next couple of years. Otherwise, I’ll just have to accept that we have 2 males. The male flowers are showier, at least.

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More Golden Alexander in the Left Bank Bed, with ‘Purple Sensation’ Alliums in the bacground. The flowers of Alliums and some other plants have been very durable this year, thanks again to the cool weather.

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And speaking of Alliums – we now have our first Star of Persia blooms (A. christophii). They are scattered around the Left Bank Bed so they don’t really have mass impact, not yet at least. This is a very elegant Allium, I like how the individual flowers within the flowerheads are unusually large and distinct for the genus. Judy says the flower clusters look like fireworks going off. The silvery lavender color is appealing also.

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Here’s a look up the Driveway Border, edged with blue ‘Kit Cat’ Catmint (Nepeta x fassenii).

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Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) is another flowering shrub for this season.

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Here’s a close look at the flower, which is possibly the most attractive Viburnum flower in the genus.

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We are not huge Peony fanciers, but there are a couple of Peonies in the back garden with impressive, if not especially numerous, blooms. (Too much shade, probably). This is ‘Abalone Pearl’.

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This deep red one is ‘America’. It’s definitely got the hottest color in the garden right at this moment.  Our most impressive Peony is out in the Parkway Bed. It’s not blooming yet, so I’m saving it for a future post.

Is your garden staying calm for the middle of June/

45 Comments on “Garden Keeping Calm for the Moment

  1. What a lovely post….winter has well and truly arrived here in Canberra, and I so enjoyed looking at all the greenery, interesting plants and blossoms that make up your summer garden. Enjoy!

  2. Everything is looking very cool and green with great promise for what is to come. June is a month for colour here with all the roses blooming as well as peonies, iris and poppies plus others, I’m enjoying all the colour.

    • The color here is gradually building up. I think July is probably our most colorful month, though the weather is unusual this year.

  3. People still say, “riot of color”? We used to joke about that in the 1980s, especially in regard to ‘tranquil’ landscapes. I think that when your garden was more colorful, it was prettier than a riot. It is plenty pretty as well as tranquil right now.

    • I don’t know about people, but I do, at least on occasion. I’m referring to a riot with well-behaved, colorfully-dressed rioters.

  4. My garden is winding down from it’s May madness. Lots of green. I tried to grow some daisies for a bit of color but the rabbits ate every bloom and bud. So much for that experiment. I would like to get that Geranium going in my garden. I think it is sweet. I saw some poppies in one of your photos. Love em.

  5. It’s looking pretty lovely at your house right now. 🙂 I have a few Iris blooming, the peonies are getting ready, but I lost a lot of Catmint. I need a couple and can’t find any in my beds. Who knew a crazy winter and soggy spring could kill off most of my Catmint.

  6. My gardens are in a similar green state, and believe it or not, this is one of my favorite times for the garden. Everything is so fresh and green and has such promise. No munching slugs or snails to tear through the leaves. Also, I’m with you about peonies. My least favorite flower. Such show-offs!

  7. Gorgeous! Our colors are the same as yours, whites and lavenders at the moment. We have that same species of “fireworks” allium, and the blooms are massive this year .

  8. I have a riot of green with purple, lavender, blue and white blossoms here and there, although when I left the house this morning I saw one audacious coreopsis lanceolata in the front garden daring to be yellow. I had one bee on the sage flowers last night when I decided to do some cleanup after I got home from work. I hope I get more bees when I have more to offer them.

  9. The showiest blooms right now are from the blue false indigo and Sunny Twinkle alliums, but my eyes are drawn to the red-purple trees and shrubs: King Crimson maple, Japanese maple, purple sandcherry, purple leaf smoke bush, Perfect Purple flowering crab. These are offset by the Golden Spirit smokebush and Lemony Lace elderberry. One nice thing about colorful foliage is it lasts all season.

    • We don’t have a lot of colorful foliage (other than the color green), though we do have a chokecherry that is turning purple.

  10. Oh, your peonies are gorgeous. I’ve just moved one of mine as it’s in a now shady spot. How your garden has grown! Love all the alliums, especially star of Persia, it does look just like fireworks.xxx

  11. This garden has a very green lull in early June, after the crescendo of irises, roses, and peonies. The only flowers are creamy white; huge spires of yucca blooms have the stage pretty much to themselves at one end of the garden, and the oakleaf hydrangea is blooming as never before at the other. In between, it’s foliage; mostly green, but with enough different shapes and textures, along with vignettes of variegated and colored foliage, to keep it interesting until summer bloomers really get going.

  12. The Amsonia is one of my favorites, but ours are long gone. I went back to check the dates on my photos to see when they bloomed, and found A. tabernaemontana bloomed in mid-March along the coast, while A. ciliata was blooming by early April in the hill country. It’s so interesting to follow the bloom cycles as spring moves north.

  13. You have so much to enjoy in your garden. That viburnum is lovely! Like Shoreacres mentions, it’s interesting to observe flowering plants–either exact, or close relatives–that bloomed for us months ago, in full glory for you now.

  14. This time of year has lots of lavenders in my garden as well. It does seem very calm. I love Fringe tree! One doesn’t seem them often here.

  15. I like the green lushness of your garden. There still seems to be plenty of color. Amsonia is something I invited into my garden after seeing it look so great in yours, but it didn’t make it here. I like the catmint too, that’s something I have to keep adding back to the garden.

  16. Your garden is looking fresh & lush – there’s a lot to be said for the cool, subtle colours of a garden as it’s unfurling. I enjoy a garden’s progression through each phase of the season just as much as the individual displays.

  17. I recognized your Amsonia by it’s blooms, but the close up shows your variety has quite different leafs. On my they are fine and feathery; I love plants with pale blue flowers, but in all honesty I fell in love with the name first: ‘half way to Arkansas’ simply made me smile.

    • In the front garden we have the straight species Amsonia tabernaemontana – known as Bluestar. I think yours is a variety of Amsonia hubrichtii, which is called Arkansas Bluestar among other common names.

  18. I love the look of those masses of Geranium maculatum. Just thinking about the scent of those fringe trees makes me swoon. Because of the long, cool, wet spring, most of my spring and early summer plants began blooming 1-2 weeks later than normal, but it now seems as though everything is happening at once as the garden makes up for lost time.

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