June Fun

While not official, summer gardening has begun here at the Faire Garden. What we consider to be spring bloomers are finished, the azaleas are wearing coats of green, the peonies, iris and lilac blossoms are the stuff of memories, and the daffodils and tulips are barely remembered at all. Thank goodness for the photographs, lest we forget their beauty. Early summer is marked here by the astilbes. The firey stems and flowers of red a.x arendsii ‘Fanal’ are the first to open. The white a. ‘Deutschland’, which has been spread hither and yon, is just beginning to blossom. More astilbes are waiting in the wings for their turn at stardom. They will receive their moment in the sun when the time is right.
The asiatic lilies will lead the procession of trumpet shaped flowers, followed by the daylilies, hemerocallis. Planted two years ago are the now budded Chinese trumpet lilies, lilium ‘Regale’. These were brought to the garden inspired by the book “Merry Hall”, written by Beverley Nichols. In his garden of the titled name, his gardener, Oldfield ( wonderful name, that), had raised the Regales from seed, and many pages were devoted to the loving care they received, and the delight given by those flowers to all who knew him. We have added l. ‘Golden Splendor’, now in heavy bud as well. Shown above, an asiatic passalong from daughter Semi, name unknown, of course.
In situ, the lilies are growing on the hill behind the main house, a difficult spot with scant moisture and poor soil. Joined by the waving stipa tenuissima, self sown nigellas and evening primroses in bloom, the lilies add just the right color jolt to the scene.
Our lady of the bank, is she a goddess? She looks rather warlike. The native sedum acre was trying to obliterate the heuchera ‘Silver Scroll’ on this steep corner on the daylily hill next to the back deck. We have pulled the sedum back and away from the lady and her bells. Under the sedum, a bed of moss and the originally planted chamomile show a darker shade of green.
Early summer bloomers, the veronica group is concentrated in the newly designated yellow/white garden. And yes, I know that neither of these plants shown above, v. spicata ‘Royal Candles’ and v. spicata ‘Red Fox’ are either color. We do have v. spicata ‘Icicle’ a tall white, and v. ‘Sunny Border Blue’, umm, never mind. The now green background plant is a seed grown baptisia, the white flowered one. I actually thought the seeds were gathered from the blue flowered one, but the first flowering of the three year old plants showed all the flowers to be white. One of the reasons that this bed is the yellow/white bed, a lucky coincidence. The sedum ‘Mediovariegatum’, with its handsome variegated foliage does follow the theme.
Out front in the middle streetside bed are the large gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’. These are the low care, ever blooming summer perennials every xeric garden should have. They do grow to be quite tall and wide, about four feet tall and wide, so give them plenty of room to benefit from their gladdening girth.
Another gaura, this one growing on the shed hillside, a dark leaf pink variety, g. ‘Crimson Butterflies’. This pink is more compact than g. ‘Whirling Butterflies’, but just as floriferous.

In the same bed as the pink gaura are the eryngiums. We have struggled to get the vision met of a sea of blue pinecones atop silvery stems in this area. There are now more than ten plants, with some promising seedlings showing now. Blackberry lilies, belamcanda, more of the stipa grass and nigellas are close neighbors to the sea hollies. To the right is the edge of St. John’s wort, hypericum androsaemum ‘Albury Purple’.

Down on the gravel path between the house and the wall, the containers are starting to fill in with their annuals. We are expecting a great show, now that we understand the thriller, filler and spiller method of planting we learned in the design workshop on containers sponsored by
Gardening Gone Wild.

The containers have never looked better and the temperatures of summer should be no problem for the heat loving plants we have chosen for them. No thirsty plants can be grown in these pots, for they are going to have to go without being watered for the next few days. Our vacation is about to begin and the preparations are being checked off the task list one by one. The blogdom will have to survive without new posts or comments from us until our return, we will have no internet.

This is where we are going, Edisto Beach, South Carolina. We have rented a house large enough for our entire clan to convene , thirteen of us in all. This will be our third year there. The first year, when we arrived after the seven hour drive, we ran to the beach and set up our shade tent, towels, drinks, toys, etc. How did we not notice the dark cloud on the horizon? A strong wind gusted up and blew our tent across the sand like a straw in the storm. We quickly gathered everything up and ran across the street to our rental house. Looking at the photos taken of our wonderful vacation beach, we saw this storm in the sky beyond our smiling faces, (that have been cropped out to protect the innocent). We completely missed it in our bliss at arriving.

Last year, the weather treated us better upon arrival. We will hope for more of the same this time around.

We haven’t forgotten the biggest event of all that will be happening after we return home, midsummernight’s eve. There will be postings leading up to the big night, and we are hoping to have that stone with a hole all the way through to peek at the fairy goings on. Maybe the camera can be positioned to peer through the opening into magic land.
Until then,

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50 Responses to June Fun

  1. Carol says:

    Your garden is like a preview for me of the flowers that will begin blooming in my garden to the north of you.

    Enjoy your vacation!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Gail says:

    Frances, coffee in hand and wishing I was there with you for a stroll around your beautiful garden…Every time I visit Faire Garden I learn new plant combinations. I the love the lilies, the stipa and the nigella together! Thanks.

    Recommendation– Slightly North of Broad (SNOB!) restaurant had the best crab cakes I have ever had…almost all crab and no breading!

    I will miss you! Have fun!

  3. Lancashire rose says:

    This is the first time I have viewed your web site. I love everything about it—and Oh how I wish I could be walking along that beach. Another day of 100 degrees here.

  4. Dave says:

    The photos are great Frances! I like the statue of the lady with the sedums and the heuchera. You have quite a collection of garden art in your gardens!

    Have a great vacation!

  5. Frances, says:

    Hi Carol, thanks, I will enjoy seeing your flowers bloom and compare notes! We are really jazzed about the beach.

    Hi Gail, that is so funny, I was going to recommend the same restaurant to you, and believe it or not, I ordered the crab cakes. It is a first class place. The stipa and nigella are with everything here, and enhance them all. The stipa looks fabulous in the winter too, it is one of the noble plants.

    Hi Jenny, welcome and thanks for visiting. I feel your pain about the heat, it is in the nineties here with high humidity. I just came in from the garden, dripping wet. Yuck.

    Hi Dave, thanks. She is a fave, purchased at the Smith and Hawken store in Houston when we lived there. It is a keystone, to be used above a window exterior, on sale for $25. I wish I had bought more than one.

  6. tina says:

    You have a great vacation with the clan!

  7. Sarah O. says:

    Wow, Frances, I like your whimsical writing and gardening talk, but what really puts your blog over the top for me are the beautiful vignettes you create in the garden. That “lady of the bank” scene and the last one with the heuchera and the glazed pot (what plant is that spilling out of it, btw? must find) – stunning! If I were walking through your garden, I know I would just stop dead at them and stare, crouch down and get a closer look, lean back for the whole view, then pass by again for a second look – vignettes like that are what makes gardening worthwhile for me. Awesome. Oh, and enjoy your trip!

  8. Frances, says:

    Hi Sarah O., welcome and thanks for stopping by. Your seem like an enthusiastic gardener, the best kind! The gold leaf plant spilling out of the red pot is sedum ‘ogon’, I have killed it before and it can get smothered by larger plants, needs to stand alone. Hope you can find it. Thanks for the kind words.

  9. Frances, says:

    Hi Tina, sorry out of order. I say that everytime don’t I? It’s this new comment set up, I can’t scroll up to see the comments that I am responding to, but I like the larger size, so please bear with me. We are super busy getting ready to be away for so long, lots of planning to be done, plus the packing, bedding, towels, food, beach stuff, so much. Take a deep breath, we will get it all done. Thanks for visiting.

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    I love your reds, Frances. The daylilies look so pretty next to the feathergrass.

    Have a wonderful time at the beach. Growing up in SC, we went to the shore nearly every summer. There are such lovely white-sand beaches there.

  11. Nat says:

    Hello, I’m a long time listener, first time caller 🙂 I just have to let you know what an inspiration your blog is. I am fairly new to garden blogging, and I get such a kick out of your gardens. They are stunning. Every time I log on, I just can’t wait to see what you’ve posted 🙂


  12. Phillip says:

    Love the last photo with the pot on its side and the plant spilling out – what plant is that? The beach sounds great. We are going to the beach in October (in Florida) so we have a while yet. Have fun!

  13. Jean says:

    Hope everyone has a great time, as I am sure they will, even though we will all miss you but look forward to what I know will be masterfully done fairy stories
    upon your return.

  14. Anna says:

    Those were beautiful photos. I’m glad I stopped by today. I love it when someone describes their garden as you do. I can tell it is tended with love.

  15. Frances, says:

    Hi Pam, that must have been wonderful to grow up going to the beach every year. I never even saw the ocean until I was married and in my twenties. It was love at first sound, (it was night). Thanks for visiting, the stipa makes everything look great around it. The asiatics are in the photo, but we do have daylilies with stipa also. ;->

    Hi Nat, glad you called in. Thanks for those kind words. Your rainbow shots were magnificent BTW.

    Hi Phillip, the plant spilling out is sedum ‘ogon’. I have killed it before, a couple of times, it is doing better with some shade and moisture in the fairy garden. Florida should be great in October! Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Jean, what sweet words, thanks so much. I should be recharged with lots of ideas after soaking in all those negative ions. Hope we can find that rock with a hole in it.

    Hi Anna, thanks for visiting. I’m glad you enjoyed it. We do love the garden and tending it. It’s a passion.

  16. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    Is your Lady Artemis or Athena Nike? I wish I could grow Astilbes, your Fanal looks so happy. I’ll wait ’til you get back to post about the best nursery in Chicagoland, as they have a great selection of items for fairy gardens & I thought about yours as I took photos.

  17. Frances, says:

    Hi MMD, how thoughtful of you to wait, thanks. I know I’m going to miss a lot of good posts and won’t be able to catch up, I can hardly keep current now. Why can’t you grow astilbes? You have shade and moisture, they will grow in sun and dry, that’s where they are in my garden. The white deutschland is the toughest, and Vision in Pink is good too. Give them another try. Do you recognize my goddess? She has kind of leafy things on each side of her hat/hair thing, I am assuming it is a she.

  18. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    All of your blooms are gorgeous Frances. I will miss you while you are away. I wish you and yours safe travels and a Bon Voyage.

  19. Frances, says:

    Thanks, Lisa. We will miss the blogdom, but will enjoy the beach and family time.

  20. chey says:

    Have a wonderful trip Frances.I look forward to learning more about midsummernight’s eve, as well as seeing your daylilies:). Your garden photos are beautiful!

  21. Frances, says:

    Hi Chey, thanks for visiting. We hope to have lots of new info for the big fairy night when we return.

  22. Annie in Austin says:

    Hi Frances,

    I hope you have a great time at the ocean. My alternate universe experience is not so different – first saw the Atlantic Ocean while driving around the Carolinas on a 10th Anniversary vacation with 3 kids in tow. We loved the NC beaches so much we went back over and over.

    The red lilies and red astilbe are beautiful and so is the little scene.

    Maybe with the curls and the headpiece you don’t have a goddess but it’s the pretty-boy Paris, who ran off with Helen of Sparta and started the Trojan war? Now that might give the fairies something to talk about!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  23. Nancy J. Bond says:

    Enjoy your vacation — it looks like a positively wonderful place to spend some time. Your garden is simply beautiful.

  24. chuck b. says:

    It’s funny how the daffodils and tulips are barely remembered. I concur! Now when it’s light out until 9 p.m., it seems the daffs emerged and bloomed in relative darkness. A distant time that’s hard to recollect.

    I like our lady of the bank and her warlike nature! She absolutely belongs in a fairy garden. Put her where she can reach veronica’s purple spears.

    I could look up the difference between asiatic and oriental lily hybrids, or perhaps you could please tell me..?

  25. Frances, says:

    Hi Annie, we used to go to Nag’s Head in North Carolina when we lived in PA and the first TN home and loved it. We started going to Edisto after visiting at a friend’s house in Kiawah, very close to Charleston, a city we love to visit. Kiawah is out of our price range, but Edisto is is affordable and is a perfect family beach, no night life or teenagers, and is not crowded at all, the best thing. I spent some quality time looking at goddess photos and none really matched up. Thanks for the Paris tip, I will check it out. Thanks for visiting, I will miss my blogdom friends, but will enjoy family time.

    Hi Nancy J., Thanks for stopping by and the well wishes. It will be a great time at the beach with the clan, always a little wild and crazy.

    Hi Chuck B., the differences between the lilies, other than botany type things that I know nothing about, or want to, are that the asiatics bloom sooner, don’t need staking as they have stouter stems, are not as tall, and have no scent. The flowers are look lasting and waxy, maybe that is why the last longer. The orientals have different looking leaves, more delicate, though large flowers, bloom later by a few weeks, most need staking and are fragrant. There are mixes of the types, including the longiflorium asiatics, slightly fragrant, many flowers, no staking, early that are my favorites. I also have some orienpets, cross between trumpets, the long flowered regales, need staking, good fragrance, and the orientals. I will be posting about them all as they open and peak. My source for the bulbs is Van Engelen/John Scheepers, their online catalog is eye candy and informative.

  26. Rose says:

    Hope you have a wonderful vacation! It’s always a treat to visit your garden; we’ll miss you while you are gone.
    Love that “whirling butterflies” gaura.

  27. Layanee says:

    Frances: What a beautiful vacation destination! The beach always seems like another world for those of us who live away from its’ shores. When you finally return to your garden it will look entirely different. I am always amazed at the changes that take place in a few short days. As Carol said, your garden is a preview for me also. Have a restful and fun filled vacation.

  28. Frances, says:

    Hi Rose, thanks for the good send off. The gaura is a carefree summer bloomer and good for the least amount of maintenance possible.

    Hi Layanee, I keep looking at the garden, knowing there will be new things blooming, the lilies in particular, when we return. All the missed photo ops! Thanks for the good wishes, we will try our best to have fun ;->

  29. brokenbeat says:

    beach beach beach. da dee da da dee. i’m practicing my wave-riding technique on the hardwood floor. here comes the wave. start swimming. you’ve caught it. torpedo into the shallows. trot back to the breakers. repeat.

  30. Frances, says:

    Yes, Brokenbeat, we are in beach mode already. I am in transition phase, gear packed for the most part, thinking about the lazy days ahead. Ahhhh. love.

  31. Blackswamp_Girl says:

    Have a wonderful trip, Frances! I’m loving looking at your garden pictures… can’t wait to see what awaits you (and your readers) upon your return from SC. 🙂

  32. Frances, says:

    Hi Kim, thanks. There should be lots of new things blooming when we return, hope none have bloomed and are done!

  33. Sherry at the Zoo says:

    What a beautiful garden you have! I love the lilies.

    Have fun on your vacation!

  34. Frances, says:

    Hi Sherry, thanks. We hope the lilies are still blooming when we return!

  35. DP Nguyen says:

    Those lilies are lovely. They make your garden look very enchanting.

    I loved the pictures of the sea. Have fun on your vacation!

  36. Frances, says:

    Hi DP, thanks. The sea is very photogenic. ;->

  37. Roses and Lilacs says:

    Your faire garden is enchanting. Stunning photos. Thank you for providing a lovely place to while away a little time.

  38. Frances, says:

    Hi Roses and Lilacs, welcome and thanks for visiting. Glad you enjoyed your stroll through the gardens.

  39. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    I have 2 Astilbes, one pumila & one regular. All the others crisped up & died. My soil doesn’t retain moisture in summer. I’ll have to post photos of the large cracks in the ground when they develop. Wish I could ID your Lady. I’ll have to check my mythology book.

  40. Frances, says:

    Hi MMD, thanks for trying to ID her, I have searched and searched. If you click on the photo you will see that she, or he has two leafy things coming out of the top sides of the crown thing, and two more by the ears, if that helps. The crown looks the most like Diana/Artemis? Our ground cracks too, but the addition of bags of soil conditioner, lots of it in the fall has really helped, I just use it as mulch, not digging it in. Some places call it pine fines, just chopped fine bark.

  41. joey says:

    Another joyful post, Frances. Too soon will come ‘Midsummernight’s Eve’. In the meantime, please enjoy your dream vacation.

  42. jodi says:

    Hope the road trip is fantastic, Frances and that you’re not troubled by the weather that is plaguing some areas these past few weeks. Meanwhile, I”m going to try to get my garden cleaned up while you’re away…

  43. Amy says:

    Have a wonderful seaside holiday Frances!

  44. Ewa says:

    Enjoy your vacation 🙂 we will miss you here, but have a good time.

    I love the combination of lilies with stipa 🙂



  45. Brenda Kula says:

    Have a wonderful, wonderful delight-filled time with your clan! Love the garden pics. You have a lot of plants!

  46. Crafty Gardener says:

    Lovely summer bloomers.
    Enjoy the trip to the beach and I’ll look forward to hearing all about it when you return.

  47. Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com says:

    Hi, Frances! Perhaps I’ve missed you and you’ve left already. If so, bravo! Looks gorgeous. The lilies in those grasses are perfect. That goddess might be Hera, no? Enjoy every minute, Frances! I know you will!

  48. Trista says:

    Your garden is looking magical as per usual! And, it is so inspiring to me – I’m heading out now to figure out what to plant in a very shady spot….hummm – maybe bleeding hart? Or perhaps Solomon’s Seal?
    I hope you have a lovely holiday!

  49. garden girl says:

    Frances, your garden looks positively lovely – such wonderful colors and combinations.

    Have a fabulous trip!

  50. Frances, says:

    Hi All, we are just now back into to town with various home issues to deal with. Thanks for all the good wishes. We did indeed have a glorious trip, lots of sun and fun!

    ps. Kathryn, the crown does look like Hera, thanks.

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