June Garden Treats

It has arrived, the moment of fulfillment for the gardener’s toil and trouble. Flowers are blooming like their life depended on it. (It does, in a way.) Dahlia ‘Zinguaro’ is a prolific bloomer. It stayed nestled in the ground over the winter and has returned with renewed vigor.  More Dahlias to come.

There is a great variety growing here, even though this garden is only three years young. Many plants came from seeds gathered before the move, like Echinacea ‘White Swan’. Many plants were purchased anew, like Achillea ‘Terra Cotta’.

So many plants. I love them all. Eryngium alpinum has seeded about freely. That sort of behavior is encouraged.

It’s a big party, all colors are welcome. Monarda ‘Marshall’s Delight’ is a spreader. It makes a good companion for the almost too rampant spreading of mountain mint, Pycnanthemum muticum.

A jam packed full garden means fewer weeds. It also lets the taller plants hold each other upright better, like the towering Liatris spicata.

A big storm struck here a few weeks ago. Entire sections of the fence, installed in 2014, were ripped off the posts. The fence along the back of the upper nursery was blown inward, breaking the posts and the support boards. The row of benches and chairs that were placed on the gravel path along the fence saved the garden beds from destruction, thankfully, holding the fence pieces up just above the flowers and foliage. The whole thing could have been smooshed. Boards are holding that side of the fence up until the repairs can be made. There was damage to several of the homes in our neighborhood, including our own, but no one was injured and everything can be repaired. Some large trees uprooted or had their tops blown off like a few of the pine trees that line the boundary between our subdivision and the one beside us, seen just to the left of the shed porch roof. The missing sections of fence can also be seen there. It could have been so much worse, but was very frightening at the time.

Sorry for straying from the main story, we will now return to our scheduled program.  Oh, you didn’t notice the storm damage because you were too busy looking at the flowers?  Me too.  Onward.  The highlight of the June garden is one shining star, a plant we adore above all others when it is blooming. That would be the daylily, Hemerocallis ssp. As with most flowers, I love the buds as much as the blooms themselves, so filled with promise.

At the time of our big house move, only a few daylilies were on the list to make the trek up the interstate. But it was July and many were still blooming. Daughter Semi and I grabbed shovels and large black garbage bags and started digging them up to bring along like the old man choosing the prettiest cat in the children’s book Million of Cats. There were too many that simply could not be left behind. The plan was to fill the front yard lawn/meadow with wildflowers and daylilies. The vision is on the way to being realized, with constant tweaking, of course.  Confession:  I may have purchased a few more daylilies after the move.

In the beginning it was decided to just enjoy the daylilies, to not try to keep track of names with photos, lists and spreadsheets. But sometimes one’s genetic makeup cannot be subdued and the cataloging has begun, or resumed. At the old garden, every daylily was recorded and preserved for posterity on the blog page Daylilies We Grow. I guess a new page needs to be created for this garden to continue the important work. Stay tuned.

Growing daylilies can become a bit of an obsession if you let it. At some point many will try their hand at making crosses themselves. I did just that in 2009. A post was written giving the details, click here if you would like to read it. Four of the fifteen seedlings that grew to blooming were deemed worthy of coming to the new garden. Names were given to a couple of them, but somehow the numbers given to the original fifteen seem to fit better. Above is sweet and tall Number Twelve and the image preceeding is first to bloom dark Number Fifteen.

Number Fourteen has some seersucker texture in the petals, the only one of the babies to show that trait.

This story will finish with fan favorite Number Four, floating gracefully in the granite koi bowl. It was once named Faire Sunrise, for the brilliant gold throat and pink sparkles that appear with the dawn.  Daylilies purchased or shared will be featured in upcoming posts, with names and photos.  Maybe.

Frances of the daylilies

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18 Responses to June Garden Treats

  1. Your garden is full of beautiful blooms. I can imagine the buzz of bees and the dancing of butterflies across your garden. Daylilies are a treat this time of year. I agree the buds are interesting, pronouncing more to come. I will look forward to seeing all that have survived the move and your recent purchases. I am glad the storm didn’t damage the garden. It seems that a house and fence can be fixed much easier than a garden.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for being such a loyal reader for nearly ten years. There are pollinators everywhere with all the blooms, more than last year since we have had more rain, hence more flowers. The storm was terrifying at the time, but as we like to say, onward.

  2. Alice says:

    I always have a happy heart when I see a new post from you. Thank you for sharing your inspiring work.

    Hi Alice, thanks so much. Your comment gives me a happy heart, too.

  3. Barbara H. says:

    I’m amazed that it has been three years! Your garden is looking so good, Frances. As wonderful as the old garden was, how nice to work with no slope. I’m glad no one was hurt in the storm and hope your repairs go smoothly.

    Hi Barbara, thanks for kind words. The time has gone by quickly and the garden is doing the famous third year leap. Extra rain this year has helped, too.

  4. Love the color combination in the third image. I envy your Eryngium self-seeding. Mine was coming up nicely this spring and then late snow and freezes seem to have killed it. I keep looking for it but no luck. I used to belong to the local Daylily Society and wrote about them for their newsletter etc. I am less obsessive about them these days, but once a daylily lover, always a day lily lover. The ones you hybridized are lovely.

    Hi Linda, so nice to see you here. Thank you for your support. Less obsessive but always a daylily lover sums up where I am right now, too. When they are blooming in the garden it becomes a little more intense.

  5. Frances, your daylilies tease me to get more. They’re gorgeous. I am sitting at the gate waiting to board plane for Fling…wish you were going to be there so we could share our excitement about beautiful plantings. Xxoogail

    Hi Gail, safe travels and I hope the fling is wonderful. Wish I was with you, too. xoxoxo

  6. I’m sure you were quite frightened at what could have happened to your lovely garden, but thankfully, it didn’t. And now we all get to enjoy your beautiful daylily show! I particularly enjoy seeing the daylilies in other’s gardens since I don’t grow them myself. Do you suppose I’m the only one? Seems that way to me.

    Hi Robin, thanks for visiting. The storm was very scary, lawn furniture and roof shingles were flying through the air, illuminated by the constant lightning. So much could have happened then, but relatively little did. No daylilies for you? It seems impossible. Maybe you just haven’t found the one or ones that speak to you. Have you ever visited a daylily farm during the season? I highly suggest it!

  7. Leslie says:

    Thank goodness garden damage was limited! Your daylilies are just beautiful.

    Hi Leslie, thanks for that. I admit that the garden was not the first worry during the storm. Rather it was that the flying outdoor stuff would crash through the large kitchen windows. We were very lucky!

  8. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Gorgeous! So glad the storm damage was minimal.

    Thanks, Cindy. We were lucky and the garden is happy.

  9. Carol says:

    Your garden looks lovely inspite of the surrounding storm damage. Hard to imagine your garden is just a few years old in this new location. Wow!

    Hi Carol, thanks for stopping by. Most of the garden is coming along nicely. That’s the part I show on the blog. Some areas are still a work in progress, but scheduled for cultivation one of these days. The storm spared us, but the sound of roofers working next door reminds us of the damage that was done.

  10. michaele anderson says:

    The truth is…I wouldn’t have noticed the storm damaged fence if you hadn’t pointed it out. I was lost in admiration and appreciation for how great your 3 year old garden is looking. My eyes stopped at your handsome garden shed and noticing again how much I like its color. Your granite koi bowel is really gorgeous and floating a favorite daylily bloom is a wonderful seasonal use for it.

    Hi Michael, thanks for the encouraging words. The fact is that I have not really noticed the fence issues when sitting outside in the garden, either. For that I am grateful. Each year this new garden has taken its own form, little by little, planting by planting. Nothing is mature yet, but I look forward to seeing the trees and shrubs grow into their destiny. Gardening is like being a mother, in that way.

  11. Your 3-year old garden already looks fuller than my 6-year old one but the winter rains that brought at least a temporary end to California’s drought at least made a significant difference here this spring. However, I wish my daylilies were half as happy as yours! I’m glad the nasty storm didn’t seriously damage your beautiful garden.

    Thanks, Kris. This garden has been very intensely planted, with the plants much closer together than what is suggested on tags and online sites. Rain makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Glad your drought has subsided.

  12. Alison says:

    Isn’t June a marvel? I encourage self-sowers in my garden, and because of that it’s organized chaos, rather like your own, I bet. I love daylilies too, but here we have a problem with gall midges, which deform the early blooms. Do you have them there? Yours are so beautiful. Mine have just started to open, so many of them are infested by the midges.

    Oh dear, Alison, how awful about those midges. The daylilies here do not seem to have that pest, but at the old garden sometimes one would have deformed flowers and I would have to remove the plant into the trash pickup. Maybe it was midges. June is amazing in the number of different things in bloom at the same time.

  13. I love the eryngium with the coneflowers. I love the color of the shed. My visit to your old garden inspired me in so many ways. I learned a lot about massing and repetition. The picture of the daylily bed with the veronica at the bottom of the image shows a silver plant repeated several times. That gives a cohesion to a bed that might otherwise look like a jumble. You have a good eye and I always learn from your blog posts.

    Oh Kathy, how charming your comment is, thank you so much! I am glad you were able to visit the old garden, do come again! The silver plant is Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’. It is often not a long lived perennial here but does help the lawn/meadow look neater. It is joined by lamb’s ear and Becky shasta daisy, slowly but surely to form the front border. It helps the person mowing the clover lawn know where not to mow! HA

  14. To have such a garden in just three years – it’s a great accomplishment! I like the density of the plantings, the colors and the atmosphere of the garden which seemingly grows effortlessly, by itself (ha-ha!)… Great job, Frances!

    Hi Tatyana, thank you so much for those words of encouragement. HA on the effortlessly part! One thing about starting over so late in life is all that has been learned by trial and error along the way.

  15. grammapenny says:

    Yum.. glad the storm damage is fixable. Daylilies here in Massachusetts have tons of scapes but won’t bloom for a couple more weeks.. I am addicted as well…

    Hi Penny, thanks for visiting. Lucky you with tons of daylily scapes, sounds like you will have a great display soon.

  16. Rose says:

    I would have a hard time leaving daylilies behind, if I were to move, too, Frances. It’s so easy to be addicted to these beautiful June blooms–I have to resist the temptation to buy any more until I find a place to put more of them:) So glad you didn’t have any more storm damage than you did. Your garden is a vision of loveliness!

    Hi Rose, thanks. Leaving the daylilies was hard, I was determined to only take my very most favorite ones plus my best babies. We ran out of time or all of them would have come here. I am squeezing them in together and that seems to be working okay. Just have to move the shorts to the front and talls to the back.

  17. Your new gardens have filled in nicely. I had not really been a fan of daylilies until I toured a garden full of them. I couldn’t believe all the variations! My bee balm is a spreader, too and I have had to keep it in check lately. I enjoyed your tour!

    Thanks for visiting! Seeing the variety of daylilies now in commerce is an epiphany, seeing a daylily farm in full bloom is transcendent. That is what got me sucked in, the mass of colors all together at the first farm I went to. The lawn/meadow is the perfect place for spreaders here. Monard is being added.

  18. bittster says:

    The garden looks great with all the color. It’s such a mix, but it really works well together and even more impressive since it’s only three years. Mine is pushing nine years and only now seems to be taking off!
    The daylilies are beauties.

    Thanks! Gardens are never really done, are they? I will forever see things that should be moved, added, or deleted. Thank heavens! HA

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