Though the phrase 'June Swoon' I think refers more so the hot weather, here I'm using it to reflect the wonderful shows our gardens are putting on. June is a great gardening month, at least here in the Bay Area. There's still a few things from spring that are going strong but already summer perennials are kicking in. Case in point in my garden is my Helenium 'Mardi Gras.' It's already begun to produce its multi-colored blossoms, little suns (the prefix 'Hel' means sun) attracting as always a collection of bees. Agastache too are returning, bringing with them their pleasing collection of aromas. Adding to the early summer joy are lilies of all kinds. The spring rains are not too much in the rear mirror so our shrubs are taking advantage to offer their blossoms. For all these reasons and more June is one of my favorite months in the garden.
Okay, and now today's photos. I tried to mix it up this week, with some photos focused on flowers, some on foliage, some on the ever increasing variety of succulents in my garden and a few shots where I was after a certain 'mood' in the shot.
Though Edgeworthias are primarily grown for their aromatic yellow flower clusters, the foliage is attractive too. It almost has a tropical look to it. In the same way perhaps that Eskimos have 50 words for snow, gardeners have many words (and images) for green foliage in their garden.
Dudleya gnoma. I just adore this dwarf Chalk Live-forever. Lately I've begun to appreciate the dwarf forms of plants and of course I have limited space so the smaller the better for certain things.
I know I've posted this Aeonium and Sedum before but today for some reason I had the thought that the
Schwarzkopf above was the father or mother and the multi-branching golden sedum were its kids.
I'll admit to being a 'blue junkie' and this Evolvulus gives me a regular fix. It's proven surprisingly durable as a ground cover and I'm glad that I planted it along our main walkway so everyone can enjoy its bit of blue heaven.
Astilbe 'Fanal.' 'If at first you don't succeed ...' I haven't had luck in the past growing Astilbes but am trying once more. When they're happy, as in my nephew's yard in Vancouver BC, they're vigorous as all get out.
Okay, Better Homes & Garden won't be impressed by this shot but I'm posting a photo of this walkway bed to illustrate how much you can put in a narrow strip. This strip is less than two feet wide and yet it's filled with low growing perennials (Lotus, CA poppies, Scabiosa, Eriogonums, Monarda), taller perennials (Agastache, Mimulus, Heleniums, Cupheas) plus bulbs (in spring, Ipheions, Dutch Iris, Ixias, Freesias and now in summer lilies and Gloriosas).
I always fold in some annual color in spring and summer. Here's a six pack of Salpiglossis, better known as Painted Tongue. I love their colors and they are surprisingly durable plants.
Annie's Annuals grows a stable of unusual Marigolds and here's one called Harlequin. Very aptly named and to me they somehow invoke summers gone by and the circus being in town.
Last week I posted a shot of my Eriogonum giganteum's developing flowerheads. I didn't want the exquisite silver foliage to be left behind so here's a photo. I happen to love 'silvers' and they are hard to come by.
Purple and gold always look good together. Here it's my North Shore sweet pea and my Hint of Gold Caryopteris. For some reason last year I had zero luck with my sweet peas but this year the two I planted are doing fine.
Speaking of silver, my Cassia phyllodinea has started to produce its distinctive cup-shaped yellow flowers. Cassias as a genus aren't well known. They are found in many parts of the world, some tropical and some not. A few species are native to North America. This species is native to Central Australia. Many cassias are now classified under the genus Senna.
When in doubt add water. That's been my Rx for some of my shrubs and it's worked for my Cunonia capensis. This guy apparently doesn't like drier conditions. It did go dry awhile back and nearly died. It's not only revived but is leafing out down below, a development I'm very happy about. I'm still waiting on the fuzzy, Banksia-like cone flowers though.
Can anyone ID this Salvia? I know I should know but damn if I can remember. Here it looks like an arm that's stretching out for ... ? No matter, it's purple and white flowers plus its rough-textured leaves are worth keeping it happy.
I can never seem to get a good photo of this Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Lutea' and this is as close as I've gotten recently. I love its twisting 'panels,' giving an extra dimension to this dwarf conifer.
I liked the 'mood' of this shot. It's almost as if this Echeveria peacockii is shy and the sun has caught it hiding in the shadows. Speaking of silver-leaved plants, the bluish-silver foliage here is tres, tres delightful.
My other sweet pea, Lathyrus Erewhon, is just now hitting its stride.
Calceolaria calynopsis. Not well known, this red pocketbook species offers dazzling red and yellow flowers. It may act as an annual in our climate but that's okay. Calceolarias are super easy to grow. Not sure if this species will self sow as readily as C. mexicana but I'll enjoy it while it's around.
Mystery fern. No word yet on the horticultural ID of this fern but it has proven very durable. I love the way that the fronds come out at all angles.
Though I didn't intend for the shot to come out this way, the pitch black background and the bleached out white flowers make for an interesting look on this Hydrangea quercifolia.
"Don't mind me, I'm just here filling out, putting out sprays of little white flowers, looking good year round." Or at least that's what I imagine my Nandina domestica is saying and it's all true. It's one of my go-to plants that as a nurseryman I recommend to customers for a 'problem' spot. On the rare occasion when a customer comes in and says "My Nandina died" I'm always amazed. They're just one of those 'takes a licking and keeps on ticking' plants.
The Philodendron that ate Miami. Or so it seems. The biggest leaves on my specimen are easily three feet long. I have to keep cutting it back or there's no getting past it. File this under "Be careful what you ask for." (I wanted it to prosper).