June takes over

February 2023 — June is such a startling transformation, a resilient, resurgent renewal — words fail!

June is happening. Whatever garden plans you made, whatever winter took away, June is here, right now, and blots out everything else. The job now, as I see it, is admiring the incredible architecture of plants in all their phases, leaf, stem, bud and flower.

Broom-handle stem on Angelica stricta ‘Purpurea’ — actually, bigger than a broom handle and reaching over 5 feet. It’s been able to withstand Incredibly fierce afternoon winds.
Nepeta and hesperis have made a huge difference this year, providing an enveloping color wash and early flowers for the pollinators that adds a dynamism I was missing last year. The nepeta is planted in the second-tier border right up against the retaining railroad tie, where it has room to billow but not smother neighboring plants. The hesperis is biennial and will reseed, and there are a few young plants established for next year. It’s a simple field of grasses and flowers that I can easily manage. The horticultural heavyweights are conspicuously absent — I can admire the roses and peonies, the Japanese maples, rhodies and lilacs around town.
Parahebe perfoliata aka Veronica perfoliata, Digger’s Speedwell
Oregon Sunshine, Hebe ‘Karo Golden Esk,’ Yucca linearifolia, Eryngium pandanifolium arching over it all
Yucca rostrata with sisyrinchium, erinus and sedum
Eryngium variifolium getting busy
Ditto Eryngium paniculatum
Sicilian honey garlic
Festuca arundinacea ‘Glow Sticks’ living up to its name
The rusty foxglove, Digitalis ferruginea in spike
lush and lovely Gillenia trifoliata
the ground is nearly covered
green leafiness with the white midrib is Euphorbia stygiana, to its left Clematis stans x heracleifolia, backed by Persicaria polymorpha with white plumes. Intense honey scent from this euphorbia
Trying another asphodel, a gift from Ketzel/the Wonder Garden in Manzanita where they likewise haven’t flourished so far. ‘Italian Gold’ is either dead or taking summer off
Nepeta ‘Blue Dragon’ looks like a chunky agastache. A yunnanensis hybrid from Terra Nova
Kniphofia pauciflora reminds me of a miniature K. thomsonii. The little black stakes are to flag the presence of small seedlings nearby like Verbascum roripifolium
Kniphofia thomsonii var. snowdenii
Primula bulleyana in a stock tank
Euphorbia ‘Silver Swan’ flowers in much looser heads than E. characias, a very different effect that I like quite a bit
Just beginning to flower are the dark-leaved ‘Oeschberg’ dianthus started last summer from seed. A biennial, right? Not so fast — they often can live up to three years. And the darkest flowers and leaves can be selected by taking soft cuttings of nonflowering shoots

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5 Responses to June takes over

  1. Kris P says:

    That is an incredible transformation, Denise. You must be rejoicing in your technicolor landscape. I love the Nepetas and Hesperis. I’ve repeatedly tried to grow various Nepetas, only to have the neighborhood outdoor cats decide that my garden’s a good place to hang out. I grew rusty foxglove in my old garden but I haven’t even seen the plants for sale locally since we moved 12 years ago.

  2. Jeanette says:

    I was thrilled to see your new post and love everything that’s happening in your garden. It looks wonderful!

  3. Elaine says:

    The garden has developed so quickly. I like the meadowy theme you have chosen. A lovely loose style that invites you to kick back and relax vs always noticing things needing doing.

  4. Gerhard Bock says:

    It’s insane how quickly your garden went from 0 to 100! You have so many cool plants I haven’t even heard of!

  5. Jerry says:

    June is a happy month in the garden. I purchased an Eryngium variifolium a few years ago and really enjoy the architecture and color, if not the cleanup in late fall/winter. I’m afraid to compost it for fear of getting stabbed later. I was surprised to read that Euphorbia stygiana is scented. Also pleased to read that Dianthus start well from cuttings. Something that I haven’t tried yet. I have a mix of sweet williams in one of the raised beds. I was going to mark my favorites, let them go to seed, and see if they stay true to their parent’s color. I suspect the former, but it will be fun to see.

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