The garden in late June — magenta and yellow

Here’s some of what’s been blooming. I’m thrilled with all the rose campion and I’m liking how it’s mixing with other colors.

Rose campion and lavender along the front walkway:

flowers1 june 2016

Rose campion and bright yellow coreopsis:

flowers2 june 2016

Yellow coreopsis and magenta bee balm:

flowers3 june 2016

And just a sea of yellow coreoposis:

flowers4 june 2016


Mid-June in the garden

I’m looking out the window and seeing rabbits in a neighbor’s yard. Just don’t let me see the groundhog! We have at least two, and they have done enough damage in the raised beds.

Still, tomato plants are generally thriving, and I’m hopeful we’ll have some early ones in time for the Fourth of July. Zucchini and potato plants are shooting up. My favorite flower, rose campion, is blooming, as is another favorite, red-hot poker (a little late, I think, but then spring was late and started off cool). And I’m excited about this new red-yellow Rudbeckia that blooms much earlier than the traditional yellow black-eyed Susan. I’m guessing it comes from one of two places where I plucked a flower head and then planted it. I’m hoping it spreads like crazy.

Here’s a look at some of what’s blooming in the garden just a few days before the official start of summer:

Yellow and red Rudbeckia
What a beaut!

red hot pokers

Rose campions are in lots of places:

Rose campion

Rose campion and coreopsis

Rose campion, coreopsis and tiger day lilies

Day lilies above and below:

red daylily
Hope this spreads too

stella d'oro daylilies

The first of the many coneflowers to come:


A faded allium:


A new addition to the hosta collection:

hosta late may new kind

A month of blooms

I’ve been blogging so much about my bike training that I’ve been neglecting the garden write-up.

Regular rain, flowers, tomatoes and more growing well. Bees and butterflies happy and plentiful. Cool til recently, so red-hot pokers seemed to bloom an extra week. Regular rain also helps the weeds grow. Oh well.

The dill worked its magic, attracting a caterpillar that should become a Monarch butterfly. Look at it munch!


Like this pairing of rose campion and penstemon huskers red:

Rose campion and Penstemon Huskers Red

The always-irresistable red-hot pokers:

red-hot pokers and more

A volunteer? Or from a neighbor? Don’t know the name:

yellow flowers

White campion:

white campion

Coreopsis in bloom, think I should extend the bee balm in the back to the corner of the bed, like a ribbon running through:


Separate the rose campion and red bee balm in the flower bed along the driveway? Do they clash?

rose campion and bee balm

Give these day lillies a bit more prominence along the drive?

day lillies

En route

I was bicycling in Basking Ridge, NJ when I came across this front yard, dominated by monarda (bee balm) on both sides of a fence, with purple coneflowers and some rose campion mixed in. I also like how it uses the narrow strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street–eliminates some mowing! It is inspiring me to use my bee balm more strongly, accentuating shasta daisies (white) and coreopsis (yellow), repeating it several times along the front path. The bee balm already is due to be moved from in front of the garage window, where it showed up last year and I had to say hasn’t done as well as the clumps I’ve given away.

This front garden made me stop pedaling!
This front garden made me stop pedaling!
Look behind the fence. See the sundial and bird bath? Think there is a bench too.
Look behind the fence. See the sundial and bird bath? Think there is a bench too.
One way to reduce your mowing
One way to reduce your mowing

Rain, rain go away

Ever since the heat wave broke six days ago, it feels like it has been either raining or threatening to rain. Very depressing. We could be in England.
Yes, I know it makes it easier to weed when it’s not raining (especially all those tree volunteers and mock strawberries in the lawn). And of course it’s good for the plants in the ground, but there are still a lot that aren’t there yet! All the annuals we’ve been growing under the lights (read that as mostly zinnias), the cannas that need to be replanted, the finds at the Master Gardeners’ plant sale (even if there were no Jack in the pulpits) and of course most of the tomatoes. The iris flower heads are bulging, but with little sun, still no flowers. As for the coreopsis in the ‘death zone,’ it’s threatening to overwhelm everything around it. (If someone wants a cutting, speak up!)
I was a bit cocky last week. Highs have pretty much been in the 50s since then (Wednesday we’re supposed to get back to the mid-60s), so I’ve used the cold frame to help protect the three tomatoes I planted in the beds. I know they’d all be much bigger if I’d left them indoors. A lesson for next year: be patient!
Another lesson: don’t lose focus on the seeds you’ve just planted. Quite a few in this last batch of seeds (not tomatoes!) didn’t make it. I’m sure it didn’t help that we didn’t go down to the basement to check on them and keep them moist.