I cannot believe June is already half over...I want a re-do!!! Seriously, work has been so crazy for the past 3 or 4 weeks that I've barely spent anytime in the garden during the week...so it really feels like the garden is "happening" without me getting to really witness it. I took a few minutes over the last few days, however, to get out there and get some quick photos and try to sum up what's going on.
How can you not love June...especially in Portland...where we get a nice mix of warm, sunny days and cooler days with rain. As a result, the plants are surging with growth.
A reliable favorite, Geranium 'Rozanne' can be a bit of a brute at times, but generally she mingles nicely with other plants around her, as she does here with Anementhale lessoniona (New Zealand Wind Grass/Pheasant's-Tail Grass).
Geranium 'Katherine Adele' is huge this year! I think it may be that she REALLY hated the spot she used to be in, on the front slope (which is the WORST soil in my garden...and has claimed the lives of many a plant). She seems to love being in the north parking strip, surrounded by the semi-evergreen sheaths of Pennisetum macrourum (which I am SO looking forward to blooming). I think the Pennisetum helps keep 'Katherine Adele' upright, as she has a tendency to sprawl after blooming.
How fascinating are the blooms of Allium christophii...TOTALLY AMAZING! When I look at it, it's so intricate and geometric, I'm amazed nature came up with something that looks so much like cut-metal artwork.
Somehow, this little area of the garden has morphed into a chartreuse/purple area...I've inadvertently used ONLY those colors here! Still, I do love them, but think a little contrast would be nice...I may move Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' later, and replace it with something with silver or blue-ish foliage.
It seems earlier than usual for the Verbena bonariensis to be blooming, doesn't it? I could swear they usually ramp up in July. I have SO many this year...they've re-seeded all over, but I'm not complaining, they are care-free and gorgeous.
I really love how well the Verbascum chaixii album are doing this year...they are blooming their hears out...and I love that little purple/orange combo in the center of each bloom. A bonus...bees adore them!
Another plant that I never think about the flowers of, until they bloom, Sedum rupestre.
I get so fed up with how the Sanguisorbia flops all over every year, that sometimes I forget just how lovely and dainty those flowers are. I actually like them even better after they fade...they become a rich, russet color, which contrasts so wonderfully with everything else in the garden. Next year, I'm going to be ready with the stakes and twine for this beast.
This photo of the front garden is a bit of a cheat because it's from last weekend, before my Joy Pye Weed collapsed and flattened this poor red Lupine...still...at least I have this photo of it's brief moment of glory, right?
Pimpinella is one of those plants that I can't help buy love...I'm pretty much a sucker for anything in the umbel family...and that delicate coloring is great...especially in part-shade.
After they all did so well last year, I've grown to really love the Knautias. I actually got the ones above from Joy Creek Nursery a few years ago, and finally moved them to a spot where they would have better drainage and more sun. They've rewarded me with much more vigorous growth and are now blooming happily. I love how variable the blooms are...in a nice mix of reddish-pink tones.
This is one of the few plants I grew from seed, Knautia 'Melton Pastels'. I was hoping for more variety in color, but most of the ones that sprouted were the light pink ones. Oh well...maybe there will be more variation in the ones I planted in the front parking strip this spring...only time will tell. still...I really like these, they are very vigorous and TALL (over 5')! They are very informal and I love how they kind of twine in and around other plants.
A shot of Iris 'Gerald Darby' mixing it up with Knautia 'Melton Pastels'...LOVE this combo!
While it's a little early for Agastache to be in bloom (most are a week or so away from really blooming), the ones I planted this spring are, or course, blooming already! 'Blue Boa' is a new one for me, and even though I swore I didn't need any more different Agastache, the rich, saturated color of these caught my attention.
Agastache 'Purple Haze' is one that proved itself last year in the back garden, so I knew I wanted more of those sultry purple blooms out front too.
Centranthus ruber (Jupiter's Bear) is one of those plants that I remember being astounded by when I first moved to Portland years ago. I just remember loving how gorgeous they were for such a long time...and with absolutely NO CARE!
I love my blue Lupine. I do hope its foliage stays fresher-looking than it has in years past. Aphids...keep away!
Of course, as Grace Peterson will tell you, one of my plant obsessions as of late are the Astrantias...I just can't get enough of them! Above is one of my faves, 'Roma'. As long as they get a bit of shade and enough water, Astrantias are totally tough-as-nails...love 'em! They also seed around a bit...which I'm hoping will create some interesting hybrids and nice, serendipitous combos.
Well, I think that covers most everything (I'm sure I've left out a few things), so I leave with you a few wide pics. This is the front garden from the North.
The Front Garden from the South.
The Back Yard from the North...not a lot blooming just yet...but give it another week or so!
And the Back Yard from the South.
Check out all the other blogs participating in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day at May Dreams Garden. Happy GBBD, everyone!