Spring into Summer and Other Weekend Notes

Succession of Blooms. In case you were in any doubt, the flowers in my garden as well as the calendar will tell you that we have crossed the line from Spring into Summer. The Columbine, Penstemon, and even the Salvia are done. Now the Swamp Milkweed (the white Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’ the red/pink straight species) have begun blooming, along with the daylilies (Hemerocallis ‘Chicago Star’ and ‘Eye-Yi-Yi’) and Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata and grandiflora ‘Sunfire’), and the Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). The flower heads are forming on the Joe Pye Weeds and the Sunflowers. The Monardas should start blooming within a week or so. Yup, Summer has started.

Culver’s Root ‘Temptation’ with Asiatic Lilies in background.


Swamp Milkweed. Kind of an ugly name for a beautiful plant.


Lanceleaf Coreopsis with Scabiosa in background.


Daylily ‘Chicago Star’ with Butterflyweed.

Tomato Report. This looks like it will be a good year for tomatoes, as long as I remember to water. All four of my vines have got lots of flowers and green fruit, the largest the size of plums. If my luck holds they will be plentiful and early. “Black Cherry’ is already 6′ high, and ‘Black Prince’ is just one foot behind. It is received wisdom that you are supposed to cut off the tomato suckers, but what are you supposed to do when the vines reach the top of the trellis? Let them grow back down to the ground? I am always baffled by this.

Could be a bumper tomato harvest this year. Could be ripe a couple weeks early, too.

Still No Rain to Speak of. Illinois is dry – 70% officially has drought conditions – and there’s no sign of any improvement soon. We’ve had less than half an inch of rain so far this June; normal would be about three and a half inches. The clouds teased us with a few drizzles on Thursday, but this barely moistened the surface. I continue to water with my soaker hoses. On the plus side, looks like the weather will be sunny for the gathering we are having in the backyard for Judy’s birthday.

View from our front door.


10 Comments on “Spring into Summer and Other Weekend Notes”

  1. Lovely yard! I grew a yellow cherry tomato plant one year, not realizing it could reach 10 feet in height. It grew up and up and then fell over, taking its support with it. The fruit I could not eat or give away went into the freezer whole.

  2. Thanks. I gave up on tomato cages because they always ended up keeling over under the weight of the vines growing up and over the top. The trelisses I use now makes it easier to train the tomatos and keep track of the fruit, but I still have to struggle to keep the vines within bounds.

  3. Sorry your rainfall is absent. I would send you some if I could. We had 3.5″ on Friday in about as many hours, and over 2″ fell yesterday in less than an hour. I wish it could be doled out in a more conservative manner.

  4. Jason, The first blooms on my two earliest daylilies appeared yesterday (which means that about 10 varieties will be in bloom a week from now), and my coreopsis verticillata plants are covered with buds. It’s looking like summer here, too.

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