The Flowers of Mid-June

It’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day again, so let’s see which flowers are strutting their stuff at the Garden in a City.

Salvias 'May Night', 'Blue Hill', and 'East Friesland' in the Sidewalk Border.
Salvias ‘May Night’, ‘Blue Hill’, and ‘East Friesland’ in the Sidewalk Border.

This is a great year for Salvia in our garden. Salvia nemerosa ‘May Night’ and ‘East Friesland’, along with S. x sylvestris ‘Blue Hill’ are making a long patch of mixed deep and light blue – with no flopping. The lack of flopping could be due to a more compact growth habit, or one of those cheap 18″ high edging fences I bought at Home Depot.

Salvia close up. I think this is 'Blue Hill'.
Salvia close up. I think this is ‘Blue Hill’.


Either way, I can’t believe I was contemplating pulling the salvias out of this bed last fall. Thankfully, Judy and my blogging friends made me reconsider.

Salvia 'Caradonna' in the Parkway Bed
Salvia ‘Caradonna’ in the Parkway Bed

There are also several patches of Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’, which is taller than the ones shown earlier but very upright and more purple than blue.

Salvia 'Black and Blue'
Salvia ‘Black and Blue’

This year I’ve also put some annual Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ in the Driveway Border to keep things full and reinforce the other blue flowers. At this point they are blooming only modestly while still settling in. Last year I tried ‘Black and Blue’ in containers and was disappointed by the lack of flowers. But the flowers and gold-green leaves are so nice I’m going to see if it performs better in the border.

Penstemon 'Husker Red' stands behind the salvia.
Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ stands behind the salvia.


View of 'Husker Red' from inside the front garden.
View of ‘Husker Red’ from inside the front garden.

Penstemon digitalis has just started blooming and is full of flowers. ‘Hustker Red’ stands behind the salvias in the Sidewalk Border.

Smooth Penstemon straight species.
Penstemon digitalis straight species.

There is also some of the straight species here and there.


While the Amsonia in the back garden has finished blooming, the Amsonia tabernaemontana still has plenty of flowers. Here is a close up of the light blue, star-shaped flowers.


My other roses definitely took a beating during our harsh winter. ‘Cassie’, however, seems to have woken refreshed from her winter slumber, energized and ready to cover herself with blooms.

Nepeta 'Kit Kat' makes a nice edging for a sunny bed.
Nepeta ‘Kit Kat’ makes a nice edging for a sunny bed.

Nepeta keeps blooming, both the smaller Napeta x faassenii ‘Kit Kat’ and Napeta ‘Walker’s Low’, which is actually 2-3′ tall.

Gray Dogwood
Gray Dogwood

There are lots of gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa) in our back garden, and their flower clusters are just starting to open. Come fall there will be white berries that will be quickly eaten by migrating birds.

Mystery Shrub
Mystery Shrub

There is also this mystery shrub that I keep forgetting to identify. It is not fragrant but the flowers are lovely. Anybody know what this is?

Weigela, unknown variety
Weigela, unknown variety

There’s also this Weigela I inherited that continues to bloom pretty nicely even though I don’t do much for it and I would think it is in too much shade.

Getting tired of looking at flowers? Let’s break it up with a little real life humor. At least, I think it’s humorous. My younger son is something of a beer snob. One day he said to me, “Dad, have you ever even tasted a craft beer?” With my lighting-quick wit I responded, “No, but I’ve tried their macaroni and cheese and it’s excellent.”

Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'
Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’

OK, back to the flowers. At the risk of repeating an earlier post, here’s a picture of Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’. This is a very floriferous variety, in my opinion flowering more profusely than ‘Rozanne’, though ‘Rozanne’ certainly does flower for a longer period.

White Corydalis
White Corydalis


Yellow Corydalis
Yellow Corydalis

This spring I got some white-flowered Corydalis ochroleuca. Of the three I planted, one is doing fine and the others seem to be wasting away. This is surprising because I also have the yellow Corydalis lutea and it seem to be indestructible as long as it is given shade.

Zizia aurea - Golden Alexander
Zizia aurea – Golden Alexander

The Zizia aurea is still blooming, but seed heads are starting to form so I am beginning to cut it back. This guy self-sows a little too freely.

Polemoneum caerulea - Jacob's ladder
Polemoneum caerulea – Jacob’s ladder

I know that Polemoneum reptans is the native Jacobs ladder, but the European Polemoneum caeruleum blooms for a much longer period. The American species is more compact, though, if that’s important to you.

Aquilegia canadensis - wild columbine - with Geranium 'Biokovo'
Aquilegia canadensis – wild columbine – with Geranium ‘Biokovo’

The cool spring is extending the bloom time of lots of plants, including Aquilegia canadensis, here with Geranium ‘Biokovo’. ‘Biokovo’ is turning out to be an intrepid ground cover, with profuse pinkish white flowers.

Lonicera sempervirens - trumpet honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens – trumpet honeysuckle

Lonicera sempervirens has had a lot of winter dieback. This year it is showing only a very sparse flush of blooms, compared to prior years.

Close up of Baptisia australis - wild indigo.
Close up of Baptisia australis – wild indigo.

And I will conclude with a close up of Baptisia australis flowers, which are still going strong.

If you want to see even more flowers, head over to Carol’s May Dreams Gardens and see what other garden bloggers have got going.







59 Comments on “The Flowers of Mid-June”

  1. You have lots of lovely things in bloom Jason. I think your Salvias are gorgeous I love the view of them with the Penstemon Huskers Red.
    Your mystery bush is definitely a Philadelphus. If it has no fragrance at all it is probably Philadelphus inodorus. You don’ t see it very often because most people prefer to get the scent as well as the flowers.

  2. So lovely! I need to plant AND label some salvia (if not labeled, I am known to have “weeded” some plants in the past). I admire your knowledge of plant names. My husband likes Huskers Red & we have a few in our beds….

    I chuckled at your “beer humor”, by the way 🙂

  3. It has been a good year for Salvia. My ‘May Night’ has re-seeded itself all over the garden, which I didn’t realize it would do. I’ve even dug out seedlings in the wrong places and thrown some on the compost pile, which believe me, was hard to do. Nepeta is one of my favorites for its long blooming time; I will have to look into ‘Kit Kat’ –looks like a great edger. Happy Bloom Day!

  4. I particularly like your salvia.
    As for Philadelphus, as I have learned by buying some without checking first, there are varieties that do not have any smell and some that are supposed to have a fragrance (such as Starbright a beautiful shrub) but if they do, it seems to me very faint. My favorite is Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’.

  5. I can see my suggestion of Philadelphus is way too late Jason – to my very inexperience eye, I’d recognise those blooms a mile of and as has been said, they don’t all have a scent.
    All looking great, especially the Salvias. I’ve said time and time again the only way to get a plant to perform it to threaten it with removal – works 9 times out of 10 for me!
    Happy Bloom Day Jason and it’s been good to see (not been around on blogs lately) your garden is now truly over the rotten winter you had.

  6. Lovely to see all your flowers – such a nice variety. The salvia isn’t flowering here yet which is odd, yet my aquilegias are all over. I agree with the other comments – your mystery plant is Philadelphus coronaria. I have a lovely large one in my garden too. It’s called False Jasmine here because it looks like jasmine but doesn’t really smell at all.

  7. Oh, what a beauty and what a variety! I can smell your wonderful salvia here in my little winter garden in Austria!
    Love all the flowers you show! Thank you for sharing!!!
    All the best and sunny days

  8. Oh how wonderful with all those Salvias! I’m so relieved your whacko idea of pulling them out was averted. Your Canadian Columbine looks fantastic! I just planted an Aquilegia formosa earlier this spring. It had the most elegant flowers. I can’t wait to see it again next spring!

  9. I never used Kit Kat, it looks shorter and well behaved. Salvia is going gangbusters in your garden. Here it is having a good year as well. Do you have the issue of over seeding with Husker Red? I have it everywhere. So many of the native plants get out of hand in the garden where pulling them is constant. I have given so much of it away, I wonder how many people are cursing having it.At least the bees enjoy it.

  10. The Salvia in your garden are magnificent. I have become incredibly fond of ‘Caradonna’. It really does a great job – I can’t fault it and the bees are very fond of it. I agree with the comments above – your mystery plant looks like Philadelphus, although it is a pity it isn’t scented. Your garden is looking beautiful.

  11. I noticed that the Salvias were a little stouter and fuller this year, too, and very healthy! I agree that the shrub is a Mock Orange–we have a couple of them, too, and they’re in bloom now, as well. I’m impressed with your huge patch of Wild Columbine! We planted it, along with Nepeta ‘Kit Kat’ and various other perennials, at a food pantry pollinator garden this spring. Both took off and are hits with the bees and hummingbirds already. Great Bloom Day post!

  12. I haven’t an idea about the mystery shrub … but I need to add of few of these wonderful blooms to my plant wish list. I used to have Husker’s Red – the Susans overran it. I must add another. Super salvias! I have Walkers Low and it is tried and true – must try Kit Kat!

  13. Jason, I really enjoyed your little joke. Did your son laugh? I’m glad you didn’t take out the salvias. That would’ve been sad. ‘Black and Blue’ is an annual where you live? Here, it’s a very hardy perennial salvia and will take over the garden if we let it. However, the hummingbird moths love it so much I will always have it. Your other lovely flowers are shouting spring. Have you tried Penstemon ‘Dark Towers?’ It has the dark foliage of ‘Husker Red’, but it’s taller and has pink florets. I like it a lot.~~Dee

    • Since he hit his teen years it’s been harder to get a laugh out of him with my jokes – he likes to pretend they’re hokey. ‘Black and Blue’ is indeed an annual here, I don’t think even the seeds can make it through the winter. I’ve heard of ‘Dark Towers’ but haven’t tried it.

  14. Hi Jason, you’ve already been told several times that the shrub is a Philadelphus (mock orange) and I’ll add to that here, it’s a Philadelphus. I couldn’t tell you what variety is it, only that is it *not* Belle Etoile, if that helps! The salvias are looking amazing, I bet they’re buzzing with bees, ours always were.

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