A Transitional Lull Between Spring and Summer

Tomorrow is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, when bloggers around the world share pictures of the flowers in their gardens. In our garden things are a bit on the quiet side. The excitement of the spring blooms has passed, and the hot yellows and oranges of summer are yet to be. But there are still flowers to be seen, mostly of quieter white and blue.

Shrub Rose 'Cassie'.
Shrub Rose ‘Cassie’.

In the front garden our shrub rose ‘Cassie’ is having an outstanding year. She is in fact just covered with blooms. In this case the blooms are small, white, semi-double and slightly fragrant. I’ve written about ‘Cassie’ before, but for now I’ll say again that this is a compact, trouble-free shrub rose that really delivers the goods.

Wild Indigo not very flowery this year.
Wild Indigo not very flowery this year.

On the other hand, in the Driveway Border my Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) has flowered very sparsely this June, a big change from prior years. Maybe it needs a shovelful of compost.

California Poppies
California Poppies

Also in the Driveway Border, I am tentatively satisfied with the results of my experiment with California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica). If you remember, I direct sowed them back in March. They have germinated and covered the areas that would have otherwise been bare and have just started to bloom, so far rather sparsely. I hope that they gain enthusiasm as we head into the second half of June.

Salvia growing in front of 'Husker Red' Penstemon.
Salvia growing in front of ‘Husker Red’ Penstemon.

In the Sidewalk Border the ‘Husker Red’ Smooth Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis) is blooming in combination with several varieties of Salvia: ‘May Night’, ‘Blue Hill’, and ‘Caradonna’.

'Husker Red' with Switchgrass.
‘Husker Red’ with Switchgrass.

I planted the Salvias in an area along the sidewalk that had been full of Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum).

2015-06-14 15.34.25 penstemon and salvia

This year the Salvia is being smothered a bit by lusty Geraniums growing back from seed and bits of rhizome. I may have to dig up everything in the fall if I want to keep a drift of Salvia here.

2015-06-14 15.35.26  front island bed and penstemon

Behind the sidewalk border things are quiet in the Island Bed, but the Giants of the garden – Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) and Sweet Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) – are preparing to make a statement.

Ohio Spiderwort
Ohio Spiderwort

In the meantime, there are the blue flowers of the Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohioensis). This Spiderwort does not run like its Virginia cousin (Tradescantia virginiana).

Geranium 'Biokova'
Geranium ‘Biokovo’

In the East Side Bed, the Geranium ‘Biokovo’ are past their peak but still blooming.

Solomon's Seal
Solomon’s Seal

And the Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum), now in their third year, have really come into their own.

Clematis 'Ice Blue'
Clematis ‘Ice Blue’

In the back garden, probably the most exciting blooms belong to Clematis ‘Ice Blue’.

Clematis 'Ice Blue' on our back arbor.
Clematis ‘Ice Blue’ on our back arbor.

This is still a young plant (planted in the fall of 2013), but it has enormous blooms at least 6″ wide. It’s supposed to bloom over a long season. We’ll see.


What else? The Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) is flowering, though also flopping a bit. In this case I have restrained myself from staking it because I think it looks good this way.

Jacob's Ladder with Yellow Corydalis
Jacob’s Ladder with Yellow Corydalis
White Corydalis
White Corydalis

Also there’s some European Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum), along with Yellow and White Corydalis (Corydalis lutea and C. ochroleuca).

I’ve left out some things, especially the containers which have mostly been switched from spring to summer annuals. We can cover those in future posts.

In the meantime, check out the June blooms in other gardeners’ posts at May Dreams Gardens.

54 Comments on “A Transitional Lull Between Spring and Summer”

  1. It looks like your garden is about a month behind us here in the PNW. My garden is really rocking it this month. I don’t know if your California poppies will follow the same pattern as mine, they sprouted and bloomed somewhat sparsely last year when I sowed them for the first time, but this year, they are everywhere. I left them all winter to self sow, and they did with abandon. So if they’re disappointing this year, just wait a year.

  2. I am such a fan of solomon’s seal. It was one of the first wildflowers I ‘discovered’ when I first got interested in native plants. Yours are so pretty. That colour of that geranium is lovely — a kind of vintagey-pink. And the clematis … oooh …(nice arbor)

  3. Funny, I was just reading Alison’s comment and she must be ahead of me here in the PNW..as my poppies (also direct sown in March) have yet to bloom. Your gardens look lush and brimming. I’ll be excited to see your summer show!

  4. What a gorgeous clematis! My baptisia didn’t do so well this year either; I’m wondering what’s going on with it. Thanks for the tip on the spiderwort–I do like it, but I’ve been afraid of planting any for fear it would take over the whole garden. Now I’ll look for the Ohio cultivar. We’re just a little ahead of you downstate; the daylilies are starting as our the poppies. By the way, I hope you didn’t get as carried away as I did spreading poppy seeds at the end of winter–I had to pull some seedlings before they overwhelmed everything else:)

  5. Hello Jason, I love the clematis! I did notice a lull in flowering, but that was earlier in the year, it was after the spring flowers had finished, but the roses quickly bloomed and they’re in full flower now. As there’s not much planted in the garden, there are only pockets of flowering here and there. Hopefully as the garden fills out and is planted, I’ll be able to cover the gaps and smooth out the lulls in between the seasons – perhaps apart from winter.

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