Suddenly, it’s gone from a cool spring to a warm summer.


There’s Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ in the back garden, as well as in front. Surprising to me how it thrives in a fairly shady spot. This photo was taken at the very end of May. Those golden flowers at the far end are Golden Groundsel (Packera aurea).


Here’s a closer look at the Golden Groundsel. The flowers lasted through most of May but then suddenly went to seed when the temperature zoomed to 90F degrees one day. This is a groundcover that does fine in shade. In fact, I am learning that it can spread a little too aggressively.


This is Allium karataviense. I realized too late that I planted it last fall in a spot that is prone to flooding. Impulsively I moved most of them to a drier spot even as they were blooming. The results weren’t pretty. I won’t even show you a picture.


A few of the A. karataviense were left where they were.


Looking back to the entrance gate over the Back Island Bed.


I’ve grown fond of Long-Beaked Sedge (Carex sprengelii) as a grass-like plant for shady gardens. Nice texture, and it’s tough but well-behaved.


I planted a bunch of Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ in the Back Island Bed. They’ve been in slow decline but they still have some nice flowers.


A patch of Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum racemosum) at the base of the Silver Maple. The blooms eventually produce red berries.


However, the red berries always, always weigh the stems down to the ground. Which doesn’t look  good. So this year I’m going to do something radical: cut off the berries before they are completely ripe. That way I should at least have the foliage looking nice through the summer.


There’s a couple of old Peonies at the edge of Thicket Corner. They are in too much shade and sadly neglected, but still put out a few blooms. This is ‘America’, from which you can infer whatever metaphor you like.


These are ‘Abalone Pearl’.


Here’s a view of our patio and the east fence of the Back Garden.


The Calladiums started as bulbs indoors have been successfully transferred to containers on the patio.


These are new: Allium ‘Mt. Everest’ I planted last fall.


Having just 4 of them there looks a little odd. But if they multiply like the other Alliums, that problem won’t last long.

Summer has started! Try to keep up, and have a happy June!

57 Comments on “June Arrives in the Shady Back Garden”

  1. Your garden is inspiring me to work on my Garden of Benign Neglect… This fall when it’s not in the 90s! Love the alliums. Mine have all disappeared! Wondering if the too wet winter soil is a problem.

  2. I’m all about those white Calladiums! I’d love to say that summer is starting here, but it’s more the official start of the rabbit season. Just chased one off the deck. Sniffing around my potted things, the rotter.

  3. I do like your red peony – very elegant unlike some of the blousy ones typically grown. Also love the white Alliums. They are just as striking as the purple ones and are a real eyecatcher. As are the Caladiums, which make your patio come alive. 😃

  4. I bought myself a loner plant last week, without any explanatory ticket on the pot. Just because I liked it. And was wanting to know, what exactly it was ever since. Found out now, looking at your pictures – it is Allium karataviense. Thanks for that 🙂

  5. Ha! yeah, things start to happen really fast in June. I have the same problem with my peonies. I finally dug them up and moved them to a sunnier spot but to my surprise I must not have gotten all of the plant, which continues to bloom weakly in the shade of oaks. The transplanted ones are looking healthy enough but not blooming.
    The groundsel…that is a native, isn’t it? Very pretty. I didn’t know it would cover ground…hmmm….

  6. I always love the shade garden best: so much and so many shades of green. A fun shot of the remaining Allium karataviense. I wonder why the Amsonia is in decline. Just natural progression or something else… I have Amsonia ‘half way to Arkansas’ which I love.

  7. Had a woodland garden for 40 + years and now have a sunny one. Both my Amsonia & Alliums just love the extra sunshine. Take advantage of your moist shade with Trollius, Phlox divaricata, Primulas, Camassia, Paeonia japonica or P. obovata.

  8. Your mass of purple alliums is so striking! Those Allium karataviense are really cool looking though. I have a zone that’s been flooding lately, too, and need to dig up and move some plants around. Always something! Love those white caladiums!

  9. There’s some sort of native here that has a flower head as white and dense as that allium –I just can’t remember what it is. I really like it. We do have several Packera species, but not this pretty one. I enjoyed seeing the Amsonia. We have two native species: one in the hill country and one down here on the coast. The flowers look essentially the same, but the leaves are noticeably different, which is handy for identification.

  10. Jason .. I can’t leave my blog site or name from Blogger for some reason.
    In any case .. I am such a fan of allium , especially Purple Sensation .. I plant more every year to line the very long fence line that I have and it seems to be working.
    I always mean t o plant amsonia but never quite get there .. what a treat it would be to see those red berries but I totally understand why you prefer the foliage first .. I do little missions like that too.
    Your back garden looks VERY inviting and those calladium must shine near dusk and early evening !
    I hope this comment comes through ,,, strange things are happening on the net ! LOL

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