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June proved a good month for the gardens.  We had plenty of rain, just short of too much; warm, sometimes sweltering, temperatures; and a reasonable amount of sunshine.  Most of the plants have been VERY happy!

It took me a long time this year, but I finally finished planting my side porch containers:Containers on side porchThey are full of petunias, sweet potato vines, zonal geraniums, Angelonia ‘Angelface Blue,’ Pentas, Salvia ‘Evolution,’ Zinnias ‘Orange Profusion,’ Cosmos ‘Cosmic Yellow,’  and four varieties of morning glories.

In the ground right below the deck, you can see a patch of succulents–different trailing sedums and hens and chicks–with Munstead lavender and Lamb’s Ear acting as bookends.

Around the corner, bordering the other side of the side porch, is a bed lined with French marigolds ‘Safari Orange’  Having started them from seed in the basement, I am proud of how well these marigolds are expanding!  They were but wee, tiny things when I set them in the garden just four weeks ago!Side porch garden

This bed also contains Clematis ‘Riviera,’ Lavender ‘Munstead,’ some Coreopsis transplanted from the rock garden, tall balloon flower, a ‘Sedona’ hybrid tea rose, and a Scabiosa.  I have also planted two ‘Peace’ roses in there; they came bare root, and I may have left them to soak in a bucket of water for too long before planting them.  I’ve not yet given up hope of seeing new growth, though!

Not far from these beds and our side porch, here is a bed of begonias and sweet alyssum, plus some exuberant weeds, under a rhododendron bush:Under the Rhododendron

Across the driveway, in the corner of the long front bed, the pink Knockout Rose (a Mother’s Day gift from my children in 2009) dominates the scene:Driveway corner, Knockout roseIn the front left section, you can see some Cosmos which I started indoors from seed early in the spring.  They are very healthy looking and one already has a bud, so I am hopeful that I’ll have a good crop of flowers that will self-seed for next year!  There are Oriental lilies behind the rose bush; it looks like the neighborhood wildlife is going to let me enjoy their blossoms for the third year in a row!

At the other end of the sidewalk, near the front door, the shrubbery is recovering from my adventure with the pruning shears, and the Astilbe has started to bloom.  I love its feathery flowers:

Front gardenIn the corner, my attempt to replicate a bed I admired at Penn State last summer is coming along slowly.  It contains Gomphrena ‘Buddy Purple.’ Lantana Luscious ‘Tropical Fruit,’ Nicotiana ‘Hummingbird Mix,’ Portulaca ‘Happy Hour Lemon.’ and several Dusty Miller plants that came back from last year:Front steps cornerHere is our front door, used primarily by my violin students and strangers, and decorated with coleus and begonias: House entranceTurning left at the top of the steps, you are invited to enter Mom’s Hideaway where my houseplants spend their summer, and I sometimes hide from my children!  It’s a lovely spot to sip some lemonade and read a book, and the houseplants love it here!Mom's Hide-Away!

Traveling to the backyard now, here is the vegetable garden:Vegetable garden, end of JuneThe lettuce, a mixture of reds, has been great for a month now.  Just after Memorial Day, I was disgruntled because I had no lettuce in the house for our hamburgers.  Then I remembered I had a garden, and that there was lettuce in that garden.  And that lettuce was ready to pick!  So we had lettuce for our burgers, and I was happy!

There are peas in the same wide row as the lettuce, “Improved Laxton’s Progress’ on one side, and an edible pod variety on the other.  I doubt that I’ll bother planting peas again.  Additionally, the green beans have sprouted, and seven tomato plants I started from seed in March are doing well.  There are also seedlings of basil, spinach, more lettuce, zinnias, and sunflowers.  The clematis in the back corner is a relic from several years ago when I used this space for flowers.  I’ve forgotten its name.

Against the stone wall outside the garden fence, you can see my new herb and flower bed.  I transplanted some oregano, sage, tarragon, and thyme in the left half, and on the right is the Obedience Plant and Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ that I planted back in May.

Here is a view of the raised back deck near the vegetable garden.  Last summer I found the combination of pink geraniums and gray Dusty Miller very pleasing, so I decided to use a pink and gray theme in the containers on the back deck this year.Back deckThere are zonal geraniums in three shades of pink, snap dragons, Vinca (which are unhappy with all the rain this summer!), petunias, sweet alyssum, Dusty Miller, licorice plant, Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost,’ and rosemary planted in these boxes and pots.

The back deck is also the location of my container vegetable garden, with three varieties of cucumbers, two jalapeño pepper plants, and one Roma tomato.  You can see the bird bath succulent garden next to the steps.

Finally, here is the rock garden, in panoramic view:Panoramic shot of rock gardenAt the end nearest the raised deck, the first cleomes are blooming amidst the black-eyed Susan foliage.  You can also see a purplish-pink zonal geranium near the edge:Rock Garden, section 5Moving to the left, here is a Coreopsis (unknown variety), along with pale pink yarrow to its left and bright pink Dianthus to the right:  Rock Garden, section 4The middle section of the rock garden hosts some threadleaf Coreopsis (Moonbeam, perhaps?), Geum ‘Mrs. Bradshaw,’ May Night (?) Salvia, and Rosa ‘Alba Meidiland’:Rock Garden, section 3For the first nine years we lived here, I did not know what this rose was.  Late last fall, as I was trimming it back, I discovered a metal tag attached to one of its base stems.  The name of the rose was virtually obliterated, but its patent number was legible.  I Googled the number and learned the name of my rose!

Just a couple of feet to the left of the white rose, robed in ferns, is a bright pink rose.  I don’t know what it is, and have not found a tag.  Next to it is one of the huge Autumn Joy Sedums, and a very small Ageratum.  Rock garden, section 2Finally, at the end of the garden anchored by our enormous boulder, is a section filled with more Autumn Joy Sedum, May Night Salvia, wild daisies, blue Speedwell, Dianthus, coral bells, assorted creeping Sedum, cleome, marigolds, and Ageratum.  I remember writing a post last summer about how over-crowded this section of the garden is; it seems I’ve done little to alleviate the problem:Rock Garden, section 1I hope you have enjoyed this little tour through my gardens as we enter the heart of summer here in Northeastern Pennsylvania this month.  Thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting this monthly meme for garden bloggers!Rock garden, long view