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Mid-June in my gardens tends to be a quiet, green time. The flamboyant daffodils and tulips have died back, and summer’s brilliant flowers haven’t hit their stride yet. When Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day came around on Monday, I thought I didn’t have much to highlight. A mid-week stroll around the gardens, and another this foggy morning, showed that there are indeed flowers to be seen! Here are six of the standouts for this week:

  1. Kousa Dogwood

I showed you the first blossoms on this tree two weeks ago. Here is a rare shot of the entire tree, now at its peak:

Dogwood Cornus Kousa

Maybe someone reading this can tell me whether I should try to prune this tree once it’s finished blooming in a couple of weeks. Will it harm the tree to remove the very top branch that’s sticking up and reaching for the sky? Should I worry about shaping it, or just let it go? Trees are something I know little about.

Kousa Dogwood Blossoms on a Dewy Morning

Kousa had an industrious visitor overnight:

2. Peony ‘Raspberry Sundae’

Herbaceous Peony ‘Raspberry Sundae’

The first of what I think will be three blossoms of Peony ‘Raspberry Sundae’ has opened. I’m relieved that both of my peonies, now in their fourth spring in my garden, are producing healthy blooms this year. Last spring, which was exceedingly wet, they both produced buds that never developed well and eventually just rotted.

Both peonies are planted just at the edge of the dogwood’s spread, and I worry that, as the tree grows larger, the peonies may not receive as much sun as they would like. I will continue to evaluate that situation throughout the summer and may transplant them in the fall. They currently enjoy a good amount of afternoon sun.

‘Raspberry Sundae’

3. Foxglove

Two foxglove are blooming in the far corner of the rock garden. A third was in bud, but some construction workers brought it to a sad end while they were working on renovating our back deck.

I’m never quite sure where or if I’ll have foxglove blooming in the early summer. They are supposed to be in the back section of the garden, but both of these showed up in the front, right along the retaining pavers. There are several little plants growing in the back; hopefully they’ll bloom next year.

4. Spirea

My spirea, currently blooming, has grown huge in the six years since it was planted in the Terrace Garden! Look at what sweet little babies they were back in 2014!

And here are the brutes they have become:

You can see that I never cut back the bushes after they bloomed last year. Another job to be done in a couple of weeks! Also, they’ve overcrowded the Russian Sage that was once properly socially distanced from them, so moving the sage will be on the to-do list for fall.

(Maybe I should stop writing now. It seems that this post is generating a long to-do list, LOL!)

My spirea is nothing special, but it is very hardy and has never been touched by deer, woodchucks, or rabbits. That makes it a star in my garden!

5. Blue Star Amsonia hubrichtii

This is my Amsonia’s fourth year in the Terrace Garden, and the best it has ever bloomed. I need more! The question is, do I divide this (not sure it’s big enough yet), or do I order another from one of my favorite plant suppliers, Santa Rosa Gardens? (More work for fall!)

6. Assorted Allium

I went on a bit of an allium binge when ordering my bulbs last fall! While ‘Purple Sensation’ has had its season, there are a few others still blooming now. Here is the short pink Allium oreophilum:

Allium oreophilum

Allium oreophilum, also known as pink lily leek, has grown to about six inches high in my garden, and features umbrels that are no more than two inches wide. John Scheepers (my favorite bulb supplier) recommends planting them in large masses for greater impact. I planted them in smaller clusters of three to five, and have seen the error of my ways! I am disappointed that only about a third of the bulbs I planted sprouted and bloomed.

Even fewer Allium neapolitanum bloomed, and I didn’t catch the few that did at their peak. These are about 9 inches in height:

Oreophilum and Neapolitanum pair nicely with each other, though:

I planted five bulbs of Allium ‘Firmament’. Three have shown up to be counted. They’re about twenty inches high and three inches across. I like how they shimmer in the sunlight:

Allium ‘Firmament’
Allium ‘Firmament’

Because life is what it is, I didn’t get to planting the allium bulbs until quite late in the fall, and I did it in a hurry, not taking time for my usual careful documentation of what I planted where. I regret that.

Here is a little clump of Allium unifolium, planted in the fall of 2016, which seems to have naturalized happily under the dogwood:

Allium unifolium
Allium unifolium

There’s also one lone yellow Allium moly blooming in the rock garden, but it’s currently unphotogenically blocked by a pile of decking materials.

If I were to plant more allium this fall, I would choose to plant a large patch of closely spaced bulbs, and I would combine the bright pink of oreophilum with the lighter shade of unifolium, and add some moly for accents. More work, but wouldn’t the result make a lovely mid-June display? Something to ponder . . .

This weekly meme is hosted by The Propogator. If you drop by his site and check out the comments, you can link to collections of six from gardeners around the world!