Summer has arrived in no uncertain terms here in the northeastern United States, and the flowers of the season are coming into their prime! Here’s a look at my rock garden this week:
1. The potentilla (bush cinquefoil) has begun to bloom! I love its cheery yellow blossoms that go on all summer long.
This is the third year in my garden for two potentillas. I worried they may not get enough sun in this location (right now, close to the solstice, they’re in sun for five to six hours a day), but they seem to be doing fine. They share the space with some foxgloves, rose campion, coral dianthus, some vinca flowers, and purple salvia (‘Evolution’). (And some wild daisies.)
I gave this area of the rock garden a fair amount of attention back in May, pulling out long vines of Virginia creeper, many baby blackberry bushes, and other assorted weeds. I laid a layer of landscaping fabric in the back, where I don’t plan to grow anything, and then covered it all with a couple inches of hardwood mulch.
2. The perennial dianthus are blooming now, too. There are some coral blossoms near the potentilla, and some bright fuchsia blooms not far away. The fuchsia ones have been there for at least ten years now; I no longer know their cultivar.
(For an assortment of reasons, there have been four consecutive summers during which I’ve been unable to give my gardens the attention they need. I have determined that this summer, when I am stuck at home with plenty of time, shall be a season of renewal and rejuvenation. I hope that showing you the brutal reality of my gardens will help me stay accountable to my intention!)
3. Now we have a collection of Things That Should Not Be Here! First, here are some wild blackberries, front and center, where Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ should be. I’ve seen neither hair nor hide of it, nor of the balloon flowers that also should be beginning their bloom in the near vicinity! They were both present and accounted for last year.
The blackberries do taste good, when I get them before the woodchucks, chipmunks, and birds!
Many other weeds keep the blackberries company. This one is rather pretty, at least. Can anyone identify it?
There are also several stems of Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ (bee balm) sticking their heads up in random spots about the garden. Several years ago, I transplanted it here, then decided I didn’t like it, and moved it again. Let me tell you, bee balm is hard to eradicate! In better years, I spot the shoots before they get very tall, and pull them out. This has not been a “better year” (yet).
4. Rosa ‘Alba Meidiland’ is loaded with blossoms. She got her very own dedicated post four years ago, and you can read it here. You can see I have not yet done my annual fern purge!
We had some very late frosts, and even snow in May, and I think ‘Alba Meidiland’ suffered a little damage. She seems to be recovering well, though:
She does attract Japanese beetles. These are the only two I’ve seen so far this year, so maybe it won’t be a bad year.
There are two other roses , one on each side of Alba, in the rock garden. The light pink one has buds but no flowers now, but the bright pink one has a nice flush of blossoms:
I know no details about this rose or the light pink one; they, and ‘Alba Meidiland’ were already in the garden when we moved here in 2003. They are very hardy, withstand inconsistent care, and are unappealing to woodchucks and deer!
5. The wild ox-eyed daisies are still around. I do love them, even if they are a bit unruly. I’ll pull them out when they’re finished.
6. The front end of the garden is a real mess!
What’s in here, you ask? Well, plenty of grass, for one thing, and ferns, ferns, ferns!
There is also some Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. Once upon a time, these were big, beautifully full plants. Then the deer discovered them. Then I benignly neglected them. Then the ferns staged their coup.
There are also some low growing, ground cover type sedums struggling under the weedy grasses. I’m not sure what the yellow blooming one is; the pink is Dragon’s Blood.
So that’s my six items for the weekend. I hope that in a few weeks, I’ll be able to show you some improvements I’ve made in the rock garden.
Six on Saturday is hosted by The Propagator. Why not drop by his site sometime and see what other gardeners around the world have going on in their gardens this week?
I leave you with a picture of the rock garden in its prime, in July 2014.