Six on Saturday. 1st June. Celebrating Summer.

Here we are, it’s Saturday again and it’s June so let’s have a lovely summery six to celebrate. The Propagator has trained an ever- growing list of bloggers to dutifully post six horticulturally themed things on Saturdays. I don’t participate every week because Saturdays rush along far too fast for me to catch up with myself. But June is the crown of the whole year and we have to celebrate its arrival. So here goes.

1. Tulipa Sprengeri is a lovely species tulip from Turkey, it blooms long after all your other tulips have disappeared. The flowers are the brightest, shiny scarlet.  They close up at night and open in the sunshine. You rarely see them for sale, possibly because the bulbs pull themselves so deep into the soil that they are difficult to dig up. They don’t spread by offsets either but they produce plenty of seed and they will self- seed but I think it is safest to sow them and then the young shoots won’t get weeded out. If you sow the seeds as soon as they are ripe they will have shoots the following Spring. It took mine four years to bloom.

Tulipa sprengeri

While we are on the theme of self seeding, I have two gleaming white annuals which self-seed in my garden and they always grab the attention of visitors.

2. The first is a corncockle, Agrostemma githago ‘Milas Snow Queen’. As it self- seeds and overwinters it grows much taller than ones which are sown in the Spring.

Agrostemma githago ‘Milas Snow Queen’

The petals look as if they are made of satin and somebody has drawn brown dotted  lines with a crayon.

Agrostemma githago ‘Milas Snow Queen’

They look good with self-sown Orlaya grandiflora.

Orlaya grandiflora with Agrostemma githago

3. I have another very simple little annual which everyone  loves and wants to grow.  So if you come across it in a seed catalogue do buy it. It loves to seed in gravel and next year I shall give it a helping hand because I would like lots more of it.

Omphalodes linifolium

Again it is Persil- white. It rejoices in the common name of ‘Venus’s Navelwort’,  but we don’t do navels on this blog so let us give it its proper name: Omphalodes linifolia. 

Omphalodes linifolia

4. Well here we are in June and I have not mentioned irises which is odd as I am mad on them. Pacific irises are very easy from seed and they come up in different colours. Here are some of my seed grown ones.

I love Iris sibirica too, they need a  damp place.  They come in amazing shades of blue.

Iris sibirica

This next one is called Iris sibirica ‘Osborne’s Grey’,  it is very rare. I think it is more lavender than grey.

Iris sibirica ‘Osborne’s Grey’

I have grow some plants from seed from this. One of them is particularly pretty, in fact I like it better than its mother.

Iris sibirica ‘Osborne’s Grey’ seedling

The bearded iris, Iris germanica comes in so many colours with so many frills and flounces. The flowers don’t last long but if you have quite a few they don’t all come out at once. Here are some of my first ones. I can’t remember most of the names, even if I ever knew them.

I used to love the flouncy ones, dressed like pantomime dames in outrageous colours and frills but now I prefer the more subtle charms of Cedric Morris’s Benton range . Here is my first one out, it is called ‘Benton Olive’ .

Iris ‘Benton Olive’

Irises are easy and fun to grow from seed and you never know what you will get. I made a whole new gravel bed last year to display my seedlings. This is one of them. It doesn’t look very unusual but I am thrilled with it as it is my own creation. It’s mother was the sky-blue ‘Jane Phillips’.

Iris seedling

5. I have a tree which is looking fabulous right now with  fluffy balls like golden powder puffs. I showed you Azara microphylla in March, it has tiny flowers with a pervasive vanilla scent. This is Azara serrata which also comes from Chile. Its flowers are sweetly scented although you have to actually sniff it to find out. It is worth growing for the glossy leaves and the showy flowers. I had this tree in my last garden and didn’t want to be without it so I took a cutting and now, after ten years I have a large tree. I don’t know whether this was just luck or whether it is easy from cuttings. I must try and take some more.

Azara serrata

6. Every day there are fresh roses coming into bloom and of course June is the month when we all get intoxicated by them. But Rosa banksiae  ‘Lutea’ has been in bloom for a while now. I know in some gardens it blooms in April but here it starts in May and gets better and better as the month goes on. Like the Azara serrata this started off as a small cutting about ten years ago. It has made its way to the top of the lovely old apple tree which has unfortunately died, but I am leaving the lovely mossy old trunk as a climbing frame.

Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’

It has plans to take over the whole garden and probably next door’s too. I really cannot allow it to cascade all over the Azara even if they do look good together,


So there are my Six on Saturday. Alright, I know I slipped in a few extra irises but I really cannot confine myself to just one iris. Otherwise I have kept to the rules for once. Thanks to the Propagator for hosting this meme and for being very tolerant of rule benders. If you go over to his blog, you will find what many other bloggers are enjoying on this lovely June day.

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51 Responses to Six on Saturday. 1st June. Celebrating Summer.

  1. fredgardener says:

    Amazing irises Chloris, what a choice of colors you have!
    Thank you for introducing the Azara that I didn’t know. How tall is the tree and how do you manage it in the winter? I read that it’s easy to grow and for the cuttings, it’s also easy in March (just cut and plant in a sandy soil

  2. Prue Batten says:

    I really love Omphalodes linifolia. One for my list…

  3. Your garden is beautiful. I’m going to do some research and see if the Azara can grow in my area.

  4. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    I do like a bit of white in the garden. Those white annuals are lovely. And the Azara serrata is beautiful.

    • Chloris says:

      I love white too, specially on a summer’s evening and I love plants that self sow and are trouble free. I don’t know why you don’t see Azara very often it is so pretty.

  5. March Picker says:

    Love the white plants, Chloris, and I’m including one white annual this week as well. You have an astounding and beautiful collection of irises! Really wonderful.

  6. Fab six! I especially love the white omphalodes, partly because it is new to me, I only know the blue ones, and partly because I love say the word. 🙂 Iris are very special as is the azara, which you have just reminded me of and will go on my list on shrubs to suggest to clients. The scent is amazing, wonderful!

  7. Kris P says:

    Your summer is off to a beautiful start! I was hoping for a better than usual display from my own bearded Iris this year due to our heavier winter rains but, thus far anyway, I’ve been disappointed. We share the Agrostemma and Orlaya, though.

    FYI, I experienced the same issues with ads imprinted over photos and text with this post as I did with your last one but it wasn’t consistent. It’s odd, particularly if I’m the only reader experiencing this. It hasn’t happened with any of the other WordPress blogs I follow. I’ll try modifying the text size I’m currently using to see if that makes a difference.

    • Kris P says:

      Update: If I change my browser zoom to 125% on your post, not only does the problem with ads overlapping your photos and text go away but the ads themselves, with the exception of the last one at the bottom of the post and in the sidebar, also disappear. They return as soon as I reduce the zoom level. Weird.

      • Chloris says:

        I should have thought irises would do well with you, they like to be baked in the sun. I am glad you can resolve the problem Kris, as I said, I checked with WordPress support team and they said there was no problem at this end.

  8. bcparkison says:

    Iris are one of my faves. Haven’t tried growing from seed and have been told it doesn’t work very well. How do you do that.?

    • Chloris says:

      Growing irises from seed works very well and is so exciting as they all come out different. You can let the bees do the work and harvest the seeds when they are ripe. Leave them outside as they need cold in order to germinate. Bearded irises don’t often produce seed heads so you might need to arrange their marriages. It is quite easy, I suggest you google how to do it so you get an explanation with diagrams. But I promise you it is well worth it, having your own unique irises, some of they maybe quite ordinary and some amazing. Do try.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank Beth, why don’t you join it? It is great fun.

  9. tonytomeo says:

    Azaras are so variable and unique from each other. There was only one Azara serrata in our region. It took me a long time to figure out what it was. It looked nothing like what I expected an Azara to look like. Sadly, it is gone now.

  10. I hadn’t heard of this meme, but it’s a great idea. Your garden is blooming beautifully!

  11. Brilliant white combinations, Liz. I’ve written down the Navelwort and looking around the suppliers the seeds is v. reasonable, but no. of seeds exceedingly variable! Love all your irises. I have a soft spot for the bronze coloured ones.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Allison. Do try the Ompalodes, it is fabulous and so easy. I am crazy about irises, some are still in bud, so you will be seeing more of them here no doubt.

  12. Cathy says:

    I like the idea of the white self-seeders Chloris, although they might not do so here of course

  13. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I just love your white flowers Chloris, and they look as though they would spread rather delightfully through the garden. I’m a fan of self seeders. I planted a number of species tulips last year and they were charming. Now I’m waiting to see if they reappear. I’m also totally in love with irises- so hardy and undemanding. Yours are splendid!

  14. Heyjude says:

    The meme is for six things in the garden, there is no mention of how many photos! So post as many iris images as you like I say! I do like the more subtle coloured ones. And Omphalodes linifolia is a new one for me. I know the blue variety but have never seen a white one. Awfully pretty, but I have run out of room in my garden. No good, we are going to have to move…

    • Chloris says:

      Oh no, running out of room is a serious problem. Omphalodes linifolia is a handy little annual which loves to self-seed into gravel.

      • Heyjude says:

        I do have plenty of gravel! So far geraniums seem to be the best at self-seeding there, I suspect they will be the pink ones of which I have too many, but if any turn out to be blue they can remain 🙂

  15. cavershamjj says:

    Hi Chloris. Especially interested in your species tulips. I have some seedlings in modules, this is their 2nd year after germinating, I think. Still a while to wait from the sound of it! I think I’ll plant them out later this year, let them get comfy in their forever home.

  16. Frog says:

    Gorgeous as always. That pond stole my heart, it is perfect ! Can I ask a stupid question ? I had orlaya grandiflora last year and collected the seeds, and left some for self seeding. The thing is I think I buried the seeds under manure when I mulched in winter. How does mulching combine with self-seeding ?

  17. Lora Hughes says:

    Your garden is looking amazing – June is definitely a great month for it. Glad you put in more iris photos than you felt you should (how can you have to many snaps of flowers?) cuz they’re really beautiful. But most of all, I just love all those white annuals. They look marvelous.

  18. pbmgarden says:

    I love all your irises! Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ is a beautiful sight.

  19. Beth says:

    So beautiful, Chloris — those irises are a magnificent collection, and I hadn’t heard of most of the others before — thanks for sharing them! Best, -Beth

  20. The first three of your six are entirely new to me, and I consider myself fairly well-informed on the subject of species tulips. Venus’s Navelwort is a beautiful flower, but I think you are right to stick with the botanical name. Unless it is really Venus’s Navalwort, a reference to her maritime forces. She did, after all, emerge from the sea.

    • Chloris says:

      If you can get hold of seeds if Tulipa spengeri it is worth having. It blooms at the end of May, so no frost worries. You know I always prefer using the Latin names so that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. I don’t think I could manage to call it ‘Venus’s Navelwort’ and keep a straight face.

  21. snowbird says:

    So many beauties. I love the corncockle, such a delightful name too.Oh….those iris and charming white annuals!!! Goodness, such a beautiful climbing rose.xxx

  22. Oh first and foremost Chloris a BIG thank you from my sister and from me for identifying her mystery plant. She was loosing sleep over not knowing what it was 🙂 I’ve made a note of of Omphalodes linifolia and will order seed forthwith. Himself is very fond of gravel and I would like to relieve its bleakness. You have some exquisite irises. Your very own seedling looks rather special.

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