Exciting things happen every day in the garden in June and it is difficult to keep up with it all, but today it is raining and I can’t do much outside apart from worry about the roses getting dashed. And I do not have enough umbrellas to protect them all. This is a wonderful year for roses and as they are a passion, or should I say, an obsession of mine they deserve a post of their own.
But there are other wonderful things happening too. I don’t think I can keep to six flowers to keep within the rules of this meme, but I hope if I stick to six genera I will get away with it. Fabulous peonies and irises are so fleeting. Some of my blowsy peonies, including my new Itoh hybrids are over. But although none of them bloom for long, they don’t all come at once, so with different varieties the season is prolonged. The single ‘Bowl of Beauty’ is still looking good.
And I love the sultry dark pink flowers of Peony ‘Karl Rosenfield’. I have heard this colour described as red, by people who are presumably colour blind.
A new peony for me last year is ‘Coral Sunset’ which has unusual coral flowers which fade to peach as they mature.
The bearded irises have mostly had their moment, but there are still irises to enjoy. Irises are easy from seed and I always grow a few to see what exciting colours I will get. These are two of my Pacific Coast Iris babies, they are both prettier than their parents.
I love Iris siberica too and it clumps up nicely as long as it doesn’t dry out and it doesn’t need staking like the larger bearded iris. You can get it in fabulous colours and it is easy from seed. I have the rare Iris siberica ‘Osborne’s Grey’, but I think this clump of its seedling looks even better than the parent.
But now I have discovered the fabulous Iris siberica ‘Peacock Butterfly’ range and I shan’t be content until I have all of them, they come in such edible colours. So far I only have ‘Jerry Murphy’ but I shan’t rest until I have’ Unbuttoned Zippers’, ‘Uncorked’ and ‘Painted Lady’. Just look them up and you will see what I mean. It is a pity about the silly names, but you can’t have everything. I don’t know how to describe the colours of ‘Jerry Murphy’ but they have caramel brown in them and I love brown flowers.
I am thrilled with the yellow flowers with brown stripes of the wild Iris pseudacorus relation which is called ‘Berlin Tiger’. It was bred in Germany by the iris breeder, Thomas Tamberg. The flowers are a perfect match for the acer.
On a nursery visit recently with the Women Who Weed I came across a lovely new abutilon called ‘Pink Charm’. I love it for its abundance of pink flowers with pale brown calyxes.
There I go again waxing lyrical about brown flowers. I am wondering if I have the space somewhere for a brown border. If that sounds dull to you imagine shades of mahogany, chestnut, caramel, toffee and oatmeal with apricot flowers. Sorry, I digress, we are doing Six on Saturday. But I think I will return to this theme another day, I’m just wondering where on earth I could fit it in. I would like to prove to the doubters amongst you that it could work. I shall just have to dig up more lawn which will make croquet tricky.
And here is another plant for my brown border, it is Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ with coppery-orange and golden yellow flowers and lovely bronze foliage. I grow it with the feathery bronze foliage of Actaea simplex ‘Brunette’.
I have always loved kalmias both for the sculptural, ribbed buds like little fairy tale turrets and the delightful clusters of flowers. But they are for gardens with an acid soil and would not survive here. But it occurred to me that I can grow it in a pot. And I am delighted with it. I don’t approve of common names for plants as they are often regional and so confusing, but I rather like the name of Calico Bush for this.
And here we are at number six and I will finish with orchids. Some years ago, I planted a Dactylorhiza fuchsii, or Common Spotted orchid hoping it would spread into carpets. I read somewhere that this orchid suppresses honey fungus which I am plagued with. It has grown into a lovely clump with several spikes but it never seeds around.
But my pride and joy is the one of the two Lady’s Slipper orchid which has deigned to bloom this year, the other is over now. I have several of these aristocratic ladies in my garden and I do what I can to please them and it isn’t easy. I really am very grateful if they at least stay alive. But this one is paying its way.
So there we have my six. I really would like to show you my roscoeas, but rules are rules and I have already bent them a bit so they will have to wait. And in any case, I do believe it has actually stopped raining and a gardener’s work is never done. So out I go, leaving you in the capable hands of the Propagator who hosts this meme, Six on Saturday. And of course there are plenty of other enthusiastic Sixers with lots of interesting posts to peruse.