Well now it’s official, the first roses are in bloom.
I don’t think anyone out there dislikes roses. They might not like growing them, but to dislike them or harbor worse opinions seems out of the question and even borderline suspicious to me. There are a few roses around here but I’ve tried to hold back. Rose Rosette Disease is in the wild roses all around us, and I’d hate to see it jump into the garden and decimate any big plantings I might end up putting in. Unless they’re irresistibly fragrant of course. The workhorses I have right now are barely fragrant, and at the start fo each summer I always give a little thought to adding something with a fierce perfume. This year I’m thinking rugosas, and we’ll see if I can hold strong or not.
The front border along the street is still riding high with the last of the iris and alliums and a returning lupine star from last year. I was sure the lupine would would be a one and done wonder but here it is in year two looking even better. Between the lupine and some new allium schubertii I’m really pleased how it looks. Usually the iris are followed by a lull, but not this year!
You may have heard it mentioned that someone here is going through an iris phase. It’s true, and I guess it’s been building for longer than I’d care to admit. Two years ago ‘Bayberry Candle’ was added, and this year I’m seeing how a flower which is not bright nor flashy, can still be rich and amazing.
It’s possible there have been other iris as well. ‘Gerald Darby’ was showing off his purple foliage earlier in the year and now has sent up several purple tinged flower stalks topped with several elegant (purple of course) flowers.
These later iris are part of what I call the ‘water iris’ group. That term would likely make a more knowledgable iris grower cringe, but for me it’s one of the beardless iris which do well enough in occasionally soggy, and my always clayish soil, even to the point of sitting in water. I put the invasive yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus) in this group, and although it’s a little too sloppy for me I do have the brown veined ‘Berlin Tiger’ version which will hopefully not seed around and spread as much as the standard variety. This one has the distinction of being one of my most expensive iris, since even though the original plant was free from a friend (thanks Kathy!) I may have been tempted to search out similar varieties, order them from far away, and then add other things just to round out a decent order…. and I’m still thinking I should add a few more this summer…
Moving out of the iris world it’s also peony season. On the plus side my garden is too small and this gardener is too fickle to invest in bunches and bunches of these. I’m counting that as a good thing since if it weren’t set up that way I’m sure I could devote quite a few beds to these opulent flowers and surely I’d go overboard.
At this time of year the gardener is spending most of his time weeding and mowing, but what he really needs to do is finish planting. Last weekend overwintered bulbs went into the tropical garden, and in an attempt to buy some time from the weeds the lawn clippings were collected and spread around as a mulch.
I do prefer thick perennial plantings as a way of crowding out weeds rather than the trouble of mulching and cultivating, but a full bed in June doesn’t leave much room for all those annuals I’d like to still add. Hopefully this doesn’t become a regret in August.
Maybe I will whack a few things back today and sneak a few castor beans and cannas in. I also have a few orange marigolds which should really class things up, so maybe this weekend… In the meantime here’s one more picture of my little darling ‘Red Rum’ lupine, I honestly look at this plant a million times a day.
All the best for this weekend. Hopefully you are either well into it or have already had an excellent time of it, I know I plan to 🙂
I just have to avoid the temptation of nursery hopping this weekend… in the hopes of finding some fragrant rugosa roses. We’ll see.