June Ushers in a Splendid Summertime

A contrast in daylilies with the tall single orange towering over the Stella De Oro with cheerful Shasta daisies in the foreground. 

A Kansas Country Garden

May 2015

I am pleased that these lilies have multiplied over the years.
There is both a sameness and a newness as summer begins in our country garden.  Many plants have been in our garden for years breeding familiarity but never contempt. Perhaps that is because their visit is short and never quite the same.  Each year is unique. Even in the best years, there are plants that fail to thrive. Even in the worst years, there are pockets of loveliness. 

My young hydrangea shrub has a lovely bloom. This shrub doesn't always do well in my garden. 

Some plants flourish in a certain place and then wane while others multiply with abandon one year, but not the next. Why? 

A friendly hollyhock could appear almost anywhere.

Well, the weather plays a part. There is no substitute for a nourishing rain at the right time. And it seems like the "right time" is not the same for every plant. This makes a big difference in which annuals or biennials self-seed.  If the heat comes early as it so often does that can cause stress and shorten bloom time.  This year we have had a longer spring and although we have certainly had hot days, and will have many more, it hasn't been excessive. 
The David Austin rose, Heritage, was spectacular this year.

Sometimes a plants location becomes a problem. A neighboring plant matures and encroaches into space previously held by another. A shady area becomes sunny or a sunny area becomes shady.  That explains why the roses on the east side of the house where a neighboring tree has matured and is causing too much shade were a bit disappointing this year, but it doesn't explain why the Heritage rose in another location after languishing for several years was spectacular this year. 

Daylilies come in many colors and forms.

We could consider the possibility that there is a natural life span to each plant and sometimes they reach it without reproducing or being replaced by the gardener. Every once in a while I notice that plants I used to have are no longer in my garden.

A tiny bee visits a sedum flower.

I try to be vigilant, but I confess that there are places where weeds or, my worst garden nightmare, bermuda grass have crept in and taken over. In the case of bermuda grass, the whole area will have to be dug up and replanted.  Most other weeds can be pulled, but it may leave some empty spots.

I have had these allium growing in my garden for decades.

So we bid good-bye to a charming June and enter July with a garden that is the same as other years, but also very different. 

An excellent plant for a country garden is  verbena bonariensis.

This Kniphofia or Poker flower has a very short bloom time. I have purchased another variety with continuous summer blooms. Look for photos later this year or next. 

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