Garden Bloggers Bloom Day June 2008

– Posted in: About this site, Colchicums, Recommended Links

Poppies, peonies, and iris: the three Grandes Dames of June

In a cold climate, the gardening season is shorter and more compressed. By the time the spring flowers get going, boom! it’s summer. Consider this: on May 29th we had our last frost. The next day it hit 80F (27C), which we reckon to be summery, and a mere nine days later it was 92F (33C). So anything you wait until danger of frost is passed to plant gets hit with summer before it knows which way is up. That doesn’t happen every year, but it shows why we often have what other people consider spring flowers blooming with summer flowers.

Around here, there are three flowers synonymous with June: Oriental poppies, peonies, and several kinds of iris. I think of them as the three grandes dames of spring. They are all “look at me” flowers, reliable plants that have been in gardens–and memories–for over a century. I’m going to feature the grandes dames in my photos and just list the rest of what’s blooming. I’m trying out a new feature of WordPress that’s supposed to create a gallery of photos. It’s not working quite as expected, but I’m calling it good enough for today. Hover over each photo to see its title; click on each for a larger image.

Also Blooming Now

  • feverfew
  • catmint
  • giant yellow scabious (just starting)
  • ‘Wanderin’ Wind’ rose (my Griffith Buck rose)
  • German catchfly (Lychnis viscaria ‘Plena’)
  • ‘Sooty’ sweet William
  • perennial flax
  • bloody cranesbill
  • various columbines, including the native one in our field
  • maiden pinks
  • ‘Joan Elliot’ clustered bellflower
  • garden heliotrope
  • ‘Miller’s Crimson’ primrose
  • Lady’s mantle
  • snowberry bush (very tiny)
  • native rose (probably Rosa virginiana, photo here)
  • dames’ rocket
  • ‘Black Stockings’ thalictrum
  • ‘Concord Grape’ spiderwort
  • pink foxgloves
  • Johnny-jump-ups
  • forget-me-nots (on the decline)
  • mockorange shrub

Check out all the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts here.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

Comments on this entry are closed.

Jean S. July 2, 2011, 12:10 am

Hi Kathy,
Although my Zone is 5, which I don’t really consider that cold, I love reading your blog and enjoy the fact that you also are a peony-lover. I’ve been planting them like crazy for the past 10 years. I’m the editor for the Midwest Peony Society and went to the annual meeting last year in Wisconsin. Anyway, this is the first year I’ve had fungal issues because of the incredibly wet spring. Have you ever had issues with fungal disease? My peonies are kind of closely planted with other perennials and I don’t have an abundance of sun. But peony-lovers are undeterred by this kind of setback. Keep up the great writing.

Kathy Purdy July 2, 2011, 8:10 am

Hi, Jean, thank you for your kind words. You don’t consider Zone 5 cold because you live in Wisconsin. Trust me, the southern two-thirds of the country considers it cold. You are right: I love peonies. I wrote about problems with botrytis on my peonies back in 2006. All the blog posts I’ve written about peonies are here.

Joleen March 31, 2010, 4:14 pm

My daughter is getting married June 12th. She wants peonies in her bouquet but I’m afraid they will already have bloomed and died by then. They are growing in Iowa. Is there a method that I could keep them in fridg when just in bud form and delay blooming?

Kathy Purdy March 31, 2010, 6:55 pm

I have read of that being done, but I don’t know the exact process or how long you could keep them that way.

Annie in Austin March 31, 2010, 7:20 pm

Hi Kathy & Joleen,

I learned how to hold peonies in refrigeration for later bloom when I lived in Illinois and wrote a post about the method a few years ago…Happy Wedding!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose
.-= Annie in Austin´s last blog ..Finally Time for March 2010 GBBD =-.

Joleen March 31, 2010, 7:34 pm

Thank you Annie!!! I’m so excited to try this. You are awesome!

commonweeder June 25, 2008, 2:11 pm

I love Bev! I have quite a number of peonies, most of which are now nameless. I think I know which is Kansas (a beautiul red) and Green Lotus is unmistakable, but Elsa Sass, Pillow Talk,Bowl of Cream are all in there anonymously. I think I have about 2 dozen in a kind of border hedge. There’s always room for more, like Bev and Coral Charm which I just saw in a friend’s garden.

Ilona June 24, 2008, 1:44 am

Gorgeous! Your gallery looks wonderful.

Margaret June 23, 2008, 11:33 pm

Margaret Roach ought to get outside and shoot more pictures so she can use the new-ish 2.5 photo gallery again a lot. Thanks, Kathy, for reminding me!

Linda MacPhee-Cobb June 23, 2008, 11:08 pm

Check out the photos of nutrient deficiencies and see if any of them match your plant.

Linda MacPhee-Cobb June 23, 2008, 10:50 pm

Have you been fertilizing them? It sounds like a nutrient deficiency. Any generic fertilizer will do.

sherry June 21, 2008, 5:29 pm

Wow! Your pictures are gorgeous! So much in bloom! They must like the lack of spring!

Smitha June 20, 2008, 2:41 pm

Hi you all.. I am a beginner gardener.. in Minnesota.. i have planted tomatoes , and the plants are growing pretty well, but the top crown of leaves are turning half yellow.. what should i do??

Kathy Purdy June 18, 2008, 10:59 pm

Thanks, MSS. Perhaps you just didn’t realize others were using the gallery feature. Dee used it on this post and Margaret Roach uses it quite frequently.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens June 17, 2008, 11:51 pm

Figure you to be the first person I know to try out the latest WordPress feature.

I like your description of the compressed seasons and your weather stats. From freezing to the 90s in nine days is a pretty impressive record. I wish more bloggers would include some weather information with their bloom reports. I’m always interested in knowing how long the days are and what the temperature is when someone’s tulips are blooming, for example. Or roses…how long do the flowers last and at what temperature. I love details. I guess other people are bored by them.

Karen June 17, 2008, 11:01 am

I just love your blooms! Gorgeous!

Kathy Purdy June 17, 2008, 12:45 pm

Thank you, Karen.

Nan Ondra June 16, 2008, 5:08 pm

Beautiful blooms, Kathy! Definitely worth waiting for. And you did a great job with the photo gallery. It looks good, and well done with getting the captions to work out. I still haven’t figured that out yet.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter June 16, 2008, 4:49 pm

‘Bev’ sounds (& looks) like my kind of Peony. I’m tired of flopped down, broken stemmed messes. Your Siberians are looking good – love that blue.

Dee/reddirtramblings June 16, 2008, 12:59 pm

I really love peonies. My best friend’s name is Aimee spelled exactly that way. Maybe I should get it for her, or just put it in my jardin to remind me of her.~~Dee

Annie in Austin June 16, 2008, 12:55 pm

There was something fascinating about tapping a bloom on the scarlet oriental poppies to see the interior parts ‘shimmer’ in the sun. Peonies and poppies and Siberian iris are such great plants.

You had a long time to wait, Kathy, but the June show is lovely!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Colleen Vanderlinden June 16, 2008, 6:01 am

Oh my gosh—that ‘Jay Bird’ iris is stunning. I’m definitely adding that to my list! The ‘Rozella’ peony is wonderful–my mother-in-law has a couple of those, and they really don’t flop.

Gorgeous blooms, Kathy!

Kathy Purdy June 16, 2008, 10:11 pm

Colleen, I got Jaybird from Seneca Hill Perennials, and they don’t carry it anymore. I saw it in the Roots & Rhizomes catalog one year, but it’s not in their online offerings right now. They did have some other deep blue ones, though.

Pam/Digging June 16, 2008, 3:02 am

What big, generous blooms the grande dames have. They look so fresh and springy, even if you’ve had some unseasonably hot weather already. Thanks for sharing them.

Kathy Purdy June 16, 2008, 7:23 am

Pam, I try to take pictures in the early morning, when there is still dew on the lawn and plants are at their coolest. I think that helps.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens June 15, 2008, 10:31 pm

What a great showing of blooms, considering it wasn’t that long ago you had very little in bloom. It is “hurry up the frost is coming” season in your garden, otherwise known as summer.

I hope you get some good rain, soon.

Kathy Purdy June 15, 2008, 10:39 pm

Carol, I remember last year you suffered with drought. The scariest thing about the lack of rain is the possibility of our well running dry. Even thinking about rationing water makes me anxious.

min hus June 15, 2008, 9:38 pm

Your blooms are GOR-geous! I have some wintersown poppies that look like they may bloom yet. I haven’t gotten around to planting peonies yet, but oh, I want some. They’re soooo pretties.

Kathy Purdy June 15, 2008, 10:36 pm

Thank you, Min Hus. I suggest you do some research before you invest in peonies. Some don’t have fragrance. Some stay upright without hoops. Some are more prone to disease than others. Reath’s, La Pivoinerie, and Song Sparrow Nursery are three mail order firms that have better than average selection.