The Garden Has Arrived: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day June 2014

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

My patience has been rewarded. The days of staring at mostly-bare-dirt beds with puny divisions of shrubs and perennials are over. The beds that I created the soonest after we moved in have now filled in. Granted, there are a lot of self-sowers filling in the gaps, but give me a viola over a dandelion in a garden bed any day. Here’s what the Front Walk North bed looked like in September 2012:

Newly created garden bed

The front walk had not yet been installed when this bed was created in fall 2012

The front walk, you may remember, was installed last summer by my sons.

June flower bed in a cold climate

What a difference two years makes! This is the same bed viewed from the front walk.

Here’s the newly created bed that would border the southern side of the front walk:
Newly created flower bed

Lots of bare dirt in Fall 2012.

Take a look at it now:
Mature garden bed

That rose from the first picture has died, but the rest of the bed has done well.

More Highlights From My Cold Climate Garden

Pansies and 'Dark Towers' penstemon

Serendipity: These pansies just happened to bloom in front of ‘Dark Towers’ penstemon, whose foliage echoes the purple tones of the pansies.

Scarlet and orange deciduous azaleas

Two deciduous azaleas, already here when we moved in, anchor the parking pad bed.

Siberian iris, purple lupines

Siberian iris and self-sown lupines in the Slope Garden, viewed from the driveway.

Purple lupines, purple iris, gold iris

Those same flowers viewed from the bottom of the slope. You can see a few ‘Bengal Tiger’ iris as well.

Chestine Gowdy peony

I’m pretty sure this peony is ‘Chestine Gowdy.’ There is a row of peonies at the bottom of the Slope Garden.

Supertunia Black Cherry and Renegade cordyline

Black Cherry Supertunias and Renegade cordyline make a dynamic duo.

The Black Cherry supertunias are trial plants from Proven Winners and won’t be available until 2015.
Silver plants and ferns in shade

‘Looking Glass’ brunnera echoes the lamium in color and leaf shape. The variegated bulbous oat grass and Solomon’s shield provide contrast in color and texture in this small shade garden.

Sophys Choice David Austin rose pink hardy

This David Austin rose, ‘Sophy’s Choice,’ is hardy when grown on its own roots (not grafted).

True-blue Jay Bird Siberian iris

I don’t know why Siberian iris ‘Jay Bird’ isn’t more widely grown. What a gorgeous blue!

Thank you for visiting my garden today. I hope you saw something that inspired you!

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens. Note: the Black Cherry supertunias were received free of charge to trial in my garden.

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.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

stephy August 14, 2014, 12:45 pm

what colors do you have?

Gabriel T. July 31, 2014, 5:48 am

Very nice selection of flowers ! And great improvement over the last 2 years. Great job !

Patsy Bell Hobson July 17, 2014, 12:12 pm

I love visiting your garden and seeing so many flowers in bloom. Ah, to have flowers everywhere you turn. Nice blog.

Sarah July 2, 2014, 8:58 am

Wow! What a transformation. I love the pops of color. Those Jay Birds are gorgeous!! Cheers!

chris nicholson June 29, 2014, 7:11 pm

One time at our garden club’s “Spouse Picnic” in August there were 5 prizes awarded at drawings. One by one the prizes were chosen. I got the last number drawn and there was a strange bulb that hadn’t been chosen. My introduction to Colchicums. Just last week I trimmed off the huge patch of deterioriated foliage and now we wait for the huge autumn surprise! It’s been about 15 years of regular increasing bloom!

Kathy Purdy June 29, 2014, 7:20 pm

What a great story, Chris! You can probably divide that clump and spread it around if you want.

Libby June 24, 2014, 1:31 pm

Just beautiful! We just cleared our a ton of our beds this year, and I’m looking forward to trying some new flowers maybe next year! What do you suggest? Your gardens are so stunning!

Libby June 24, 2014, 1:31 pm

Just beautiful! We just cleared our a ton of our beds this year, and I’m looking forward to trying some new flowers maybe next year! What do you suggest? Your gardens are so stunning!

Donna@Gardens Eye View June 22, 2014, 6:01 pm

Kathy I can see why you are doing a happy dance as those beds are beautiful…and I love that blue iris…I will have to look for it.

Frank June 18, 2014, 9:53 pm

drats… somehow I managed to delete my comment!
Things really look great in the new beds, it’s amazing how things can move ahead so quickly and I love the before and after photos. You’re right about the selfsowers. I judge my progress by what goes into the compost pile, just a few years ago it was all dandelions and thistle, now I’m starting to see a few daisies, lambsears, nicotinas…. it’s nice to have too much of a good thing every now and then!
Great combos, the pot is a great match and I never would have thought of the lamium with the brunnera, too close is what I thought but the different foliage sizes really make it a cool combo.
The picture of the pansies and penstemon is perfect.

Frank June 18, 2014, 9:46 pm

Wow! What a difference in such a short time, I really love before and afters 🙂
The combo of petunia and cordyline is perfect, I should do the same with mine and maybe try a few red coleus since the pertunia isn’t out yet. The picture of the violas and penstemon is also a great combo, and I would have never tried the lamium with the brunnera…. so much to think about!
I see a lot of poppy seedlings. I’m going to have to go back in your archives and see what I did wrong with my seed this winter. Not a single seedling…

Eleni June 18, 2014, 4:07 pm

Just wow! Make that a just WOW!

Chante June 18, 2014, 3:35 pm

Oh my! They are all so beautiful. I agree, the “Jay Bird” should be grown more, because it’s my favorite of all of them.

Helen at Toronto Gardens June 18, 2014, 3:08 pm

Gorgeous, Kathy. You must be so pleased.

Ann @ Such a Mama June 18, 2014, 12:32 pm

So nice to see the progression from years past! I love that blue iris! We have a huge strip long our driveway in three different colors. It is my WW today at

Kathy Purdy June 18, 2014, 2:05 pm

Wow! Folks, check out Ann’s iris–what a picture!

Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern June 18, 2014, 8:09 am

Wow! I sure appreciate how quickly a garden fills in … You must feel so proud (and you should)! Those Jays are sweet little Siberian iris. Such wonderful color throughout your gardens and thanks for the preview of Supertunia Black Cherry – a beauty.

Kathy Purdy June 18, 2014, 2:06 pm

Thank you, Kathy. You have quite a garden yourself.

Charlie@Seattle Trekker June 17, 2014, 10:44 pm

Wow, your garden is so lush and so beautiful. That short walk through the garden each morning must take a bit of time.

Kathy Purdy June 18, 2014, 2:06 pm

Yes, Charlie, it is a pretty big garden. I guess “short” is relative.

Les June 17, 2014, 4:33 pm

It’s amazing how just a few seasons and the careful attentions of the gardener can transform a patch of land.

Dee Nash June 17, 2014, 4:12 pm

Kathy, those look splendid. I’ll take a viola over a dandelion any day too. ~~Dee

ro June 17, 2014, 3:56 pm

I will attest to the fact that the garden looks great! I would guess “Festiva Maxima” for the whitish peony with the red flecks.

Kathy Purdy June 18, 2014, 2:08 pm

I don’t think so, Ro, because ‘Festiva Maxima’ doesn’t have the pink guard petals in any picture I’ve seen. They aren’t listing it this year, but when Old House Gardens sold ‘Chestine Gowdy’ a few years ago, it was a dead ringer for mine.

Donalyn@TheCreeksideCook June 17, 2014, 3:53 pm

It is really looking so nice, Kathy. Your patience is definitely rewarded. And I love those petunias – really pretty color!