Floral Friday: June 2

After a brief period of serious greenery in the front garden (along with some slightly wild self-seeded perennials), the lack of color is switching gears this week, as the wisteria, peonies, irises and poppies steal the spotlight. The wisteria I grow is 'Amethyst Falls' and it is the native, non-invasive variety. The flowers have a signature scent and even though the flower clusters are not as long as the Chinese variety, this wisteria is well-behaved and lovely. The bumblebees are attracted to this variety and systematically pull apart the flower blossoms to get to the nectar inside.

This spring has been very rainy, so many of the photos that I've taken this week were in low light conditions due to cloud cover in the late afternoon, early evening time slot. However, flowers with raindrops always make for beautiful compositions, as the oriental poppies below highlight.

My yellow tree peony is finished but now the herbaceous peonies are starting to bloom. The first one to bloom is always this pink single peony. This garden bed is getting a little crowded, with perennial geranium and Joe pye weed mixed in, along with many self-seeded native asters that I need to cull. Next to follow is the dark magenta pink peony and the double white peony (not shown in photos this week, but it is blooming right now).

Sadly I've lost many of my bearded irises this year, and I think the culprit might be iris borers. I definitely need to dig up and relocate my surviving irises this summer, not only to check the beds for borer activity but to divide the large clumps. One of the varieties that is blooming now is below.

It's also honeysuckle time in the front and back garden, which always attracts the hummingbirds.

Also in the back garden is foxglove and Corydalis lutea or "Yellow Bleeding Heart," which self-seeds (sometimes ants help with this) and adds a bit of color to the shadier portions of the garden.  It's also deer and rabbit resistant!

I tried a new type of pansy this year from seed called "Heat Elite Primrose Pansy," and it has just started to bloom now in multiple shades of yellow. This variety is supposed to bloom during extreme temperatures, and I have it planted in my black urns with my Proven Winners* "Supertunia Bordeaux" (shown below). (It's also the Year of the Pansy, if you haven't yet celebrated that!)

Here is the lovely milkweed patch that was started with the help of my gardening friend Diane. I can't wait to see if the monarch butterflies lay eggs on it!

In the edibles department, I have just started to set out my Burpee** tomato plants, since the weather over the past few weeks has been a little chilly and rainy. I've kept the plants inside under my grow lights since they arrived earlier this month. This "Tomato Gladiator" from Burpee looks ready to take off! This variety is able to resist blossom end rot and will make 8 oz. paste tomatoes.

Here is the garlic before a top dressing of compost and fertilizer. I'm hoping the garlic gets a bit bigger before the scapes begin to grow.

The plum trees are (so far) holding off the gypsy moths. Here is my "Shiro" plum, which has an amazing amount of fruit set for this year. (I'm thinking a trip to the town food bank will be in order once the plums and pears are ready for harvest.)

What's blooming and growing in your garden this week?

* Proven Winners provided me with sample plants to trail in my garden this growing season.

** Burpee provided me with sample tomato and pepper plants to trial in my garden this growing season.


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