June 15, 2020

June Bloom Day

Today is June Bloom Day with May Dreams Garden Blog, so here are some photos of the flowers from this morning.  We have had a long, cool spring here in Spokane Valley, Washington State.  The Ambassador alliums are in full bloom right now.  These are the most vigorous of the allium bulbs in my garden.  They multiply each year, their color is rich and deep, and their flowers last for a long time.

Two Galaxy Blue agapanthus plants are new additions this spring.  I have planted 'hardy' agapanthus cultivars in my zone 6 garden before and they've either languished or disappeared altogether.  This new introduction from Walters Gardens is supposed to be a vigorous perennial for zone 6, so I am hopeful that they will come back as promised next year.  I also planted two Galaxy white agapanthus from the same series.  I miss agapanthus from our time in California, so these cultivars are very exciting for me. 

A Masterpiece lupine blooms with the last of the Medallion poppies, Globemaster alliums, April Night salvia and Caradonna salvia.  A newly planted Boulder Blue fescue is shown at front.  I've become a big fan of these evergreen (everblue?) grasses for their year-round contribution of peaceful steel-blue color.

Prairie Dusk penstemon is in full bloom in front of a Red Dragon contorted filbert.  I thought these penstemons would be July-bloomers, but I was wrong.  Oh well, they look nice with the rest of the June show.

Big Blue or Sapphire Blue sea hollies are in bloom and starting to turn cobalt.  I planted both types, only one has started to flower, and I can't remember which one it is.  

In the West garden the Walker's Low catmint is in full glory, the Stella d'Oro daylilies are overgrown and asking for division, and the Crown Princess Margareta and Teasing Georgia roses are blooming lightly on the trellises.  

Blue Moon wisteria is blooming and smells wonderful.  I have two planted in the garden and they're not huge yet, but they bloom each year.

The climbing hydrangea is in bloom with white bleeding heart, Green Spice heuchera and mukdenia in the background.

Green Lotus peony has such an interesting flower.  They're still standing up despite lots of rain.

Both of the Korean Heartthrob dogwood trees have been in glorious soft pink bloom for over a week.  They're loving the cool, wet weather.

My Kopper Kettle Itoh peony is nearly finished blooming.  I have it growing where honey locust trees allow the emerging peony foliage full sun before the trees leaf out in May, then provide light shade when the peony is in bloom so the flowers don't fade as much.

June 9, 2020

Pink Oriental Poppies: Medallion and Harlem

The pink Oriental poppies have been gorgeous for the past couple of weeks.  In the photo above, Medallion 'super' poppies are back lit by the evening sun. 
I have three large clumps of Medallion poppies in the northwest corner of the backyard.  They're surrounded by other tall perennials and have reached about four feet tall in bloom.  The photo above also features Allium christophii, Globemaster allium, Masterpiece lupine, April Night salvia, Caradonna salvia, and a Royal Purple smoke bush.

The fuzzy, pale green foliage emerges early in the spring.  The flowers open dark rose and fade in the sun to antique rose before dropping their petals.  The color is a softer color echo of the maroon foliage nearby.

Globemaster allium bloom in the foreground with Caesar's Brother Siberian iris and Ambassador allium in the background.  And those gorgeous poppies back lit by the sun, mmm hmm!  I almost threw my Medallion poppy roots away a few years ago.  I had them growing in too much shade so they were floppy and the color wasn't as nice.  I'm so glad I gave them a chance in a sunnier spot.

Also in this area are three young and small clumps of Harlem super poppies.  Super poppies have the potential to rebloom later in the season, though I haven't seen this in my garden.  

Harlem has black splotches at the base of each petal while Medallion does not.  This year the Harlem blooms are smaller than Medallion, but that might change as the Harlem plants mature.

Currently the petals on some of the flowers are mauve-burgundy, while other petals are more reddish.  Some flowers are half and half of each color.  I'm not sure if this is a weird weather-related occurrence or if it will happen every year.  It's interesting but not beautiful.

Oriental poppies are hardy perennials in zones 3-7.  They grow best in full sun and moist but well-drained soil.  The entire plant goes dormant about a month after blooming, so it's important to plant them near other perennials or shrubs that will expand to fill the space.  You can also find them in red, orange, salmon, plum and white.  I'm a big fan of these showy June blooms!