What a great time for gardeners! June is bustin’ out all over, just as the lyrics say in that old Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. The spring bulbs are finished but many of the Allium are blooming now: christophii with its huge heads on short stems, roseum with its tiny pale pink flowers on very short stems, and nigrum with its white flowers on eighteen inch stems.
The Baptisia are blooming. Used to be we had just one, the species B.australis with its beautiful blue flowers but now we have so many cultivars: ‘Carolina Moonlight’ (a beautiful pale yellow),
‘Purple Smoke’ (a pale purple), ‘Twilite Prairie Blues’ (a purple and yellow bicolor). There are many others but these are the ones I am growing. The bonus of Baptisia is the pods that will develop, green at first but by late summer, black, and they rattle in the wind.
What really makes us ooh and ahh, however, are the roses. I have no patience for the old tea roses that are usually leafless by July because of black spot and powdery mildew but I love climbing roses and the newer hybrids that are mostly pest and disease free.
Many years ago, I discovered the Canadian Explorer Series of roses that are so hardy the canes need no protection during the winter. Although they are supposedly rebloomers, that has not been my experience. However, the June bloom is so prolific, I just delight in them each June. On the left side of the house is ‘John Cabot’ and on the right is ‘William Baffin’. After they’ve been in the ground for five to ten years, they do start to sucker a bit and those suckers need to be dug.
In the back, on my garage, I have ‘Vanity’, a lovely medium pink that blooms all summer and on the back of the kitchen wall, I have an everblooming pale pink climber whose name I have, unfortunately, lost. It holds sway above a blue lacecap hydrangea that will probably bloom in a few weeks. (As an aside, it looks like this will be a dynamite hydrangea year.)
I have one other climber named ‘Bobbie James’, a white whose name I couldn’t resist. She only blooms in June but what a splash she makes. She climbs up into my Styrax and would cover the garage roof if I allowed it – but not good for the roof.
I have several shorter and smaller-flowered roses that are all part of the Oso Easy Series. They start out really short at twelve inches but give them a few years in the garden and they usually reach three feet. Depending on the siting, I don’t always want them that tall but it’s very easy to prune them to any height I want. ‘Paprika’ is situated in front of ‘Nastarana’, a white climber that tolerates partial shade but is climbing up into my tatarian maple as it seeks better light.
‘Bonica’, a nice pale pink, is not meant to be a climber but I’ve made it into one and it now covers one side of an arch for me while ‘Autumn Sunset’, which is a climber, and ‘Home Run’, which is not, cover the other side.
Which roses are you enjoying?