June 26, 2023

A Simple Vase to Celebrate Summer

vase 1

The garden is full of blooming beauties, especially after recent rains. We didn't get enough rain to break the drought, but it helps.

At the time I prepared this vase, the first Zinnia (Z. elegans 'State Fair Mix') of the season had bloomed. I had to celebrate it...and the beginning of true summer...with a simple arrangement. 

state fair mix

While I don't have a true "favorite" in the garden, Zinnias are among my favorite summer-blooming cut flowers. I grow them from seeds started indoors in late winter/early spring. And once blooming, they continue to provide endless flowers with repeated cuttings until the first hard freeze. Hummingbirds and other pollinators love them, and so do I.

ostrich fern

Also, in the simple arrangement: Fiddlehead Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) of which we have an endless supply.

deptford pink and calamintha

Deptford Pinks (Dianthus armeria) and Calamintha (C. nepeta). I probably should pull all the former, since they're non-native and somewhat invasive. But I prefer to wait until they flower to enjoy the beauty, and then uproot them.


A large Allium seedhead: I believe this one is 'Ambassador.'

may night

'May Night' Salvias, which after deadheading will bloom several more times in the weeks ahead.

sunrise rose

A handful of the bright and warm 'Sunrise Rose' Lantanas (L. camara).

vase 2

It's a simple arrangement, but a sweet way to celebrate the first Zinnia. :)


As I was wrapping up this post, I noticed the Asiatic Lilies (Lilium asiaticum) were beginning to bloom, so I picked a couple and plopped them in a vase.

I'm linking this post to the meme In a Vase on Monday, hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Check it out and participate!

June 15, 2023

June Bloom Day: Colorful, Strange, and Plentiful

potted plants

On this June Bloom Day, I use the words colorful, strange, and plentiful to describe the garden for these reasons:

Colorful: While the blooms are always colorful at this time of year, for some reason they seem to "pop" more than usual on the landscape currently. I don't know why.

Strange: Where do I start? We've had weird weather in April, May, and June (so far). Near-record and record hot days followed by near-record, very cold days; some "perfect" days; and now we're in a drought (though we've had some recent light rain). The weather never seems to be "normal" for the time of year anymore.

Plentiful: So many things are blooming; I picked just a few...mainly plants at their peak, annuals, and colorful stars in the garden.

allium ambassador

Alliums...I have many varieties in the garden. Some are faded; some haven't bloomed yet. But a few are lovely currently, including the tall, stately 'Ambassador' Alliums.

allium unifolium

American Garlic (Allium unifolium) has had a good season, despite the temperature swings and lack of rain.

lantana 1

lantana 2

The annuals currently taking the stage are the Lantanas (L. camara). I get a kick out of their changeable colors; the Lantanas in both photos above are the same variety: Lucky 'Sunrise Rose.'


Companions with the Lantanas in color and placement are 'Snapshot Rose' Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus). These are somewhat shorter (10 inches) than many Snapdragons I've grown in the past, but the flower spikes are full and tall. 


'May Night' Salvia: While its parentage apparently is somewhat debated currently, it's been an anchor to the side sunny garden for two decades. It's a regal, reliable garden stalwart for the pleasure of humans and pollinators, alike.


On a whim, I purchased this 'Starsister Scarlet and Yellow' Dahlia. It's a compact, shrubby plant, and I currently have it placed in the side sunny garden. I haven't decided if I'll keep it in the pot or place it in the ground. I love the bright colors!

pot at side

Near the Dahlias is this pot filled with French Marigolds (Tagetes patula), Spotlight 'Lime Heart' Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas), and 'Serena Blue' Angelonia (A. angustifolia). I think I need to deadhead the latter to encourage more blooms (and maybe give it a little more sun). But I expect it will be lovely through the growing season.

I'll plan to post about the other potted plants in the weeks ahead. All potted plants, including those shown at the beginning and end of this post, are bringing much color and joy to the garden, despite the strange growing season so far.

What's blooming in your garden? To enjoy other lovelies on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, visit May Dreams Gardens.

June 06, 2023

The Magical Calla Lily

calla 1

I've always had a thing for Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia spp.). They're native to central and southern Africa, so of course they're not hardy here. For many years, however, I've cut them back in fall and brought them into a dark corner of the sunroom for the winter. They only get light watering until late winter/early spring when they start to re-emerge. They always come back, and the foliage is full and lush.

calla 2

I don't get flowers every year, though. When I do, it's a thrill! I'm especially taken with the salmon/coral blooms.

calla 5

The bulb mix I purchased many years ago offers a nice variety, but I think mainly white, coral, and yellow blooms have appeared in this mix. They prefer sun, and while they get plenty of it during winter and early spring, my garden is mainly partial shade from May through October.

calla 3

Calla Lilies are great cut flowers, but with just one, I might simply keep it on the plant until it fades.

calla 4

Such a beautiful bloom!