“When June comes dancing o’er the death of May,
With scarlet roses tinting her green breast,
And mating thrushes ushering in her day,
And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest.”
~ A Memory of June, by Claude Mckay
The first of June in North Texas, where a forecast “cold front” promising highs “only” in the mid-90s is music to the ears. We are coming off one of our warmest and driest springs, with summer heat setting in early. But the garden still shines bright.
The coneflowers are coming on strong. I love the varying shades of pink as the blooms slowly open to reveal the center cone, the source of its name. Coneflowers will bloom from now until the approaching winter. I deadhead coneflowers through the summer, then stop deadheading them in early fall so that the cones can remain upright through the winter, a source of food for songbirds. Come spring, I will remove the remaining stalks standing in the garden and scatter the seeds wherever I want coneflowers to grow.
“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.” ~ On Gardening, by Gertrude Jekyll
The colors in the early June garden still radiate, no sun bleached petals yet. The daylilies are having their time in the spotlight.
“It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes
And pleasant scents the noses.”
~ The Month of June, by Nathaniel Parker Willis
“And since all this loveliness can not be Heaven, I know in my heart it is June.” ~ Abba Woolson
“In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.” ~ Aldo Leopold
I love growing sedums in clay pots inside ornate metal hanging baskets. They bring another layer to the garden, where the sun, peeking through the tree leaves, highlights sedum and metal alike.
No bees this morning, but the bee balm is blooming beautifully.
Vitex, sometimes call the Texas Lilac, is blooming and buzzing with life this June morning. (Perhaps it has lured the bees away from the bee balm?) Alas, the vitex smells nothing like the real lilac! (I find it malodorous…) Vitex has been noted as a Texas Superstar plant, as it is very well adapted to grow and thrive throughout the state, even in hot and dry locations. The spiky lavender blooms attract both bees and butterflies in abundance.
“Summer is coming!” the soft breezes whisper;
“Summer is coming!” the glad birdies sing.
Summer is coming – I hear her quick footsteps;
Take your last look at the beautiful Spring.
~ Summer is Coming, by Dora Goodale
Passion fruit vine is showing off its exotic blossoms. It scrambles here and there throughout my garden, not being the best behaved of plants. Passion fruit vine is often grown in butterfly gardens, as the gulf fritillary butterfly uses this as a host plant.
I love to grow fennel both for its ferny foliage and for the black swallowtail butterflies. This caterpillar has been munching and growing for the past week or so.
“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” ~ L.M. Montgomery (Montgomery is the author of The Anne of Green Gables series, a great book to read-aloud! Boys and girls alike can identify with the lovable Anne.)
Though I don’t have much shade, I love to tuck in hosta plants wherever I can. While grown for their foliage, hosta have beautiful and delicate blooms in early summer.
Hosta leaves and blooms are both edible. I have not yet tried them myself, but these blossoms would be a colorful addition to any salad. (As would daylily blooms, which are also edible.)
I love how dainty hosta blooms are! This one is no larger than a nickle.
Hellebores, which began blooming in mid-winter, are still going strong.
I love using metal tubs and buckets and such as planters. This old tub is planted with coleus, rue, silver thyme and begonia. Rue is a host plant to both the black swallowtail and the giant swallowtail butterflies.
An orange scented geranium and an old ceiling tile add a mix of texture to my potted garden by the front door.
Ah… The fig tree. Beautiful leaves. Wondrous shade. Edible figs! Though they are little now, they hold the promise of an abundant harvest.
Once upon a time, when I grew antique roses by the dozens, I planted garlic around the garden, as it is reported to ward off insects. While it didn’t save my garden from being ravished by rose rosette, I still have garlic blooming here and there. I love their large flower heads.
I will leave you with one more bloom – a mutant coneflower. And one last poetic look at June.
“With flower petals soft unfurled
And vines around the trellis curled.
The grass is sweet and richly green
With shining luminescent sheen –
Your face, my June, a beauteous scene.”
~ My Lovely June, by Valerie Dohren