Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Here's What's Blooming in June

It's Bloom Day in the garden blogger world. On the 15th of each month you can see what's blooming in gardens across the globe by visiting our host May Dreams Gardens for links to participating blogs.
 *     *     *     *     *

Here at Southern Meadows, we kicked off June with periodic rain showers and cooler than normal temperatures. Seriously, you can't beat morning temps of 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) growing into 80 degrees by afternoon. That's perfect gardening weather and you better believe I was out getting dirt under my nails! Of course we knew it wouldn't last long, after all it's June and we live in Georgia. But the garden responded with glorious blooms. Many of the sun loving perennials are putting on a show of colorful flowers, which the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds are owning.

We grow Geranium maculatum 'Rozanne' in several areas in the garden, some in full shade and other in morning sun. Both situations do well. Our newest planting is above the rock wall along a path that leads to our back driveway. Here I can enjoy the blooms as I take the dogs out for their morning stroll but small bees and butterflies probably appreciate it even more.


Stokes Aster is a finicky plant in our garden and historically I haven't had a lot of luck getting them established. Our drought took all the blue blooming Stokes Asters last year but the white and yellow, which grew side by side endured. Since I didn't dead them, some seedlings are growing, expanding the little aster spread. Our native bees and butterflies enjoy the frilly petals that invite them in to forage on the bloom's nectar.


leafcutter bee covered in pollen
Painted Lady Butterfly on Stokes Aster

The sundrops (Oenothera) are a yellow evening primrose, which I received as a pass-a-long plant a few years ago. The bees visit them constantly using the petal's nectar guide pattern, which is evident under ultraviolet light and visible to its pollinators, bees, butterflies and moths.


A new perennial shrub in our garden this year, Spirea tomentosa or Steeplebush, is popular with the bumblebees. They dance frantically around, circling the pink plumes.

 

We use Achillea millefolium or yarrow on our hillside gardens because it is very drought tolerant and thrives in challenging soils. The blooms support native bees and butterflies as well as attract parasitoid and predatory insects. We've pared the yellow yarrow with orange butterfly milkweed in one garden bed,


while creating a mass of pink in another, planting it with Echinacea purpurea. This is part of our garden we've named Pollinator Hill because of the concentration of pollinator friendly plants. You can visit this area of the garden and always find it filled with butterflies, bees, bettles and hummingbirds.


A favorite summer bloom is Gaillardia or blanket flower. It has reseeded in various areas in our garden and is covered in bees and butterflies during its long bloom season from spring to late fall.

butterfly resting on stem of Golden Alexander amid the Gaillardia blooms
Gaillardia hybrid at edge of driveway garden bed

A show stopper on Pollinator Hill is Rudbeckia Maxima with its tall stems and yellow brown-eyed blooms not to mention the unique bluish green foliage.

Rudbeckia maxima with rudbeckia laciniata
Coreopsis verticillata is a favorite bloom of mine. The threaded leaves and welcoming blooms just make such a dainty yet bold statement. This is one of our newly planted areas where I am trying to get the coreopsis established around some small boulders.


Hydrangea arborescens or Smooth Hydrangea is the star of our June garden. Covered in a variety of pollinators, this shade loving shrub is an essential plant to have in a wildlife garden and demonstrates that you can support pollinators in a shade garden.  Just look at the selection of visitors on the inflorescence.

Flower Beetle

Long horned beetles

Bumblebee
Our aquatic garden is also in full bloom with photogenic water lily flowers each day. This pond is home to lots of frogs and fish. Our nine goldfish have produced 10 baby fry this spring so our pond is growing!


Next week I will be touring gardens in the Washington, D.C. area with fellow garden bloggers. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see lots of garden goodness.

21 comments:

  1. Beautiful blooms, and I love seeing bees and butterflies!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lea! We enjoy watching all the different butterflies visiting plants around the garden. Bees too. They work much harder than we do in our summer heat!

      Delete
  2. These blooms are nice and I love seeing all the bugs. Happy GBBD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love insects here and I'm so accustom to seeing them that photographing a bloom without some sort of wildlife on them seems naked.

      Delete
  3. I am not familiar with some of your blooms, but i once had that gaillardia given by a friend from the US. I love it so much as they are so nice to photograph in all angles, however it was not able to acclimatize well with our hot climate and long dry season. I actually miss it now when i see yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once established gaillardia does pretty well in drought but not for a very extended period of time. I'd imagine it wouldn't acclimatize well in your region. One of the joys of visiting garden blogs is we can enjoy exotic blooms from a far.

      Delete
  4. So many wonderful blooms in your garden right now! I find it amazing that no matter how many times I've seen the same flowers bloom, it always feel like such a new and wonderful experience each year.

    I particularly love the Gaillardias. That's one flower I keep forgetting about and definitely want to include in my garden. Thanks for the reminder - this time I've written it down! And REALLY looking forward to seeing you and catching up at the Fling :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I agree Margaret. It never gets old. Every bloom season, even if it is the same flowers, there is something new to discover and observe. I think if you put plants you love in your garden it always creates a new and rewarding experience. Looking forward to seeing you in less than a week! I wish I could send you seeds from my garden (but I don't think I can across the border, can I?)

      Delete
    2. Seeds can cross the border - it's tubers, bulbs and plants that are an issue. I would love to do a seed exchange - we'll have to chat about that next week :)

      Delete
  5. I can see that R. maxima really is a showstopper. Steeplebush is beautiful - is it a native?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spirea tomentosa is native Jason. http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SPTO2

      Delete
  6. I was impressed by all the pollinators that show up in your photos! You've clearly done a great job at creating a pollinator-friendly garden and I suspect you're also a much better photographer than I am. While I have no shortage of bees in my own (coastal Southern California) garden, I'm still hard at work at luring in the butterflies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The key to getting butterflies in my garden is providing host plants where they lay their eggs. Otherwise a garden is like a fast food restaurant drive through for them. I suspect if you do that you'll get even more butterflies. There should be an abundance in your area.

      Delete
  7. So many great blooms that the pollinators are clearly loving! I love your mound of blanket flower. So great to have some cooler weather, isn't it? Have fun in DC!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was great while it lasted. Now summer has really hit us and its all hot and humid and threatening to rain but doesn't. Hope you will make it to a Blogger Fling one of these years Indie!

      Delete
  8. Oh, I really like that Coreopsis, and it would certainly be in my garden if I had more sun! I love your circular driveway garden with the Gaillardia--the placement, the rocks, and of course the flowers themselves are perfect. Have fun at the Fling! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love seeing what's blooming in your amazing garden Karin....and that Steeplebush has caught my eye....I can see why the pollinators love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The steeplebush is a keeper. I have really enjoyed the blooms and seeing all the bees feast on it.

      Delete
  10. Lots of lovely flowers, and I look forward to seeing you at the Fling, Karin! Pam/Digging: penick.net

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can see why pollinators are attracted to your garden! I keep telling myself to try Geranium maculatum in my woodland garden. I would love to have another plant that would flower there.

    ReplyDelete

"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment...I love hearing from you!