General Subjects > Flowers and Foliage Now

June 2022, Northern Hemisphere.

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Mowing the lawn will never be quite the same again....

Claire Cockcroft:
Thanks for posting that picture, Giles.  It put a big smile on my face!


Spring weather has been reluctant to give way to our typical summertime heat. Currently the skies are overcast and there is a chance of rain over the next few days. There has been plenty of hot weather too. Typical June heat is forecasted to return later this week. This seesaw temperature pattern is not unusual for May and early June in our region.

I have been very pleased with the integration of ornamental plants with the grains, vegetables and fruits I enjoy growing. The transition from the spring blooming ornamentals to the summer blooming species has occupied my mind lately. I have this concept in my mind of an oasis garden, or maybe it is my impression of the Garden of Eden. I have this idea of our summer garden filled with blooming plants, fragrances, and delicious ripening fruit of all sorts.

Right now I would like to incorporate more of the bold brilliantly colored Meso-American Salvias in our garden. Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ (pictured above) fits in perfectly with this scheme. We have several plants of this species in our garden including one in a large pot that can be moved around the garden and enjoyed as the seasons change. This species blooms spring to autumn and is perfect for my ideal oasis garden.

In our shaded garden many forms of Lilium pardalinum and hybrids with Lilium pardalinum as a parent are blooming.

Lilium ‘Mount Etna’ is a Lilium pardalinum x L. occidentale hybrid that I created way back in the 1990’s. The F1 hybrids of this cross have been tough, long-lived plants. Breeding stalled out in the 1990’s, however now I can continue with this breeding line.

Silene laniciata ssp. californica persists in our garden. It is a fine species, which I hope to grow more of in the future.

Penstemon azureus var angustissimus is another species that performs well in our garden. In this photograph this xeric species is blooming among the dry flowering stems and foliage of the annual Eschscholzia caespitosa.


I first gathered seed of Clarkia gracilis ssp. traceyi in Colusa County, California. I lost this line and was able to reestablish this species from seed acquired from Seedhunt. I have a strong preference for our local native Clarkia species. This spring I started removing all the non-native Clarkias from our garden and will continue only with our local native species, of which there are many. The goal is to have these native species seed about our garden with help on my part.

Here Clarkia gracilis ssp. traceyi is blooming with Brodiaea elegans ssp elegans. Both are local native species and both species seed about in our garden frequently making delightful combinations. Species such as these provide and great transition to the summer blooming garden.

I am currently selecting deep flower color forms of Brodiaea elegans ssp. elegans. Darker colored flowers are not unusual with this species. In the wild I have encountered pink, bicolored, and white forms of this species. I will keep an eye out for these rare color forms and hope to eventually incorporate them into our garden.

I have a number of Erythranthe cardinalis x lewisii F1 hybrids in our garden. The F1 hybrids are very robust and will bloom on and off all summer. [Jasmin:  Robert had a bunch of extra seedpots of both red-orange and golden Erythranthe which I appropriated for my front garden project.  I have some of his West Coast Lilly hybrids, a few Rhododendron occidentale, and now a very large patch of Erythranthe.  These grow in proximity of one another in nature.  The front garden is taking on the appearance of these riparian environments, including one Acer macrophyllum under the shade of an oak I planted back in 1992.  There are other, non-native plantings around the native plant circle, such as a couple Hydrangeas, a large swath of sweet peas, irises, tulips, and hybrids of deciduous azaleas.  I would like some other flower displays in this mixed periphery, perhaps hollyhocks.  Whatever Robert has in excess for the back and is not for his hybridizing or breeding projects, I immediately scavenge for the more public front. I have my latest plantings under protective net and corralled to keep the wild and feral beasts from digging up my display.]

I used both yellow and red forms of Erythranthe cardinalis as parents in the F1 hybrid lines. When the yellow form of Erythranthe cardinalis was used as the seed parent the progeny bloomed with a range of yellow colored flowers, pale yellow to deep golden yellow. One line possesses lavender-pink flowers obtained from Erythranthe lewesii. These plants are pollen sterile for the most part; however I successfully selfed one plant and have two healthy seedlings coming along well that will start blooming later this season. With luck these plants will be fertile in both directions.

Anyway, enough news from our garden right now.  [Stay tuned, as the wife is actively planning and planting.]

Maggi Young:
From Anton Edwards:
"Help fill the June gap with some red. Tulipa sprengeri Is spreading generously in most open spots."

 "Ourisia coccinea sits in light shade near the Scots pines."


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