Thursday, June 25, 2009


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

June is the time of abundance in the flower garden. So much bloom all at once it's difficult to appreciate each new flower. The roses, lilies, salvia, not to mention the annuals are all covered in billowing masses of color. The best any of us can do is pay tribute to the all too brief display of a few of our favorites.

David Austin's flamboyant masterpiece Pat Austin. A departure from his pale pinks and buttery yellows.

Salvia nemorosa 'Marcus' is a small salvia remaining under a foot tall. The clumps are compact and don't sprawl like May Night and Caradonna. In my garden I've used this excellent option for tight spots between plants that benefit from some all season color. It does well in my clay soil and withstands our drought periods.

I fell in love with the colors of this pelargonium 'Elegance Purple Majesty' Masses of lovely blooms all summer long. Of course there's a downside--constant deadheading. I'd have to say it's worth the extra trouble.

Meidiland Magic is often described as a ground cover rose. The idea of using roses as a ground cover strikes me as a painful choice. There is no way to prevent all weeds from growing up in any ground cover. It seems to me that weeding an expanse of tightly compressed roses would be a very uncomfortable experience.

Magic is a good choice for pegging or it can be used as a climber. Roses that are pegged (keeping the canes horizontal rather than vertical) produce more bloom. I've experimented on this rose trying to recreate some of the beautiful sculptures the British create by pegging canes in a pattern. Sadly, I haven't mastered the art;)

In my garden Magic blooms all summer. The flowers are small and produced in clusters of six or more in an eye catching electric pink.

Phlox paniculata is becoming an obsession with me. Two years ago I stumbled upon an absolutely perfect phlox, one of the Volcano series. Constant bloom attracted tiger swallowtails in droves all season long. No disease, no pests, very compact requiring no staking. If I could find any of the Volcano phlox I'd happily buy a hundred in various colors. Where are they? I haven't been able to locate any since that original purchase.

This year I've added a dozen 'non-Volcano' phlox hoping to find one or more that perform almost as well. The one above was labeled 'Blue Paradise' (not sure the name is correct) under a foot tall. It began blooming very early in June and continues with no sign of quitting. We will see how disease resistant it proves to be.

I'm going to try to maintain a regular schedule of posting, at least thru the summer months. Mondays and Thursdays hopefully I will have something to say. I know it is sometimes difficult when bloggers post irregularly. My blog list updates me when my favorites post new subjects but if you don't use a blog list, it can be hard checking in frequently looking for updates.

A non garden related news note: Some of you may have seen this on CNN. We had a train derailment in Rockford a couple days ago. Not normally something I would blog about but this accident happened to take place directly behind the building where I work. One woman was killed, several others were badly burned. All the victims were waiting in their cars at the railroad crossing.

The train was hauling tanker cars full of ethanol which exploded when the cars left the track. We were fortunate that our building is set back a couple hundred yards from the tracks.

(Rockford Register Star Photos.)

The news media is consumed with the telling and retelling. They have progressed from 'what happened' to 'why did it happen' and are now concentrating on 'who's fault is it'.


JC said...

Lovely rose and flower photos ... like usual but I always need to tell you ... how nice they are and how I wish my roses and flowers looked as nice as yours ...

WOW ~ to have that be so close to you. I'm glad that you are ok but still ...

I wish peace to all of those involved ...

Rose said...

I saw this accident on the news and wondered if it was anywhere close to you. What a tragedy; my thoughts are with those who suffered because of this. I'm so glad you are okay.

Beautiful roses, Marnie--I love the "Pat Austin." And thanks for the recommendation on the salvia. A compact one like "Marcus" sounds like the perfect fit for several areas in my garden.

marmee said...

that is horrible about the train do these things happen? i am glad you were not hurt.

i really love the pelargonium...i wonder if that would grow here>? those smaller salvia look perfectly suited where you have them.
roses are always beautiful. i think roses has a ground cover sound the right place to let go wild might be fun.

Gail said...

Dear Marnie, Pat Austin is a beautiful rose; a beautiful color that would look splendid with the Chocolate euphatorium I have in the sunny garden. The vignette with the salvia is perfect...a nice mix of textures and colors. No way would I want to weed a rose ground cover not with the Bermuda grass that creeps all over the place!

What a terrible and tragic accident...and how like the news media to squeeze all they can from a tragedy to get viewers.


tina said...

Pat Austin and Marcus are awesome. I love oranges in the garden, the blue helps to cool it down and I really like how you have 'Marcus' planted. I am going to remember that one.

I have looked everywhere for Volcano and not found it. I do have one in my garden that is blooming right now. It is kind of smallish in blooms though. It is a reddish pink one called 'Starfire'. At least it blooms. The other one has not ever bloomed in 5 years. Urgh! Maybe this year will be the lucky year.

I heard about that train derailment. A pretty scary and awful thing to happen. Quite a fire.

Randy said...

I think you should consider making something from the 'Marcus' photo. Maybe special order some greeting cards and use that photo? I think it's lovely and a shame not to use it or print it in some way. Maybe even have it printed on a postage stamp, they are a little more expensive, but how cool would it be? :-)--Randy

Dog_geek said...

Yikes! Scary and sad about the train accident! I'm glad that you and your co-workers were safe, at least.

I always love your garden photos - very beautiful!

Roses and Lilacs said...

JC, my roses and other flowers are especially nice this year because we've had so much rain.

Hi Rose, good luck finding Marcus. You may have to order it. I just happened upon it at one of the box stores.

Hi Marmee, I'm sure the pelargonium would grow very well for you. If I were ever tempted to let roses grow in a wild area, I would use a rugosa that stand tall enough to show above the grasses. Or one of the Canadians that don't need much pruning.

Gail, what a good idea. I just added Chocolate to my garden but may move it next spring. It would look nice behind Pat.

Tina, I added three 'Starfire' this spring. One is showing signs of disease and one is just beginning to bloom. The plants are still very small. I liked the dark foliage but am not happy seeing the diseased lower leaves.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Randy, I've seen those postage stamps from photos. What would people think seeing their envelope stamped with a plant;) Fun. Kathleen at Kasey's Korner has some great ideas for cards. I'd like to make a few personalized cards for certain occasions.

Hi DogGeek, it was scary. We are always saying "nothing exciting ever happens in our little Podunk town". Then 'bam' a train blows up. Not a happy kind of excitement.


Kathleen said...

That is a little closer than comfortable to the accident Marnie. Glad your building wasn't involved. It really demolished everything around the tracks, didn't it? Those poor people didn't have a chance.

On a happier note, your David Austin rose is a fabulous color. I am not familiar with it. I saw many David Austin roses on the garden tour this past weekend but all in his more famous pastel colors. I hope the new phlox works out for you. It looks great in your photo. I hate when I stumble across a great plant and then can't find anymore. arrgg. I completely understand why you fell for that pelargonium ~ the colors are magnificent. I don't have any in my garden this year, I definitely didn't see this one or it might be a different story!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I am also experiencing lots of blooms, and loved that first poem, and what you wrote about it. Thanks for the idea about the Marcus salvia. I just bought a couple compact perennial white baby's breath plants that fit nicely in the bed that is mostly white and yellow flowers. I forgot what they are called, but I could check if you are interested.

I agree with the other comments about the accident. I always think about the families, and how they are probably avoiding the news. I sure wish we'd get more news and not have to see the same things over and over. As I type, CNN is on, and I just had to have another reminder of that governor who had an affair. I bet his family is avoiding the news.

Take care!

Randy said...

I did a little research on the Volcano Phlox for you. I think Midwest Ground Covers in St. Charles is very close to you. They carry the Volcano line, the website says that even though they are a wholesaler they do distribute all their products to several local nurseries. So you should be able to find it there. I hope this helps. :-)--Randy

Darla said...

I fell in love with Phlox this year, it will be all over my gardens next spring. Your flowers look great....what a horrible accident.

Phillip Oliver said...

I love your photo with the salvia and the driftwood - very nice combination! I love Pat Austin but I wish she would get a little more robust. The blooms are beautiful but the growth is a big wimpy. I'm sure mine needs more sun. I didn't hear about the derailment, only about the one in D.C. It sounds terrible.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Beautiful roses and I am with you about the Phlox. I just love it. I will look for some of the Volcano series here. I hadn't heard about the train wreck there. It must have been shocking to see.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Kathleen, Austin does have a couple reds but most of his roses are pinks, yellows and whites in keeping with his goal to produce the old rose look on modern reblooming plants. Pat Austin is the only wild color he has produced.

Hi Sue, good thing you didn't live here in Illinois when we were going thru our 'governor scandal'. It's all you heard and read for weeks. Your perennial baby's breath sounds beautiful. I'll watch your blog for photos when it blooms.

Randy, I think I'll call Midwest Ground Covers and ask about he Volcano phlox. Thanks, you are very good at researching online.

Hi Darla, isn't phlox the greatest but only if it is a variety that isn't bothered by mildew. My old fashioned phlox loses half it's leaves by mid July.

Hi Phillip, I agree the canes on Pat Austin are weak. I believe this year is the first that all the blooms haven't been nodding toward the ground. She doesn't produce a lot of flowers either, not compared with his other roses. I have three blooms on Pat as compared with eleven on Graham Thomas.


BeadedTail said...

Beautiful flower photos! We went on a walk last night and noticed all the gorgeous colors at this time of year. Nature is so gorgeous!

What a horrible train wreck. I hadn't heard about it so thanks for telling me about it.

Giving a cat a bath? That's something that I'm not brave enough to even attempt!

walk2write said...

Marnie, you do have a way with roses and words. Meidiland alba (can't remember the specific variety) did very well as a groundcover in S. Illinois back in the mid 90s. We had a steep slope next to one corner of the house, and six of the roses covered that hillside with a mass of white blooms from early May until frost. I only had to endure the weed pulling the first year. After that, the roses crowded them out completely. Just horrible about that wreck. I'm so glad you're all right. These train wrecks are probably no surprise to the experts who've been studying our decaying infrastructure in the U.S. for years. If only they'd been decrying it a little more loudly.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi BeadedTail, LOL, how hard can bathing a cat be. He only weighs about ten pounds? I know, they can be like a mixmaster with 10 fish hooks attached;) Really, all my cats are pretty mellow. He will howl and try to jump out but I will be firm;)

Walk2Write, all the Meidelands do pretty well in this area and they are an underappreciated rose, IMHO. Not much disease, extra hardy, blooming machines. I have some friends who grew roses for ground cover and it was a dismal failure. Ragweed, grass, various trees all grew up and required weeding several times a year. They put a weed barrier down but those always have problems and the weeds grew in the mulch/natural compost on top of the barrier.


Chloe m said...

Lovely roses in lovely colours. I am drooling with envy, my one and only rose has some nasty red beetles that ARE not lady bugs.
Sad story. I want to hug my family after seeing that. I am glad I can hug them. Thanks for visiting my blog and making comments, very sweet of you.

Gayle@Mountain Moma said...

I love Phlox as well. I brought them from Oklahoma and replanted them here. They took off and I've had them for years and they multiply. It just seems to take a while for them to bloom here, they seem to want warm weather before blooming. Gosh, how strange about the train. Actually we have not heard of it here at all. It has been a week for people passing for sure. Movie stars, and one of my dear friends passed away this week.

Anonymous said...

Your roses are absolutely stunning right now Marnie. May is the month when mine are at their best. So I will just drool over yours for a bit. ;) That Phlox is fabulous, I've had a bit of mildew issues with my Robert Poore this season due to our abundant wet spring. It hasn't kept it from blooming beautifully though.

Susie said...

Goodness Marnie your blooms are jumping off the page. So beautiful!

That's really sad about the train derailment. I'm glad to know no more were killed or injured.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

All of your blooms are stunning. All of mine are stunned! We got to 106 today.

So sorry to hear of the train accident. It's always a shock when it happens so close to home. I'm glad you were safe.

F Cameron said...

Your roses look so pristine!

Salvia Marcus has reseeded for me. The first year, the leaves are flat against the ground (like a verbascum). This year, I have blooms! Love the little plant.

I THINK (not sure) it was Volcano Phlox that I just saw at Lowe's Hardware yesterday. Now, you've got me wanting to go back and get a few if they are Volcano! LOL

Tragic accident. Sad.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Wow, I didn't hear about the train explosion--that's terrible! I'm glad you were OK but what a horrible thing to happen. I do post irregularly, but, heck; blogging isn't a paid job! ;-) I use Blogger to follow updates and that works pretty well for me. Love all the color in your garden!

sweetbay said...

Love the Volcano Phlox. It's distributed by Monrovia; maybe this link will help:!OpenDocument

troutbirder said...

I loved the roses and previous foxgloves. How awful that accident though.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Rosey, what a shame about the red beetles. Japanese beetles will be here in a few days so my roses will be gone.

Hi Gayle, I have a couple early blooming phlox but most of mine are like yours, they like the midsummer weather.

Hi Racquel, I've seen lots of photos of Robert Poore on blogs this spring. Beautiful, it's one I don't have.

Hi Susie, it was a real shock something like that could happen so close.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Morning Glories, that is awful. It has never been that hot here. I believe it would kill us Midwesterners. We can take the cold but not the heat. I can't imagine trying to do anything outside in that weather.

Hi Cameron, give me directions to your Lowes;) Every year I try new plants and sometimes I will find a really good one like Marcus.

Hi Monica, I depend on Blogger for updates too but I've noticed a lot of people don't use it. This time of year I have so much in the garden I think I can stick to a schedule. Later, probably not.

SweetBay, thanks for the tip.

Hi Troutbirder, it was pretty awful.


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I just got back from Platt Hill Nursery in West Dundee/Carpentersville. They had several of the Phlox Volcanos (Purple, Ruby, Pink with Red Eye maybe others).
I hate CN. They stink, the greedy gits.

Balisha said...

Hi Marnie,
The train incident occupied conversation until my daughter left to go back to DC. She just got home and was sitting in the train station there, when the DC accident happened. She emailed me from her Blackberry to say that she was safe. What's with these trains?

TC said...

You've said it exactly as I would've, only better. June really is the month when it all seems to happen at once.

So sorry to hear about the tragic train accident in your neck of the woods. Peace be with all those affected.

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

Hi Marnie, I like the sound of the word 'Adundace' and your picture goes so well with it.

Abosutely horrific that accident, we heard a lot of it and it is really tragic. Poor families


Greetings from Tyra in THE GREENHOUSE

oldcrow61 said...

Your flowers are gorgeous.

Naturegirl said...

Marnie: June has transformed your garden into an irresistable haven!
So many beauties for you to enjoy! My peonies are fading quickly but like yours the roses are providing me with joy!
Your blog is one that I shall find calmness during some of the dark days ahead of me. I thank you for posting such beautiful gifts from Nature.
hugs aNNa

Sherri said...

I love the color of the Pat Austin rose, just gorgeous!

Pat said...

Love your intro to this true.
Your roses are amazing.
Shame I can't keep up with all your post...but I'll try.

Betty said...

Just found your blog today and have enjoyed looking at all your beautiful flowers. Wrote down some names that I'd like to consider next year. That Salvia Nemorosa "Marcus" and the Phlox paniculata has caught my eye. Will put your blog in "my favorites" so I can follow it regularly. Hope you don't mind. You sure have a green thumb! Beautiful!

Betty said...

I found the Marcus in the new Bluestone Perennials catalog that came this week. Also the phlox paniculata but not Volcano series, but I think I saw Blue Paradise mentioned. Yep, I just checked again and both are there.

Betty said...

I found both the marcus and the Blue Paradise in Bluestone Perennials catalog. I have highlighted both of them.