Bloom Day – June 2013

Once again, it’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! Thank you to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts this event every month. If you are in need of some beauty in your life, click the link above and let yourself escape the troubles of the world. I think our planet would be very different if every one of us were gardeners…

This month, I want to express my gratitude to the Grand Dame of my garden - a Great Southern Magnolia which blooms from around May until winter.

This month, I want to express my gratitude, and pay homage to the Grand Dame of my garden – a Great Southern Magnolia which blooms from around May until winter.

From the day we moved in in 2006, it has served as a favorite hang-out and superior play structure for our boys. Although the boy in the photo is now a teenager, it still happens that he sneaks up there for a moment of solitary thought.

From the day we moved in in 2006, it has served as a favorite hang-out and superior play structure/swing stand for our boys. Although the boy in the photo is now a teenager, it still happens that he sneaks up there for a moment of solitary reflection.

At the height of insufferable summer temperatures, its shade is a blessing...

At the height of insufferable summer temperatures, the deep shade it gives is a blessing…

.... and you can sit under its crown (or in it) and loose yourself in the wafts from its vanilla scented flowers. All of the above combined, makes me forgive the fact that it drops an abundance of leaves year-round. In the spirit of finding the positive in life, I will argue that the hard, leathery leaves makes for great mulch for the other plants in my garden, once they have gone through my mulcher. I can add live with the disorderly appearance - in fact, if it wasn't already there, I would probably create it!

…. and you can sit under its crown (or in it) and loose yourself in the fragrant wafts from its vanilla scented flowers. All of the above combined, makes me forgive the fact that it drops an abundance of leaves year-round. In the spirit of finding the positive in life, I will argue that the hard, leathery leaves makes for great mulch for the other plants in my garden, especially once they have gone through my mulcher. I can live with the disorderly appearance – in fact, if it wasn’t already there, I would probably create it!

Another tree that lifts my spirits this time of year is the Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonica) planted by the former owner of this house. Stupidly, I didn't move it early on when I had a chance. It is completely malplacé, but when the flowers come, I forgive everything. Pull up a chair, let your gaze wander upwards and enjoy its heady perfume!

Another tree that lifts my spirits this time of year is the Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonica) planted by the former owner of this house. Stupidly, I didn’t move it early on when I had a chance. It is completely malplacé, but when the flowers come, I forgive everything. Pull up a chair, let your gaze wander upwards and enjoy its heady perfume!

By now, its glory days are over, and it looks like this. The ground beneath it is coated in spent blossoms. Because of it poor placement, an the fact that I don't want to eliminate too many of its lower branches, I usually find a few in my hair as well, after a romp outside.

By now, its glory days are over, and it looks like this. The ground beneath it is coated in spent blossoms. Because of it poor placement, an the fact that I don’t want to eliminate too many of its lower branches, I usually find a few in my hair as well, after my customary romp outside.

Just as the Snowbell is fading, another fragrant staple in my garden emerges - the Star jasmine. I love the twisted appearance of its buds before they open and flood the garden with fabulous fragrance.

Just as the Snowbell is fading, another fragrant staple in my garden emerges – the Star jasmine. I love the twisted appearance of its buds before they open and flood the garden with fabulous fragrance.

I admit my reasons for growing a 'Black Lace' Elderberry is not its flowers, but close up, they look pretty nice.

I admit my reasons for growing a ‘Black Lace’ Elderberry is not its flowers, but close up, they look pretty nice.

I squeeze a Clematis wherever there is room, and sometimes even where there is not. The most intriguing one in bloom right now, leaves interesting seed heads like this one, which will eventually fade. I'm sure I kept the tag somewhere, but I don't know where it is.

I squeeze a Clematis wherever there is room, (and sometimes even where there is not). The most intriguing one in bloom right now, leaves interesting seed heads like this one, which will eventually fade. I’m sure I kept the tag somewhere, but I don’t know where it is.

Another Clematis in bloom right now is this magenta marvel (also tag-less). I like how it appears against the false cypress...

Another Clematis in bloom right now is this magenta marvel (also tag-less). I like how it appears against the false cypress…

IMG_4919

...plus it has really pretty buds!

…plus it has really pretty buds!

Yet another treasure sure to satisfy the most selective olfactory senses - a Honey suckle given to me by Peter - the Outlaw Gardener. Thank you, Peter - I love it! And I never would have imagined that I would see it in bloom already! So lovely!

Yet another treasure sure to satisfy the most selective of olfactory senses – a Honey suckle given to me by Peter – the Outlaw Gardener. Thank you, Peter – I love it! And I never would have imagined that I would see it in bloom already! So lovely! Oh my – I stand corrected! This fabulous contribution from my garden came from Allison of Bonney Lassie who grows many amazing flowers. My mistake! Anyway – check her blog out for more lovelies! 🙂

The dainty flowers of Vancouveria hexandra - or Inside-out flower.

The graceful, dainty flowers of Vancouveria hexandra – or Inside-out flower.

Acanthus spinosa looking good against the aforementioned Clematis, despite its cramped quarters. It will have to be moved at some point, but I'm not sure to where yet. Decisions, decisions...

Acanthus spinosa looking good against the aforementioned Clematis, despite its cramped quarters. It will have to be moved at some point, but I’m not sure to where yet. Decisions, decisions…

Iris foetida - or Stinking Iris, planted in the dry shade beneath the mammoth Magnolia at the beginning of this post. You can see it surrounded by the perpetually falling leaves of the tree - I truly have given up on keeping up appearances on this one. They just keep coming....

Iris foetida – or Stinking Iris, planted in the dry shade beneath the mammoth Magnolia at the beginning of this post. You can see it surrounded by the perpetually falling leaves of the tree – I truly have given up on keeping up appearances on this one. They just keep coming….

A close-up of the Stinking Iris. What a rude name... Haven't quite figured out why it is called that, but then again my sense of smell isn't the most acute. Whatever the reason, I appreciate it because it seems to live happily in a quite difficult spot. And I think the coloration is beautiful!

A close-up of the Stinking Iris. What a rude name… Haven’t quite figured out why it is called that, but then again my sense of smell isn’t the most acute. Whatever the reason, I appreciate it because it seems to live happily in a quite difficult spot. And I think the coloration is beautiful!

I used to think that hydrangeas were the biggest waste of space, but I have grown to love them. I used to classify them under "Old Lady plants", so it all makes sense. Here's to getting old! :)

I used to think that hydrangeas were the biggest waste of space, but I have grown to love them. I used to classify them under “Old Lady plants”, so it all makes sense. Here’s to getting old! 🙂

Did you know that it takes hydrangeas around three years to find their true color? (This is if you don't help them along by adding aluminum and artificially altering the pH of the soil.) In unadulterated soil, it will slowly adjust itself to what's available, and you can count on three years before its color display stabilizes to its surroundings.

Did you know that it takes hydrangeas around three years to find their true color? (This is if you don’t help them along by adding aluminum and artificially altering the pH of the soil.) In unadulterated soil, it will slowly adjust itself to what’s available, and you can count on three years before its color display stabilizes to its surroundings. I think that’s pretty cool!

June is the month when my front corner is at its most ablaze with Asiatic lilies and Hot Cocoa roses.

June is the month when my front corner is at its most ablaze with Asiatic lilies and Hot Cocoa roses.

They make for great bouquet, with some hardy fuchsias and Heuchera leaves.

They make for great bouquets, here with some hardy fuchsias and Heuchera leaves.

Here they mix well with some Silver Dollar Hebe.

Here they mix well with some Silver Dollar Hebe.

The Hebes are plants I usually appreciate for their neat, rounded forms, but in June the bees join me in the appreciation. The Hebe flowers are constantly a-buzz with honey-revellers.

The Hebes are plants I usually appreciate for their neat, rounded forms, but in June the bees join me in the appreciation. The Hebe flowers are constantly a-buzz with honey-revellers.

Today - on the first day of summer break for school-weary boys - I noticed that the raspberries were ready. I sent them outside to pick their own breakfast when they finally woke up!

Today – on the first day of summer break for school-weary boys – I noticed that the raspberries were ready. I sent them outside to pick their own breakfast when they finally woke up!

Rudbeckia 'Green Wizard' is one of my favorites - it is so sculptural!

Rudbeckia ‘Green Wizard’ is one of my favorites – it is so sculptural!

Here is another small but mighty in terms of looks. Saxifraga stolonifera 'Maroon beauty' spreads happily in the shade, and has orchid-like flowers. So pretty!

Here is another small but mighty in terms of looks. Saxifraga stolonifera ‘Maroon beauty’ spreads happily in the shade, and has orchid-like flowers. So pretty! From a distance, they almost look like little butterflies!

My Stewartia is blooming! It resembles camellias but doesn't last as long. Pretty, nonetheless!

My Stewartia is blooming! It resembles camellias but doesn’t last as long. Pretty, nonetheless!

The black Calla lilies have been in this vase for two weeks now, and still look great. I love them!

The black Calla lilies have been in this vase for two weeks now, and still look great. I love them!

I like this orange Asiatic next to the Autumn fern.

I like this orange Asiatic next to the Autumn fern.

I only wish I had had my camera when I yellow swallowtail landed - right THERE!

I only wish I had had my camera when a yellow swallowtail landed – right THERE!

It is a lovely day, and I can only wonder why the hell I'm wasting it blogging. My feet should be looking like this right now. See you next month!

It is a lovely day, and I can only wonder why the hell I’m wasting it blogging. My feet should be looking like this right now. See you next month!

About annamadeit

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
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14 Responses to Bloom Day – June 2013

  1. Congratulations on your first Bloom Day, Anna! I love seeing the garden through your eyes. Your lovely mixed bouquet of Hot Cocoa rose and Asiatic lilies is perfect and really drives home the color connection in the two. I just acquired that ‘Maroon Beauty’ saxifrage and included it in my Bloom Day post. Coincidence? More likely great minds think alike!

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, Jane! Maybe that was the one we couldn’t think of…? I have so many of those – they are so generous in their spread, I could easily have sent you home with one or two. Oh well – enjoy it – it will probably do the same for you. It is such a nice and fuss-free plant.

  2. Alison says:

    Great flowers for Bloom Day! The combo of the orange lily with the autumn fern works really well, do you have that combo planted in sun? I really think I need to find that saxifrage. I love the opening of your post, with your memories of the magnolia tree. Also, not to be too in-your-face, but I was the one who brought that honeysuckle to the plant exchange. Peter might have carried it into Linda’s driveway, but it came from my garden.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh dear, Allison – now I feel really bad! I didn’t know the honey suckle came from you! Peter was the one who talked me into taking it, so I thought it came from him! And btw, I’m so glad I took it! I will be sure to credit you on the blog! As for the fern/lily combo, I confess that I often grow my lilies in semi-shade. It seems they last a lot longer when I do. The red Asiatics on the front start fading in just a couple of days, it seems. Maybe I just don’t water them enough, but really – with the weather we’ve had this past week, I don’t think that’s the problem. As for the Saxifraga – I’d be happy to share mine with you. Just let me know next time you venture this way!

  3. Kris P says:

    Your garden looks as though it’s exploding with blooms! I love the Saxifraga and wish I could grow it here in SoCal but they seem to fry even in the shade. The orange lily/autumn fern mix is splendid too. Happy GBBD!

  4. What a magnificent tree that is! And you have so many great blooms. I have a couple kinds of elderberry, but none have flowers as ornamental as yours. I like your Asiatic lilies too, its probably 2 or 3 more weeks before ours start blooming. Happy GBBD!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Jason, and happy GBBD to you too! Yes, that magnolia dwarfs everything around it, but it was the one thing that sold the house, in my opinion! 🙂 I saw on your post that you like the Caradonna. It is my favorite salvia, and it self seeds generously, which you will probably see, and hopefully enjoy. Such a great plant!

  5. Laura says:

    Your magnolia tree is such a treasure. I think that I need to start tucking clematis vines into my garden too. And your bright bouquets are beautiful. I’ve never tried heuchera leaves in a bouquet before. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Ricki Grady says:

    What a visual feast! I must confess that I have never taken a careful, close-up look at Vancouveria blossoms. You have shown me what I’ve been missing.

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