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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day June 2012

(C) Sike's Dwarf oakleaf hydrangea fronts Annabelle hydrangea in the shade garden. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

June is the height of the blooming season here in Central Indiana, where higher than normal temps in winter has pushed even more flowers into bloom.

As I look out my office window, I see white flowers — ‘Annabelle’ and White Dome hydrangeas (H. arborescens) and ‘Sike’s Dwarf’ oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia) are all blooming. ‘Becky’ daisy (Leucanthemum) also is blooming.

From my office view, two volunteer flowering tobacco plants (Nicotiana alata) have hybridized into soft pinks.

Flowering tobacco. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

I finally got all of my annual samples in their pots and so far, all is doing well. The Sun Parasol mandevilla also is beginning to put on its show. I bought a red trailing vinca (Catharanthus roseus) in a hanging basket to see how it performs. I first saw these a couple of years ago at OFA, the country’s largest horticulture trade show in Columbus, Ohio.

The front yard is still a mess, but the oakleafs (‘Pee Wee’) are blooming, as are various roses (Rosea).

The daylilies (Hemerocallis) are beginning to bloom, too, along with a huge butterfly bush that is in its full glory, a month before normal. The tags for the All-American daylilies are who knows where, but one I remember is ‘Orange Crush’, which looks just like the color of a soft drink with the same name.

In the vegetable garden, only tomatoes are planted: ‘Early Girl’ and ‘Cherokee Purple’, but they seem to be very slow taking hold. It could be my dog Bisque’s habit of laying in the area could be a problem.

My true joy this summer, though, is ‘Serotina’, a honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), which is in full bloom and fragrance. It perfumes the whole back yard. I have C.L. Fornari at Whole Life Gardening to thank for this plant.

Serotina honeysuckle. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

A few years ago, she wondered in her blog about why garden centers continued to stock ‘Goldflame’ honeysuckle (L. x heckrotii), which despite its incredible fragrance and pretty, hummingbird-attracting flowers, is prone to heavy doses powdery mildew. ‘Serotina’ does not seem to be affected by the leaf disease.

Hot Papaya coneflower at Garfield Park. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Although not in my yard, I have only praise for ‘Hot Papaya’ coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), which is in all its orange-red glory in the Children’s Garden at Garfield Park in Indianapolis. This coneflower is incredibly fragrant. Yesterday, the fragrance stopped a visitor in her tracks and prompted her to call her friend over to take a whiff. ‘Hot Papaya’ was introduced by Plants Nouveau a few years ago.

Thanks to May Dreams Gardens for being the host of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, where garden bloggers post on the 15th every month what is happening in their gardening world.