I originally started this blog in part because I had tried (and failed) to keep a faithful garden journal for two years in a row. So here's my little garden journal entry for the month of June--complete with pictures so I can see what exactly I am talking about when I review these notes later.
Note #1: I must remember that while not all flowers bloom exactly as advertised, some do. Modern plant marketing with all of its little white lies and spin did not exist in the early days of 'The Watchman' hollyhocks (reportedly grown by Jefferson at Monticello) so I should not be shocked that they actually turned out to be black.
And since I purposely planted black hollyhocks, I should not be disappointed that they aren't really dark purple. I hadn't realized just how much color and light the black flowers would suck up without something silvery or white--or good positioning, to take advantage of backlighting--to relieve their severity. Ah well, the foliage isn't up to my standards so I probably won't grow them again anyway... I'll just enjoy the flowers for right now and make sure that I catch them in the right light.
Note #2: WOW, does a little acidic color wake up an otherwise tranquil mix of blues and purples or what?! In the bed with the purple ninebark (which was labeled 'Diablo' but I suspect is actually 'Summerwine,' darn it!) my eye keeps being drawn down to the flowering lady's mantle. If only it kept flowering until the self-sowing purple amaranth and Russian sage grow big enough to add to the show.
Side note: And here I used regularly cut off the flowers on all of my alchemilla mollis because I didn't want them to obstruct the view of the beautiful, fuzzy leaves. Now I see what I must have been missing.
Note #3: Speaking of cutting off flowerheads, I've been rather lax with a few other perennials that I normally head off at the pass, too. The 'Purple Knockout' salvia lyrata is one such plant--probably the one plant that I should deadhead, as its blooms don't even have a real color. I find that I kind of like the way it combines with the lavender blooms, a nearby bronze sedge and California poppy seedlings to make the front garden look a little wild, though.
Another side note: 'Purple Knockout' really does glow in the late afternoon sun. I need to plant more red- and purple-leaf plants on the west side of my house to take advantage of that jewel tone look.
Note #4: When it comes time to plant garlic in the fall, I have to figure out a way to use it a bit more artfully. Maybe it needs to be in more of a strict layout instead of messy-looking clumps. This fall, I think I'm going to plant it to form snaking lines of greenish blue accent foliage instead of grouping it in clumps like you see here.
Of course, this bed will be livened up when the self-sown purple amaranth seedlings grow up a bit more... and maybe I'll change my mind about the garlic then. We'll see.
On the last side note: The goatsbeard (aruncus sinensis 'Zweiweltenkind') seriously lightens up this bed on the east side of my house when it's in flower. The dark rhodie leaves look particularly handsome breaking up the single plants (in front and to its right) from the larger clump of 4 plants you can kind of see beyond the rhododendron.
That's all the notes for June. I hope to review them myself in July, and have more observations to share next month, too. More observations will mean that I've been spending more time in my garden! :)