Mid Summer – Tiger Lily

The Asiatic Lilies are done and now the Tiger Lilies (lillium lancifolium) are just coming into flower along with the day lilies. This is only the second year I’ve had these blooming in my perennial bed but I’ve found them to be very hardy. They are rated for zone 2. These plants do best at the back of the border as they are quite tall – about 4ft.x1ft.- and would look better in clumps.  I think the only drawback to this plant is having to bend over to look up into the flowers!

Hansa Shrub Rose

The ‘Hansa’ is one of the earlier modern hardy shrub roses. I’m convinced this rose is one of the hardest to kill!  It grows 3′-5′ tall and wide, has deep pink/fuschia double-petal flowers, a semi-strong ‘rose’ fragrance and flowers steadily from mid-June until fall. It tolerates a variety of soils and conditions. A very good beginner’s rose.

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Maltese Cross

 

I’m happy I decided to give this plant – Maltese Cross (campion, latin ‘lychnis’) – a try in my big sunny perennial bed. It takes the cold, it blooms from late spring ’til August, it’s a brilliant jewel-tone red and it handles conditions of wet and drought fairly well. It grows 2-3 feet tall but only about 6 inches wide and would look best in group plantings in the middle to back of a border.

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The Shrub Bed

     I neglected this shrub bed for many years, only weedwacking it clear of weeds every once in a while. Last summer I bought a new riding lawn mower which did not mulch. Then I had to buy some sort of grass collector and opted for a lawn sweeper. Now armed with an abundant supply of grass clippings for mulch I tackled the shrub bed. Gardening work is  never done but the bed certainly looks better and has been much easier to care for.

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Peony

     Here’s the first big bloom of June. This is from a store-bought peony I recently planted. Pretty and fragrant too!  Peonies can grow quite large (3-4 ft. x 3-4 ft.) and will need the support of a peony ring if you wish to keep the huge flower heads upright. Some people like the sprawling effect.  They bloom from early to mid-summer. Peonies can live for 20 or more years in the same spot! They don’t like being kept wet but are otherwise easy to grow. Planting is the key. Plant at the same level it was grown in the pot. Too high or too deep and it won’t grow.