Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June Roses

I love the month of June! By now most of the spring work is done, the plants are in the ground, and there is time to just enjoy the garden. The weather is warm and sunny, accompanied by gentle breezes.....and the dog day heat of summer is yet held at bay. I love coming out into the garden first thing in the morning, to see what new flower might be in bloom. But one of the most special things about June is, of course.....the ROSES. Every cottage garden should be amply graced with this most beautiful and highly revered flower.

I will start the rose line up with a wild pink shrub Rose I am very fond of. This shrub is huge and round, about 18 ft wide. When my daughter was young, we picked hundreds of the buds to use for crafts. I love it's scent and free flowering lushness in June, and the shape looks good in the landscape the rest of the year, as well.

My only yellow rose is GrahamThomas , a David Austin English rose. It is a beauty, and has a lovely fragrance. It was the last rose in bloom for me, when we received our first snowfall of 2007.

Graham Thomas is not only pretty on the bush, but makes a wonderful bouquet. Featured here on a very old Hardanger table scarf my Mother gave me. It was made by someone in our family tree many, many years ago. Note that I have roses on my walls, too. ;-)

Heritage, another David Austin Rose, bears cupped flowers, prettily in-folded in the shell pink blooms, which have deeper color in the centers.

[Rachel, this is for you, since I know how fond you are of this one. Only wish I could send you the sweet fragrance, as well! :-) I have missed your garden visits.]

This wild red rambler, most likely a rugosa, came up from the roots of a hybrid tea rose that died. It grows tall and lanky, and can get rather messy. I always say I am going to cut it down, but then when it blooms in June, it wins me over once again.

Update: A reader has identified this as the climbing rose "Dr. Huey", one of the most common root stocks.

Pink Simplicity hedge roses, growing inside the picket fence, are the backbone of my cottage garden. There are ten on each side of the garden, separated by the center walk. This photo was taken in the evening just before sunset.... so the flowers really look like they are glowing.

A close up of Pink Simplicity. They are so pretty and bloom their hearts out, but alas, have no fragrance. They are also prone to blackspot. Jackson & Perkins now has a Lavender Simplicity with fragrance and disease resistance, which I would like to try somewhere in my garden.

This is an old classic rose of the Alba clan, named Konigin von Danemark (Queen of Denmark). I love the fullness of the quartered petals and the sweet Damask scent. It is very hardy and disease resistant.

And lastly, the humble wild roses that grow along the roadsides here. They have a special place in my heart, because they remind of the the Wild Prairie Rose, the state flower of North Dakota, where I grew up. Last year we had to be assigned physical addresses, instead of our rural route and box numbers. My submission of a name for our road was the winner, so we now enjoy living on Wild Rose Lane.....and I just love the sound of it. :-)


"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck." ~Emma Goldman

Monday, June 2, 2008

Still More Wildflowers

It has been over 3 weeks since I have made a blog post! I've been very busy in the garden, planting and finishing up several garden projects. On a rainy day last week I ventured down the mountain side behind our house and was astonished at the prolific show of wildflowers!

Here is a patch of Indian Paintbrush, and a tall blue flower we have always called Bluebells. I have since learned that it is actually a member of the lily family. (see below)

A close up of Large flowered Triplet-Lily, a member of Themidaceae, the Cluster Lily family. The latin name is Triteleia grandiflora. I love the way the flowers are clustered at the top of the tall stem, before they open and hang down, showing off their pretty ruffled edges.

Indian Paintbrush, up close and personal. A unique feature of this plant is the brilliant color that decorates the ends of the leaf bracts. I learned last year that it is a parasitic plant, meaning that it lives off the roots of nearby plants. It is named Castilleja for Douglas Castelleja, an early Spanish botanist. There are over 250 different species of this plant that grow in the West! High in the nearby mountains, where we pick huckleberries, we have another species, which is more red, and the form more spikey. The orange variety is a favorite of mine.

I hadn't seen this wildflower before, but from my research I believe it to be Taperleaf Penstemon , classified as Penstemon attenuatus. The smallish , drooping flowers are a lovely shade of pinkish blue.

I have yet to identify this wildflower. It has a very tall stem with a cluster of small yellow flowers at the top. Anyone have a name for this one?

UPDATE 6-15-08 A reader has identified this as a member of the Groundsel family. (Thanks, Wesley!) There are so many different varieties, I haven't found the precise Latin name yet....will have to go back and look at the leaves in order to do that.

Naked Broomrape grows on a stem with no leaves. It is also parasitic, living off the roots of neighboring plants. This variety is Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea.

I think this is some sort of vetch or wild pea. It has a pretty, delicate look.

I had to include this photo of a wild strawberry. Though the flowers are a bit out of focus, you can see a very cute and tiny strawberry toward the bottom of the photo. :-)


I was too busy to get out and photograph the Camas this year, but this post would not be complete without a tribute to this beautiful indigenous wildflower. Below are some photos taken a couple of years ago.

A field of Camassia quamash, just a few miles down the road from our house. The one to two-inch bulbs are edible, and were a delicacy among the Nez Perce Indians of this area, who would steam or pit-cook them to bring out the sweet flavor. It grows wild in meadows, moist lowlands, along the edges of prairies and on bluff or rock outcroppings. A field of blue camas in bloom is a sight to behold! The higher elevation area surrounding our beautiful valley is called the Camas Prairie, in honor of this lovely plant.

A close up of the beautiful Camas flower, also known as Indian Hyacinth.


This about wraps up my posts on the Spring wildflowers in our area. There is much blooming in my flower gardens now.....so on to the more domesticated beauties!