Field of Science

Early summer flowering slump

Early June is a quiet time for our gardens; late spring plants are done and real summer-flowering plants just haven't begun. Two weeks ago, festoons of columbine and Mrs. Phactor's iris cheerfully were coloring the garden, and now they are done (time to deadhead the bloody columbine!). This is not now because of our late spring unless the plant died back because of the winter cold.  Right now the deviation from regular flowering dates is less than 2 days. Our last and latest flowering Rhododendron is in flower, but it's usual big display is limited this year to about half a dozen inflorescences. The bay magnolia is in flower; you can smell it as soon as you step out of the back door, an almost intoxicating fragrance. Friends were coming over for a dinner party and it was actually hard to find some nice flowers for a table bouquet.  Finally combined a stalk of a big pink bell flower (C. punctata) with some almost there snowball hydrangea; they look lovely together. First time to try the bellflower in a vase; herbivores have always before eaten it off. All it took were land mines and a deep monster-filled moat to keep the bun-buns away. Waterlilies have started to flower; our pond has 4 varieties, 4 colors. Does it seem TPP complains too much?  Actually, quite a few plants are coming into flower, but in comparison to the profusion of spring it just seems a quite time.  Oh, the lamb's quarter, oxalis, and Asiatic day flower are doing so very well it's depressing. Today the Phactor's are hosting a neighborhood picnic because our gardens are large enough and many of the neighbors seem to enjoy an opportunity to visit once every year or two, and several new families have joined the hood. 

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