Young Summer Days

White Peonies in bloom along white picket fence

“What is one to say about June,

the time of  perfect young summer,

the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months,

and with as yet no sign to remind one

that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”

~ Gertrude Jekyll

Hi Friends!

It has been a perfect young summer week here in our Midwest garden! Our above-average rainfall in May has made the first week of June oh-so beautiful. This afternoon, as I worked in the Herb Garden, I had lovely company. Several robins kept me entertained as they splashed in the nearby birdbath, flew to the picket fence, and filled the air with their birdsong. A young rabbit happily munched on clover in the grass.

Our Friendship Garden bed is just beginning to show its June colors, with pale purple Iris, yellow Iris, deep purple Siberian Iris, bright pink Peony, deep blue Spiderwort, and delicate, white Anemones in bloom this week. These special perennials are all gifts from the gardens of friends. Admiring at each plant always brings warm memories of dear friendships in my life.

Enjoy a little peek at some of the ‘friends’ in this garden bed…

Deep purple Siberian Iris and delicate, white AnemonesDeep purple Siberian Iris and delicate, white Anemones show off their colors and distinct foliage.

Bright pink Peonies and creamy white Peonies

Bright pink Peonies and creamy, white Peonies add a heavenly scent to the Friendship Garden.

Siberian Iris with Birdbath

The slender, spiky foliage of Siberian Iris provides a sheltered area for a pretty birdbath.

Bee bath with Iris

This simple bee bath is a new addition to the Friendship Garden this week. A shallow bee bath, with rocks to land on, will encourage bees to stay longer when they visit the garden It was inspired by the amazing Stephanie who blogs at Garden TherapyI simply used a clay pot base, a shallow, stoneware bowl from the thrift store to hold fresh water, and river rocks. Now we have bee baths in the Friendship Garden, the Herb Garden, and the Cutting Garden to encourage pollinators to stay awhile.

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Gardenkeeping has filled my days this week, as I work to pull out groundcover-gone-wild from several flower beds. The culprit is Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium podararia). This fast-growing groundcover was already growing in the garden when I moved here 28 years ago. In spite of constant attention, it spreads vigorously by shallow roots under the layer of mulch. Our rainy weather last month really jumpstarted its rapid growth. In June its white flowers, looking a bit like scraggly Queen Anne’s Lace, bloom atop 3 ft. stems. Each spring, I work so hard to pull out the Bishop’s Weed and dig its roots out of our Front Porch Garden, where it invades the Hostas, Hydrangeas, Salvia, Daylilies, Anemones, Coreopsis, and Dianthus. Although it remains  a constant work-in-progress,  I am very grateful for the damp soil this week that makes the job a bit easier!

Since we had close to 5 inches of rain during May, our soil remains quite damp. One thing that I am being mindful of is preventing soil compaction in our garden beds. When the soil is packed tightly, it is more difficult for the roots to grow and water runs off, rather than soaking into the soil. According to Garden Gate magazine, “Studies have shown that 80% of problems affecting plants may be caused by soil compaction.”  If the soil is compacted, there may be fewer flowers.

Did you know that foot traffic in the garden beds affects the top 6 inches of your soil?

If you garden in an area that has a wet Spring climate, it’s important to avoid soil compaction while cleaning up and planting. Garden Gate magazine offers some helpful tips to prevent soil compaction:

⚛   Creating narrow garden beds or border gardens, reachable from both sides, reduces the need to walk through the beds.

⚛   In wider garden beds, walking on stepping stones or a path can reduce soil compaction at the base of the plants.

⚛   Try to plan gardenkeeping tasks, like weeding or deadheading, when the soil is dry.

⚛   Mixing lots of compost into the soil will create air spaces. This helps the soil to spring back after it is stepped on.

⚛   Spreading a thick layer of mulch in the garden beds will encourage earthworms. They naturally break up the soil.

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Very sadly, some parts of our country are experiencing severe drought, while other areas are dealing with extreme flooding. Our thoughts go out to everyone who is affected by such harsh weather conditions. We hope that the weather will be kinder and that life can return to normal very soon.

I hope you can enjoy the beauty of the young summer days in your garden this weekend. If you are not a gardener, a walk in the park or through the neighborhood is a perfect way to enjoy a ‘taste’ of young summer days.

Respected British horticulturist, garden designer, and writer, Gertrude Jekyll,  reminds us all that June is “the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months.”  We have waited a very long time! These young summer days are a delightful treat! Enjoy!

Happy weekend!

♡ Dawn

            P.S.  What gardenkeeping tasks are keeping you busy this week? Which June blossoms are your favorite?

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28 thoughts on “Young Summer Days

  1. Dawn,
    Your garden looks amazing with its beautiful blooms. I am especially fond of Anemones and peonies. We can grow the former but no frost prevents us from growing the later. How fun to have the company of your robins and rabbits.
    I’m going to read the article on soil compaction. Thanks for the link.
    Enjoy your young summer weekend.
    xo,
    Karen

  2. Many thanks, Karen! There is still so much gardenkeeping to do. I’m enjoying all of the blossoms as I work in the garden. I didn’t realize that Peonies don’t grow in southern California. The article on soil compaction was in the actual magazine. I wasn’t able to link to the article online. Garden Gate magazine is a wonderful resource ~ great articles, no ads, and practical tips from gardeners. Happy weekend, dear Karen! ♡

  3. Good morning Dawn! Our midwest garden is looking pretty lush these days! We spent all morning today pruning our bittersweet vines (we have three of them) and my mother of thyme is starting to bloom its little pink flowers! Our irises are on their way out, and our azaleas gave the prettiest show ever. What’s next? Hydrangeas! I can’t wait to gather some from a neighbor’s garden and photograph them! Your garden is sweet and that picket fence just steals my heart. Happy day! Anita

  4. What beautiful flowers you have! I love the white picket fence. And how brilliant is the bee bath! Never heard of such a thing but I will definitely be adding one to my garden! Thanks for sharing that, darling girl! I still need to educate myself on the difference between honey bees and wasps and hornets, etc. Always lots to keep us going in our gardens, isn’t there! Enjoy your weekend. xoxo…Karen

  5. Ahhhh, June is so delightful, Anita! Your garden sounds wonderful. Hydrangeas are my very favorite flower! We were married in June and my bouquet was filled with beautiful Hydrangeas! The picket fence holds the heart of my garden. Such a happy, peaceful place! Have a great weekend, Anita! ♡

  6. So happy that you stopped by today, Karen! Your kind words always warm my heart. I just read about the importance of having a bee bath last week. So, I quickly made some for different parts of the garden. I learned that if the bees don’t have a fresh water source with something dry to rest on, they will leave the garden to look for one. We need happy bees buzzing around our garden! I learn new things in the garden every day! It’s a bit like “Morning Science!” Enjoy your garden this weekend, Karen! ♡

  7. Your early June garden is lovely. I hate to pick a favorite but your first photo of the white peonies is so nice. 🙂

  8. Thanks so much, Karen! The white Peonies looked creamy against the white picket fence. It had such an old-fashioned feeling. I’m so happy that you stopped by today. Have a great weekend, Karen! ♡

  9. You have been busy. Rain early this week kept me inside. Too wet and too cool to work out there. Today it cleared and I did some needed weeding and trimming of suckers on the crepe myrtles. Lots more to do but it can wait.

    Lovely garden photos. Your irises are lovely. Mine are all done. Now its daylily time. Stella d’oro have started and others soon to follow.

  10. Dawn, how lovely and peaceful your gardens look! We have been away and my gardens are bolting! Bishop’s weed is just a stinker to get rid of. Early in my gardening days a sweet friend gave me some—little did I know what a headache it would become! I must plan a bee bath for my gardens–we do need those busy workers–the more the merrier. Lovely thoughts from you, dear one. xo ♥

  11. Thanks, Marcia! Everything is growing like crazy here!! It’s impossible to keep up! So, I’ve just been starting at the borders of each bed and working my way in. It’s fun to choose the beds with the most colorful blossoms and work there each day. Our daylilies are sending up their flower stalks. Can’t wait! Our backyard becomes a ‘sea’ of daylily blossoms later in June. Wishing you sunny days next week, Marcia! Happy weekend! ♡

  12. Hi, Jodi! It’s so hard when we both have two passions ~ gardening and card making! I have spent the whole week gardenkeeping, so no time to create in the Studio. Just had to take advantage of this string of nice, sunny days. Little by little… and our garden beds will be good enough. Have a great weekend, Jodi! ♡

  13. You were missed, Martha Ellen! I hoped you were away on your sunny vacation! It’s so hard to believe that I have been trying to catch all of the Bishop’s Weed as long as I have lived here ~ and it seems more vigorous than ever now! A few years ago, I dug deeply throughout the Front Porch bed, removing everything to make way for Hydrangeas. I thought for sure that I had found all of the roots of the Bishop’s Weed. But the adventure continues… You will love having a little bee bath or two in your garden. It’s such a simple thing. Wishing you nice, sunny days in the garden, Martha Ellen! ♡

  14. All your blooms are wonderful, Dawn; your irises are lovely and those peonies . . . wow, are the white ones Sarah Bernhardts? I had those in our garden in our old house and delighted in their beauty and scent.
    I love the term young summer days – and they do seem young this year, don’t they?
    FYI – a read that the tulip trees are in full bloom at the college, I think on the east side of the campus across from the Mansion.
    My climbing roses are blooming, the last of the peonies are showing off, the lady’s mantle are about to flower – and the “galloping” Charlie is winning the race. Lovely post. Thank you.

  15. Such sweet words, Penny! All of the Peonies were here when I moved in. So, I don’t even know their names. They do seem like young summer days, especially this year! We waited so long for warm weather. I will try to sneak away from my “galloping” Charlie duty on Saturday to visit the tulip trees! Many thanks for letting me know! Our rain on Sunday might shorten their bloom time. Your garden must look just lovely, with both the climbing Roses and the Peonies in bloom. I must remember to replace my Lady’s Mantle. I always enjoyed growing it near the back door, so that I wouldn’t miss the sweet morning dewdrops on its leaves. Have a great weekend, dear Penny! ♡

  16. Beautiful. Now let’s talk Bishops Weed and Pachysandra. 🙂 I love Bishops Weed for my containers, and I keep it in check by digging it for plantings every summer and then pitching it in the fall. It then stays about the number of plants that I want. Yesterday, I mowed down a whole area of Pachysandra and will follow it up with loosening the soil so I can pull the roots out. I’ve done this before and it is hard work but it’s the only way to get rid of it. Weeds or invasive plants – all the same. 🙂

  17. So true, Judy! I have had better luck taming the Pachysandra that tries to take over my Cutting Garden. I think I can find the roots and dig them out easier. It’s a lot of work though!! The Bishop’s Weed seems to be a losing battle for me. It’s so pretty when it is contained, but it’s running wild and free here. I think I know what we will both be doing next week! We are expecting lots of rain on Sunday. So, I’m hoping that will make the job a bit easier. Enjoy the blossoms! They make all of the hard work so worthwhile! Happy weekend, Judy! ♡

  18. Hi Dawn! Your flowers and garden look lovely! I need to find time to take some pics of mine (it’s growing like crazy!), but I’ve just been so busy with moving into the downstairs apartment each weekend that I haven’t had time for much else. How’s everything with you? Hope you have a wonderful week ❤

  19. Hi, Chris! I’ve been thinking of you. Isn’t it great that you are an experienced gardener this summer? So glad to hear that your herbs and veggies are flourishing. Hope your move is going smoothly. I’m so happy for you! Everything here is just fine. I’m busy in the garden, enjoying time with friends and family, and spending some creative time in my papercrafting studio on rainy days. I’m counting my blessings out loud every day! Enjoy these young summer days, Chris! Namaste. ♡

  20. Glad to hear that things are going well with you, Dawn! I’d love to see some more of your paper crafts 🙂 Please do share. The move on my end is going well but it is so time-consuming… I haven’t had any time to post or barely even check my e-mail! Luckily we’re getting a little bit more done each day, and I’ll be sure to share some pics when it’s complete. ❤

  21. You sound so busy, Chris! Soon you will be able to relax and enjoy your new place all summer long! Thanks for the gentle ‘push’ to share my paper crafting. That’s exactly what I need! I just love making handmade cards for friends and family. I mail them off the moment the ink dries! I promise to photograph some cards to share. Just think how organized you will feel when you are all settled in, Chris! ♡

  22. Hi Dawn, so glad you stopped by my site so that I was able to come by for a visit. I love your garden especially the bird bath and the simple bee bath. I have a similar item that I made from glass dishes. I planted anemone this spring but don’t think I’ll get blooms this year. Yours are so pretty. Enjoy the garden.

  23. Thanks so much for stopping to visit today, Linda! Three simple bee baths are new additions to the garden this summer. I love checking them each day and adding fresh water. I’m hoping to encourage the bees and other pollinators to spend lots of time in our garden. You will love having anemones in your garden, Linda! Even the spent seed heads are lovely as they dance in the breeze. Happy summer days in the garden! ♡

  24. Welcome, Ricky! Heartfelt thanks for your kind words. 💕 Susan Branch has always been a huge inspiration in my life. So, your kind words mean the world to me! I hope you will visit here often and join in the conversation! Wishing you lovely summer days! 💗

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