June Bloom Day in the small garden

The garden is a crazy, jumbled mess right now. Just the way I like it. But you can see how I could never do this professionally.


It was hot and sunny all day. Not the best light conditions for taking pictures, but...does that really matter? I don't think so. I yanked out the mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii). It's missing in the picture above.


The larkspur has been fun. The plants are fairly erect (unlike Delphinium, which tend to lean) and the flowers last a long time without any water. The bottom of the plant gets a little moldy tho'. That's my only complaint. Here, one spike got snared in the bird netting I use to protect the raspberries.


So Cal native Delphinium cardinale is the only Delphinium in my garden this year. I learned about this plant from Betsy Clebsch. Maybe it looks better in her garden. In mine it's a little ragged. On the other hand, it requires no care whatsoever.

Delphinium cardinale

Having the mock orange gone makes it easier to see the abutilon and rusty foxglove (Digitalis ferruginea)


which is not so rusty. At least not yet. The flowers just opened. These are pretty much actual size.

Digitalis ferruginea Digitalis ferruginea

Piet Oudolf likes to use this plant in cold winter landscapes. I'm not sure what to expect from it in mild-weathered San Francisco. I imagine I'll have to cut it down when the flowers die. He also advocates umbillifers, and I have a lot of those.

Like dill...

This is my first time growing dill. I was not expecting it to grow 4' tall. It's planted in the wrong place for a plant that tall, but I'm going to leave it where it is for as long as I can stand it. At least long enough for the flowers to open.


And carrots. I was told carrots left in the ground through winter would go to seed with the first warm weather. Well, it's mid-June and this is about time! I once weeded a garden where carrots had naturalized. I would like them to do that in my yard too. (I would like that better than maintaining a carrot patch.) But I don't know if I have the patience.


Wildflowers naturalizing would be good too. Of course I'd need to add a few new plants every year anyway to keep them from getting inbred.

Phacelia tanacetifolia

Clarkia bottae


This one is new to me; Collomia grandiflora (Polemoniaceae). I got the seeds from Seed Hunt over there in the links. Apparently, it is widespread in the west although I've never seen it before. The peach color is unusual.

Collomia grandiflora

Although here I am with some peachy runner beans.

Phaseolus coccineus

Speaking of color, a hideous pairing of red and yellow emerged and I. Am. Tolerating. It.

Keckiella cordifolia

This Keckiella cordifolia (another So Cal native, I think) is one of my favorite plants. And so easy to grow from seed. Highly recommended for summer-dry gardens. I have three of them!

Keckiella cordifolia

More red things... I got this Begonia boliviana last year at Dry Garden. It died to the ground over winter, and came back good as new without much care. (I've watered it once or twice this year.)

Begonia boliviana

Some creature is feasting on these nasturtium leaves (Tropaeolum majus). Such is life in the pesticide-free garden. Tho' even with pesticides it's possible, even likely, for the same thing to occur. So why bother.


A yellow nasutrium on the other side of the garden is less molested.


Time for a cool blue... these sweet peas just started to flower.

Lathyrus odoratus

Phacelia campanularia

Phacelia campanularia

Tweedia caerulea

Tweedia caerulea

Now for some orange and yellow. The unnamed Senecio

Senecio sp.

Madia elegans


I'm letting the Cotula lineariloba's yellow buttons spread where they will.


These unnamed yellow lilies just opened today. The flowers point down so I can't see them.


The back of it is really pretty.


If this dahlia had opened today, that would have been swell.



Fuchsia boliviana 'alba' IMG_9452

IMG_9390 IMG_9551

Visit May Dreams Gardens for on the 15th of any month for Bloom Day Madness all over the world.


Brent said...

"I'd need to add a few new plants every year anyway to keep them from getting inbred"

Somehow I thought this might be a good thing: successive plant generations would be more and more well-adapted to your garden conditions.

ryan said...

A lot of interesting stuff, and looking happy. I just bought some collomia seed, so it was good to see those. I bought them because I'd never seen or heard of them. They look nice.
The Betsy Clebsch talk sounds pretty thorough. More about salvias than I expect to ever know.

Frances said...

It all looks wonderful, Chuck, and I think you could definitely do this professionally. If you were designing for someone else, like one who wants low maintenance, that's what we all want, right?, Maybe there would be more hardscape and evergreens among the natives. Inbred or not. I love the idea of carrots gone wild, too. Seems doable. :-)

Kim said...

I enjoyed your garden, even the "hideous combination." You have some interesting and lovely plants.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I think everything looks great! I love the lily.

Pam/Digging said...

I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you, by the yellow and red pairing in your garden, Chuck. (Please avert your eyes from similar ones in mine.) ;-)

I like the look of the Delphinium cardinale. You have a lot of delightful plants in bloom, as always.

bradzio said...

Your garden is looking great. My guess is you shouldn't have a problem with the wildflowers reseeding. I'm over in the East Bay and we had about 10 species reseed from last year. One of the only ones that didn't was the phacelia campanularia, one of my favorites from last year (only a few plants), I'm jealous of yours.

Annie in Austin said...

Yes, good thing you pulled out the Mockorange, Chuck - the other plants all moved over 4" to fill in the space and the whole garden looks different.

Frances is right that it all looks wonderful but I'm not so sure about professionally. Don't people who say they want low maintenance really mean they want a very neat garden without doing any work? Good luck with have finding the right client!

Once again see those peachy runner beans and think they're pretty.

Happy GBBD!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

People who hired garden consultants just don't get the wild, overgrown look. Their loss. Your garden is exuberant and lush. I'm encouraged by your experience of Larkspurs doing well without much water. I'm trying them for the first time this year, and they aren't going to get any coddling.
I love the color of your Callirhoe with the little daisy-thingies. You have so many little treasures tucked in, all so charming.

Dreamybee said...

Whew, all those cool blues and purples showed up just in time-I was just thinking how hot and fiery your garden looked with all those reds and yellows! Looks like a wonderful place to spend a day.

chuck b. said...

Happy Bloom Day everyone--thank you for coming by.

Gail said...

I could be very happy hiring you to help with my wilderness...I think you would totally get it and not run screaming from it's problems! Having said that I must say i love your garden and it's beautiful exuberance...and your commentary is delightful! gail

Christopher C. NC said...

Stupendous, what you have crammed into that tiny back yard. Truly amazing. The lily looks like our native Turk's Cap Lily with the recurved petals and downward facing bloom, Lilium superbum.

I don't think a single yellow bloom in a red setting reaches the level of horrors. It is good you tolerate it. Of course it would be easy to just snap that yellow flower off.

The dahlia reminds me. I need to check on Madame Stappers again. She survived the winter and was coming up, but I think the grasshoppers may have found her. Something was chewing on it.

Carol Michel said...

When I read that first sentence I thought you wrote "cranky" instead of "crazy" and wondered for just a second why you would want a cranky garden. Ah, but I quickly figured it out. Your garden looks like quite the place to explore for new plants (at least new to me)!

Thanks for joining in for bloom day. Oops, I'm not supposed to thank you. Oh, well, you've been doing these blooms day posts from the beginning, every once in awhile I have to say thanks, I guess because I'm from the Midwest.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Les said...

I like your "crazy jumbled mess". I kind of have the same ethic, but towards the end of the summer it can make me crazy and I start pulling. Around here our prolific umbillifer is the non-native Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota). Though, it is easy enough to get rid of it you have too many.

Jan said...

I don't think of your garden as a "jumbled mess" as much as lush. I love a garden that is filled up with all kinds of plants. You have some very lovely blooms for Blooms Day.

Always Growing

Sylvana said...

The Tweedia caerulea and that Senecio are my favorite in this post. Very nice!

Weeping Sore said...

My, my, how your garden grows! My runner beans didn't get a head start on the rabbits and they never bloomed. Yours are enough to make me want to try again next year. Your pictures are lovely. Isn't this the best time of year outside in the garden?

~~Rhonda said...

You have an amazing garden full of a beautiful variety of bloom. Thanks so much for sharing! ~~Rhonda

EAL said...

There is also a l. tigrinium that that might be. The stripes. The superbum is more red isn't it?

anna maria said...

It'a all beautiful. Yours is my favorite kind of garden: the variegated jungle!

anna maria said...

I forgot to ask. Why did you take out the Philadelphus lewisii? Don't tell me it was taking over! I've had one for a couple of years now, and it has become only slightly larger. I WISH it would grow more.