six on Saturday, 20 June 2020

Five of this week’s six are things that surprised me as I did some general clean up in the garden this week.  The sixth is just something bright and cheerful.  I’m sure you can find a more coherent set of entries by visiting the site of The Propagator, the hub of our Six on Saturday venture.  There you will also find guidelines for joining in and links to many lovely gardens around the globe.

1. Rosinweed (Silphium) is still blooming in a large section of the wooded part of the garden as well as here and there in other garden beds.  That was a little surprising, but the real surprise was that the bumble bees that were visiting the flowers a few weeks ago–as seen in the featured photo–are no where to be seen.  They have been replaced, though, by little bees that I can only identify as among the resin bees.


2. Another plant I did not expect to see blooming is the calycanthus, which first bloomed the beginning of April.  I certainly did not expect to see this Southeastern US native blooming again.  But the real surprise is that this time it lived up to its common names, sweet shrub and Carolina spice bush.  It has a lovely strawberry-like scent that I had long been familiar with from the burgundy flower variety.  The variety I have is yellow, and until a few days ago it never offered the pleasant aroma I enjoyed this week.  Below is a photo with a friendly spider taken on Friday and a photo taken on 4 April.

3.  The next three items come from the oval garden in one of the sunniest places on the lot.  Dahlias that I thought were lost to the dry climate two summers ago are coming up, and one is even sporting a bloom.  Of course, you can see a chrysanthemum blooming in this photo, too.  I need to cut those flowers if I want to have any blooms on that plant in the fall.


Interestingly a dahlia in the border garden in front of the house, a place that is quite shady, has been blooming for a few weeks now.


4.  Back to the front garden for the oddest shaped Echinacea stem I’ve seen.  I really don’t have anything else to offer about this North American native.   I am, though, interested to see how this stem will support the coneflower developing at its top.


5. The Carolina lily (Lilium michauxii) is one of my favorite Southeast wildflowers.  I noticed today that one of these two plants just outside of the oval bed seems to have two buds, something I’ve not seen before.  It will be weeks before it blooms, though.

carolina lily

6. Feverfew, or Tanacetum parthenium, is my final entry for this week.  I first became familiar with this plant when investigating medieval gardens.  It has a long history as a medicinal herb used to prevent migraine headaches.  Clearly in the daisy family, it also has some ornamental interest.  I have a few plants growing among yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and irises.


On the bright and happy note of the feverfew flowers, I’ll end for this week and wish everyone continued health and good gardening.

5 Replies to “six on Saturday, 20 June 2020”

  1. Calycanthus occidentalis was something that I thought was very Californian. Until only recently, I had no idea that there are other species that are more common in other regions.


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