Six on Saturday – Suddenly Summer

Camassia and Sorbaria May26 2018 small
Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’ & Camassia quamash.  These two are both new to me – I’m loving both the deep blue of these bulbs, native to North America and once a food staple for Indigenous Peoples’ diet, and the rosy hue on this variety of Sorbaria.

Officially we’ve nearly a month left of spring but with temps close to 30 yesterday it was suddenly shorts and sandals weather.   Most of the spring bulbs have had their days of glory, and now that the Camassia are swooning around in all their blue splendour there’s only the Alliums left to bloom (Purple Sensation has started but karataviense and the Globemasters are still swelling up).

Allium karataviense May 21 2018 closeup small
Allium karataviense.  Unique amongst the Alliums in that its striped foliage is at least as attractive and interesting as its flower – which will likely open this week.

I hope to get all my seedlings in the ground over the next three or four days – still have annuals (Cosmos, Marigolds) and lots of perennials (Liatris, Echinacea, Alcea) to plant – some may wind up being given to neighbours or the community gardens if I can’t figure out proper homes for them all here.  (That’s kind of hard to believe, but true!)

Viburnum carlesii May 20 2018 small
On still, warm days this week you could smell the fragrance from this Viburnum carlesii all over the Island garden.  The distinctive clove aroma makes me think it’s Christmas in May.  I need to plant more!

Most of my Lilac bushes have not produced very many flowers this year – I need to research why (didn’t add fertilizer; didn’t prune at all…it’s a mystery).  But I’m happy that my native Redbuds – Cercis canadensis – have survived the ravages of rabbit and deer to give us more than a few blossoms.  No fragrance, unfortunately, but it’s so neat to have watched the buds spring out from seemingly smooth hard trunks and branches and produce such lovely purply flowers.

Redbud May 26 2018
Canada Redbud – Cercis canadensis

It’s going to be a great year for Irises!  My row of re-blooming white Iris, just in its second spring, has a gazillion flowers stalks and should be spectacular in a week or so, as should the Siberian and flag Iris that seem to love the soil here, even when the summers are so dry.

Dwarf Iris and Leucojum May 26 2018 small
I transplanted a bunch of dwarf Iris – just plain yellow and purple ones – two years ago to the top of this stone ridge and they’ve hit their stride this spring.  I’ll be adding to the row a few other varieties from other parts of the garden this week, I think.

I had a Tree Peony in my previous garden.  It grew quickly and became relatively huge but it was one of many things I wasn’t able to bring with me here to the County.  It’s on my wish list for this year – I’m hoping to find one with a single, yellow flower. The large, pink, many petaled flowers on my last one often were too heavy and I needed to tie branches to each other to prevent them from snapping off when the flowers were in full bloom.  I do have  a dozen or so ‘regular’ peonies though (the blooming has just begun with the Fernleaf Peony); pictures to come in the weeks ahead!

Fern Leaf Peony May 26 2018
This beautiful Fern Leaf Peony – Paeonia tenuifolia – is always first t bloom.

Head on over to The Propagator’s site to see Six on Saturday from all around the world!


  1. Wonderful first picture with this deep blue! I Just love it !
      Here too, it seems to be a good year for the irises (but especially for bulbous iris like Dutch one.) The bearded irises are late and the stems are broken by the wind or something / insect that I have not seen yet.


  2. So much colour in your garden, Chris, it’s just gorgeous. I love the irises on the stone ridge…just a perfect collection of flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Six lovelies! Your Camassia are so blue, and the peonies are gorgeous, too. Your lilac might need a dressing of lime if your soil is acidic (which would be why the Siberian iris love it).

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  4. I bought some pots of Camassia esculenta a few weeks back thinking they were something different; just another name for the same excellent plant. Much prefer it to Camassia leichtlinii which is over in no time and flops everywhere. Paeonia tenuifolia is on the long list of things I’ve had and killed, swamped by Acanthus. Love the Iris too.


  5. That fern leaf peony was popular in Western Oregon, but I do not get it. There are so many peonies that grow there. That foliage is a bit too weird for my taste. It looks like Zsa Zsa Gabor wearing a fluffy boa as if she was not already pretty enough (a long time ago). Camassia is something I had seen in catalogues. I like it because I get the impression that it is similar to the natives that grow wild, but would not know, since I have never seen either.

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  6. Beautiful pictures. I wish I had room for the Irises, they look stunning. My Sorbaria is in its third year and I love it but……. I haven’t seen any warning about the suckers! Mine’s going for border domination.


    1. Yes, Sorbaria spreads quite freely when happily situated, doesn’t it?! That’s one of the reasons I put it in – I wanted to start a colony on the sides of a drainage swale I have running through the property. This variety (‘Sem’) seems a bit more refined than others I have seen.


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