Six on Saturday – Volunteers & Vistas

All week we’ve been bombarded with heat wave warnings for this Canada Day long weekend – we’re lucky to live close enough to the lake to enjoy relatively cool breezes but I finished mot of my heavy chores Thursday evening. A sweet smell wafted over me while mowing and I realized the Milkweed was opening. I couldn’t find any bees or butterflies near them but the ants seemed to be enjoying the nectar..

ants on Milkweed June 28 2018 small
1 – Milkweed – Asclepias

Beside these Milkweed stalks is a stand of the native perennial wildflower Potentilla simplex. Although the flowers are similar, it shouldn’t be confused with the ornamental Potentilla fruticosa shrub (which has recently been renamed Dasiphora fruticosa). This perennial self seeds readily but is easily pulled where not wanted. In early summer it provides a lovely soft green and yellow contrast to bronze or red foliage.

Potentilla simplex June 28 2018
2 – Potentilla simplex

A third volunteer opening in my garden in the past few days are the Larkspur – Delphinium. Not exactly a wildflower, but plant appeared unexpectedly last year and I collected and scattered its seeds. This year there are multiple flower stalks with both dark and light blue blooms.

Larkspur - Delphinium - June 28 2018 small
3 – Delphinium

I planted these two native Ninebark shrubs 10 or 12 years ago at the very back of the property. This is when we were spending summers in a trailer back there, before we built the house. It’s still one of my favourite late spring/early summer views, especially after I pollarded them so that the branches grew and cascaded into these graceful arches.

Ninebark - Physocarpus - June 28 2018
4 – Ninebark – Physocarpus

I like looking at my raised garlic beds when I’m standing on the back porch, sipping coffee, while Shileau has her morning walk about. The beds are a ways away from the house and, unless I’ve planted beans or greens amongst the garlic, I generally ignore them until mid August when it’s time to harvest. I mowed around them Thursday night though and lo and behold, whilst I wasn’t looking, scapes had emerged and weeds had sprung up! You can bet I was back there Friday morning pulling the unwanted volunteers and snipping off scapes for stir-fry!

garlic June 28 2018
5 – Garlic, scapes, weeds and all!

I’ve got a separate page with photos of what I call The Island — the oval shaped micro garden in the middle of the driveway roundabout. I love it because it’s like an evolving entity – a piece of performance art – changing month to month and also, of course, year to year as perennials and shrubs grow. This year, this week, there’s an abundance of orange and white perennials with daisy like flowers. Ox Eye Daisy, Shasta Daisy, Blanket Flower, Coreopsis. I think it’s quite lovely, and it’s #6 on this week’s list.

Leucanthemum vulgare (Ox Eye Daisies), Coreopsis and Gaillardia (Blanket Flower) June 28 2018 sm

That’s it for this week. I switched to a new layout this week and I’m still experimenting with it so my apologies if it’s not quite right yet! To see more amazing and interesting groups of six photos today, head over to The Propogator‘s site; he started this whole thing!


  1. What does ninebark do? I have seen it in catalogues, and everyone else seems to know about it, but I have never seen one. I suppose it looks pretty, but does not seem to be any more interesting than a photinia or pittosporum off in the distance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What does it do? Interesting question! It’s native to much of the cooler parts of this continent, flowers enjoyed by pollinators and fruit by birds. Comes in many varieties, probably the most popular is El Diablo with burgundy foliage. Drought tolerant!!!!! Pretty exfoliating bark (hence Nine Bark….ie 9 layers of bark)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And . . . ?
        I think I should just go ahead and try it. I would not put it in my own garden, but at work where it can be pruned up to expose the bark. The look okay, but not overly impressive. I should look up the fruit. The only feature that I find all that distinctive is the bark.


  2. I love a post nearly all devoted to volunteers. There’s so many good ones out there, its interesting to let nature (& birds) help the garden design along. I’ve not lived in North America for a long time & forgot (if I ever knew) what milkweed flowers looked like. They’re amazing!


  3. AH, your milkweed is the prettiest I’ve seen. I’m also a big fan of ninebark, and Tony’s question cracked me up. Ninebark “does” BEAUTY! Your trained cascades are brilliant. So much to like in your Six, including those Island blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

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