Six on Saturday – 11JUN2022 – Colour

There’s so much happening in the garden this time of year it’s hard to know where to look. And so much colour! We’ve had cool temperatures and lots of rain this month (so far) which has made the garden really lush; everything from grass to individual leaves to flower petals seem quite huge and happy. Every Saturday, The Propagator encourages gardeners around the world to share six things that are happening in their garden – here are five colourful and lush things from my garden, plus one gross and unwanted thing…

To get it over with, I’m going to start with the gross thing: what I think is pine sawfly larvae – Diprion similis. THIS is one of the reasons I like to take an early morning walkabout, every day. I caught these voracious caterpillars hard at work yesterday morning, chowing down on a small Austrian pine I had transplanted in April. I quickly fetched a bucket of soapy water and knocked them into it. The bucket will remain by the tree for a few more days while I make frequent checks to ensure I got them all.

Now on to something more pleasant! Not far from the pine is a Royal Purple Smoke Tree – Cotinus coggygriaRoyal Purple.’ Right now it’s in flower, and over the coarse of the next few weeks it will develop the puffy, cloudy appearance they’re famous for.

Tall bearded Iris are still in bloom, including these: Iris pallida ‘Variegata’ (Dalmatian Iris), with its gorgeous variegate leaves, and an almost pure white reblooming variety:

Just starting are various peonies – here are two doubles. The pink one will open up more and expose a multitude of frilly petals; the red one is huge, with a huge sturdy stalk, and thankfully does not require support of any kind. Alas, neither are terribly fragrant.

I have two cultivars of Mock Orange – a traditional one, which won’t bloom for a few more weeks, and this one, starting to bloom now, Philadelphus ‘Starbright,’ bred in Canada by Dr. Wilf Nicholls, head of Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden. This IS fragrant, and smells SO good!

Finally, a perennial Geranium. I’m not sure which variety, but I like it because it stays low to the ground, spreads slowly and has a delicate, muted pastel colour. Here is the plant itself, and a close-up pf the flower is in the very top, featured, photo. Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. From what I can tell, your mock orange isn’t really an orange at all. Is it native?

    One of our worst invasives is a wonderfully fragrant trifoliate orange that comes from Asia. Its fruit is inedible — apparently even for the critters — and its thorns ghastly, although those same thorns have made it a plant useful for building security in some places. They’re attempting to get rid of it in one of our nearby nature centers, but it endures. Despite it all, the flowers are gorgeous, and attract swallowtails like crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely not a citrus! The genus is native to parts of North America, not sure about this particular species though.

      Your invasive thorny bush sounds a lot like our buckthorn, imported (deliberately!!) from Europe a few centuries ago….at least yours has those great flowers though! Ours has no redeeming qualities that I know of.


  2. I also like to do an early morning garden tour – best way to find greedy pests. I don’t mind a little light noshing, but if they are going to devastate, then into the soapy water with them! Beautiful peonies – they are just finishing up in my zone, and with the rain, many are drooping or flopping over in a sad way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful collection of plants. The irises are wonderful. I so sympathise with the sawfly caterpillars. They look very similar to the box moth caterpillar I have here. Wishing you every success in dealing with them

    Liked by 1 person

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