Six on Saturday – 18JUN2022 – Six Signs of Summer

It’s officially summer in just a few days, and a sure sign of that in my garden are scapes. Garlic scapes, that is, now curling skyward, ready to be snipped off and chopped up and added to pesto or soups, or frozen now for use in winter stews. Scapes, the first of six things in my garden this week; to see six things in gardens around the world be sure to visit Jon, The Propagator‘s, site.

Garlic’s Latin name is Allium sativum – yes, it’s a type of Allium. Also a type of Allium is Allium x proliferum – more commonly known as a Walking Onion, Egyptian Walking Onion or Tree Onion. It differs from a regular culinary onion by setting tiny bulbils at the top of its stalk, instead of flowers. It starts to ‘travel’ when the top gets so heavy it bends down to the earth, where the bulbils take root and start another plant.

Late spring is when annual poppies start to bloom, including the California poppy, Eschscholzia californica. I have a small patch that reliably self seeds year to year. It’s the state flower of the State of California.

Peonies are still going strong here – we’ve avoided the extreme heat wave that our southern neighbours have been enduring recently – and doing especially well is the pure white ‘Duchesse de Nemours.’ I have six or eight of these, and although they don’t bulk up like many other peonies do, each stem has so many flowers that their season is long. It’s possibly my favourite peony.

Pure yellow, on the other hand, are these sundrops – Oenothera fruticosa. Another sure sign of summer. They can spread a bit, if you let them, but provide a perfect splash of colour before daylilies start to flower.

Finally, the last sign of summer’s imminent arrival in my garden is the flowering of the Ninebark shrub. I have the native species, Physocarpus, now covered in white flowers in the back, and in the front yard is the gorgeous, very popular purple leaved variety, ‘El Diablo.’ It’s a great shrub for year around interest, really, but especially now, with its flowers contrasting beautifully with the foliage.

We should have a gorgeous weekend ahead here, sunny and low 20’s, I plan to do a bit of gardening (of course!), a bit of running, and a bit of eating with friends – strawberry rhubarb pie is in the works, I predict, since both are in season now. Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. California poppies are one of those flowers that are too excellent to improve. All those silly oddly colored varieties are disgraceful! Pink, red, yellow, white, purple, double flowers, etc. Gads! The white is not even a good white. When I was a kid, finding a very rare white poppy or even rarer purple poppy was like finding a four leaf clover is for kids in other regions.

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  2. I recognized your garlic and walking onions immediately, from our wild versions. They were my introduction to bulblets, and I thought they were fascinating. It’s fun to see the flowers emerging from between them.

    You can put me in the group that adores strawberry and rhubarb. We have the strawberries, but rhubarb doesn’t grow here, more’s the pity. We grew up with the combo in pies and jams primarily, but crumbles or tarts would be great, too. Enjoy!

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    1. A small group of friends were over yesterday afternoon for rhubarb custard pie and home made strawberry gelato. Even amongst County folk, a few people declined the pie and went for gelato alone. Unfathomable 😆

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