Growing to perfection in the June sun

Published 9:00 am Sunday, June 14, 2015

William Baffin climbing rose is spectacular when in bloom in June. Even though this plant is a climber, the canes are very thick so it can stand alone. - Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

William Baffin climbing rose is spectacular when in bloom in June. Even though this plant is a climber, the canes are very thick so it can stand alone. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

Bring on the month of June and warm sunny days for the gardens to grow to perfection. The early weeks in the month of June are a transition of the spring blooming flowers fading away and the early summer ones not quite ready. Usually around the third week my roses will be blooming, but I am looking at two of them and they will be open in about a week. My David Austin Heritage rose is looking very nice after the tough winter we had and the newly planted Flower Carpet Amber roses are coming along. The only rose that is not looking very good is William Baffin, a climber that has been in my gardens for over thirty-five years.

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang

I love roses and the month of June seems to be when they are at their best in my gardens.  Over the years I have planted many roses that have since gone by the wayside so the ones I have now are roses that will perform even if we have had a cold winter. When William Baffin blooms you can see it from any location in my yard as it towers above the fence. It is breathtaking. Even though this rose has been on the decline for the past five years it is one that I would never be without. Looks like come fall I will trim it down to the ground so that I have all new canes next spring. This is a climber, but mine is grown without any support and the canes are very thick.

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The Virginia bluebells are finished with their spectacular show and will start to wither away, dry out and completely disappear until next spring. A few of the bleeding hearts are still blooming sporadically and they too will need to be cut back and then they will dry down some, but mine do not disappear. In the fall they have a lovely yellow/green foliage to add even more color to the gardens. The poppies are just about done blooming and that is another plant that dries down and disappears until fall when they magically reappear.

As the month of June progresses, the lilies will start to add so much color in all of the gardens as they begin their very long season of blooming. First it will be the asiatics, then the orientals, orienpets and then for me the last ones are the trumpet lilies. Such a riot of color and fragrance will fill the gardens during June and July. It looks like a color bomb has exploded.

Baptisa has just started to bloom and what a lovely sight it is against the garden shed with the blue/green foliage topped with soft lupine-like blue flowers. The first of my clematis is blooming on the arbor against the west fence with bright blue flowers. It will be followed by many others that bloom from June to August, adding color as they climb the trellises.

The annuals that I have planted from seed are slowly growing. I had very poor germination as the cold weather really was tough on them. After they had been planted during that warm spell they were just beginning to germinate when the cold hit them. Just one of the trials of gardening with weather in the Midwest.

The hydrangeas are starting to set their flowers. Before the month is over some of them will possibly start to bloom. My tomatoes and pepper plant have set blossoms and I can hardly wait to enjoy what they will have to offer my salads later this summer. My Toscana strawberry plants that are in a container on the table in the Victorian gazebo are producing sweet berries for me to enjoy on my cereal now. I love, love, love fresh goodies straight from my own gardens.

Verbena bonariensis is one of my favorite self-seeders in the gardens. They are always very late to make an appearance so I have not been able to get much weeding done yet, as they are just barely above ground and I will want to transplant some of them into the other gardens. Every day is like Christmas in the gardens!

“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”  — Gertrude Jekyll


Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears weekly. Email her at