Saturday, June 23, 2018

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part One

My Paso Robles Neighborhood is Bursting into  Color in June

A lot of flowers that were not yet blooming in May popped out as June began. I was going to squeeze everything blooming in my neighborhood in June into one post, but that post kept getting longer. So this post will show you what's happening in my front flower bed closest to the house. I hope you will meet at least one new flower or herb before you finish reading.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Clary Sage Flower Spikes Next to Gazanias, © B. Radisavljevic

Clary Sage Spikes Appear

Among these new arrivals are the flower spikes of clary sage that bring shades of lavender, orchid, and plum to the garden. Above they are pictured in my side flower bed with the almost ever present cheerful orange and yellow of my gazanias. These clary sage plants all were just seedlings last year, children of their mother in a pot in the front flower bed. Now these seedlings are popping into bloom in many places in my garden. Learn more about The Growth of Clary Sage.

Here's a clary sage bud that appeared the first week of June. Notice the ladybug on the left side of the plant.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Clary Sage Bud and Ladybug, © B. Radisavljevic

Here's a closer look at a bud. Its leaf also has a bug visitor.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Clary Sage Bud with Insect Visitor on Leaf © B. Radisavljevic

This was taken a week later. I got in closer to show you the details of its delicate colors. Clary sage is a plant I appreciate more when I'm not too close. It has a strong odor that I don't particularly like.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Clary Sage Flower in Bloom, June 2018, © B. Radisavljevic

Lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus) Blooms and Chard Bolts

The buds of this flower that appears each June appeared during the second  week. They pushed their way up through the Lamb's Ears, still in bloom, that surrounded them. By this time the chard was bolting. I'll give you a closer look at the seeds later.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Bolting Chard, Lamb's Ears in Bloom and Agapanthus Buds, © B. Radisavljevic

By June 21, the lily is blooming. The chard isn't as tall as it appears, since I was shooting the photo looking up at the lily. You can see more clary sage in the background.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Bolting Chard, Agapanthus Beginning to Bloom, and Clary Sage Flowers in Background, © B. Radisavljevic

Here's a closer look at the seeds of the bolting chard nuzzling up to the irises which are almost completely gone. As you see, I've trimmed a dead one off.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Bolting Chard Invading Iris Leaves,  © B. Radisavljevic

Here are some of the fading irises and the last of the pale ones to bloom.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Blooming and Fading Irises,  © B. Radisavljevic

More from the Front Flower Bed

The borage flowers are on the extreme right, slightly above their large leaves. It's probably obvious that the garden has been doing its own thing since the winter rains. I haven't had time to get rid of the grassy weeds or the burr clover (small yellow flowers) that want to smother everything else.

The catmint, which should bloom any day now, has escaped from its pot and seems to be holding its own, as is the borage which reseeded prolifically this year. A tiny scarlet pimpernel flower peeks out in the middle left between the burr clover and the borage leaves, even with the angel's wing.

On the upper left a single blue scabiosa (pincushion flower) pokes its head into the mix. I'll give you a better look at the individual plants below.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Garden Angel Dreams of Waking up to a Flower Bed without Burr Clover,  © B. Radisavljevic

Borage and Friends

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Borage in Bloom,  © B. Radisavljevic

Above is a close-up of a borage flower and many buds. We are in a heat wave, and judging from the color of the leaves,  I think the borage plants are beginning to die for the year unless some more seedlings appear. That's too bad. I love throwing the flowers in my salads.

Capture June Blooms in Your Correspondence

I've put some of my borage and calendula on blank cards to share with your friends. Adorn your envelopes with roses.

Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Scabiosa at All Stages of Growth,  © B. Radisavljevic

Above is a more complete scabiosa plant than you saw above. It is a faithful bloomer during much of the year and contrasts nicely with the yellow and orange flowers like calendula and gazania which are its neighbors. In the photo you see all stages of the flower from bud to bloom to seed head. You also see a busy bee foraging on the top right.

Scarlet Pimpernel and Borage

Scarlet pimpernel can be a weed to get rid of or a flower to keep -- whichever you choose. I choose to keep it, since it's more pleasant than most weeds and helps cover the ground. I happen to like its tiny brick-red flower, though the color of those that grow in my yard seem to be more coral than red. Its leaves resemble those of chickweed. In the photo below its tiny flowers surround a borage leaf. Its own leaves are almost invisible in this photo, but you can see a flower popping out from its leaf cluster dangling over the left side of the borage leaf. It's almost the only pimpernel leaf cluster you can see not covered by the burr clover.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Scarlet Pimpernel with Borage Leaf and Burr Clover,  © B. Radisavljevic

Below, the scarlet pimpernel flowers are surrounded with budding borage and the burr clover I'm in the process of removing.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Scarlet Pimpernel with Borage Buds and Burr Clover,  © B. Radisavljevic

Have you noticed in these photos how fuzzy the borage leaves and buds are? They taste like cucumber  raw, but I only eat the flowers that aren't so fuzzy. Leaves, flowers, and stems are edible. Leaves and stems can be steamed or put into soups. Borage also has medicinal uses I haven't explored yet.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Scarlet Pimpernel with Fuzzy Borage Buds and Burr Clover,  © B. Radisavljevic

Nigella and Hyssop

Nigella is a delicate flower I discovered at Fat Cat Farm, an herb farm that later went out of business. I really miss Fat Cat Farm, since it was my go-to place to buy herbs for years. I'm glad I wrote about its history and captured its highlights with video and photos in this blog post. Read about how I discovered Nigella there in Nigella: A Wonderful Garden Surprise. The first ones I saw were blue. The ones I now grow are rose color. You will see both if you follow the link above.

My nigella is going to seed now. In the photo below you can see the large seed capsule on the left in the midst of its thread-like leaves. You can barely see its rose flower behind it. You can also see the yellow flower of the ever-present burr clover hear the top and the purple hyssop flower on the right. They are all fighting for space with the iris leaves which it's almost time to cut off. I will trim the irises when all the iris flowers finally have faded and died. I expect now that the heat of summer has arrived, the nigella will finish reseeding by popping its seed capsules and then also die.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Nigella Capsule Hiding Nigella Flower and Blooming Hyssop, © B. Radisavljevic

It was really hard to photograph the hyssop around the iris leaves. I cut it back last year so there's not as much to make the purple cluster so large this year. The flowers are very small, but the bees love them anyway. Hyssop usually blooms until August, and sometimes a few of the flowers linger longer.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Nigella Capsule and Blooming Hyssop and Burr Clover, © B. Radisavljevic

Hyssop can be used medicinally and in cooking. I have so far used it only ornamentally and to attract and provide forage for bees. As a member of the mint family, hyssop can be used to flavor salads and chicken soup, lamb stew, and poultry dressing. It can also be dried and used as a tea. I have not tried any of these uses yet.

Below you see my rose nigella, also called Love-in-a-Mist. Those thready leaves do make it seem somewhat ethereal. As you look at the top of the flower you can see the beginning of that large seed capsule that will soon form. There is one in the bottom right corner.

 Nigella seeds have traditionally been used to flavor foods, since their taste is said to resemble nutmeg. I have never tried them. Some scientists think they may be slightly toxic. According to Conrad Richter in Safety of Nigella Damascena Seeds, no one has presented conclusive evidence that it is or isn't safe, but he tends to believe that people would not have continued to keep using it through the generations if it had harmed them. He suggests you make up your own mind.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Nigella  Flower, © B. Radisavljevic

Carnations are in Bloom

I'm afraid my carnation plants have not done well for me here. Strangely enough, the one that still survives and blooms came from a  plant over fifty years old. You can read its history in "C" is for Carnations, an earlier post on this blog. This plant is in my front flower bed, but it has almost been smothered by its aggressive neighbors. Its siblings in the side flower bed have been smothered by the gazanias. So this is the only flower I can show you from it this year.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Light Pink Carnation in Bloom, © B. Radisavljevic


I started growing calendula (pot marigold) in Templeton about twenty years ago. I've been saving seeds every year since then, and started my plants here in Paso Robles with those seeds I collected in Templeton. I now can't imagine a garden without calendula. It blooms almost all year -- even in winter when it's almost the only color in the garden. Here's why I love it so much. If you follow the link you will see lots of photos from my garden and of how I use this plant in the kitchen. I don't want to duplicate that here, so I will just leave you with this photo to show you one of the flowers. It is surrounded by Lamb's Ears.

What Blooms in Paso Robles in June? Part 1
Calendula Flower Surrounded by Lamb's Ears, © B. Radisavljevic

See the rest of what bloomed in my front yard in June and July

What do you have blooming in June? Do you grow anything I've shown you here? Any comments on your experiences with them?

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