Six On Saturday — June 9

ONE – This week my Meconopsis betonicifolia or Himalayan blue poppies began opening. These few weeks of them shining their vibrant blue from two whiskey barrels along the gravel stairway are a highpoint of the year in the garden.

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TWO – The current view from the deck features our Viburnum tomentosum, which lost a few branches beneath the weight of winter snow, but has bounced back nicely. It’s a star along the low black fence.

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THREE – Directly behind the viburnum stands a tree that I’ve always assumed was a late maple, due to the shape of its leaves. It is the last tree to leaf out each spring and the last to drop its vivid, burgundy leaves in the fall. I hosted a bunch of avid gardeners for a fun dinner, and during the nickel garden tour a guest who is a trained arborist gently let me know my maple is actually a Sweetgum tree. What!? We figured out it’s a seedless variety of Liquidambar styraciflua (didn’t even know that existed) since it doesn’t produce those awful, spiky gumballs. I’m amazed that Coppertop is still revealing its secrets to me. A few years back we lost another adult specimen of this beautiful tree down by the pond in a severe windstorm.

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FOUR – Late spring in the little hillside Herb Garden is always a pleasure. Plants are bulking up even in our chilly spring, and the chives just won’t quit. Grown here are sage, various oreganos, various mints, lemon balm, rosemary, salad burnet, various thymes, and too many chives. The basil, dill, and sometimes cilantro and parsley grow in pots on the deck due to voracious slugs. Above this herb garden are the peonies that haven’t begun blooming yet despite my constant urging.

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FIVEWestern Tiger Swallowtails have returned! The early Nepeta draws them in, and soon the Dianthus will keep them here for the summer.

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SIX – And finally, some much-needed support! The trio of birches had been leaning at an alarming angle since our late winter snows when they bowed down, shown in a huddled mass below. Our arborist friend suggested we tie them to the nearby fence for a full growing season, and Hubby went to it. Look closely to see the ropes that are a good 7-10′ in the air, so no threat of decapitation.

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Head on over to The Propagator who hosts Six on Saturday, and visit links in the comments to see what’s going on in beautiful gardens around the world.

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33 thoughts on “Six On Saturday — June 9

  1. Hehe isn’t it funny how you either love or loathe the spiky balls from a sweet gum. I listed them in my 6 for sat because I love them even if they hurt like mad to step on). Ooooh the blue poppies are my idea of perfect.

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      • Yes, close is good. Mine is at the bottom of the garden, not a big garden by any means, but still a nuisance to get to in the rain. I might treat myself to a herb table/manger for the patio next year. Waist height would be good 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll join everyone else in oohing and aahing over the blue poppies.

    I’ve never heard of a seedless sweetgum, but it sounds like a good idea for a garden. I’ve occasionally heard of people using the gumballs as mulch (or even potting media for orchids) but that sounds to me like a recipe for a carpet of sweetgum seedlings.

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  3. Sweetgum may take a few years to develop maces, and will take even longer if vigorously healthy.
    Those birches look like the Jacquemontii or Himalayan birch. If you ever get more, be sure to get the same kind. Those trees look weird if mixed with European white birch. Mixing birches is like mixing sycamores. The make each other look bad.

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  4. Those blue poppies always amaze me. When I read that someone can grow them I turn green with envy. Good for you.
    I have a tree that needs to be tied up too. The birches look much better in their upright position. Have a great weekend.

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  5. Your meconopsis is just stunning. There isn’t anything quite like it for colour, is there? Maybe delphinums, but they don’t have the same floaty quality. Just stunning. Lovely to see the wider perspective of your garden. You have a beautiful setting and layout.

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  6. At the risk of repeating a bit of a mantra, can I say how beautiful your meconopsis are? I grew some many years ago and I’d forgotten just what a stunning blue they are, there is something very magical about the way the light plays through those silky petals. Gorgeous! What a very lovely garden you have.

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  7. Our neighbour has the blue poppy and I’ve been pondering getting one for a while. Your pictures have convinced me it’s a necessity!

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  8. Those blue poppies are so very desirable: I think they’re quite hard to grow here. Great success with the birches which seem to be growing wonderfully well.

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    • The poppies can be temperamental and picky about where they grow, but here they’ve been somewhat easy. I just try not to get in their way and mess them up! Thanks for the visit, Jane. Have a great week with plenty of garden time.

      Liked by 1 person

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