When June comes dancing o’er the death of May,
With scarlet roses tinting her green breast,
And mating thrushes ushering in her day,
And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest.
~ Claude Mckay, A Memory of June
The last days of May and the first days of June have been dance worthy. Days of warm sunshine alternating with days of cool rain have triggered lush growth and spectacular bloom. Early summer was ushered in by peonies, alliums, and viburnum (click on any photo to see a full size image)
while the banner of bloom was then carried on by irises of every type, size and color. The bearded iris (Iris germanica) were first to bloom, with ‘Tiger Eyes’ and ‘Beverly Sills’ creating a river of color up the stone steps of the hillside.
Close on the heels of the bearded iris were the Siberian iris (Iris siberica) in a whole new color palette. The brilliant blue of ‘River Dance’ pulsed in contrast to the peachy pink of ‘Beverly Sills’ while ‘Reprise’ bloomed in a soft shades of moody blue.
I have a fondness for peach and caramel colors and was delighted when Siberian Iris ‘Buttescotch Fizz’ bloomed so freely this year, set off by the foliage of Heuchera ‘Caramel’ beside and behind it under the Japanese maple ‘Garnet’.
Native iris were the last to come into bloom with the sky blue flowers of Iris virginica and the purple violet blooms of Iris versicolor ‘John Wood’.
And then the roses came.
On this June day the buds in my garden are almost as enchanting as the open flowers. Things in bud bring, in the heat of a June noontide, the recollection of the loveliest days of the year – those days of May when all is suggested, nothing yet fulfilled. ~Francis King
From the tiny polyantha rose ‘Margo’s Sister’ to the lush old rose ‘Rose de Rescht’ surrounded by geraniums and penstemons, June arrived in earnest.
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
Rose ‘Complicata’ is one of my favorite roses. Almost thornless, it covers the arbor leading into the lower garden and is one of the first to bloom. The huge single flowers are sweetly scented and visited by bumblebees throughout the day.
A single peony in the same color combination blooms at its feet, clothing the arbor from top to bottom with pink and yellow flowers.I suspected last year that there would come a day in the garden when the loss of Angel Eyes would strike me suddenly. It happened while I was photographing this arbor of roses – I have many years of photos of Angel standing under the arbor – she loved the scent of the roses and always paused here to smell them. Suddenly the arbor was empty without her with only fallen petals to mark her favorite spot on the path. I had to put my camera away for the day but the next morning, Pixie insisted on staying near me, “helping” me to pot up flowers on the deck and making me laugh again.
Later that day, Pixie went to a different rose covered arbor, thick with the scent of white rose ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ and turned to look at me, as if to say “I’m here with you, Mom, no worries.” What a gift she is.
The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction.
~Dan Simmons, Drood
I wish you all a beautiful June full of dancing, staggering beauty and joy. May you recognize and treasure each gift that comes your way.
All photos and text ©2022 by Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved except where noted.
Love this! Reminds me of my blog about plants 🌱very well done!
This post borders on painful. 😉 It’s just so beautiful and there are so, so many glorious flowers! I’m still limited to pots and have little sun so I get my garden kicks vicariously and this couldn’t be better. Irises! I love them all – ‘Beverly Sills’ and ‘Reprise’ are delicious together. I appreciate the variety of your roses, too. ‘Complicata’ looks a lot like one of our wild roses, the Nootka rose. They’re pretty common around the island and have just started to bloom. ‘Complicata’ climbing the arbor with the peony is fabulous. You wrote poignantly about Angel. How interesting that Pixie pointed a way forward – but I don’t worry about that with you. Great last quote and last thought from your pen, I mean keyboard. 😉
Painful wasn’t my intention but I get what you mean. The irises were spectacular this year, the native ‘John Wood’ is still blooming and the Ensatas are starting to bud up – love them all! ‘Complicata’ is very much like the native wild roses in its simplicity of flower – the bees love it and the scent is both mild and sweet – it forms lovely rosehips in the fall too. Ah, I still miss Angel, I will probably never get over losing her but Pixie is surprisingly sensitive to this, so I’m lucky. So glad you are vicariously enjoying the garden!
🙂 Yeah, I know you don’t mean to cause pain, Lynn! I’m glad it was a good iris year. It’s been a good year fro wildflowers all around here, but I think gardens are behind – it’s been very cool & rainy.
It’s interesting what you said about Pixie being sensitive to your feelings for Angel. Canine wisdom!
Beautiful! Great quotes as usual. Hope your garden keeps dancing this summer.
Thank you, Richard. I hope it keeps dancing too – it is on tour next month so I’m spending a lot of time on the details this year.
A stunning display of your amazing talents. Wishing you more summer beauties, Lynn.
Thank you, Chris – wishing you the same!
This is a brilliant array of images, Lynn. Congrats and thanks for sharing them with us.
Wow, thank you so much, Kerry!
Lynn, this reached me via Gene Mariani, my good friend. I, too, have a love affair with prolific June. Your pictures and writing touched my soul deeply, bringing back fond memories of my youth. Thank you so very much.
Ginny, so nice of you to stop by and comment. I’m so glad that my words and photos touched you, that means everything to me.
The five-stanza poem by Claude McKay (whom I’d not heard of) takes a different turn after the first stanza that you quoted:
It certainly does take a different turn, doesn’t it? I meant to put a link to the entire poem after the quote but missed it somehow. Thanks for this link, Steve, it has more info on the poet than the one I found.
You’re welcome, Lynn. I’m always curious about the backgrounds of things (and not just in photographs).
As always, Lynn, thank you for sharing your garden and your beautiful words. Your photography reflects the poetry of color and beauty. Thank you so very much.
Thank you for your kind words, Gene – I just can’t stay out of the garden this year! Always nice to know that others can appreciate its beauty too.
You have great taste in flowers, Lynn. Simply gorgeous!
Thank you, Eliza, that’s high praise from someone who gardens so well and creates such beautiful flower bouquets!
The peony picture is a real treat among a host of lovely images.
Thank you, tootlepedal – that is my favorite peony, I love the color and it stays upright in the rain.
A good quality in a peony.
What a spectacular post in a spectacular garden!! So incredibly beautiful!!!
Lori Frazer Yamaha Consultant 520-405-9878 cel Sent from my iPhone
Thank you, Lori – I’ve been enjoying the pics of your beautiful daylilies too!
Hi. Your garden looks great. My top vote goes to Iris virginica.
Neil, I love that iris too – the color is so clear, hard to get that kind of blue in native plants. Thanks for stopping by!
Ah, what a paradise. How natural to miss Angel in her beautiful place; I’m sorry for your sadness, but understand its presence and Pixie’s ease of it, Lynn.
The irises are stunning, and oh, how I wish the Japanese Beetles didn’t prevent roses in our yard. The rose-covered arbor is magical! I love caramels and peaches, too. I have a few of the same heucheras, planted near an Amber Jubilee ninebark…love the look of these. Just located a rudebeckia that might fit in and will hunt for a Butterscotch Fizz iris, too! I love gardening more than chocolate.
Thank you for this beautiful post, and great joy and peace to your June in your glorious garden, Lynn! Pretty sure Angel is there with you and Pixie.
Thank you, Kitty, it is beginning to feel like paradise here. Angel’s absence hit me hard but Pixie jumped in to cheer me – she’s such a sweet and funny pup. I imagine your peach heucheras look amazing near that nine bark – I thought of adding Amber Jubilee to my garden but didn’t really have the space. BTW, eating chocolate keeps the garden work going, so they are equally important to me!
A beautiful start to the summertime. Thanks Lynn
Thank you, Graham – it has truly been beautiful here. Hope to see you and Marilyn sometime in the future!
It has been a beautiful start to the summertime, esp. this weekend. Thanks