Kansas Gardener’s Garden June-July

Here is the second part to the garden tour. enjoy the photos and comments!


Above you can see my driveway Border Garden. I had to put in this fence to keep visitors from parking too close to the edge of the drop off where the culvert it. I added some of my favorite rustic elements, ornamental onion ‘Mongolian Gem’, sedums, native vines, and Dwarf European Cranberry Viburnum

Looking through the lushness of the Entry Garden from behind the Seven-Son tree. In the middle, hardy geranium ‘Biokovo’ is having a banner year.

A view from the porch into the Entry Garden. Native columbine mixes with hostas, penstemon ‘Husker Red’, and Japanese anemones. 

Funny thing, these sweet cherries were not supposed to be. I ordered ‘Vandalay’ cherries, a dark red sour cherry, but received, I think, ‘Rainier’ Sweet Cherry instead. They were delicious, but not good for pie making.

Looking across the Entry Garden to the northeast. It was a great year for hydrangeas, of all kinds. You can see the stellar blooms from my oakleaf hydrangea in its 3rd year. The other visible hydrangea is ‘Incrediball’, which holds its blooms upright on sturdier branches than you get from the standard ‘Annabelle’. 

Here is a first look at what may become the tea garden, if the spearmint decides to claim this area. I don’t mind, I love a cup of strong herbal tea in the morning. Better than coffee! 

Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’ stands out among other H. arborescens cultivars. Strong branching with large, pure-white flowers. 

Here is a sample of my sour cherry ‘Danube’. Technically a cross between sweet and sour cherries, ‘Danube’ is tart at this stage, but deepens in color to a sweet dark red. I planted cherries along the east side of my driveway for the blooms and the fruit. If only Japanese beetles wouldn’t eat the foliage…

Here is a summertime look into the Woodland Shade Border. See how lush it is becoming? There are nodding wild onions, woodland poppy, blue woodland phlox, and many other shady plants.

I got some great rainy day photos of the garden, and here is one of the Walnut Trial Bed. I have tested a number of plants in this bed for durability and ability to grow among walnut trees. So far, bellflowers and hostas perform the best. Still waiting for my newly acquired Wax Bells to grow and thrive. 

Another new addition to the garden this year. A container with a milking stanchion for trellis support!

The sunny side of life is in the backyard. This is the Daylily Bed, not yet finished mulching in this photo. Beyond is the Kitchen Potager, photos coming in the last installment of these posts. Also in the Daylily Bed are apple trees, ornamental onion ‘Millenium’ transplanted from the Entry Garden, and various leftover shrubs. 

This is the Sunny Cottage Garden, just north of the house. There is a large variety of plants in here, mostly perennials, and many old-fashioned favorites. In this photo there is Liatris ‘Kobold’, Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’, goldenrod ‘Fireworks’, statice, iris, coreopsis ‘Creme Brulee’, and more!

This was the 3rd year of my astilbe trials and here are the blooms! While these looked great this year while blooming, we need to treat astilbe almost as a spring ephemeral, because is nearly dies away after blooming. 

If you know anything about me, you will know that I love bellflowers, of all kinds. These are just a few of the better performers in my garden. I added a new variety this year, photos will be coming in 2020.

My yard is also a host for many natives, both existing and introduced. The starry campion grows in the woods across my driveway. The wood poppy and nodding wild onion are in my Woodland Shade Border. The whorled milkweed and prairie petunia are in my Prairie Corridor. And the smooth sumac ‘Steven’s Hope’ is a special chartreuse colored sumac that is growing in my Upper Terrace Garden. It will hopefully be available to the public in a few years. 

The above flowers are all recently planted perennials or annuals in my yard. Some are practically brand-new to the horticulture industry, while others are long-time favorites that I hadn’t tried yet. The white thunbergia was a find while looking through seed catalogs last winter, I had to have it. The white is much more striking than any of the new yellows or oranges. 

Rudbeckia maxima is an old favorite perennial that is under-used in perennial gardens. It has large, grey-green, waxy leaves that look cool even if it did not flower, but it does! 

Clematis ‘Stand By Me’ is a recent introduction from Proven Winners. Pretty, but something eats the foliage off very quickly, my guess is blister beetles.

‘American Gold Rush’ rudbeckia was new this year and it is an outstanding perennial performer. In the nursery it does not look very good, but once it is in the ground, it takes off. Mine bloomed from the day I planted it to first hard freeze, about 4 months of continuous blooming. ‘Fiery Meadow Mama’ coneflower is another in a long line of coneflowers, but with very pretty, bi-colored blooms. 

And Hydrangea ‘Incrediball Blush’ was a first year bloomer for me. 


Last but not least, June-July is a great time for shrubs to bloom. These are some of my favorites of the time period. My oakleaf hydrangea really put on a show this year, after 2 years of mediocracy. ‘Regent’ serviceberry is a good producers of fruit, delicious to me and the birds. I planted 2 more this fall in the Kitchen Potager. Arrowwood viburnum ‘Blue Muffin’ is an industry standard, growing very well in our area. I love the clear white flowers followed by dark blue-black fruit. I planted Sweetshrub ‘Aphrodite’ in fall of 2017, and it really performed well this year. The flowers are small, but very fragrant and the bark can be peeled off and used in place of cinnamon (I have not tried this yet). 

Buttonbush should be an addition to any landscape, as a large shrub. It blooms on new growth, so can be cut back hard each spring. It is one of the last plants to leaf out in spring, so do not be fooled by its dead-looking branches when everything else is green and blooming. The flowers are a cross between a fiber-optic ball and the satellite sputnik. 

My favorite of all my shrubs is the pure white Hydrangea ‘White Diamonds’. This panicled hydrangea really lights up the corner of the Entry Garden where it sits. I would recommend this hydrangea to anyone for their garden.


Thank you and Happy planting!

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