Thursday, June 19, 2014

The opulence of June


June is an opulent month in the sense that it is rich and lavish in all it has to offer, especially in blooms. My first example is the Pink Lady Slipper, an orchid that can hold its own with any tropical ones. This is the queen (reginae), the Showy Lady Slipper (Cypripedium reginae). Ours is a rather darker pink than is usual.


Showy Lady Slipper



In the country, birds also contribute to the lavishness of the month, June, and in the Bruce Peninsula where Roche Fleurie is, the bird world equivalent of the Showy Lady Slipper is the Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis). This flock was gleaning in a field next door, yesterday morning. Unfortunately I did not have a zoom lens.


Sandhill Crane



Opulence can also be a question of numbers. How long ago were some (Siberian ?) irises planted or simply left in that wet meadow to produce the hundreds you see on that picture? Your guess is as good as mine. I expect they are cut down at hay making time but grow back each spring, more numerous from year to year.


(Siberian?) Iris


Lupines also sing the beauty of June. In a previous post (On the Inconstant Lupine) I explained that we used to have a long drift of them, but that they have slowly disappeared over the years. Somehow this summer is an exception. They seem to be giving their last hurrah. They are bound to disappear as trees crowd them out and they get more and more shaded. However I have seeded new ones and hope to establish a new clump in a sunnier spot.


Lupines


 June flowers are perhaps the most exuberant. This is the case of many of the irises, but also of the most luxuriant of them all, the tree peony.


Tree peony bloom

Even so-called "weeds" look beautiful in June.

Ox-eye daisies and buttercups




27 comments:

  1. I love the gardens and fields at this time of year ... seeing all the growth after a long winter is always wonderful.

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  2. I was looking at all the blooming weeds I passed recently and appreciating the rain and the sun has quite done a job this year.

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    1. Yes, so far we have had just about the right amount of rain and lots of sun. Temperatures have not been too hot either. I suppose we are having a good summer!

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  3. I love ox eye daisies and grow them for cut flowers. Here in the UK they are trying to reintroduce cranes to the wild.

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    1. The cranes are wonderful to have around. Some years ago, a couple and their baby spent a lot of time on the property. The parents took turn sleeping. When ever one slept, the other was on watch. Given all the foxes, bears and coyotes we have, I am just amazed these babies can survive when they do not fly. They are not hidden in a nest somewhere, but walking around with the parents. I suppose when you see that beak you think twice before attacking. They also have a very, very loud voice.

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    2. They'd have a bit of an easier time here.

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    3. They would. This year especially because when, as usual, they came back from the South around the 1st week of April (when most of the snow is gone), there was still 4 feet of snow everywhere. How they managed is a mystery. You could see them in the fields on top of the snow.

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  4. Hi Alain, I love lupins, they don't live for very long, but thankfully the seed is easy to germinate and is produced in large numbers. I had a particularly lovely dark red lupin (like those in your picture) in the front garden of our old house that was photographed on occasion by passersby.

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    1. There were few left last year but somehow there are more this year even if the spot where they grow is getting shadier. I suppose the weather was more to their liking. You are right, they do germinate easily. I have about 40 in small pots which I plan to put in an area where they should multiply.

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  5. The Irises are beautiful, it looks like a river of blue.

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    1. Aren't they though! I just saw them from the car driving on a country road and stopped to take a picture. I expect they have been growing there many, many years as I have planted Siberian irises in a damp area about 8 years ago and I now get 2 or 3 dozen blooms (but my area dries out in later summer - they might not like that).

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  6. Alain your description of exhuberant and opulant are spot on ... and those gorgeous cranes ? perfect paired with the flowers. We don't see enough of them so the more the merrier !
    Joy : )

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  7. I would love to see the Sandhill Cranes! Much more exotic than Canada geese!

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  8. I agree that everything is so lush and rich in early summer. I love those lupins! They don't grow well here. It's just too hot. We have similar lady slipper orchids in our woods but I've never seen them. I think those weeds by any other name might be wildflowers. :)

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    1. That particular orchid grows in the garden. We do have the pink one in the wild but I have seen it only one (in a ditch, along the road!). The yellow ones are common but not the pink ones.
      Your comment might explain why the lupines did well this year. We have had a lot of sunshine but on the whole it has been cool.

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  9. It's so wonderful to see wild flowers in the wild! Over here many people are trying to re introduce them to the wild, the iris you saw are so beautiful as are your Lady Slipper orchids.

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    1. The number of iris in that field was truly impressive.

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  10. Wow Alain! You have wild orchids near your garden!
    I always thought the orchids can grow in pots inside only, as I have them in my home. This one is very beautiful, so tiny and tender.

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  11. Here early June is certainly opulent, later in the month it there is a lull in garden color, though everything is lush and green. Love your orchids!

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  12. I am very jealous of your orchids, the only ones I get appearing occasionally are some very nondescript British natives although of course there are prettier ones available. I am rather taken with Pleiones and have a couple that a friend gave me, I've seen them at alpine shows but have never taken the bait so far!

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    1. Skill has very little to do with it as these orchids are native to this area and the yellow ones are actually common. The pink ones are rare. The one pictured above was given to me last Spring by a friend who had to leave her house to go to a retirement home. I am very glad it survived the move.
      I have seen Pleiones for sale in catalogs but have not taken the bait either. I would like to get the calypso orchid which also grows locally. It is one of these tiny ones but lovely. I have a bog ready for it if it ever comes my way!

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  13. It seems as if you are living in paradise - in June, at least. I especially love the field of irises. And that tree peony - wow!

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  14. The Regional government is letting the property behind ours become "naturalized". ( in other words they are cutting costs instead of the grass). I am wondering if I should introduce some Siberian iris. It certainly looks nice in your field!

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    1. I expect it would work as long as it is not too dry. As I said to Rusty Duck above, I have attempted it here. On years when we get enough rain, like this year, they look good. When you have a dry June, they hardly bloom.

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  15. Gorgeous! I wish I had those around me.

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It is always nice to hear from you (et il n'est pas nécessaire de commenter en anglais)