By Jenny Rose Carey, Senior Director of PHS Meadowbrook Farm
As we begin summer, it is time to take a good look at your garden and make sure that you have plants that will bring interest later in the year. Think of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, and trees. See where your garden is lacking in color, needs more screening, or maybe more shade. Visit PHS Meadowbrook Farm for inspiration!
Here are a few plants in bloom now:
- Stewartia pseudocamellia – Japanese Stewartia. This small- to medium-sized deciduous tree is in full bloom now. My children used to call this plant the ‘fried egg’ plant with its yellow yolk-like center and the pristine white petals around it. The flowers look a little like a Camellia – hence the specific name S. pseudocamellia. As you walk up the driveway to the house, look for the Stewartia tree to your left. Many deciduous trees bloom in early spring, so it is always a treat to see the Stewartia flowers open now
- Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ – Clematis vines are fabulous for winding their way through a wire fence or scrambling over a shrub or rose bush. There are different varieties of Clematis that bloom in spring, summer, and fall. Read the descriptions carefully to make sure that the one that you are buying fits your landscape needs. There are a variety of flower forms, but they generally are quite showy when in bloom. Flowers come in shades of purple, white, yellow, and pink. The purple Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ (right) is in the front courtyard of the house and is growing through an evergreen shrub called Cephalotaxus – or Japanese plum yew.
- Asclepias syriaca – Common milkweed – This is a showy native plant that easily earns its place in your garden. It has a pink ball-shaped flower (below) that acts as a pollinator magnet. We all know to plant milkweeds for the monarch butterflies to eat, but this morning these flowers were abuzz with the humming of a variety of bees. Any plants that we can add to our landscapes that help increase the wildlife value benefit us as well as the bees. One unexpected benefit is a honey-like fragrance to the flowers.