Spring has been very late, cool and wet, but when it popped (on a few delicious warm and sunny days) everything burst at once, lush and green and colorful — in need of pruning already. Luckily, a lovely house guest was with me for this first weekend of June — Norma Thiessen from Toronto (and “mother” of the website My Beautiful Paris). So many special plants were in bloom, like the rare weeping Chinese lilac that greeted her as she drove up the driveway into the back courtyard.
Quite a showstopper, especially with a blue Atlas cedar for a backdrop.
It was an easy decision to arrange some of the cuttings for a glass vase outside her guest room…
The weekend was to be a full one (her vintage suitcase was filled to overflowing) but the garden was at the top of her list. So, in Norma’s honor I’m celebrating June garden highlights; what a treat to look at my own garden through someone else’s eyes, enjoying the little or big details that I might otherwise take for granted.
And some quick from the-the-garden-into-the-house romantic pairings. This is what she woke to Saturday morning…peonies!
Come and join us…
Miss Muffet waiting in anticipation, ready to assume her responsibilities as garden tour guide starting first in the winter garden with its fountain.
Then on to the Cutting Garden, where treasures abound…peonies in all their glory, but for such a short period of time; so hoping my buds that I’ll “hold over” in the refrigerator will last until the Newport Flower Show!
So precious and scrumptious…
In the same pink family an unusual variegated-leaf honeysuckle, which only makes an appearance at this time of year, dances around a metal tuteur with fleur de lis finial.
Light purply cat mint pairs beautifully with the shell pink peonies.
The first clematis buds reveal themselves in a stone container that centers the Orangerie parterres.
Cutting the yellow ‘Bartzella’ peony to mix in an arrangement with the chartreuse lady’s mantle…
and not forgetting the Dutch bearded iris; when I first saw them blooming I knew just the vase to use and exactly where I was going to put them.
In the library, champagne and apricot iris bring out the rich colors of old leather books.
In another bedroom, this incredible rosy-peach ITOH peony takes your breath away.
But no June flower can compete with the Holy Grail of spring flowers…the blue Himalayan poppy.
The end of a multi-night ritual. Please hurry back, Norma.