Six on Saturday: Firsts

Every ramble this week has brought another first in terms of what has started blooming, with almost all the roses now having begun to flower, but only a few profusely. I was well pleased today, however, to find the first blooms open on my outdoor sweet peas (these are Gwendoline and King George VI) and the first dahlia (my oldest dahlia, and with very variable blooms quite possibly a seedling). Everything else may be behind any sort of norm, but that is not the case with those two.

The cutting beds are beginning to fill out, but plants have not yet reached their full height and blooms are a couple of weeks later than in recent years. Calendula are currently the brightest and best of them (Snow Princess, Orange Prince, Sunset Buff)…

…. but cornflowers were the first to flower. The two on the left, Red Boy and the two-tone blue one that I seem not to have noted the variety of, are new to me this year and very pretty:

There is a striking depth of blue in the blue & white borders, courtesy of Clematis ‘Kingfisher’ and Delphinium ‘Dark Blue with White Bee’. The clematis has been there for a number of years but never flowered well before, no doubt because I was incorrectly cutting it back in early spring as a Group 3 clematis, instead of the Group 2 it actually is – one of the reasons I don’t intentionally purchase the latter! The latter is new to me this year and having come in just a 1 litre pot I am surprised at how well it has grown and am thrilled to have it blooming already.

Climbing rose ‘Wollerton Old Hall’ is a fairly recent addition, possibly arriving in 2019, but didn’t begin climbing last year and had only a couple of blooms, but has finally accepted the garden as its new home and beginning to make a show of itself with its very pale apricot blooms, so pale they are almost off-white:

These are just some of my firsts this week and I could easily have exceeded my Six for Jon the Propagators’ Saturday meme many times over. No doubt other bloggers will be sharing many firsts amongst their June joys too.

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21 Responses to Six on Saturday: Firsts

  1. Love those calendula (and your dahlia of course too).

  2. I love the color of your climbing roses. 💞

  3. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I wonder what groups two and three clematises are, and is there a group one? Is it a bit early for dahlias there? Ours appear towards the end of summer. I’m glad your rose has begun to climb as it’s very pretty.

    • Heyjude says:

      There is. Group one includes Montanas that you don’t cut back, just trim after flowering.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, Group 1 are the montanas and other spring flowering types, which only need tidying up. Group 2 are the earlier flowering summer ones which may have another flush later; they are cut back to the lowest bud. Group 3 flower the longes and are cut almost to the ground early in the year, which makes pruning easy

      • janesmudgeegarden says:

        Thank you for that information, Cathy. I haven’t been successful with clematis in my present garden…. perhaps when I have more shelter.

  4. tonytomeo says:

    Cornflowers are so pretty, and can bloom such perfect blue. There are not many flowers that are as simple blue as the old common cornflowers. I do not remember the variety, but I believe that they are true to type. I think that the chocolate cornflower is rather weird. Otherwise, they are all excellent, and exemplary wildflowers, even though they are not exactly wild.

  5. Pauline says:

    Like your dahlia and calendula, very colour co-ordinated! Gardens are certainly catching up with all their flowers at the moment.

  6. Heyjude says:

    I have sown some new calendula, if they actually appear is another story. Not sure I like those paler ones.

  7. Thank you for reminding me what a robust Northern garden can be in June! Sometimes it is almost painful to realize what June used to be like in CT. Miss all of it!

  8. Pádraig says:

    I’m voting with Barbara.. The calendulas & dahlia are my favourites. Especially the Sunset Buff. Perhaps I’ll look out for that and other varieties next year?
    Its great to enjoy the first of everything, a super time for any gardener. Hope you have a great week, with more firsts perhaps.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Padraig, and I agree about Sunset Buff, although Indian Prince is a lovely mahogany colour on the underside of the petals which you don’t notice when they are fully open

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