Bloom Day – June 2009

The blooms are a bit sparse right now: the cool spring has delayed things like the hydrangeas and swamp marsh phlox.  Nevertheless, there are things blooming…..

Thyme and a mystery groundcover

….like thyme and a mystery yellow-flowered groundcover inherited from the previous homeowner.  Any ideas about what this could be?

Wild iris

Wild iris (Iris shrevei)


  • Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
  • Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis)
  • Peonies
  • Petunias
  • Lavender ‘Blue Cushion’
  • Chives

There are also many things setting fruit right now….
Baptisia pods
….like the Baptisia australis. I wonder if I should be deadheading this?


  • raspberries
  • invasive bittersweet (all the berries will end up in a village compost heap, believe me!)
  • ‘Autumn Brilliance’ serviceberry (pictures when they start ripening)
  • Celandine poppies

On the down side of things, the wild hyacinth looks about dead – it never bloomed this year. The strawberries are spreading everywhere, but don’t seem to be coughing up any fruits, darn it!  But pretty much everything else is going great guns, if a week or two behind their normal schedule.


13 responses to this post.

  1. Looks like sedum to me, but there are about a gajillion-six types (roughly) and I’m not up on all the cultivar names. Swamp phlox? Not one I know…


  2. Posted by lakechicagoshores on June 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Ooh, swamp phlox is really gorgeous. I’ll post when it blooms…or you can just go back and do a search on this blog. I’ve killed off lots of regular garden phlox, but this native keeps popping back up year after year.

    My mystery plant may be a sedum, but my google-fu appears to be weak and I can’t find a picture that looks quite like it.


  3. My guess was sedum too – the blooms sure look like it, can’t really tell on the foliage. There are so many sedum cultivars – my guess from the photo, yours looks like it might be ‘Acre.’

    Swamp phlox? Hmmm. . . I’ll look forward to seeing that. I’m eyeing the swale way in the back of our yard. Now that the shade garden is well-planted, I’m thinking rain garden plants for the swale. I should be able to plant a variety of stuff since the conditions vary from wet all year to upland and moist, all the time, to another section that regularly floods but gets pretty dry during midsummer.


  4. p.s. – I used to leave the baptisia seed pods – they’re pretty ornamental as they ripen, and you can plant and/or share the seeds when they’re mature.

    So far baptisias haven’t been too happy here, but I haven’t given up on them yet. I really want to try the white one, and have a cream seedling I’m nurturing in a little pot until it’s big enough to go in the ground without squirrels digging it up.


  5. It is a sedum and one of those commonly found in the Midwest. I pinched a clump from a garden a couple of springs ago and have the same one growing. Can’t tell you exactly which one it is but it is a variety of Sedum kamtschaticum.


  6. Posted by lakechicagoshores on June 16, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Ahem. It’s not “swamp phlox”, but “marsh phlox”. Somehow, I always make this mistake every year. Perhaps I’m getting confused with my American history and the “Swamp Fox”?

    I think the consensus is that my mystery plant is some sedum. I never would have guessed since my mental picture of sedum is the big “Autumn Joy” plants in the side yard (also left from a previous homeowner).

    The white baptisia in the rain garden is struggling a bit, but the blue baptisia in the backyard is giving me hope for it.


  7. The yellow-flowered thing is definitely Sedum kamkatschicum. We had some in the yard when I was growing up in Hyde Park and we kids called it “lemonade” because if you ate a tender young sprig it was lemony. It must not have been that yummy because I don’t recall eating a whole lot. Young grapevine sprigs also are lemony-tasting. City kids are adventurous eaters, I guess…


    • Posted by lakechicagoshores on June 29, 2009 at 10:42 am

      Hmm, I’ll have to taste it! One of our neighbor kids is quite the adventurous taster – she always grabs a sprig of fennel when she visits the pond – so I can recommend it to her along with the serviceberries in both our yards.


  8. My guess on the yellow flowered plant is Sedum acre. Lovely star like blooms. Makes a nice ground cover though it won’t choke out things that might grow up in it, like dandelions, sedge, etc. It will take root easily. I threw some beside the gravel driveway this spring, as I drove by on the mower, and it is happily growing where it dropped. Your photo of it with the accompanying plants is lovely! ~~Rhonda


  9. Hi!

    My name’s Michelle Minkoff, and I’m a web intern for WTTW’s nightly news program Chicago Tonight. We are working on a segment for TV about water conservation in the city.

    The reason I’m writing is that I’d like to interview you for a companion piece I’m doing for the web on gardeners, how they conserve water, and the relationship betwen plants and water. I noticed and appreciated how your plants and pond play off of each other in your photos.

    If you are interested, please email me at And if any Chicago gardeners reading would like to add to the conversation, please feel free to contact me as well. Thanks!


    Michelle Minkoff


  10. I don’t have baptisia so I can’t say, although a garden class I just took talked about how great these plants are. I just don’t seem to have enough room!


  11. […] garden is far ahead of where it was at both a year ago and two years ago.  It’s also in a bit of a bloom gap: the hydrangeas are just starting to […]


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