Around two years ago, our friends Cheryl and Lynne gave us a division of one of their comfrey plants (Symphytum
I think the iris and lupine were pretty fine this spring, in spite of some early skirmishes we had with aphids on the lupine. (On two successive weekends I sprayed the developing flower stalks with a mixture of baby shampoo and water, and that seemed to help.) Again, I took this on 7 June!
Gosh, I love perennial flax (Linum perenne).
From this past weekend, here’s a bloom on one of the two rose bushes B and I bought each other on the occasion of our 12th anniversary in the middle of the month (Happy anniversary, B!). This is a David Austin variety called “Fair Bianca.” Very spicy fragrance (I think the blossoms smell like licorice, and B thinks they’re more cinnamon-y). It’s a beautiful flower. (Fair Bianca’s companion is “The Squire.”)
And here’s one of the first blooms on a clematis I bought last summer. “Jackmanii”? I’m not absolutely certain, because the blooms are a little downcast and four-petaled (instead of five-petaled).
* My friend Pam asked for more information about this plant, so I did a little research on it. I think we have what is called rough comfrey (Symphytum asperum). It gets taller than S. officinale; ours gets to be about 4.5 feet tall. I didn’t realize that comfrey is in the borage family (think, of course, borage, but also heliotrope, Brunnera, forget-me-not, and, my new favorite, Virginia bluebells), but on second thought, the leaves are quite similar, roughness speaking, to those of Brunnera, and the flowers, already noted, are similar in look to Virginia bluebells. From what I’ve read, comfrey has a tendency to be invasive, but judging from comments on Dave’s Garden (http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/317/), the positives outweigh the negatives on this point. Some gardeners say that it is enthusiastic, but my overall impression is that it isn’t invasive in the scary, I’ve-come-to-take-over-your-world sense of the word. Just be certain to plant it where you want it, because it’s hard to get rid of. One gardener suggested mowing it down until it’s gone. My experience so far is that if you leave a little of the root behind when you move the plant (and how can you help but do that, because the roots apparently drive deep) it will sprout. Of course, the same thing happened when I moved my Oriental poppies this spring, and I’m delighted to have more of them. In addition to being used for fertilizer, comfrey leaves are used as a poultice, apparently. More information on that is in the comments from Dave’s Garden (see link above).