Garden in early June: firing on all cylinders

There are times of the year when nothing much changes over a period of two weeks. Not so in late spring. I was in Germany for just 15 days, but due to a mini heatwave, things moved along at a brisk pace while I was gone. As a result, there are noticeable differences between before and now. Many plants seem to be working in overdrive to put on as much growth as possible before the heat of the summer. Let’s take a look. This Yucca rostrata , now about 10 years old, is getting ready to bloom for the first time. Its plume of flowers will be visible from quite a distance. These ‘Strawberry Fields’ California poppies ( Eschscholzia californica ‘Strawberry Fields’) started out as one flower in a 4" pot. I can’t believe how many flowers there are now! I’m letting them go to seed in hopes of even more of them next year. ‘Danish Flag’ poppy ( Papaver somniferum ‘Danebrog’) has spectacular flowers, but they’re woefully short-lived. Kinda like cactus flowers! Groundcover magic along the sid

Cactus flowers I missed while I was in Germany

While I was in Germany , a lot was happening in the garden. The weeds were growing like, well, weeds, but far more exciting was the first wave of cactus flowers. Fortunately, my wife kept a close eye on the goings-on and captured the flowers in the photos you see below. All credit goes to her. Echinopsis ‘First Light’ ‘First Light’ is always one of the first echinopsis hybrids to bloom in our garden. The flowers are show-stoppingly beautiful. See for yourself. First one flower... ...then a whole bouquet of flowers On the downside, the flowers are fully open for just one day. They begin to wilt the next day. Echinopsis ‘Flying Saucer’ There’s only one echinopsis that rivals ‘First Light’ in terms of sheer beauty, and that is ‘Flying Saucer’. If anything, it might even be more spectacular, mainly because the flowers are quite a bit larger, up to 8" in diameter. But like ‘First Light’, they’re short-lived. My wife’s hand for scale Echinopsis ‘Salmon Queen’ ‘First Light’ and ‘Flying