Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June Joys in the Nest

The pandemic wears on, and here we are still at home. It's getting a little tedious, isn't it? The days are starting to blur together, with each one looking much like the one before. I miss my family and friends, that's for sure. But thank goodness that I have the garden to bring me joy when the world is so troubling.

Zepherine Drouhin rose

Female house sparrows

At Last roses

Jackmanii superba and Polish Spirit clematis

Nigella and iris

Vase arrangement

Easily the biggest garden thrill this month has been my roses. I've struggled for years to be happy with my rose garden, and have often thought about replacing them with something else. But this year, they have done so well! We had a very mild winter, so I can only assume that's the reason. It sure pleases me regardless of why.

Sunrise Rose Garden

At Last

Sunny Knockout

Funny Face

Oranges and Lemons

Mr. Lincoln

Fourth of July

Dr. Huey


Abraham Darby


New Dawn

Don Juan

Zepherine Drouhin

June also means that butterflies are arriving more frequently. I love each one that shows up, but of course I've been waiting intently for the monarchs. I was finally rewarded on the 23rd! Haven't seen one since, but it's a start.

Silver Spotted Skipper

Cabbage White butterfly

Eastern Tailed Blue butterfly

Monarch and friend

It's been nice to have my husband working from home during the pandemic, that's for sure. He's been watching over his vegetable garden like a modern day Mr. MacGregor, and it shows. The radishes are gone already, so are the spinach and sugar snap peas. The lettuce is bolting, so it's time to pull it up. But soon we'll have cherry tomatoes to eat!

Veggie Garden

Veggie Garden

Kohlrabi, carrots

Sunflowers, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers

Nasturtiums (on wall), sunflowers, cucumbers

Sugar snap peas, green beans, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, cutting zinnias

Summer means that the garden colors transition into brighter tones than spring. Everywhere I look, I see color! Technically, I say that my garden color scheme is purple, pink, and yellow. But maybe that's only wishful thinking on my part, because it looks pretty darned colorful out there.

Nigella and valerian

Red Hot Poker


Benary Giant Pink zinnia

Jessica pentas

Black and Blue salvia

Portulaca container

Moonshine yarrow


The heat of summer also means that my container gardens are thriving. I can hardly believe the difference in just one month. I hope they can continue to look good all summer long.

Moss roses with vinca vine and lemongrass

Cherry Rose nasturtiums

Ice plant with succulents

Tricolor geranium

Strawberry Blonde marigolds

Monarch Promise milkweed

Tricolor geranium

Moss rose

Succulent hypertufa

Perhaps it's a cliche, but gardening truly does bring me joy, like it does for many. At the very least, it's engaging enough to keep my mind from wandering to the troubles of our world. Each new flower that blooms is met with a smile, then celebrated with a photo shoot. Same goes for the arrival of hummingbirds and butterflies, they bring joy, every single time!

Hummingbird on Major Wheeler honeysuckle

Munstead lavender

Globe thistle-echinops

Walker's Low catmint

Crystal Spires salvia

Globe thistle

Tie Dye clematis

Have you heard the old bromide, "The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow"? This year, with a pandemic keeping me close to home, I'm finding some truth in it. Some days, I head outside with no particular chores to accomplish, and yet, I always find some. This is the first time ever that it feels like the garden to-do list is actually getting accomplished.


Wartburg asters

Musician iris with Big Bang spirea

Musician iris with Big Bang spirea

Evening primrose


Duchess of Albany clematis

First echinacea

First Endless Summer hydrangea

And now here at the end of June,  I'm starting to see a brief lull in my flowers. Many spring blooms are finished, and the roses are fading fast, while the summer annuals are just getting started. But after this brief rest, I'm sure the garden will be full of flowers again. Don't be fooled by the photos, as they are taken all month long. Some of the featured flowers are gone already.

Fourth of July rose

Brand new Sweetgum tree

Daisies and lavender


Easter lily

Common milkweed

My crafting has slowed down a bit, although I have been doing some craft painting. I can't show those results here, because they're Christmas gifts. Although crocheting is one of my main hobbies, it isn't usually as much fun in the summer because it's too hot to rest the project on my lap. But occasionally I do get out this blanket that I'm making just for me. I've made so many gifts that it was time to make something of my own.

Handmade bow on purchased wreath

Anthropology crochet afghan

As usual, I'll close with a few sunsets from the front porch. Sunsets are also one of the joyful spots in my quieter, slow days at home. It's important to keep looking for these bright spots in the day, when the world keeps throwing darkness at us. Each day, at 10 pm, I record my gratitude for the day, just to remind me that even in hard times, joy can be found. Thanks for coming to visit me here in Robin's Nest, as usual. See you here in July, pandemic or not.


  1. All of your flowers are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing with those of us who do not have green thumbs! I can not wait to see the Anthropologie blanket when it’s finished!

    1. I had to take a break from that blanket because it was just too darned hot to sit on my lap! Right now I’m working in a shawl, but I’ll get back to it eventually.

  2. Hello Robin ;-)
    You have so many pictures I want to comment on, but I will probably write too much and drive you crazy ? LOL I used to have Zephrin Drouhin and LOVED it ! The scent was so remarkable. I also had Angel Face at one time too which also had great scent .. I still have At Last, but not in a great place .. so I totally get how you feel when you aren't getting what you want from the roses, then bang ! They are real performers .That is an impressive veggie garden set up ! My great uncle used to grow Kohlrabi and we got a kick out of it as kids.Your containers are always so gorgeous .. not only the plants but the beautiful designs and colours.
    Not much activity here with butterflies but they always seem to come late in the season and i hope to see what happened last year with Pink Diamond standard hydrangea and the Monarch again this year .. that was spectacular. I have a question for you about your Chinese Fringe tree.
    Have you ever selectively pruned it to help with it being top heavy ? mine seems to be a bit wimpy with top wobbling .. I'm wondering if I should try and help it out with taking some weight off the top ?

    1. I hope you got the reply to your question in the comment I made on your blog.

  3. Your flowers and gardens are amazing. I wish I could have you help me in person with some of my gardens. ;-) I love the combinations you did with the nigella...the iris and valerian. Your roses are gorgeous. Black and blue salvia...I just planted that for the first time in a pot on my porch after seeing it at my neighbor-friend's house down the street. It's such a beautiful color and the hummingbirds love it!

    Your veggie garden is looking amazing, as well. Wish we had a lot of sun in our yard to plant a big veggie garden. We're surrounded by trees. So we only have tomatoes and they're in big pots in a place in our yard where there's some sun. (Small space.)

    Couple of questions for you: how do you get your cat mint to not fall over? Maybe you have a different variety? I planted mine last year and this year it is huge. So huge that it's falling over! Also, how do you contain your milkweed? I know that it's very invasive.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks Melanie! I’ll reply by Facebook Messenger to your questions.

  4. There's a lot going on in your June garden, Robin. I am envious of your lovely roses. I think Angelface is my favorite of the beauties here. Your 'gratitude for the day' activity is a great way to deal with the current crisis. Those of us who garden have much to be grateful for. Stay safe and well. P. x

    1. My roses are having a banner year, so they're easy to love!


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