DENVER — The highlight of the June garden is the blooming of my beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis).
This Chinese shrub was first introduced to this country in the 1930s and was popular for a few decades.
My beautybush was probably planted during this time frame. There wasn't much life to it when I moved my Denver property. Cutting out the dead branches took a week. The work payed of and it responded beautifully. Now this cloud of cotton candy pink flowers is as big as a house.
While the beautybush demands attention, other plants in the border are also worthy of attention. These include star of Persia (Allium christophii), dianthus, Phlomis cashmeriana, meadow sage, catmint, and two hardy geraniums, purple Geranium magnificum and bloody cransebill, Geranium sanguineum.
On the patio, poor man's orchid (Schizanthis pinnatus) is at its zenith. The small, orchid-like flowers are produced in great profusion in shades of pink and purple.
I started the seed in mid February to make sure it was ready for planting by midspring. This Chilean flower can't handle high heat and will begin to decline soon.
Other cool-season flowers such as pansies will also decline as the weather heats up. Replace them with heat-loving plants such as petunias, marigolds, salvias, zinnias, cannas and dahlias.
It's vital to introduce plants to the intense Colorado sun gradually or you can burn or kill them.
More Proctor's Garden:
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