This is a long view of the crowded bed. It's hard to believe that a Blue Mist spirea will bloom in the middle of it all later in the summer, but it will. Oh, and asters too. This is a lot of stuff in one bed but before I removed the huge upright juniper last year that cast so much shade this was one of my few sunny beds so I had to cram, cram, cram.
A close-up of the yellow rose on the left side of the bed. I tend to give roses my own names since I mostly can't remember what I planted. Or for some reason I thought that little metal tag would always be visible (I think squirrels collect them). But this one came unidentified from Home Depot quite some time ago. At the time I was lusting for a Gloire de Dijon when I spotted this one which I thought was close enough (and much cheaper). So this one is called Faux Gloire de Dijon.
I call this one Shell Pink because it reminds me of the color inside a conch shell we brought back from Key West once. It's on the right side of the bed behind Betty Prior. My daughter sent me a collection of roses from J&P a few years back and I can't find the tags on any of them. This was one of them, and it smells heavenly (maybe I should call it Heavenly Shell Pink?)
Up near the garage Old Faithful lives up to its name. Usually it's a small manageable yellow rose bush but the abundant rains made it act more geyser-like. Fortunately for me I found a black iron rose pillar in someone's trash last week and now Old Faithful's canes are corralled instead of flopping on the grass. Note the Rose of Sharon bush in the left rear, more about that below.
Across the grass path from Old Faithful are Oriental poppies and peonies. I used to hate these colors together. It no longer bothers me, in fact I like it. I think I'd like to see some red poppies in there too.
I like the way the same variety of poppies have variations in color. The one below is almost red, don't you think?
These peonies were here when we moved in 30 years ago. They used to be in the back yard in a sunny spot. Over the years the trees got bigger and the shade got deeper so I moved them out to the sunnier front yard 15 years ago. I also planted a little dinky Rose of Sharon at the same time. Sharon's not so dinky anymore and she's shading and crowding the peonies. I don't know if I have the gumption to move the peonies again. After transplanting they might not bloom for another couple of years and I would be sad not to see them next spring.
I never did see any ants this year on the peonies. A common garden myth is that ants are necessary to "tickle the buds" into opening. Obviously not true, but it was fun to believe it for a long time and I still look for ants each year.