The month of June marks the beginning of summer. Most of the blooming period is behind us, yet quite a lot of plants bloom now. Temperatures usually drop in the afternoon and a light breeze is filling the garden, this is a wonderful time to visit.
Our tour begins in the entrance flower-beds, where you can see many flowers. We’ll turn your attention to the Bear’s Breeches (Acanthus mollis), a big and impressive plant that originates in Southern Europe. The beautiful Acanthus leaves have inspired the ancient Greeks, and they adorned the Corinthian pillar caps with the shapes of the leaves. This is a recommended plant for shaded or half-shaded gardens. Another plant is the Love-In-A-Mist (Nigella damascena) with its unique purple flowers. Even if the Love-In-A-Mist finished blooming, it’s still recommended to take a look at its flower-bed: the fruit are also uniquely shaped.
If we’ll climb up the path right of the restaurant, we’ll meet the Peregrinating Bellflower (Campanula peregrine) The Peregrinating Bellflower is a rare local wildflower from the Upper Galilee. Its beauty and the fact it prefers growing in shady areas, make the Bellflower a recommended plant for gardening in shady places. We were the ones to save it from extinction by growing it in the garden and turning it into a gardening flower. You can buy its seeds in the garden store. Next to the Bellflower you can see the Blue Throatwart (Trachelium caeruleum), a perennial plant that has beautiful blue inflorescences and blooms in the shade.
Along many pathes in the garden we’ll meet Common Holyhocks (Alcea rosea) – they are currently at their peak of flowering, they add wonderful color spots to many garden paths. This is a highly recommended water-saving plant, that plants itself and regenerates without care.
Visit the South Africa section to add some yellow to your life: see how beautiful are the Silveredge Pincushion (Leucospermum patersonii, in the front) integrate with the Golden Coulter Bush (Hymenolepis crithmifolia, in the rear): the colors are identical, but the shapes of the leaves and flowers are completely different, as the Silveredge Pincushion is from the Proteaceae family, while the Golden Coulter Bush is from the Asteraceae family. They look wonderful together, complementing each other.
In the Europe section the Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum × superbum) are waking up and smiling at us. The Shasta Daisy is a hybrid created by the American horticulturist Walter Burbank at the end of the 19th century. It is a cross of 4 species:
- the wide-spread Euro-Asian Leucanthemum vulgare,
- Leucanthemum maximum from the Pyrenees,
- Leucanthemum lacustre from Portugal
- Nipponanthemum nipponicum from Japan.
Burbank named it Shasta Daisy after Mount Shasta in California, which was close to where he worked. The Shasta Daisy is a wonderful plant for the mountain region, it fills flowerbeds with dense leaves and blooms in early summer. It can be easily split if it’s too crowded or if you wish to propagate it.
Still in the Europe section, the Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is blooming in a variety of yellow, orange and red colors. Next to it is the Butterfly Blue (Scabiosa columbaria) in light shades of blue-purple. Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) is at the end of its blooming period, you might get lucky and see the last flowers for the season.
At the Eastern side of the North-America section the Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea) is starting to bloom again, with its impressive red flowers. Around it you can see a delicate grass – the Silky Thread Grass (Nassella tenuissima). The Coral Bean has elongated red flowers that attract hummingbirds to pollinate them. In our garden the Palestine Sunbird is replacing the hummingbirds and pollinating the Coral Bean. The Coral Bean was our plant of the month 3 years ago.
Still in the North America section – at the beginning of the month you can still enjoy the Spicebush flowers (Calycanthus sp.). This is an American shrub with big red flowers and aromatic smell. Its common name, Spicebush, comes from the fact that tis bark was dries and ground by the Native Americans and used as a spice, similarly to Allspice. Oils extracted from the fruit are used in the perfume industry.
In the pictures you can see 2 Calycanthus species: the Carolina Spicebush (above) that originates in Eastern US and California Spicebush (below) that originates in California
Just before leaving the America section, in the upper western trails, look for flowers in bright orange: this is the Gooseberryleaf Globemallow (Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia). Note the flower’s shape that reminds us of the local Mallow: the Globemallow is the American relative of the Mallow, from the Malvaceae family. This is a water-saving plant that originates in the South-Wesern deserts of North-America.
The Melaleuca species are still blooming in the Australia section, and this time we’re looking at a shrub with small pink flowers and a sweet smell: the Melaleuca pentagona. This is a water-saving plant that grows in a variety of soils, and originates in South-Western Australia.
Callistemon ‘Kings Park Special‘ in the Australia section is a tall shrub with red, long bottlebrush shaped flowers. This is a hybrid that originates in Kings Botanical Garden in Perth, Australia. The Callistemon, like its relative the Melaleuca, is a resilient water-saving plant.
In the Australia section we can see clusters of yellow flowers, that look familiar-yet-different… these are the Common Everlasting flowers (Chrysocephalum apiculatum) that are starting to bloom now, and will keep on blooming into the summer. Their shape resemble the local Red Everlasting (Helichrysum sanguineum), but unlike it the Common Everlasting it has yellow flowers. The Common Everlasting was our plant-of-the-month in June 2017, you are welcome to read more about it.
Take a walk in our Treetop Walkway: this is a great opportunity to see the trees “eye to eye”! While walking, note a wide-leaves tree with impressive white-yellow blossoms: this is the Native Frangipani (Hymenosporum flavum), a tree that originates in Eastern Australia, in the Australian shore rainforests. This is a strong tree that is good for gardening, but it requires supplemental irrigation in our climate. The fragrant flowers change their color from white to yellow.
The Mediterranean Section’s Entrance is also impressive these days, with the wild form of Oleander (Nerium oleander) blooming in gorgeous pink, surrounded by Globularia sarcophylla in blue, Canary Islands St. John’s Wart (Webbia floribunda) in yellow, and Canary Islands Sage (Salvia canariensis) in white and violet. All are recommended water-saving plants.
Cynara scolymus is blooming these days in vivid purple at the Mediterranean Section. The Cynara, better known as Artichoke, is a food and medicinal plant known to man for thousands of years, and it is our current plant of the month – you’re welcome to read more about it. In the garden you can see one of the tall ornamental variants of the Artichoke. An impressive water-saving plant.
In the Mediterranean section there are delightful clusters of a local flower: Tall Germander (Teucrium procerum), a rare and endangered species that blooms in the Sharon and Ramot Menasheh areas in Israel. The Germander suffers from habitat destruction, and in the garden we’re preserving it.
If you reached the Tall Germander, don’t give up and continue to the northern edge of the garden, near the Sunlight Pond. Rough-leaved Michauxia (Michauxia campanuloides) is blooming there now. The Michauxia is a near-threatened plant that grows on cliffs in Northern Israel. The Michauxia flowers are big and special: the petals are pulled backwards like in the Cyclamen, but the stigma is tubular and long.
Finally, we’ll recommend a visit in the Plant-Of-The-Month corner near the garden’s nursery: here there’s always something to see. This month several Allium species will bloom there (in the picture: Allium pyrenaicum) as well as the Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum) and the endangered Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum) that grows on the Mediterranean sea shores.