“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
– William Shakespeare
It is just about midsummer…well actually it is midsummer here as our weather is unpredictable once September comes along. We could have cold days in August and horrific heat in September. All I know is it is a crap shoot for my flower and veg gardens. But I try to remain optimistic that summer heat will continue for the next 6-8 weeks.
My garden continues to be weeks behind, and with the fluctuating hot and cool days, it is still maintaining longer blooms. Of course the rain helps. Many of my later veggies are setting fruit or not ripening yet. So we need the heat. Of course I have not been out in the rest of the garden to weed, prune and get to maintenance. Most of my time in between the rain has been spent in the veg garden which I will write about in another week.
So as I look at my July garden, I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View. Be forewarned, these journal posts are always long.
July was a strange month weather wise. First half dry, and then suddenly we started getting weekly strong storms followed by days of cool weather…then warming to storms, then cool weather then….well you get the picture. If the skies weren’t dark gray, they were bright blue. Only one morning did we have this wonderful orange sky. The rest were pale in color. We also had 5 inches of rain.
You can see lots blooming in the front garden. I am showing some clipped shots as it is pretty unruly with the trees overhanging the gardens. You can see the dahlia leaning to get light. And the antique planter is finally filling in after 6 weeks. It has a twin behind the tree.
Here’s another view as I turned a bit. In the back is Phlox maculata ‘Flower Power’ which flowers beautifully.
This is how high the trees got, but even the volunteer Joe Pye is gaining on the tree. This Joe Pye will be moved to the side garden which needs some improvements. The wind chimes were a present from a dear friend for my birthday. I absolutely love these, and had to proudly display them from the front porch.
This is the end of the sidewalk garden down near the driveway where the voles made a mess. You can see a low growing echinacea mixed with others that seeded themselves here. A groundcover rose is barely flowering 8 inches off the ground because it died all the way back. Lavender blooming still in July. I need to get at this area to weed, amend and mulch. And yes that is clover growing in the front lawn with violets.
The mailbox garden gave me a big surprise with these volunteer sunflowers. I had a few planted toward the back of this garden last year. I left the seedheads up and apparently the seeds dropped and were washed to the front of this garden as it is slightly angled. The seeds were stopped at the lip of the gully that this garden butts up against.
And before I knew it these sunflowers sprang up in front of the mailbox. So I tied them together and may need to pull them away a bit by staking them. I will probably cut some of the flowers once they bloom and put them in a vase. The mail carrier is being patient and has not complained so far.
This was the same garden a couple of weeks earlier in July when the clematis engulfed the mailbox. I love this look. See those sneaky sunflower volunteers…
This is the red (sometimes orangey) garden being swallowed by a stand of monarda. I didn’t get a chance to thin them and the critters were grateful I left them alone. I have to expand this bed and move the coreopsis and daylilies so you can see them. This garden is to the right of the house and the gate leads to the pond area.
This is the other side of the fence and the red garden. You can see that monarda is blooming here too covering up so many plants but it looks great with the echinacea and a young elderberry plant. I can see this stand from my family room window and can watch all the visitors who love the monarda. Now if we just back up a bit to the patio here is what that garden looks like….
Susans are blooming with stokesia. And if we walk forward down this grass path, we go around the pond on the left and veg gardens on the right and come to the other side of the pond garden….
This is what the other side of the pond looks like. You can still see the monarda by the fence in the background. The pond is at the top of the bed nestled in and hidden. Many visitors don’t know there is a pond unless we tell them.
So let’s get to some close-ups of what is blooming around the garden.
Growing in the front garden, in addition to the lily at the top of the post, is a dwarf balloon flower.
Shasta daisies were blooming in the back gardens in July and many still are. This is a wonderful cultivar whose name I lost several years ago.
Every year I think the crocosmia won’t come back and yet it does much to the delight of the gardener and the hummers, who I spied hanging in this cluster of blooms for a long while. I think I will divide it and move some to other areas of the back gardens.
I have so many different daylilies and this was one of the stand outs in July. I adore the color every summer.
These tiger lilies bloom off the patio next to the sea oats.
And some of my proudest blooms in July are the Japanese irises. Here are three of the beauties that bloom in some of my wetter areas. They are troopers growing among the weeds and wildflowers.
This is coreopsis ‘Red Shift’ technically a cultivar not a true native flower. One of the few that came back this year.
This is ‘Mango Tango’ a cultivar of the native Shrubby cinquefoil or Dasiphora fruticosa also known as Potentilla fruticosa. It is more yellow this year and definitely flowering more profusely.
The pond hasn’t changed much except the yellow water lilies are starting to bloom among the cattails.
The critter joy has just exploded this month. I think I may do some separate critter posts in the upcoming months. Our young fox continues to come around and hunt even in the yard much to the dismay of our resident young bunnies who were born in the garden. He is an excellent hunter (we only have one bunny left) so of course we named him Hunter. We have had 5 different butterflies in the garden including a few monarchs, black swallowtail and tiger swallowtail. Also spotted a few times were red admirals and fritillary. I am joining Cathy@Words and Herbs who likes to keep track of her butterflies every month in her butterfly diary post.
The deer pictured here is ‘Alice the Willful’ doe who likes to sneak into the garden and eat my veg garden…so we had to net it all. Lots of baby birds including this newly fledged song sparrow who took refuge in the clethra bush near the house. You can also see a hummingbird moth and the one of the many hummers who also love that monarda. Of course the great joy was seeing the twin fawns. They are out quite often running around and sneaking up closer to the houses. They have been in the back meadow chowing down too.
In A Vase On Monday
I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her meme, In a Vase on Monday today instead of my usual poetry. Instead I will be posting poetry soon at my new blog. You can find out more about my new blog below. I am also linking in with Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles.
I had a hard time with this vase as I wanted to include some flowers that just weren’t going together in the square vase I choose. So here it is.
At first I was just OK with it, but it has grown on me. I used some weeds such as purple loosestrife (the tall purple flowers) and Queen Anne’s Lace (QAL). Loosestrife is an invasive plant here that takes over wetlands. But it is a gorgeous flower so when I found it growing along the fence, I thought it would look nice in the vase since I was going to pull it and throw it away.
I like to let a little QAL grow here and there as it is pretty too. You can also see lilies, dahlia, some dried yarrow and peony seedheads.
Close up of the dried yarrow and dried seedhead of QAL. The foliage used as filler is peony leaves and the lovely chartreuse leaves of a fading Amsonia.
How easy to be carried away at this time of year. It is the crescendo of summer when almost the whole garden moves too fast. ~Mirabel Osler
Visit my new blog:
I wanted to thank all the wonderful people who visited me last Thursday and this past Sunday as I continued to post at my new blog, Living From Happiness. It is a blog to celebrate life, lessons, change, challenges and creativity.
I do hope you will join me there.
There will be a new post again this Thursday.
Next up on the blog: Wednesday I will have another Tree Following post. And next Monday brings another Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.
I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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