“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs” ~ Henry Ford
This quote has been my strategy this summer. Small chunks and small jobs. And while it is taking me so much longer than I wished, I am glad to be making some headway with finding my gardens again. I have started in the front gardens, as I wrote in my last Journal post.
I have almost finished the Sidewalk Gardens in the front of the house. It is amazing what I can uncover when I take my time, and really look at what is in front of me.
While I review a bit of my garden in this lengthy post, I am linking in with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.
The weather has been complete turn around from June’s rainy and cool weather. July started wet, promptly dried up and then turned up the thermostat. We had 7 inches of rain, and most of it in the first half of the month.
It is hard to believe the garden is now bone dry after all the June rain. And dry clay is hard to weed, but I am working through it. The sunsets have been spectacular, and this is one example.
I have very methodically been gardening the last of the front gardens that border the brick sidewalk.
This is the small Sidewalk Garden that is to the left of the front door. In the top picture you can see what a jungle it has become. Weeds and seedlings, and the dwarf willow trees were growing branches that were touching the ground.
I worked from the outer edges in, looking carefully at what was growing under all the vegetation. You can see all the bare spots that are showing now. Under the tree, I hope to move lots of the violets that have grown in this bed. A perfect spot to let them grow free, while other ground covers can take hold again. Some of the lavender plants (bottom right) also need to be moved, as you can see one spilling out on to the sidewalk looking for more sun.
Here is the cleared garden showing its summer blooms. You can see the path running through the middle, created by the voles who have ripped up many a plant. I will be moving some of the seedlings found here; especially phlox and hyssop.
Amazing that we can see under the tree now too. Daylily, ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea, Rudbeckia maxima, dwarf Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) and lavender which has really grown in overtaking a thyme plant (that I will move). The container is filled with small hot peppers plants that are not liking this spot or more probably the container.
The other side of the Sidewalk Garden is a long winding bed between the grass and brick sidewalk. This view is along the grass side of the bed. It starts (in the top 2 pictures) with my dwarf forsythia and dwarf echinacea, along with lavender, Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’, and a ground cover rose that is buried.
The bottom pictures show thyme, Pontentilla shrubs, a medium size grass, gaillardia, tall echinacea and various seedlings; heliopsis, hyssop and Yellow Scabiosa.
I decided to prune the forsythia (top left) from below giving it some air and showing the ground around it. And what a surprise I found, 2 volunteer forsythia that rooted from low growing branches. I can’t wait to use these forsythia seedlings throughout the garden. You can see the main plants in the garden now that it is less messy. The bottom picture shows the garden looking back toward the driveway.
This is the same garden, but now from the sidewalk view. In addition to the plants above, there are hardy geraniums, dwarf Nepeta, dwarf sedum, dwarf Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’, daylilies, Ladybells, tall phlox and 2 boxwood shrubs. The smaller plants give way to taller ones as they approach the clematis trellis and the tree.
The sidewalk weeds will be dealt with last. I hope to add a bit of moss here and there in the sidewalk to give it a less weedy look.
Here is the first part of the garden above now weeded, pruned and thinned. You can see two views. Top one looking up the sidewalk halfway and the insert picture is looking down the sidewalk toward the driveway.
This last half of the long side of the Sidewalk Garden is not quite finished. I got halfway done, and then had a small injury that has stopped me for a while especially finishing under and around the tree. And oh my, the sidewalk is really weedy here.
This is the last section of the long Sidewalk Garden on the grass side as it winds around to the side of the house. It is so thick with this plant you can’t see the bushes here. I don’t know what the plant is, but it reminds me of a ground cover chrysanthemum.
The bottom picture looks from halfway down the grass side where I thinned out lots of plants including the unknown monster that was taking over. The top picture is a bit further down. Trimming out the unruly plant and the bushes and now you can see through to the porch. There was Joe Pye here that I cut down to use in vases below. I will transplant them later to the side garden and meadow.
I still have to prune around the bushes more as I move around to the side garden. Hopefully I will have this done by mid August.
I wanted you to see how nicely these petunias have grown in since early June. I love how they welcome folks to our purple front door.
The begonias, coleus and miniature hosta (part of my Carolyn’s Shade Garden order) are part of a display next to the front porch bench. Somehow I lost the tag for the lime green and purple veined coleus, but it is a stunning plant that I hope to bring inside this winter.
The Tilia americana or American Linden tree usually flowers in July, and I was hoping to show it to you this summer. But it did not bloom….not one flower. The top 2 pictures are of it flowering last year in July. The bottom 2 pictures show the trees healthy leaves now, but no flowers this year. The bees and I are so disappointed as we were looking forward to its intoxicating blooms. I am not sure why it did not bloom, but the very cold winter may have had something to do with it.
With this update, I am linking in with Lucy@Loose and Leafy’s Tree Following meme that happens around the 7th of every month.
I haven’t shown the meadow recently. Still growing in early July were a few lupines (top center). Heliopsis (top right) is a big bloomer in summer as is the invasive teasel (center left). The bees love teasel, but it will take over the meadow completely in a few years if left unchecked so we have to pull them when they pop up.
The middle picture is Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot), and next to it the bulging stems of goldenrod housing the Goldenrod Gall Fly. Echinacea (bottom left) is just starting to bloom in July in the meadow with the bright pink Monarda didyma, Rudbeckias and a few left over Ox-eye daisies.
An interesting array of critters showed up in July. Hummers continue to buzz around the garden partaking of new flowers as they bloomed. This heron was hunting next door around the repossessed house’s pool, turned to pond now after 7 years. We have seen 2 deer exactly 2 times in all of July and no fawns. Not sure why….is it possible there are no fawns this year?
Lots of fledglings and young birds, especially robins (center right), were still in the garden in July. And that is one of our baby bunnies seeing what is tasty on the patio. Lastly there are baby frogs finally coming out of the pond after overwintering as large tadpoles. This one looks like a Green frog.
I will have a fun story about our young fox , on my other blog Living From Happiness, on Thursday.
I am sharing all our critters with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature withEileen that happens every Saturday.
Lastly, we had a couple of new butterflies in the garden in July. The top one is a Fritillary although I cannot positively identify which one. Perhaps a Great Spangled Fritillary.
The second butterfly looks like a Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis). Most likely a newly hatched summer adult that will lay the next eggs. It was enjoying the sugar water in the Oriole feeder.
I am joining Anna@ The Transmutational Garden for her new Butterfly Bucket List meme the 4th Sunday of the month. I know I am well past the time for the meme, but I will include it here none-the-less.
So there you have the highlights of my garden in July. What was a highlight in your July garden?
In A Vase On Monday
This vase was one of the easiest I have ever put together. And I really can’t take much credit. Every flower was taken from the Sidewalk Garden as I was removing the volunteers that were overtaking the main garden in the front.
So how did I put this together? I actually cut the flowers, brought them in and plonked them in a vase of water. Yep, that was it. I liked the look so much, I decided to leave it alone.
This vase contains 4 flowers. Echinaceas that I had to remove as they were infected with Aster Yellows. These were the best of those not affected. Other flowers included Joe Pye that should not be growing in the smaller front garden, along with heliopsis that jumped from the side garden to the front. Lastly we had loads of Anise Hyssop all over the garden so some had to go. I couldn’t have asked for a better huge vase to put in front of the fireplace. And it goes perfectly with the garden I was reviewing this month.
Once I cut the large Joe Pye plant that was invading the small front Sidewalk Garden, I couldn’t throw all the beautiful flowers away. There were so many, and I thought they would look great in their own vase.
The Joe Pye looks wonderful in the early morning light as it is just opening now.
I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.
Next up on the blog:
Monday, I will be looking at the blooms now taking center stage in the garden.
I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes. 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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