Around The Garden – July 8th, 2020

What a beautiful morning! At first, I thought it had rained overnight as flowers and leaves wore speckled water jewels and steps in the grass showed my progress through the garden from one blossom to another. Then I realized it was Wednesday, and my sprinkling system soaks everything in a 4 AM mist. Did I lose a day? In a way, I guess I did, as yesterday I devoted my time to house sitting for my daughter instead of combatting Japanese Beetles and plucking spent blooms off yesterday’s Day Lilies.

The beetles are still here waiting for me to urge them off the cliff of a rose petal into a sudsy mixture where Beetle heaven awaits. No aphids, no mealies, a little blackspot on the roses, no leaf-rollers on the Canna. All things considered it’s a good morning!

No leaf-rollers or beetles on the Canna Lily. Tomorrow may be a different story!

Even though we are enjoying early summer with hot, sunny afternoons, and scattered showers each evening, I have to start thinking of Fall. Neighbors have requested a few of my extra hybrid Day Lilies which are starting to wind down their blooming cycle of orange, red, yellow, and pink daily surprises. I will need to move more of the Hosta from afternoon sun to the shade garden and I have to get the rescued azaleas in a permanent location. My eight or so Hosta varieties will have to be subdivided and excess given to friends who have promised to care for the leafy blues, yellows, and greens.

Have your Hosta bloomed more this year than in the past?

Back to now and let’s stroll together and see what’s new, what’s old, what’s red, what’s gold. What is green is easy as the summer stampede of Elephant Ears is crashing and jumping over azaleas and Hosta. They have dominated the front yard sidewalk garden each of the past two summers and this year will be no exception. Thankfully, they provide a sun shield to both azalea and Hosta. Even though the garden faces the northwest, the late afternoon sun skald can be brutal. They have plenty of moisture as they have captured a sprinkler nozzle and made it their own. Note to myself – look into getting a four foot high sprinkler extension so water can be shared instead of “ear” hoarded.

The herd of “ears” jumping, shielding azalea while the potted lobelia marvels at their trumpeting. Bloomed out Clematis soar overhead defying an ear to ascend.

Roses are in their second blooming cycle of the season and I actually trimmed them over the past week and vibrant regrowth is promising a mid-summer flush of red, pink, and white fireworks. I just spotted a deer across the street and so far, fingers crossed, Hosta have been spared. Soon, this week I hope, a bright glow of Black-eyed Susans will burst in summer glory. They dominate a whole terrace in the sunny backyard and buds have been developing for weeks. Lavender Crepe Myrtle that I have raised from “sticks” are beginning their first summer show. Have you ever looked closely at a Myrtle bloom? Fascinating detail and complexity!

Crepe Myrtle and the super complexity of blossom. Beetles love them too… for a different reason!
The second coming of the roses! After this flush, I will lightly deadhead and prune and a mid-summer flowering will emerge. Note how green and healthy the plants appear to be. No blackspot here!


Japanese Beetles love the sweet taste of rose petals. This is a second bloom of the year.. try for a third – or fourth? Creeping Jenny and rose petals carpet the ground .

If you have followed past articles, you know one of my favorite Spring plants is the St. John’s Wort which blessed us with hundreds of fuzzy, bright yellow blossoms in April followed by clusters of small brilliant red “fruit”. The fruit or seed capsules are fading to a dull red and the lime green new leaves of Spring are a much darker green now BUT — new growth has emerged and new buds and flowers are sprinkled across the bushy growth and a second summer bloom is afoot!

St. John’s Wort after a morning sprinkle. Gone but soon to return are the yellow fuzzies and bright red berries. Note the show of new summer growth at top and bottom. And, yes, that is the first of a zillion Black-eyed Susans abloom in upper left.

Another pleasant and expected surprise is a second growth cycle on my purple Butterfly Bush. I clipped the dozens of spent panicles from the June bloom and from each clipped end, two new shoots have appeared with two or four tiny buds promising a mid-summer treat for both me and the butterfly nation.

Should it be called a “Bumble Bee Bush”?

I added two Red Lobelia or Cardinal Flowers to my front yard garden – planted one and left one in the pot as an experiment. The Lobelia are water needy and the earth bound member is doing fine but the potted twin demands moisture on a daily basis. Experiment done – put them both in the ground and mulch.

The family of Hosta inspect their new neighbor – A Cardinal Flower.
More reminiscent of a red butterfly then a red bird, the Cardinal Flower blossom hovers and flits over dark green foliage. One of my favorites!

The orange “Ditch Lily” started blooming the last week in May and were done with their hundreds of blooming spikes by mid-June whereas the hybrid Day Lilies didn’t start until the first week in June and are still dancing in the afternoon sun in robes of red, purple, creamy white, pink and lavender. As soon as they finish blooming, I will start separating and sharing with neighbors. Speaking of Lavender, I planted three Lavender (plant) sprouts two Springs ago. Two didn’t survive the sunny location but one did and this year it dominates the edge of the wildflower garden with hundreds of fragrant spikes enjoyed by all passer-byes including a buzz of native bumble bees which work constantly gathering and sharing pollen embracing the lingering fragrance. Would their honey be a shade of purple? Do bumble bees even make honey? Such mysteries!!

Dark orange and gold mark the Day Lily of the day.
It is a blessing that a blossom opens anew each morning – if only they lasted a week! Would we then call them a “Week Lily”?

Whatever their name be – I am glad they grace us with a smile or three.

Enough talk and way too many words – let’s finish our stroll and thanks for visiting! You are welcome anytime.

Delicate twirls of Jessamine, or Jasmin, love the presence of Elephant Ear as their roots are now in constant shade and moisture.
What’s a garden without a few scattered pots of Hens and their Chicks?
Emerging from a graft joint are green Jap Maple sprouts among the thread leaf purple leaves.

4 thoughts on “Around The Garden – July 8th, 2020

  1. Beautiful!



  2. Love seeing your garden, George!


  3. A lovely tour! Do note that the hybrid St. Johnswort you grow is NOT the medicinal herb St. Johnswort, just in case you start feeling depressed and are tempted to try it…..


    1. Thank you! I wasn’t tempted but now I know!


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