Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July Garden and Lilypalooza

So far, this year's gardening adventure has sorely tested both of us.  From a record-breaking blizzard in mid-April to temperatures in the nineties already in May with humidity to match, and mosquitoes that think DEET is an aphrodisiac, things haven't been pleasant outdoors.  

At all.   
Our downsizing efforts are going slowly at best, but we're plodding along.  Some days we both get so discouraged and think of throwing in the trowels for good, but then something new blooms and, well, we sigh, swat and sweat on.  
We have had many garden visitors again this year and more to come; the local nursing home will be bringing out residents for visits on Monday, August 6 and 13.  Some will arrive in the morning and the others in the afternoon.  Carl will have to be here to help me with the tours as we don't want anyone to fall.  

I wish the lilies would hang on for their visits, but that's gardening.  We can't control it.  I just hope the weather isn't too hot for them so they can enjoy the outing.

Our annual booyah party is coming up fast, August 11, and I'm trying desperately to get the garden under control.  I'm fighting a losing battle, though I feel better after having talked to another gardener who lives a few miles from me; he, too, is struggling this summer.  

He said, "We've had everything thrown at us this year, the late spring, the high temperatures, nasty humidity, bugs and more bugs, and lack of rain.  You know, when gardening stops being fun, you really wonder why you do it."

And I agreed wholeheartedly.  This year, it really hasn't been fun. 

But then, when I look up from my weeding and wipe the sweat from my eyes, I see 'why' I do it, at least for this year.

New hydrangea, 'Strawberry Sundae' still white

Working almost anywhere in the yard, the perfume from the OT lilies is present, wafting on the breeze.  July truly is a jewel in the garden; I just wish the daylilies and lilies would linger until frost.
 I was weeding right next to this 'Annabelle' hydrangea tonight and was taken in by the perfection of the petals.  There's one plant that will linger into spring for me when I spray paint the blooms and put them in the urns for the winter.

 I forget the name of this double Oriental lily; growing in semi-shade, the blooms last for at least a week. I also have one lily in white.

Oriental lily 'Dizzy'
 All the lilies are in full bloom this week, I can't remember all of their names, but here goes the picture show:

One of the petals of 'Ruby Spider' daylily fell off and landed on 'Incrediball' hydrangea, and the contrast of the two was amazing.

Speaking of daylilies, despite the goofy season, they're doing well.
Hemerocallis 'Ruby Spider'

Hemerocallis 'Persian Ruby' one of my favorites

Hemerocallis 'Joel' another favorite 

This unknown astilbe looked like cotton candy at peak bloom. 

By next week, most of these flowers will only be a memory, but they are stunning while they're here.

I guess I shouldn't complain when I'm weeding, if I get discouraged, all I have to do is look around.   

It's a great place to work.


Alison said...

So many of my lilies bloomed fast and then fried in the heat and drought. I can see how you can get discouraged when it's so uncomfortable to be out there gardening. At least we don't have monstrous bugs. Your lilies and daylilies are just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing them.

Beth said...

Your gardens look amazing, Karen! The lilies are glorious. Our heat has abated a bit - from mid 90s to mid 80s. Happy for that. Mosquitoes have been bad here, although better now. Thanks for sharing your beauty!

outlawgardener said...

I'm so sorry that this year has thrown so much at you! I can't imagine working around so many pesky bugs. You're right, so much of gardening is just hard and sometimes miserable work but the paradise you've created is certainly worth it! (Okay, it's worth it to me because I get to see the gorgeous results without lifting a finger - Thanks for that.) Your lilies are stunning & it's too bad they don't last longer - The fragrance of the oriental lilies is intoxicating.

Betsy said...

At least while you are weeding, you have so much beauty to take in and know your hard work is paying off in such beauty.
I love those daylilies. I wish the moles wouldn't disturb mine.
I totally laughed when you said that mosquitoes think deet is an aphrodisiac. That is one I have never heard. Great one!
The Japanese beetles here have been absolutely horrible this year. I have killed thousands, feels that way anyway. My Crepe Myrtles do not even get a chance to bloom because of them.
I hope we have a very cold winter and that it lasts if that will help cut down on these bugs.

Pam's English Garden said...

You have a wonderful variety of lilies, Karen. I don't know how you deal with all those tours. I only had three this year and found them exhausting. Also, my gardens are smaller than yours. I don't know how you do it. P. x

Indie said...

Oh what beautiful lilies! I haven't grown lilies in ages since the buds are usually deer candy for me, but now that I have a little fenced in garden in the front, I've started planting them again. Gardening really can be exhausting, and all those bugs sound awful. Your garden looks amazing after all of your hard work, though!

Garden Fancy said...

Karen, I'm so sorry you've had such a challenging year. :-( It does seem like we've had a strangely short gardening season, doesn't it, with the late spring and the early heat? I feel particularly challenged by the Japanese Beetles too -- it seems like they're ruining everything sometimes! But then I just step back and try to look at the bigger picture, like you're doing, and that does help. Just think about how lovely & how much easier things will be next year when you've downsized a bit -- that's certainly made me feel better about my gardens this year too. I hope you get some deliciously cool weather with few bugs very soon -- hang in there! Best, -Beth

Nell at njschout said...

Your gardens are absolutely lovely! All the best with your downsizing.