Monday, July 17, 2017

July Garden So Far

Our second garden bus tour of the year was this past Saturday.  I forgot to take a picture of the nice group of Master Gardeners from Polk County Iowa, but they were fantastic guests.  The bus arrived at 9:15 AM and Carl and I boarded so I could give a little talk about the history of the garden.  When I mentioned the part Mom played in the painting of the statuary and gates and her weeding, wouldn't you know, I suddenly teared up.  Grief is a strange emotion.  But I muddled through and the many hugs I received from the visitors were greatly appreciated.

 The last bench Mom painted.

Hemerocallis 'Joel' a great favorite of ours
Ann came on Thursday to help us get ready for the walk and thank goodness she did; with the rain and all the extra work we've been doing with estate settling and doctor's appointments, we've fallen behind.

I called Joel and David who also came out on Saturday morning to lend a hand with the finishing touches and became tour guides, too.
Watching the weather this morning, our precipitation is four inches higher than normal so far this year.  Normally, by July we'd be short on rain.  In a way, it's great, I haven't watered anything other than the potted plants all summer.  

However, some of the plants aren't thrilled with the moisture; I've lost almost half of my Wave petunias.  They look fine one day and wilted the next.  I'm not sure if it is weather-related or a disease of some sort.  I'll have to rotate out my crops next year with something completely different.

I don't think the Bubblegum Supertunias will be covering the rock ledge this year, but that's ok.  I like looking at the rocks, too.  I replanted some geraniums in the open spots and we'll see how they do.
The marigolds on the west side of the driveway are doing very well.  I have a mix of 'Inca' and a new to me 'Fireball' marigold intermixed with 'Victoria' salvia and Dusty Miller.
I tried the 'Profusion' Sunny Mix zinnias this year out by the mailbox.  They're coming along nicely with shades of yellows, orange and white.

Not faring very well with the moisture are the 'Indian Summer' rudbeckias.  I have a few here and there, but not like other years.
Weeds abound in all the heat and humidity, along with the mosquitoes.  We've been doing our best to get the mulching done in an attempt to stay ahead of the sprouting weeds, but they keep us hopping.
One of my favorite red hemerocallis 'Persian Ruby'.  Immense blooms.
More rudbeckia at sunset
Liatris always remind me of sparklers and the Fourth of July.
Though their flowers are amazing, I have two pet peeves about daylilies:

Number One:  One day?  Really?  The gorgeous flower only lasts one day?  Yes, I know, that's where the name 'daylily' comes from, but still, couldn't the flower stick around for a few days? I know most of them have an amazing bud count, but it would be nice to have more than 24 hours to take in their beauty.  (And 'mush mummies, ew, they are a slimy flower to deadhead.)

Number Two: The foliage after they are done blooming is floppy.  I usually cut the leaves back to the ground and they regrow nice, fresh clumps as a reward, but it is a lot of work.  And I'm lazy.

Still, all in all, they are a gorgeous sight to behold in full bloom.

 I always scold myself for accidentally breaking off the new buds when deadheading or weeding in among the plants. 

Oriental and Orienpet lilies are now starting to bloom.  One plant can perfume the garden.

The Asiatics are already over with, I hated to see them end.

 My petunias are doing well on the Pachyberm, though. 

 My seed petunias, 'Tidal Wave Silver' and 'Red Velour' are going gangbusters with no sign of failing on the east side of the driveway.
If all goes well, they will be growing out in the gravel in a few weeks.
 The old light shade planters are doing very well, and I haven't dashed out to save them from thunderstorms either.

Ernie the Urn is sporting his usual pink silliness, too.

 Unknown clematis, but brighter than the lamp lights.

 Again here's the new to me marigold, 'Fireball'.  When the first bloom opens, the color is dark mahogany, which then lightens up as time goes on, giving a tricolor effect.  I'm happy with them so far.

 The little black dog silhouette is in honor of our dear Teddy and Pudding.
'Annabelle' hydrangeas weren't staked up and the rain got the better of them. 

 My mission for this week is to get the rest of the garden weeded and mulched.  Humidity is on the rise this week, so I'll be looking for shade to work in.  

Thank goodness for shade gardens!  (I see a grape vine climbing that poor, defenseless hosta.)  I know where I'll be tomorrow.