The end of July tends to be very colorful in my garden, and this year is no exception.

There’s a party going on at the far end of the rock garden, and all of the dragonflies, hummingbirds, and butterflies have been invited!


011The Balloon Flower started blooming the first week of July and has been going strong for four weeks now.  The same for the Monarda ‘Jacob Kline.’  The Black-eyed Susans started blooming in earnest last week.  The Coreopsis seems to be slowly winding down, though there are still a good number of buds.  The Russian Sage is much taller than I anticipated,and is blooming earlier than I expected.  Perhaps next year, I should trim it back in June to keep it bushier and delay its blooms?

Here is a long view of the rock garden.   “Someone” needs to mow the grass, and get rid of the clover blossoms that clutter up the scene.016The containers on the side porch are starting a resurgence of color, but I do so wish I had been able to find yellow Marguerite daisies this spring!  019The same “someone” who should mow the grass could stand to spend some time weeding between the pavers in front of the succulent bed!

Here is a comprehensive view of our side porch and the beds that border it:028It’s hard to see here, but I really like the pairing of the yellow-orange marigolds with the violet-blue of the tall Balloon Flower.  There’s other blue in this bed that has already come and gone–Munstead Lavender, Blue Flax, and ‘Butterfly Blue’ Scabiosa.

Along the back of the house, I have planted a small bed under the kitchen window.  It is a jumble of Lamb’s Ear, Jupiter’s Beard, tall Balloon Flower, Bee Balm, and a Butterfly Bush.  While I can see only the Butterfly Bush’s flowers from inside the window, I can see the hummingbirds who come to visit it and the Bee Balm while I’m washing dishes!005This space needs some weeding/culling out.  I think I’m going to take the Lamb’s Ears out of there, at the very least.  They add nothing beyond messiness to the mix.

Just a few steps away, the vegetable garden is coming along slowly.  Some of the red leaf lettuce we’ve been enjoying since June is going to seed now, but a few plants are still sending out new leaves, and I did plant a third round of seeds last week.  The second round, planted in late June, succumbed to torrential downpours the day after sowing and germinated very spottily.  The first green beans are nearly ready to pick, and the tomatoes have a good number of green fruits.  There are also basil, sunflowers, and zinnias (including ‘Zowie’) who have their first buds but no flowers yet.  Just outside the garden fence, in the upper right corner, Joe-Pye Weed, planted last year, stands tall and sports its first flowers.003I use an inch or two of grass clippings as mulch in my vegetable garden, and it is great for weed and moisture control, plus it adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.

Going around the the front of the house, here’s a view of the front porch.  I’m quite pleased with the performance of the hanging fuchsia, but I do miss the more solid color my usual baskets of impatiens have provided there in years past.039Here is the front step corner garden, where I am trying to replicate the bed of Lantanas and Gomphrena I saw at Penn State last summer.  I am not pleased.  The Lantana is not blooming well, and the Gomphrena is not spreading as I had hoped it might.  I suspect this bed is due for rejuvenation either this fall or early next spring.  037I have no complaints about the performance of the Dusty Miller here, though.  I planted all of it last year; it wintered over well and came back with a vengeance this year!

Finally, here is the driveway corner of the front walk.  The Cosmos (‘Pink Popsock,’ ‘Summer Dreams,’ and ‘Sensation’) are just getting started on their bloom cycles, and the Knockout rose is putting out new growth and buds for a late summer flush of flowers.    032Thank you to Helen, The Patient Gardener, for hosting this end of month garden meme!