Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Garden of July: Perennials Stand Tall

It's time for our mid-summer perennials to lift up their banners and show their colors. 
I generally think of this time of year as daylily season. The native orange-blossoming daylily (top photo) is strong, reliable, spreads, makes babies and are so common along country roads they're called "ditch lilies." They stand behind most of my photos of July, backing up whatever else I decide to focus on.

What are those those blue-bell shaped flowers (second photo down) called that grow almost everywhere? I never knew their name and I don't remember planting them, but they grow almost persistently as daylilies, including in place (such as graveled surfaces) where almost else does. And they last for weeks. 
            The third photo down puts the white-flowering Astilbe in the foreground and the red-flowering Coreopsis in the back. The red Coreopsis are placed in the foreground in the fourth photo down. You can see their yellow centers. Yellow is the more common flower color for this plant, but the red color in this variety is strong and provides a good contrast to all the green foliage and and yellow blossoms. 
             Rose Campion, dark-pink blossoms against gray foliage are pictured next. The background is Lady's Mantle, with its milky yellow foliage.  
              The plant with dark purple-brown leaves and yellow flowers is called yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris). It grows aggressively. I love the contrast of its dark foliage to all the lighter shades of summer, but it's facing a major thinning this year before it "out competes" all its neighbors into non-existence.  
           The next photo down places the yellow loosestrife against the orange daylilies. Then more daylilies, seen from a perspective parallel to the back garden fence.  
             The second to last photo focuses on a different variety of daylily, the Stella d'Oro (Star of Gold). This plant grows only half as tall as the other daylilies, so its buttery yellow flowers appear proportionately larger. 
            The last photo down places the white Shasta daisies in front of some big red blossoms. The Shasta daisies growing in various gatherings in the front and side gardens. Here they set off the brilliant deep red of a hibiscus called the Mandeville Rose, an annual. 
             One of the many qualities I like about the month of July: It fills up your eyes.