Friends, have I told you that I love July? I did? Oh, yeah, pretty much every day this month.
A lot of perennials appeared to be having a good time this month as well.
And, happily for me, they continued to find their own water. Today was the first time this month I thought about hauling out the old lawn sprinkler to make some of the drier patches of ground (I generally can't see too many because the plants block my view) look happier. This practice probably does the plants some good, especially if their leaves are visibly wilting. More often it just makes me feel better.
Happily a year of decent rains put enough water into the ground, relieving me (and the plants) from the anxieties of the typical midsummer drought. You know, think brown lawns. That doesn't mean that it won't happen in August.
July is the big month for daylilies. After the familiar orange native variety finishes their bloom, cultivars such as the daylilies in the top photo take over the stage. To my shame I gave up trying to keep track of their names years ago. This plant produces blossoms that are big, striking, and numerous. If I had to name it, I might call it 'best seller.'
The second photo down is a medium tall, white flowering herb called Achillea or, more commonly, yarrow. Herbs tend to be native plants that are hardy and make the best of the situation.The third photo down is Balloon Flower, whose formal moniker (I'm told) is Platycodon grandiflorus. It's grand, all right in July. The 'balloon' name comes from the puffy buds, some of which you can see in this photo. It's their color and prolific quantity of blossoms that make them a winner for me. These happy flowers are shown in a tighter close-up in the page's second-to-last photo.
The next photo down shows some of Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) that proliferate this time of year. I've learned they are a member of the sunflower. We have tow varieties, one (pictured here) blooms a few weeks earlier than the second, which has somewhat darker green leaves and stems and has proved a real land-grabber, well adapted to our part-shade growing condition.
The sixth photo shows a group of these familiars hanging together. At its center are the Echinacea, sold as Cone Flower, another hardy herb. The violet variety pictured here is Echinacea purpurea. The purple and the white blossoming Echinacea are shown together in the fifth photo down.This grouping of flowering perennials (sixth photo) hangs together for about a month. The balloon flowers, pictured earlier, have begun drop out of the scene, all their splendid little buds having popped and faded in the familiar parade of the seasons.
The seventh photo down centers on Liatris, a thistle-like flower growing on tall spikes. Also called Blazing Star, and (a name from an earlier day) Gay flower. Our spikes are not very tall, maybe because the situation gets a lot of shade. It's a another bee-attracter. We get a lot of bees.
The back piece of garden gets good light on July afternoons. The eighth photo down pictures a high-noon gathering of the some of the perennials named above.
The next photo depicts the angle of the so-called "Gooseneck Loosestrife." Another herbaceous perennial, this one from the Lysimachia family, this gang has expanded its territory in recent years.
Another shot taken in the high sun hours, the photo to the left centers on the pink-flowering tall phlox (Phlox paniculata), that bloom in July and stay with us all through August. These too eat up a lot of territory and hold on to a lot of color.