Cool temps and plenty of rain. That’s the kind of summer we have been having so far as we enter the middle of July. That means the gardens are green and full of blooms. Here is what is blooming today on Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: July, 2014.
The temps rose yesterday to 90 degrees, but the heat isn’t unexpected. And, we are not experiencing a drought like last year. July blooms are on schedule and it seems like the whole garden is making up for last year. The cherry tree is still full of gorgeous red tart cherries. In fact, I picked 4 cups last night and made a cherry crisp. Last year I didn’t even bother with picking. The early warmth and subsequent freeze killed last years crop.
July means day lilies (hemerocallis), and today the fireworks are just beginning to explode into bloom. These are my favorite flowers. As much as I love hydrangeas and my hansa roses, it is the day lilies that charm me the most. The name “hemerocallis” means “bloom for a day” and that’s pretty much what day lilies do. And, they do not actually belong to the lily family.
It was colonists who brought day lilies to the New World, but it wasn’t until the 1930’s that hybridization really began. For centuries gardeners grew what are often referred to as “ditch lilies.” These are the common orange flowers that we see growing wild along country roads, in old homestead sites, and in sunny meadows. But those bright orange or sometimes yellow flowers are not native to North America. They probably came to Europeans from China and other Asian countries where various parts of the plant were valued for their medicinal qualities. Settlers carried day lily plants on horseback and in covered wagons across the North American continent.
Blooming today in the Secret Garden are Cystal Pinot, First Night, Sea Urchin, a nameless deep plum plant, and Red Rum.
But it’s not just day lilies that are gracing the garden. Scroll down to see other shots.
It’s been quite the spring and summer for my hostas.
Hostas in the Lower Garden
I think the Secret Garden hosta beds are my favorites, perhaps because I didn’t not initially think I would plant hostas there. But the spot behind the garage is shady and it became the home for hostas that weren’t thriving in other beds like the Great Expectations and the Francees. I gradually began adding more varieties, and sprinkled in huecheras for contrast. I decided to put more hostas under the Kousa Dogwood, just to carry the eye across the garden path.
K Gardens in Byron Center had an open house yesterday and I stopped by. I picked up four new hostas and have planted them in the Secret Garden.
Yesterday was mulch day and the garden looks wonderful with its fresh new covering. And, four more arborvitae went in yesterday, too, with a little help from the guys who brought the mulch. They also moved the broken fountain into the secret garden. A friend tonight suggested I try aquarium glue on it. It won’t be able to function as a fountain anymore, but the glue might make it water tight enough to serve as a bird bath. It looks nice in its new location.
The nikko blue hydrangeas in front of it may overwhelm it in a couple of years, but I’ll deal with that when the time comes. Those are various heucheras in the foreground, with hostas, of course. The orange leafed heurchera in the bottom left is Southern Comfort. That is a Great Expectation hosta in the upper right. There are actually three of those plus some others. But the Great Expectations are looking particularly good this spring. That’s the dreaded Virginia Creeper behind the fountain. It makes a nice green wall. The trick, of course, is to help it mind its manners. It does like to sneak up on things.
I bought a Rhapsody in Blue floribunda rose at a family owned garden center a couple days ago and I am loving it’s beautiful plum blooms and its sweet fragrance. It has lovely white veins at the heart of the blossom.
I am struggling, though, with the side garden, the “false” garden. I don’t like the way I have used the remaining flag stone. It’s hard to walk on and just looks messy. I need to rethink. I also haven’t figured out the lines of the garden yet. But the new arborvitae look good.
I thought I would include a picture here of the back of the garden lady sculpture. I love the braid.
That is a tardiva hydrangea in the center.
I’m looking forward to seeing all the day lilies in bloom in July.