a year in my garden: july

July 15th, 2011
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My garden in July  is a sea of green, which I find so soothing – it makes me happy every time I pull up to my house:

The “Limelight” hydrangeas are starting to bloom:

And the “Coconut Lime” echinacea (don’t you just love that name?) have officially arrived, both outside:

and in:

And around the corner, the “Gooseneck” loosestrife (another great name………..) have reared their lovely heads:

As for maintenance this month – I continue to deadhead repeat bloomers such as Salvia, and have cut back perennials that have finished blooming for the season. The yarrow, which bloomed early and for several months, finally started to fade and droop. I cut down the stems and although they will most likely not re-bloom, I am left with lots of clean, ferny foliage for the remainder of the season:

The nepeta, cut back hard last month, has completely re-surged with fresh new foliage:

And even a few blooms:

Remember my plan to stake the echinacea with peony hoops? Well it worked beautifully! The hoops have all but blended in to the rest of the garden and the echinacea – by now usually a floppy, tangled mess – are fully upright and supported:

The rear bed, however, is another story – and a lesson learned from my roving band of deer……….

Despite my diligent efforts to install a “deer-resistant” bed in my back yard, I’ve proven to be no match for these worthy opponents, and have had to resort to a monthly spraying regimen. Well, June got away from me and the deer got to one emerging clump of echinacea. I cleaned up the gnawed-down stems, put the hoops around the other plants and hoped for the best.  This is what they look like now:

Yes, the plants are nicely supported by the hoops. But see how thin and leggy they look? Now compare them to the “deer-pruned” plants:

They’re blooming a little later and are shorter than the others but look ma! No stakes! I did a little research in my maintenance “bible” and, sure enough, you can cut back echincea in early spring. The plants will be shorter and bloom a little later, but no more staking? I immediately made note of this for next season.

Speaking of spring pruning: Joe-pye weed, a late summer bloomer, can grow to over 6 feet tall if left unpruned. I prefer the plant to grow bushier and shorter so I cut it back by about half sometime in June. I left a few unpruned and this is what they look like:

They are over 6 feet tall, starting to lean over, and almost in bloom. Compare these with the plants I cut back – shorter, shrubbier and just starting to bud:

What’s on your garden “to do” list this month? Any maintenance tricks or tips you’d like to share? Please do so here!

 

8 Responses to “a year in my garden: july”

  • your pictures are so beautiful!!

  • Your garden looks stunning! Some of these plants are great in treating some illnesses so…keep up the good work!

  • Jealous of your garden! All of your flowers are gorgeous but I love the most is your hydrangeas! It is so perfect in those green plants!

    • sheri silver says:

      Thank you – I love them too and this year they really took off! I always tell clients it takes 3 years for a perennial bed to really come into its own – and I think I was right as this is year 3 for mine!

  • Mother Hen says:

    Beautiful foliage and flowers. What about a hardy lavender and when should I prune it. By now it is so tall and falling over. THanks for the info on the Butterfly bush trimming. I will cut back next year-they are huge this year. Agreed – 3 years for the perennials to really shine/show. 🙂

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