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 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:
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:
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:
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!