Japanese Dinnerplate Iris Jell-o. Photo by Louise Peacock

The July Garden

Where it is at

So, after an extremely long, cool, and mostly rain-free April, May and June, July brought scalding temperatures, and also very little rain.

Many of the early blooming plants were late, and then once the heat hit, they scurried into flowering action.

I had no intention of buying any more plants, but on July 1, I dropped in to visit my favorite plant supplier, a family-owned place called Bulows. While chatting with them and wandering around looking at their plants, I spotted the lovely Japanese Iris in the first photo. I decided it would make a nice addition to our front garden.

Red Asiatic Lily. Photo by Louise Peacock

Also at the beginning of July, up popped this brilliant red Asiatic Lily. This Lily arrived here as a surprise; I know I did not plant it.

Coriopsis verticillata. Photo by Louise Peacock

July 6, the bright and cheery Coriopsis verticillata opened up in serious bloom. I love this little plant. It is basically no maintenance and brightens up any sunny or partially sunny corner — all summer.

On the left Greek Oregano with a touch of Chamomile, and on the right, Anthony Waterer Spirea, a flowering shrub. Photos by Louise Peacock

The Greek Oregano is always a pleasant early summer bloomer. The bees and butterflies love it. The Spirea is also a nice addition, and the pollinators seem to like it also.

On the left an unexpected Dahlia grown from a discarded tuber! On the right, a newly opened Echinacea, looking all spikey. Photos by Louise Peacock

Last Fall, I was helping a client clear out her summer pots. She had a bumper crop of Dahlia tubers which she didn’t feel like overwintering to restart in the Spring. I said I would take a couple and try my luck. The wine-coloured beauty on the left is the lucky result.

The Echinaceas were just beginning to get into blooming in early July. Every bee in the ‘hood was all over the early ones.

Bee chows down on Echinacea flower nectar. Photo by Louise Peacock
Shasta daisies with the lovely light blue Geranium pratense. Photo by Louise Peacock

Finally, in the second week of July, the Shasta Daisies got into full swing, and with them a pretty blue perennial geranium called Geranium pratense, which sadly, only flowers once, in early summer.

The deep yellow Daylily on the left has long since lost its’ name tag, but the one on the right is called Wineberry Candy. Photos by Louise Peacock

The Daylilies are a lovely addition to the perennial garden, but one has to plan them so that one has the very early ones, followed in series by ones that flower at different times, thus giving one three months of daylily joy. The two above are July joys.

On the left, Satisfaction, a giant Orien-pet lily. Center a sweet summer phlox, name unknown. Far right, Daylily Summer Wine. Photos by Louise Peacock.

By mid-July, the giant Orien-pet lilies are starting to bloom. They can get as tall as 8 feet. This year they were late sprouting and much smaller than their usual 6–8 feet.

Summer Phlox are a great addition to the garden, provided one gets the mildew-resistant varieties. This delicate pink with the white center is often the first to bloom.

Summer Wine is a lovely, smallish daylily that produces a mass of bright red blooms over about three weeks. It was a gift from a plant-loving friend who passed away years ago but whose memory lingers on.

Far left, an unusual blue shade Summer Phlox. Center Eutrochium purpureum (Joe Pye Weed). Right, Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) getting attention from a bee. Photos by Louise Peacock

The gorgeous blue Summer Phlox was a gift from a customer a few years ago. It did not really like the spot I first picked for it, so I moved it last year to a sunnier spot, and it seems to be liking it there.

Joe Pye Weed is a very tall perennial that begins to flower in mid-July. It is a pollinator magnet. Bees of all types and assorted small wasps are on it the moment it begins to bloom. The butterflies find it very attractive too, especially the Monarchs.

Joe Pye Weed close up. Photo by Louise Peacock

Next is a cousin of Joe Pye Weed. Eupatorium perfoliatum, commonly known as Boneset.

Why? Well back in the day, it was thought to have bone knitting properties, and the leaves were used to wrap broken bones to help them heal. It grows from 2 to 4 feet in height and flowers from July until mid-August. I notice that the bees and tiny wasps adore it.

Tiny, slim wasp enjoying nectar from the Boneset flower. Photo by Louise Peacock
July 18 — Looking the length of the back garden. Photos by Louise Peacock

The back garden has suffered from the strange spring we had, followed by the crazy heat. Many of the “old reliables” have come and gone, some like the Shasta Daisies, were late and not as full as usual. Luckily, the Daylilies have provided the main colour.

July 20. The Orien-pet giant lilies respond to the extreme heat by bursting into bloom. Photo by Louise Peacock.

I really like the tall burst of colour these giant lilies provide. I had tucked them in, one on either side of the Spirea shrub, thinking that it would give them a nice corner to fill in, and it certainly worked.

July 20 — On the left, our tree stump birdbath stand, surrounded by assorted perennials. On the right, the perennial bed in front of our house. Photos by Louise Peacock

We still really miss our big old Maple in the front garden. I am glad we left the stump there for the birdbath because it gets used a lot. I had them leave a second, shorter stump close by so that animals like squirrels, raccoons and foxes could easily climb up for a drink.

The second shot is of the flower bed immediately in front of our house. There is a small seating area there, and it’s a great spot to watch birds, butterflies and bees in action. I have been making changes to that bed so that the sprinkler heads are not blocked.

July 20 — spider daylily Watchyl Dancing Spider. Photo by Louise Peacock

I’m not sure I would like an entire garden full of this variety of Daylily, but this particular one is very showy.

July 22 — On the left, Echinacea Sombrero. On the right looking across the front garden. Photos by Louise Peacock

Generally, I prefer the “ordinary” variety of Echinacea — but I was attracted to the bright, glowing orange-pink of Sombrero, and so far, it has performed quite well.

The second photo shows the front garden looking across. You can see a hanging basket with French marigolds which I grew from seed. In the foreground, the white flowers are white Yarrow.

July 22- alternate view of the back garden. Photo by Louise Peacock

A slightly different look at the back garden, showing off the big pot of annuals I planted this year. It has Coleus and Kalanchoe in, and has been quite pretty and low maintenance.

The thick ground cover on the patio side is Big Root Geranium, and on the other side of the big pot, fall flowering Hosta.

On the left, my one and only Balloon flower. On the right, daylily Black eyed Stella. Photos by Louise Peacock

Balloon Flowers are a big fave around here, but although I have tried many times, this blue one is the only one that wants to grow here. Really annoying.

The bright and cheery Black Eyed Stella Daylily is a really nice one. It starts early, mid-June, and keeps on going until mid-August.

July 22 — The front garden. Phlox, Dylilies, Echninacea and Rudbeckia. Photo by Louise Peacock

Once the Rudbeckia begin to flower, I know that we are easing out of summer again. I think that mid-July the garden is really at its peak.

July 31 -Left, view of the back garden, Right, view of the front garden. Photos by Louise Peacock.

And last, shots of the back and front garden on July 31. You can see that subtle changes have been happening, the colours are not as intense. There are fewer flowers. The Daylilies will soon be gone. My bad for still not acquiring Frans Hals, a lovely late flowering Daylily.

And for 2022, that was my July garden.

I am dedicating this months garden article to Dennett, our tireless editor, and our good friend Captain Argentina,

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Louise Peacock

Louise Peacock

Louise Peacock is a writer, garden designer, Reiki practitioner, singer-songwriter & animal activist. Favorite insult “Eat cake & choke” On Medium since 2016.