Late June — Ahead Of The Heat Wave

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) used to be a garden highlight at this time of year in my previous garden, but foraging deer like it way too much here in this garden. So a couple of years ago I finally just removed all the Garden Phlox, except that a piece here and there still shows up occasionally. As soon as the errant phlox starts to bloom it is snapped up by deer with an eerily keen sense of knowing. This happened just last week, but this morning held a nice surprise. I spotted several phlox that managed to bloom and not be eaten.

Despite a very late planting ten Allium ‘Drumstick’  bulbs are beginning to form flowers on rather thin 24-inch stalks. These are very small, one-inch flowers and look very charming. The bulbs were a gift and were purchased at Biltmore House in Asheville, NC.  The package states these have been in cultivation since 1766 and are deer-resistant.

Allium ‘Drumstick’

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ is nearly 5 feet tall now and seems so, so close to blooming, just as the weather forecast is for a few days of excessively high temperatures and high humidity. Today’s 87° F. will give way and move toward extremes, reaching 105° F. on Saturday and Sunday.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Meditation Circle

The entrance to the labyrinth in the meditation circle was still in shadow during this morning’s garden stroll. In the foreground spent spires of Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ jut in every direction.  Last year I did not cut them back after blooming, but this summer I plan to try deadheading it (soon). This penstemon is still blooming and should continue throughout the summer, but certainly not as prolifically as a month ago.

The low-growing Thymus x citriodorus (Silver Edge Thyme) has yet to bloom, but it was in flower last year on May 5.  The last few weeks a little bunny has been nibbling at it a bit. I am considering planting more thyme to fill the central area surrounding the gazing ball. This Silver Edge Thyme did not impress during the winter but it now looks very healthy.

In the circle’s center well-behaved mounds of Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft) are green and lush, with the newest ones added this spring almost catching up in size with those planted last year.  Around part of  the outer edge the annual, Angelonia ‘Blue,’ adds intense summer color next to a few specimens of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red.’

Meditation Circle

14 thoughts on “Late June — Ahead Of The Heat Wave

  1. Judy Beard

    Meditation garden is very impressive. Speaking of heat waves, the landscaper came by today and set my sprinkler system. I knew it would have to go on soon. At least I made it through June!

  2. P&B

    At least your Garden Phlox have a chance to produce flower buds; deers have been nibbling off mine even before the flower buds have formed this year. I’ll have to spray garlic and rotten eggs more often.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      That’s so disheartening. Good luck with the garlic-egg spray. I dislike the smell so much myself I can see why deer should be repulsed. Have a good day.

  3. Cathy

    I hope the Allium really are deerproof… they add height and interest at this time of year. I am always amazed at the thin stalks too, but the flowers are actually featherlight, so they sway in the wind and don’t snap. The wonders of nature again!
    Your meditation circle looks so peaceful, and well-established now. Thanks for sharing, and have a nice day!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I love the Allium so far–hope it will make it. The meditation circle is peaceful indeed. It has been an enjoyable addition to my garden on so many levels. Happy gardening!

  4. Christina

    Despite the heat, your garden is looking green and lovely. I grow drumstick allium too and is great for me as it returns each year pretty well, but I have no deer so can’t report on that aspect but I suspect that deer don’t like garlic. Do you grow Tubaglia? that’s very garlicy

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I am unfamiliar with Tubaglia and searched for it this morning without finding it. I’d like to see it though. You’re right–deer do not like garlic and other strong smells. It can be a useful strategy to incorporate more plants like that in gardens in this area.

      I know from reading your blog you deal with long periods without rainfall. The wonderful rains we had during winter and spring have fallen away. Nothing significant for the last several weeks and I finally caved in a hand-watered yesterday. The next week is projected to have record-setting high temperatures with no rain for the next 10 days. It’s too much to try to hand water everything so the garden will suffer. I’ll try to keep some of the shrubs watered to keep from losing them. Even drought-resistant plants aren’t going to like the next few days though. (I noted the way your rose responded to the vegetable garden runoff, so maybe I can selectively help some plants along.) Take care.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you so much Sandy.I realize with a different set of plants it could look entirely different and so I’m always second guessing myself on my choices. I think it may be always evolving.


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