Mid-July Musings

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

‘Chuck Hayes’ Gardenias began blooming at the end of May this year and since then a few occasional blossoms have continued to appear. This particular bush lost several limbs last week when the top of a neighbor’s Loblolly Pine came crashing down during a severe wind and rain storm. The jolt seems to have encouraged a few more flowers.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Temperatures are heading toward 100 today. A few individual heat-loving plants are going strong, but for the most part the garden is shutting down. There are no lush drifts of color or interesting plant pairings to note.

There are still plenty of bees around enjoying such delicacies as Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes,’ Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue), Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) and Salvia ‘Blue Sky.’

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) began flowering on the last day of May and though it looks stressed from the heat, blooms continue to appear. For the past three weeks hummingbirds have been regular visitors.

Goldfinches dart among the tired and ragged seed heads of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower). For a while longer I can justify leaving the drying coneflowers for the birds, although their sprawling stalks (and most of the garden in general) have become very unsightly. This garden is definitely at its best in Spring.

6 thoughts on “Mid-July Musings

  1. Cathy

    A beautiful gardenia bloom – what a nice surprise! After all that heat and all those lovely flowers earlier in the year, I’m not surprised your garden is tired! Did some things flower earlier than usual? My garden is also tired, despite some rain the very strong drying winds are taking their toll.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, many things bloomed very early but by May I felt bloom times were almost back to normal. My garden always fizzles about this time of year. Given the many days of 100 degrees plus temperatures, I guess the garden really held up pretty well this year.

      Hope the winds settle down so you can enjoy your garden a bit longer!

  2. P&B

    Beautiful Gardenia! I don’t have any luck growing them. I have only one left and it doesn’t seem to do anything. I guess it doesn’t like to be in a pot.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks! I have a hedge of gardenias, though many have died out. Perhaps there is a different variety you could try that would do well in a pot, but I’m not sure.

  3. Christina

    The description of your garden also describes mine at present, although the idea that you can grow a hedge of Gardenias leaves me open mouthed with envy! I must try Monarda, inexplicably it is a plant I’ve never grown. Christina

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Monarda is native to this area and so does pretty well. Gardenias do fine but I have lost a few due to drought in years past. Hope they can keep going through this current one.


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