July Juncture

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Summer has turned the corner in my garden and plants are tired, weary and thirsty. July has been hot and mostly dry. Although we have had a few thunderstorms often dark clouds pass overhead to find a different target than our neighborhood . I have watered selectively, but sometimes even include the coneflowers because they are doing so well this year.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

In particular when watering by hand I’m trying to encourage the dahlias as well as my two tomato plants which were planted very late. (I tasted the first two grape tomatoes this week. The German Johnson shows little interest in producing more than just the two still-green specimens that formed early.) The dahlias are not doing as well as last year but a few nice ones show up. It’s so hot they don’t last long.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

I am still trying to outwit the rabbits to protect a third sowing of zinnias. Spraying frequently seems to help some but is not a good long-term solution. My neighbor is scouting for rabbit fencing but supplies are out. It seems it will be costly anyway and fairly unattractive. If you have found a good solution to keeping rabbits at bay, we welcome your advice. She and I have white vinyl picket fencing (as dictated by our homeowner’s association) and is open at the bottom. She had installed chicken wire along the base but the rabbits are still slipping inside. One thing left unbothered by rabbits has been this crinum lily. The plant has had three tall shoots so far. Individual blooms are delicate.

Crinum × powellii (Swamp Lily)

This week on Instagram I joined Amy @newgatenarcissi for another #gardenmonthlycollage on for July 2020. There are so any images to choose from for July, but for the collage I found several for which I had made some Waterlogue counterparts.
Left to right: Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) on Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)
Canna With Echinacea (Purple coneflower)
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
Bombus (Bumble bee) on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ hummingbirds seem to adore, but unfortunately mine is producing few flowers. (A tip I recently heard on an old Gardeners World episode is the salvia may just be too “happy” and it needs to be moved to where it will be stressed and has to work harder.)  I love to hear a hummingbird’s wings as they nectar close by. Other birds we are seeing now are American goldfinches, eastern towhees, nuthatches, cardinals, house finches, chickadees and lots of little brown sparrows, all which frequent the feeder. Mourning doves stop by and lumber around the meditation circle.

Yesterday I saw a new-to-me white moth which I have identified tentatively as White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata). It flew frequently as I tried to photograph it and it always landed under a leaf, making it challenging to get a clear image.

White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata) underside

White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata)

Cleome has taken over the meditation circle again this summer but it is hard to mind.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome and rudbeckia provide the most color to my garden right now. Both attract lots of bees.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Finally coming into full bloom this month, Lantana draws many pollinators, such as this little skipper.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

But where are the butterflies this year? Very few have passed by that I have seen. This one seems to have had a hard life.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

That is a look at July so far. 95° F.  Be safe.

22 thoughts on “July Juncture

  1. Eliza Waters

    The whole country seems to be sweltering. It’s nearly 100 here in MA, not usual! Hope the weather turns more pleasant soon.
    That white moth with pearlescent aqua wings is a beauty.
    Rabbits ate my sweet peas and I’m trying to figure a strategy for next year to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m thinking I’ll need an 18-24″ corral around my trellis. Not pretty, but needs must. I’m also thinking about seeding more clover to attract them away from the flowers.
    Hope you get some good rain soon.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for the ideas. Rabbits got my sweet peas too. I read you need to bury fencing 6 inches below ground or rabbits will burrow under. Try to keep cool Eliza.

  2. Roadtirement

    Beautiful photos. Here in Central Indiana we have only seen one butterfly this year, and the butterfly pictures from bloggers are usually disheveled. Things just are not right in 2020 for a lot of reasons…

  3. theshrubqueen

    Despite the weather, things are looking good. Love the Rudbeckias, still looking for one that will grow here. And the Dahlias of course. Rabbits ate most of my vegetable garden this year. The only attractive solution I could come up with was a 24″ willow fence – didn’t try it – planted flowers instead! It is hotter at your house, Elizas and Canada than my house, Crazy, stay cool and I hope you get some rain.

  4. krispeterson100

    The persistent heat across the midwestern and eastern parts of the country has astounded me, Susie. In contrast we’re cooler than usual for July, which is also surprising, albeit in a good way. I’m sorry to hear that it’s taking a toll on your garden but it still looks beautiful. I can’t help on the bunny issue. Our bunnies seem to have disappeared, which usually happens when summer arrives and the coyotes get busy (although they’ve failed to take care of my gopher problem). I don’t suppose you’d want a coyote but maybe a good-sized dog would help.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      My bunnies have always disappeared after a short time before this year. Coyotes, hawks, dogs–I would like a natural solution but don’t think I can keep up with a pet now. Glad you’re getting some cooler temps. Enjoy while you can.

  5. tonytomeo

    In our climate, summer is expected to be dry. It is when the garden naturally starts to look tired anyway. However, it is also a very productive climate. I mean, even though things look tired, gardens produces very well in such climates.

  6. Janice Davies

    I hope the heat with you doesn’t decide to come over to the UK 😊. We found out years ago that any rabbit fencing has to be buried at least 6 inches and the bottom edge turned outwards If that is any help. If only it stopped the deer 🦌


    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Glad you’re enjoying less drastic summer heat Janice. Thanks for the tip about rabbit fencing. For deer I understand the fence must be 10 feet. Our back yard is fenced but the homeowner’s association does not allow fences that tall. Still it has helped keep them out. Ours is 4 feet and a short section of 6 feet. Expensive option though. Take care.

  7. Cathy

    Your garden flowers still look gorgeous despite your heat. So many pretty blooms I wouldn’t know what to choose as a favourite, but the picture of the lily is quite stunning. 😃

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I should have been clear these images were from across days in July. If I don’t take my iphone along invariably I’ll see something I wish to photograph. Thank goodness we don’t have to send off to develop film before seeing how our pictures turn out! Take good care Judy.

  8. Chloris

    Lovely July blooms. I have to water my dahlias every day even though we don’t get your sort of heat. A rabbit fence has sorted out my rabbit problem for now, if only the deer could be kept away. I have heard lion dung works so maybe I need a lion. A beautiful moth. We are having a really good butterfly year but we don’t get exotic ones like yours.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      We got rain finally yesterday do it feels like plants can carry on a bit more. I believe this is female dark morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.


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