Far Edge of July

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

Reaching the end of July is unsettling—summer, slipping by.

The summer garden has had its disappointments. Hot and dry weather and grazing rabbits have left their mark. This week, at least, a couple of thunderstorms offered some relief from record-setting heat (Hurricane Isaias likely will add rain as well. I hope everyone along the U.S. East Coast will stay safe).  Despite the shortcomings of this season there are always discoveries in the garden to brighten one’s day.

This is my first time growing cerinthe. One plant began flowering this week.  After admiring it in others’ Monday vases, I decide to try it.  From a packet of seeds, I ended up with just half a dozen plants, which actually I had expected to have purple flowers and foliage. Rabbits nibbled away for a while but lately have left them alone.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

This is the sole surviving plant from a packet of alyssum. Bad bunnies!


The garden has a lot of dragonflies. I have tentatively identified this as Bar-winged Skimmer.

Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena)

This young, tiny anole found cover quickly when I tried for a better photo.

Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) on Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Cleome flower heads seem to float above the meditation circle.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Dahlia ‘David Howard’ has proved to be my most reliable dahlia. It has great form and color.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia sp.

I spotted Easter Tiger Swallowtails multiple times this week but they did not linger long. This one was tempted by the saliva.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) On Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) On Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Coneflowers continue to brighten the garden. This one volunteered in the meditation circle.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

With a name like August Beauty one might hope this gardenia will rebloom soon. This week three fresh flowers appeared.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

I do not remember planting this gladiolus but was happy to have the companionship.


I have not seen many Horace’s Duskywings this year. I believe this one is my second—dining on a spent verbena bonariensis.

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Crepe myrtles are the prettiest in years in my neighborhood. Blooms are mostly out of reach.

Lagerstroemia (crape myrtle)

Ocolas are plentiful around the lantana. This one is particularly worn.

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola) on Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Rabbits nibbled away as the rudbeckia emerged. The plants finally pushed upwards and bloomed under protection of a rabbit spray made from concentrated botanical oils, a gift from a neighbor.

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

At one time I planned a red border, but never followed through after drought set in that year. I like this red salvia up close but it is not very showy from afar. Hummingbirds do find it but seem to prefer the Black and Blue salvia.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

This Silver-spotted Skipper found a sweet delicacy, Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea).

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the weekend.

14 thoughts on “Far Edge of July

  1. krispeterson100

    Your garden offers plenty of beauty, Susie, despite the bunny and weather challenges. I’ve never seen a Cerinthe that color. I loved the shot of the anole, as well as those of the butterflies of course.

  2. bittster

    I’m also a little sad to see the calendar flip to August. I never expected summer would fly by as quickly as it is.
    It looks as if the garden is doing better than you give it credit for. Mine is the same, I’m sure there’s enough interesting things out there but when it gets so hot and dry I just lose the excitement. Good luck with the storm, I hope it brings just the right amount of rain!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks, fingers crossed for the storm behaving. I love summer but not spent in the garden too much. Autumn should revitalize our gardens and our excitement of them.

  3. tonytomeo

    I grew alyssum from seed only once, when I was a little kid in about 1976. It is still there! There has been no need to grow any more. However, it is only white. I would need to add more seed if I wanted pink or purple. Do you happen to know how many generations it will reseed as purple (or pink).

  4. Cathy

    You have plenty of flowers to keep your pretty pollinators happy Susie! I like the Cerinthe and the dahlia David Howard is really lovely. 😃

  5. gardeninacity

    The bunnies leave my alyssum alone, thankfully. I usually buy flats of sweet alyssum but this year I mostly grew from seed. Satisfied with the results except that the alyssum from seed didn’t start blooming until June.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I usually buy alyssum as plants too but haven’t been to a garden center since Feb. From seed mine bloomed rather late too. Rabbits have ruined so many things in my garden this year. Glad they left your alyssum for you to enjoy. I don’t know what to do to prepare for next year either. Looking at fencing but cost is prohibitive.


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