Our house faces due east and the garden sits in back. Early sunlight slips in through the side yards, the narrow openings between our house and the those of our neighbors. It soon pours in along the back fence that marks the western border of the garden. From there it slowly tracks eastward up toward the house until by noon the entire garden is flooded in harsh summer light.
Being in the garden as the early light enters is my favorite way to experience it. Admittedly a bit unruly in appearance, this summer the southern border (north-facing) has filled out with a myriad of blooms. Two days ago I discovered the first spider lily had popped up among an ambitious patch of black-eyed Susans. I have loved these flowers since childhood and although these particular ones are more pinkish than red, I’m delighted to see them again.
Looking behind this shrubby Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ the spider lily is visible emerging out of the yellow black-eyed Susans.
Zinnias, once easy for me to grow, have struggled in past years but a few finally are making their presence know. Pollinators flock to them, including lately the swallowtail butterflies.
Airy drifts of sky blue salvia serve as generous way stations for bees, butterflies and other insects.
Bees are fond of this darker Black and Blue saliva and hummingbirds have a regular daily route through this border. The smaller honey bees have been absent the past few weeks and mostly I see the large carpenter bees.
The tiny flowers of orange coneflowers have just begun to open. These came from the local North Carolina Botanical Garden years ago. They are fairly insignificant but do return faithfully.
A small patch of coral bells are in flower. The leaves always look shabby by this time of year. This is Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’.
Moving around to the southwestern edge of the garden, the Peacock Orchids are beginning to flower. After one day the dark maroon center has turned brown. I don’t think they will last long. Beside it the oakleaf hydrangea ‘Lil Ruby’ has been disappointing this year.
I usually plant gladiolas in a grouping, but this year I interspersed corms throughout the borders, where they have added some interesting color and textural contrast. In the western border facing the back of the house, this one is Gladiolus ‘Performer’.
More dahlias didn’t make it than did but I am happy with all the buds and blooms on Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’.
After trimming back some of the echinacea some new flowers have formed.
Lastly a foxglove opened this week. Only the second of five to flower I had not expected to see any more. It’s a tiny little thing but gardens do have a way of offering up sweet surprises.