Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! It seems that we have jumped head first into summer with temperatures close to three digits already.  Today I want to share some photos of this year’s flower show while everything is looking so full and healthy.

Happy 4th of July!
As so it happens so often the summer equinox brought on the most beautiful display of daylillies. They are the harbinger of summer to me, and this year they are gorgeous! I love to give them a dose of coffee grounds as they are emerging as a slow release fertilizer to help give them a boost.

This year’s purple iris were even prettier than usual. I trimmed back the plants that surround them to give them a little more sun, and, combined with the huge amount of rain we’ve had again this year, the color was super vivid. Don’t be in a big hurry to trim back the foliage after they bloom, they need to store up for next year’s crop of blooms. This variety’s foliage stays green all summer and fall!

Sometimes you have to live and learn with certain plants, to see where they do best. I have found out that this little nook on my back patio — with all the brick surrounding and protecting it — is the perfect location for my potted herbs. I was able to start them way early in the season with the extra warmth radiating from the bricks. And although most herbs like full sun, they benefit most from morning sun. Here in the mid-Atlantic region the afternoon sun can be really intense and actually fry the delicate leaves, leaving the cook with nothing to harvest. Give it a try — I think you’ll like your results!

This year, I decided to keep to a very classic layout with the summer annuals in the new front garden bed that I carved out along the walk last year. I had been attempting to fill the area with pachysandra last year, but it really didn’t do well in this exposure, so this year’s border of variegated lirope is backed up with a row of sun patiens and flowering vinca, and additionally on both sides in front of the boxwoods for extra symmetry. I like to vary what I do with the annuals each year — just for fun and color change — and this year I went with deeper color. I think they stand out beautifully against the mulch. I use the brown mulch that claims it holds its color for a full year — it really does! A quick scratch up with the rake a couple of times in the summer keeps it looking as fresh as when it was first put down. I like to sprinkle the weed preventer first and lay the mulch on top, and after using that method the weeds are few and far between – yay!

The Hummingbird vine is this segment’s featured plant. This one has been planted in many different locations in my garden over the last 19 years. I trim it down to a foot after it drops its leaves each fall, and each year it grows back to about 20 feet in length. It blooms in the late summer with pretty orange flowers and the hummingbirds love it. This year I brought it up onto the upper deck so I can watch through the kitchen window for the hummingbirds to return. It can be invasive, sending runners underground, and sprouting up all over the place when it’s planted in the garden, so for ease of maintenance a pot works best. Originally it was growing over a metal arch in the east garden, and it looked lovely with a bench underneath. It was toppled over in a storm that did in the metal arch. The leaves and vines are delicate, so it’s easy to train onto a topiary form, a trellis, or whatever your heart desires!

Well, that’s all for this segment. Happy gardening until next time! I hope everyone has a safe, happy 4th of July.

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