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July 2021 Garden Moments

Let's start with the Ruby Spice clethra bushes. The clethra's scent is like a soft perfume. The summer breeze gently carries the scent to you. Otherwise, you have to smell it up close. It's not as heady as a gardenia. The first two were planted in Fall 2019. We planted a third bush in Fall 2020 to create a small hedge against the wooden fence by the patio. All three plants are performing very well this year. One has even sprouted new growth on a bare stem where the lemon balm overtook them last year. I'll keep on top of trimming the lemon balm this year. I think it is perfect as a hedge here. The bumble bees have been enjoying the blossoms. Hummingbirds are supposed to use these too, but I haven't witnessed it yet.

Raspberry Wine bee balm. I love this color and apparently, the bees do too. I don't see the hummingbirds using this. They prefer the red bee balm and the Black and Blue salvia. The lavender blossom is wild bergamot. (I planted this. It didn't find its way here.)

Last year we planted a few Violet Queen Cleomes. They performed reasonably well considering they had to compete with all of the bee balm. I was fortunate to have one that self seeded this year. It found the perfect home at the edge of this garden bed. The sof pink dahlia, Teesbrook Audrey, started to bloom in July. This is one that we overwintered indoors successfully! A couple of other tubers rotted.

The wild yellow oxalis in the ornamental grass bed nextdoor is supporting pollinators. I was very happy to see this diminutive butterfly feeding. He's only about a half of an inch. When the wings are open he has a lavender hue. I hope to have a photo one day. He seems to like the open meadow feel of the backyard next door. Its not uncommon to see this little guy here.

The Forecast zinnia seeds have produced bright color and more food for the pollinators in the ornamental grass bed next door. Thanks for the seeds Susan!

This Tiger Swallowtail has likely had a run in with a predator. He no longer has his swallow tail. He is still beautiful though.

The daylilies next door are doing great. I finally have placed them with the proper orientation for viewing. Last year quite a few blossoms were facing north away from the viewer. It's amazing the difference only one foot can make when planting. A giant pine tree and a large ligustrum change the sunlight conditions more than you might think in this back yard. You can make out the shade line by the pink daylilies.

Painter Poet and Lady Elizabeth extend the daylily season in our yard. Most of our daylilies bloom in June.

Close up of Painter Poet

Odd bird sighting at the feeder. I don't know if this is a molting cardinal or if he is sick. I hope that he is okay. The beak looks huge, but this might be because he doesn't have a crown on his head. Maybe, its not a cardinal. This was taken about a week ago.

He was at the feeder with the Mourning doves today. Please send me an email if you know what he is.

7/28/2021 Update: Good news! Julie sent me this link from Birdwatchers Digest.

Mother nature sent me the gift of another Zebra swallowtail sighting this year. He was feeding on the lantana hedge in our front yard a few days ago. This time I have a great picture of the red on his wing.

Enlargement of the first photo

A potted white gladiola is starting to bloom. We received three bulbs as a gift with a plant order last year. We didn't know what color we had. I love the serenity of the white. I hope the others will be the same color.

We are hoping for some lovely rain tonight. That would be serene. :) Its our typical late summer. Hot and dry. The plants need a little break from the heat. The gardener and the plants are looking a little tired. Happy gardening!


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