top of page

Summer in Full Swing- July

The golden glow of sunset on Spirit Lady. She is another Etsy find.

Durham has had unusual weather like the rest of the country, but fortunately it has not been brutal. The unusual part for us has been a wet July. This is definitely helping the gardens since we have been in the 90s recently. The wetness and warmth have brought us a new wave of butterflies.

This Tiger swallowtail is enjoying the lantana. Ian had to give the lantana hedge a hard trim this week. One of our thunderstorms broke the tops of the lantana. Even with supports the hedge was flopping over.

Fiery Skipper feeding on verbena bonariensis.

A monarch sighting. My next door neighbors have milkweed. I hope this butterfly found it for egg laying.

Silver spotted skipper feeding on the butterfly bush. I need to dead head these to keep those blossoms coming.

"Painter Poet" daylily is a great late season bloomer. This has consistently bloomed in July here. I'm thinking of adding more to the border next door. These were flanked by Black Knight butterfly bushes which appear to be on their last leg. They aren't as resilient as the big white buddleias, but I love them nonetheless.

A new daylily for me has just opened, "So Lovely". It is described as a mid to late season bloomer.

Notice the yellowed fronds. We've had our usual ups and downs this growing season. This garden bed is fairly dry. We'll add some more garden compost this fall.

I'm adding white and cream echinaceas to the "meadow" garden in our front yard. I'm enjoying the look of the larger blooms amidst the yellow pin cushion flowers while we wait for single dahlia, "First Love" to bloom. I do have the usual challenge though. It can get quite dry in this bed.

" Fragrant Angel" echinacea

"Milkshake" echinacea in this bed. This is a fading blossom.

Dahlia, First Love

So far so good....

The sister garden beside the meadow bed is becoming pink and purple. I have found a gomphrena to add to the pink echinacea garden. I prefer this to Truffula pink for my garden. I needed a deeper pink.

"Carmine", haageana gomphrena

I think this is a good substitue for knautia in our climate. I plan on having at least three of these next year. Unfortunately, they are annuals.

The garden classic "Ping Pong" purple gomphrena are doing well in the pots. This photo gives you a good color comparison to the pinky red, Carmine. The Ping Pongs are more compact than haageana.

Speaking of pots... I think these will be "Lavender Lavinka" columbines. I harvested seed from the plants that Julie gave me a few years ago. Julie, I am seeing a few seedlings from the most recent pack that you sent me (not in this picture). Notice the mushrooms in the pot on the left. That's how wet its been recently.

In keeping with the summer theme. Ian is tending his tomato plants below the echinaceas. We have raised beds on the driveway for the tomatoes.

Looking good! These are Mexican Midgets. They are nice and sweet. Plus, they just keep coming. We've had many a good salad with these. Ian has been very good about watering them through our earlier dry spells.

A photo of a female Ruby throated humming bird through the back door. It was a gray morning.

Now you know why it is called a Ruby throated humming bird. This is the male. They are smaller than the females and have the bright red throat.

I'm making progress on the Fairy garden corner. Its nice to see some vegetation in that area. This sits partially under the eaves of the house. Its a tough environment; dry shade and then a dose of afternoon western sun. I've planted white begonias and dwarf mondo grass here. The vines are likely the morning glory hybrid that has small white flowers in late summer.

A Fairy and a butterfly with summersweet, "Ruby Spice".

"Raspberry Wine" monarda with the "Black n Blue" salvia.

We miss seeing Venus in the western evening sky. Our tree line prevents us from seeing her now as she sets earlier to eventually become the morning star sometime in August. And so the wheel turns.

There is still evening beauty though. This sunset appeared just after I uploaded my post, July 20th.

Happy gardening!


Jul 21, 2023

You never cease to amaze me with your pictures of your birds and butterflies. They must trust you implicitly knowing you are there to nurture and protect. The echinaceas are looking great - we picked up a couple which are deep pink (the name tags were long gone). They are thriving. I would never guess a tomato with that name would be sweet! All the best on the Lavender Lavinka and other columbines!

Jul 21, 2023
Replying to

Thank you! My block has become a pollinator haven over the years. There are four houses in a row that have flower gardens in the front yard. We all face south. There are so many nectar plants and some host plants that the butterflies and bees flock here. I'm working on that in the backyard next door since the front yard doesn't get much sun due to two willow oaks. Plant your paradise. :)

bottom of page