The Garden in July

In July the garden starts to look tired. Individual plants put on a show as they come into bloom, but enough things are past their best that the whole thing gets a bit rough, like someone who got all gussied up for a party but stayed too long. And of course, July is one of our driest months (along with August and sometimes September). The watering can and hose can’t replace real rain. A couple of days ago we actually had 4 mm., ending a drought of several weeks, but the next week is predicted to be sunny and dry again.

Lavender and Thyme

Lavender and Thyme

Visits by urban wildlife have added to the roughing-up. A few plants were nibbled by bucks who arrived via the driveway, but the real damage, especially near the pond, has been done by a family of raccoons. Deer are like burglars who take valuables such as rosebuds, hosta leaves and other choice delicacies, but raccoons are like vandals who break in, drink your booze and trash the place. Despite my weekend repair and cleanup jobs, the place is soon a mess again — groundcovers stomped, taller plants broken and flattened, rocks around the edge of the pond rolled into it. Out come the clippers and rake and another cleanup begins.

But there are always some good things…

Daylily "Lucky Leland"

Daylily “Lusty Leland”

and unexpected delights…

Santolina in bloom

Santolina in bloom

It’s still prime time for bee-watching.

Lavender with bee

Lavender with bee

Even the most common plants, lit up by the sun at just the right angle, look great.

Fireweed (Epilobium) with bloom stalks of Stipa gigantea

Fireweed (Epilobium) with bloom stalks of Stipa gigantea

So all the deadheading, edge-clipping, raking and watering are worth it. Onward! (Hoping for more rain, though).

What do you think? Opinions welcome!

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