Still July. Color and heat are the themes in the Garden. Lilies, inherited from the Biological Control Lab Lily Leaf Beetle program here at URI ( http://cels.uri.edu/pls/biocontrol/ ), hold up really well in the heat.
Watering is crucial in some spots, but most of the Garden survives, even thrives, without extra watering. The dahlias donated by the Rhode Island Dahlia Society are taking off. They may be small this year but next year they will be incredible, I promise!
A large hole in the sunny border (“Let’s call it an alteration rather than destruction”–thanks, Louis) is the result of a frantic search for a dropped engagement ring. All’s well that ends well, I guess! In the Conservatory, the temps are warm and tropical, amazing flowers are blooming and papayas are slowly ripening.
The pumpkin vines in the All – America Selections Garden are growing about a foot a day. Even the melons, which were dreadful last year, are looking good. A woodchuck has tunneled into the lower AAS Garden and eaten the ornamental kale. I am plotting my revenge.
Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia spp.) are everywhere, blooming almost a full month earlier than last year.
The year has a rhythm of seasons and each season has it’s own beginning, middle, and end. Mid-July, high summer, hot and dry. Weeding in the garden has slowed down with the lack of rain. Daylilies, beebalm, echinacea, daisies, all out in full force! It’s beautiful and quiet, visitors relaxing in the shade and catching whatever breeze might come up over Kingston Hill. Evidence of four-legged visitors is clear in the neatly “pruned” hostas all over the Garden.
I haven’t seen them yet so they must be wandering in at night. Other, very small critters hop around with no fear, too young to realize I could be a predator. So far they prefer the clover in the grass to my perennials, so I can sit back and enjoy their wide-eyed little faces and big ears.
July is a great time to take notes on what will need to be dug, divided, or moved in the fall. It’s also a good time to take pictures, for fun as well as for creating a visual history of the garden.
Finally, the little bit of a lull in July allows time for learning something new on a hot afternoon.