Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seasons in the Garden

I must be an "in the moment" type of person. When spring begins, I'm infatuated with all spring bloomers. Forsythia, then spring bulbs, flowering trees and shrubs, followed by fragrant lilac and dianthus, the clear white of candytuft, delicate columbine and bleeding heart, dame's rocket and tall valerian and oriental poppies. I think nothing can beat these beautiful spring blooms.

The season progresses, and now I'm admiring summer flowers that are equally impressive. Big stands of coneflower (purple or the equally attractive white) are colorful, showy, yet natural looking. St. John's wort, named for blooming around St. John's day is a pretty yellow mass attracting bees. Even though we thinned the russian sage this spring, it is a huge,mass with light stems and tall, long-lasting purple flowers. Calendula, nasturtiums and little gem marigolds are covered in masses of colorful blooms. Huge, fragrant white oriental lilies are almost ready to open. High summer can be bright and beautiful in the garden. In six weeks, I'll be admiring the end of season plants.

There are close to 1,000 varieties of salvia and so many of them are great garden plants. Flowers are long-lasting and many of them have colorful bracts which look good even when blooming is done. Some perennial varieties are good rebloomers if cut back after first flowering. Clary sage is the world's easiest biennial and a wonderfully sturdy plant.

Our plant sale is still going on and we have REALLY good prices now. So, if you have any holes in your garden or a container to fill, stop by and visit. It's also a good time to walk through the gardens-everything is lush and pretty.

I've been seeing a few large butterflies-monarchs and swallow-tails. Saw one monarch caterpillar on the wild milkweed along the fencerow. Don't squash any caterpillars you find on milk-weeds or parley, dill, fennel, rue since they will become butterflies.

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