July started off hot and dry....and has been just getting hotter and drier and more humid as the days pass. Suffice to say it hasn't been very helpful to my flower gardens this year and they've suffered. My beautiful pink and purple and white astilbe didn't even bloom this year! I've been doing my best watering and fertilizing and I hope that next year things will be better. I also had some inexplicable perennial loss in one of my gardens in the front of the house. A number of my lady's mantle died over the winter and the one remaining plant in that particular garden started off okay this spring, but then also suddenly died in about mid-June.
But here's some pictures of my flowers that are actually doing well!
In the corner garden, I took this picture about a week or so ago; my Black Magic hollyhocks did not do as well this year as they did last year and are much shorter. We also had a day with high winds that forced me to tie up the hollyhock stalks.
This is a picture I took today, with my Green Envy coneflowers really blooming like crazy.
These coneflowers were new planted last year, so this is the first time I'm getting flowers. This variety is called Twilight and are from a group of culitvars called the Big Sky Series.
It will probably take another year for this one to get as tall and profuse as my other coneflower plants.
My Celtic Skies clematis is doing really well this year. I planted this one about two years ago, but it really didn't start taking off until this year. There are actually two different clematis on this trellis; the other is a very dark purple Jackmanni clematis, but it was a new planting this spring, so it hasn't established itself yet, so you can't see it behind the coneflowers.
I love the Green Envy coneflowers; when the petals first emerge from the cone, they are green, with just a hint of pink at the center. As the petals become more full, the blush of pink spreads until just the tips of the petals remain green, but they do retain their lovely green center cone.
I love this rusty cat with mouse garden stake. One of his legs got bent from a heavy winter snowfall. He got totally buried in a snowbank. I think it just adds to his charm.
I have some tall Phlox in this garden also, in white, which is just starting to bloom.
The weather didn't affect my hosta garden at all; they are all doing extremely well, even the newbies I planted last year ( which you can't actually see in this picture). This photo was taken about 2 weeks ago; all of these are blooming now.
My hydrangeas are also growing like weeds, to my delight. I have two on this side of the house (the other two are in front of the house and are equally doing great). I've been trying to get the one on the right, an Endless Summer hydrangea macrophylla, to have blue flowers, with no success. Despite adding aluminum sulfate to the soil here and some other products that are supposed to make hydrangeas blue, they are stubbornly pink. The other hydrangea, on the left, is a lacecap hydrangea. This one I want to stay pink.
On the lacecap hydrangea, I love how the flowers start out lime green with a hint of pink, then become darker and darker pink.
With the two right next to each other, the branches sort of mingle and I get a pretty contrast of lacy blooms with big round ball-shaped blooms. If I could get the one to be blue, just think of how pretty it would look!
I don't have a recent picture of the two hydrangeas in front of the house, but I have slightly more success changing the color with those two. While I can't seem to get brilliant blue hues, they look more purple/lavender than pink and some of them could almost be called bluish.
I also thought I'd share this lovely bouquet of blooms, just because!. Erik and I recently attended two weddings and these were the centerpieces at one of the wedding receptions. The weddings were actually on the same day, so we had a busy day!
As a tablescaper, I had to take a picture of the tables as well!
Thanks for joining me! I'll be linking up with The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday!