July in the Garden 2022: Summer is in full swing and the plants are taking over. As soon as the sun came out and the weather warmed the plants had exploded with growth and beautiful flowers. So much so that they were fighting for space and pushing each other out. It was great, but by the beginning of July, some of the plants were huge, but not that attractive. The blooms had faded and they were looking pretty unimpressive. This was especially true of the Salvias in the front yard. I have two hot pink (Flamenco Rose Salvia) and three of the dark purple (Mirage deep purple). I don’t know what the professionals would say about my methods, but since I refuse to look it up I can’t say if I am wrong or not. I hate when the plants get big, dry looking, and have very few blooms. For me it’s just ugly. So… I chop it back to almost to nothing. I usually don’t do this all at once to avoid having an ugly front yard for a month. I pick one variety, chop it back hard, wait a month and see if it grows back. They usually do, and I move on to the next variety. This year I chopped the Flamencos first, and by the end of the month they grew back to cute little round bushes. At the end of July I chopped the three Mirage Deep Purples back. In a month they should be just as lovely as the pink ones. You can see what I mean in the pictures below. The fist is how the Salvias looked before the chop chop, then after I cut it back hard, and finally how nice they look in a month.
The Nepeta Walkers low cat mint also needs a goes trimming at this point, but not nearly as severe as the Salvias. I just trim around the outer perimeter and leave the fresh new growth in the middle. I had already trimmed half of this one back a bit on the bottom left. I am not a fan of how it is growing into the grass (Lomandra Breeze Dwarf Mat Rush) next to it.
While some of my plants are in need of a good chop chop, others are in their prime. I am absolutely thrilled with the Black Eyed Susan’s and the Bee Balms. I had taken a few clumps of Black Eyed Susans from my neighbor’s yard, but for two years they never really took off. This year however they are thriving! Next to them is the Bee Balm that comes back year after year bigger and better than the year before. I added three more Bee Balms to the bed. They are growing, but the one bloom they have produced is not at all what I bought. I picked a beautiful dark purple and soft pink bloom to go with the hot pink variety I already had. So far the new one is red. Hmph…ookkkaaay.
Last month I showed you a marvelous picture of the side yard with the Nasturtiums crowding my path to the backyard. Right after the picture was taken I yanked them all out and finally had a nice clear path. That lasted a week. The Salvia took over the space. It looks pretty for sure, but it is also filled with bees. I know.. this is a good thing, but the lavender on the other side of the path is also filled with bees. SO MANY BEES! I need to get to my garden shed and I have to pass the gauntlet of bee filled plants each and every time. So far I have not been stung, but it’s only a matter of time. ARG! It does look pretty though. Each year I trim the entire bed back pretty hard, so I think I am going to put a cute picket fence in the planter to try to keep it under a bit more control. Knowing these plants though, they will find a way to crowd me out. HA!
I am a little surprised that the Nasturtium haven’t grown back yet. I am not going to worry to much about it though. I haven’t planted Nasturtium seeds in the yard in years, but each year they grow back. Once you let them in, they never leave! The rest of the garden is doing well as you can see in the pictures below, but it might be feeling a bit neglected. Butterflies have been my main focus this month. I am very happy to say that the Monarchs have returned and as of yesterday have laid a bunch of eggs. The Dill I planted for the Swallowtails have not let me down either. That is for another post though. I will be sure to link that post at the bottom when I have it. For now enjoy a few pretty pictures from this month.