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High Summer in the Garden: GBBD, July 2010

July 15, 2010

Entering the back garden - July (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) July is high summer in my Maine garden, a time when a dizzying array of plants are in bloom. At the beginning of the month, every day brings new delights. This year, because we’ve had unusually warm weather, the garden peaked early and already has that slightly blowsy feel more characteristic of the end of July. As I did last month, I have organized my overview by area of the garden.

At this time of year, anyone venturing up the dirt road to my house is greeted by a vibrant display of daylilies in shades of yellow, orange and red growing at the front of the property. roadside daylilies

Daylilies growing at front of property (photo credits: Jean Potuchek)

The circular bed in July (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) The circular bed that marks the turn from the dirt road into my driveway has undergone a dramatic transformation from the soft pastels of June to strong color contrasts in July.
Circular bed July blooms (photo credits: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from upper left: Hemerocallis ‘Orange Bounty’ Geranium x ‘Brookside,’ Heliopsis ‘Bressingham Doubloon,’ Tradescantia ‘Danielle,’ Hemerocallis ‘Margaret Seawright,’ Delphinium elatum ‘Pagan Purple,’ Hemerocallis ‘Cathedral Bells’

At the edge of the woods beside the driveway, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Golden Showers’ and old-fashioned tawny daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) are being encouraged to naturalize.

Back slope in July (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Proceeding up the driveway toward the house, we come to the back slope. This area was in a quiet period in mid-June, but has now come to life with blooms of daylilies and balloon flower (Platycodon), accompanied by the long flower scapes of hosta, more Coreopsis v. ‘Golden Showers’ (this is one of those plants that I bought a 4” pot of once and now have everywhere), Monarda ‘Coral Reef,’ and some volunteer milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).

Back slope blooms in July (photo credits: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from upper left: Hemerocallis ‘Mary Todd,’ Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Mariesii’,’ Tradescantia ‘Osprey,’ Monarda ‘Coral Reef,’ unidentified large yellow daylily, Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Shell Pink,’ deep red daylily with Coreopsis v. ‘Golden Showers,’ Hosta fortunei flower, Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’

The photo at the top of this post is the entrance to the back garden from the driveway and shows that the back garden is a great place to be in July.

Fence border in July (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) The fence border is looking a bit lopsided, in part because the right side was planted a year earlier than the left and is more mature, but mostly because Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstsonne’ has grown so tall and is happily making flowers 7’ above the ground. Alchemilla mollis is at the end of its bloom, two varieties each of Geranium endressii and Tradescantia are still going strong, several daylilies have begun to bloom, and Clematis ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’ continues to flower on the fence.

Fence border July blooms (photo credits: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from upper left: Hemerocallis ‘Decatur Elevator,’ Hemerocallis ‘Caribbean Pink Sands,’ unidentified Geranium endressii, Clematis ‘Madame de Bouchaud,’ and Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstsonne’

Deck border in July (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) In the deck border, six different varieties of daylilies are blooming in various shades of pink, as are five varieties of Astilbe. These are accompanied by continuing blooms on my ever-faithful pink geraniums (G. x oxonianum ‘A.T. Johnson and G. endressii ‘Wargrave Pink), Tradescantia ‘Pink Chablis,’ Heuchera ‘Raspberry Ice,’  barely pink flowers of Astrantia, and by Spirea japonica ‘Magic Carpet.’

Deck border July blooms (photo credits: Jean Potuchek)
Clockwise from upper left: Astilbe thumbergii ‘Ostrich Plume,’ Hemerocallis ‘Colorplate,’ Tradescantia ‘Pink Chablis,’ Hemerocallis ‘Silver Ice,’ Astilbe chinenesis ‘Taquetti,’ unnamed deep pink daylily, Hemerocallis ‘Pequot,’ Hemerocallis ‘Country Melody,’ and Astrantia major

Blue and yellow border in July (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) This is the time of year when the blue and yellow border is in its glory. Although the delphiniums were at their peak last week and are now looking a bit tired, the blues are well- represented by the continued blooms of Tradescantia ‘Zwanenburg Blue,’ Linum perenne, and Geranium ‘Brookside,’ and by the early blooms of blue balloon flower, Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise,’ and Aconitum. Yellows are gloriously provided by nine different varieties of early, mid-season, and late daylilies, all blooming simultaneously this week. These are accompanied by the deeper yellows of native goldenrod (Solidago) that grows around the edges of this flower bed and by Heliopsis helianthoides, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Golden Showers,’ and Coreopsis v. ‘Moonbeam.’

July blooms in the blue and yellow border (photo credits: Jean Potuchek)
Top to bottom, left to right: (1)Hemerocallis ‘Alna Pride,’ unidentified melon-color daylily, Tradescantia ‘Zwanenburg Blue,’ (2)Delphinium elatum ‘Blue Lace,’ Coreopsis verticillata ‘Golden Showers,’ Hemerocallis ‘His Pastures Green,’ (3)Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam,’ Hemerocallis ‘Treasure Room,’ Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ with native Solidago, (4)Hemerocallis ‘Boothbay Harbor Gold,’ Hemerocallis ‘Yellow Pinwheel,’ Delphinium elatum ‘Double Innocence,’ (5)unidentified flat ruffled daylily, Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Mariesii,’ Hemerocallis ‘Buried Treasure’

The garden is such a delightful place at this time of year that being in it makes me feel high. Maybe that’s why they call it ‘high summer.’ Smile

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what is in bloom this month in gardens around the world.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. gardeningasylum permalink
    July 15, 2010 6:36 pm

    Oh my Jean, what a detailed and lovely post for Bloom Day! It’s fun to accompany you around the various gardens – the first mosaic with all the orange is my favorite! Happy High Summer:)

  2. July 15, 2010 8:27 pm

    Your flowers, gardens, and photos are lovely, Jean … as always. You may want to check your link from May Dreams Gardens though. When it clicked on your link from there it took me to a spring GBBD post of yours.

  3. July 15, 2010 8:50 pm

    Your garden looks wonderful. Pat and i started our mini hosta collection this May. Because you know, you can never have too many hostas. jim

  4. July 15, 2010 9:19 pm

    What I love about your garden is your choice of color combinations. It looks beautiful!! The ‘herbstonne’ is sure impressive with it’s height.

    • July 16, 2010 8:44 pm

      Cyndy, I love all those orange flowers, too. Orange is a favorite color of mine, but I have surprisingly little of it in the garden. When I eventually get to landscaping the front of the property, I’m going to include at least one area full of hot colors, with orange and red daylilies being an important part of the planting.

      Joene, Thanks for cluing me in about my misfired link; I took care of it. (I did wonder why so many people were suddenly looking at that April bloom day post!)

      Jim, I thought it was daylilies you couldn’t have too many of!

      Amy, I think I’d be happier with Herbstsonne if it were not quite so tall. (The one I have in a part-sun location at the edge of the woods is about 2′ shorter.) I like to cut these flowers for the house, but it’s hard to cut flowers that are more than 2′ above my head! I love to work with color; I suppose one of the reasons that yellow is my favorite color (besides its general cheerfulness) is that it combines well with just about any other color.

  5. July 15, 2010 10:03 pm

    Jean, your blue and yellow blooms are gorgeous, but they are all lovely–every color. I envy you your lilies, as mine don’t give all-summer-long color as I would like. Now and then 1 flower will pop out but not en masse…even though there are several varieties planted throughout the gardens. Same with my spiderwort–they did well in the spring, but seems to have gone to sleep at this point. I finally had to cut them back as they were looking leggy and had no sign of blooms. What nice photo groupings you’ve created with your collages. It’s all wonderful to look at 😉

    • July 16, 2010 8:50 pm

      Hi Jan, It may not be so much that the daylilies last longer here, but that they don’t begin blooming until July (except for Hemerocallis flava that blooms in June with the siberian irises and is finished long before the other daylilies begin). Once they get started, though, I’ve chosen varieties to last as long as possible. This year, I’ve added two very late daylilies, Autumn Minaret and Sandra Elizabeth, to my collection, so I’m hoping that these will bloom into Sepbember.

      The spiderwort and geraniums are another story. The ones I have in my Gettysburg garden (more similar to your climate) bloom in early summer and then stop. But in Maine it is cool enough that they usually keep going all season long. The spiderwort are starting to slow down now, and I’ll probably cut them back selectively to encourage new growth.

  6. July 15, 2010 11:02 pm

    Jean…I’m just packing up for holiday, but having a quick look before I leave. I will be back to read all this great information. For now, I’ve just looked at the photos and I have to say ‘well done’. Your garden is absolutely beautiful!

    I’ll be back later,

  7. July 16, 2010 1:13 am

    What an array of hemerocallis! I think they’re a lot like potato chips… you can’t just have one (or 100for that matter!) Lovely gardens! Larry

  8. July 16, 2010 6:20 am

    Jean, I really like how you show a landscape shot, then closeups of the flowers. I fell like I am getting the best of both worlds.

  9. July 16, 2010 6:20 am

    Wow, I love all of those daylilies Jean. You certainly have a beautiful collection.


  10. July 16, 2010 2:06 pm

    Lots of blooms! Really like the Daylilies – so many flavors.

  11. July 16, 2010 5:56 pm

    Good grief Jean, nobody could ever accuse you of not having enough Daylilies! They all look lovely though, and I admit, it would be difficult to just choose one or two. Do you have a favorite yellow Daylily? I’m looking for a yellow one, and thinking Stella D’oro, but wondering if there’s another that might be as good or better. Although I love the orange color of your ‘Margaret Seawright’ too. Apparently deer here tend to leave them alone…so I’d like to try them outside the deer fence.

    • July 16, 2010 9:15 pm

      Okay, I’ll admit it; I have a bit of a daylily obsession! If you go back to the first posts in my blog archive, you’ll see that I did one in the first week called “I Love Daylilies.”

      Larry, I really don’t have 100 varieties — at least not yet. I think my current count is a little over 40.

      Eileen, I was very lucky that at the time I was most heavily involved in creating and planting new flower beds here, a daylily breeder named Don Celler had a nursery about 15 miles away. On weekends, he would put out a “dig your own sale” sign and open up his daylily fields. He provided spades, plastic bags, and markers to label the plants, and he sold big fat divisions for $5 each. Who could resist? Some of my unnamed varieties (like that deep wine/pink one) are seedlings from his breeding program. When he retired, closed up the nursery here and moved to the coast, he had a number of sales to sell off his stock. The final one, in late spring, involved selling every plant left in the fields for $1 each!! (Nothing was in bloom and nothing was labeled, so you had no idea what you were getting. You just planted it somewhere and waited to see what you had when it bloomed later in the season.) Again, who could resist?? Some of my unidentified plants come from that event.

      Ronny, I suppose one of the reasons I love daylilies so much are that there are so many “flavors.”

      Clare, You don’t really expect me to be able to pick a single favorite, do you?? I like to plant them in clusters (of 3 or 4, usually) that look similar and work well together, but that have different bloom times or other differences in characteristics. If I had to choose just one yellow daylily, which one I chose would depend on what I wanted it for. If you want one that makes a big clump quickly and has a long bloom time, then Stella D’Oro is a good choice — although I would probably choose Happy Returns, which is similar in size and habit, but has softer yellow flowers that are less recurved. The species ancestors of the yellow daylilies have a wonderful vanilla fragrance, and if I were picking my one daylily to plant near a seating area, I would probably sacrifice the extended bloom time for fragrance. Under those circumstances, the mid-season classic hybrid, Hyperion, would be hard to beat. If you want something that will form a big clump quickly and has flowers with a lot of “substance” on sturdy stems that are unlikely to flop, then the tetraploid variety Mary Todd is widely regarded as a superior choice. I guess you also need to think about height — daylilies can be as short as about 12″ (Stella D’Oro and Happy Returns are about 18″) or as tall as the 5′ Autumn Minaret. Most are probably in the 2′-3′ range. Warning: the deer don’t always leave them alone; it depends how hungry they are and what else is on offer. My brother and sister-in-law have a spectacular display of daylilies all along the front of their property; last year, deer came through one night and nipped just about every bud off every plant. This year, my brother went out every evening and sprayed them with some kind of concoction to make them less appetizing.

  12. July 16, 2010 8:18 pm

    Those collages are gorgeous, Jean! What a great way to showcase all your show-stoppers.

    • July 16, 2010 9:20 pm

      Diane, Deborah, and VW, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos.

      Deborah, I like the mix, too, because it provides some context for the individual blooms.

      VW, I love doing the collages, but it’s easy to become obsessive about them and to suddenly realize that you’ve used up a whole day choosing the right photos, manipulating them in Picasa, choosing just the right color border, etc. LOL

  13. July 16, 2010 10:41 pm

    I love your collages! You have a wonderful variety of day lilies. I really like the blues and yellows and rose colors in your July garden.

  14. July 17, 2010 7:56 am

    Oh, I feel like I was at your place getting a garden tour! Thanks! You make great coffee too 😉

    I really like the light yellow, spiky daylily in the first set and ‘Cathedral Bells’.

    You have so much color, and so much different color. Not just the July yellow.

  15. July 17, 2010 4:29 pm

    It is amazing how many different flowers make up a garden when you start listing them separately. We have had several interns from Maine here at our farm, so interesting to see what your timing is compared to ours. My daylilies, the ones the slugs didn’t eat before I weeded, are still in bloom also, so maybe we are more similar timing wise but for sure dryer here in So. Oregon. Happy Gardening!

  16. July 17, 2010 5:29 pm

    Jean, it’s all so lovely. Is that daylily Hyperion I see in the first collage? (My favorite.)

    Your circular bed is just gorgeous. I love how it made the transition to brighter, more dramatic hues just in time to take advantage of the less forgiving light of deep summer! Nicely done. 🙂

  17. July 17, 2010 7:19 pm

    I’m new to your blog, found you through Blotanical. Your garden is so lovely! I love your Daylilies, beautiful colors.

  18. July 17, 2010 11:17 pm

    Deb and Sylvana, I’m glad that you like the color combinations. I think our July here in Maine is more like June in warmer climate gardens. Sylvana, August is the yellow month in my garden; I combine it with a lot of whites (of phlox, liatris, platycodon). Even in August, though, I’ll still have some blues and pinks going.

    Sara, Thanks for visiting. I’m surprised to hear any part of Oregon as drier than here. It’s probably my mistaken stereotype of the Pacific northwest as wet, and we’ve had unusually warm, dry weather here this summer. I didn’t realize slugs went after daylilies; fortunately, I don’t have many slugs here, either (just a few that like to live under the cover of the compost bin).

    Meredith, I do have Hyperion in my garden, but that wasn’t it. This daylily is simpler, less bred than Hyperion. I’m not sure what it is because I got a bunch of divisions of it from a friend who had gotten it from another friend. After doing a little research, though, I’m suspecting that it’s not a hybrid at all, but the species daylily Hemerocallis citrina — which must be one of the ancestors of Hyperion and shares that same wonderful scent.

    Cilla, Thanks so much for visiting; I hope you’ll come back again.

  19. sequoiagardens permalink
    July 18, 2010 1:33 pm

    From the depth of winter—– thank you, Jean!!!

    • July 18, 2010 9:37 pm

      You’re welcome, Jack. You can return the favor in January!

  20. July 21, 2010 12:44 am

    So beautiful!! Your garden is truly amazing. I love your circular bed, and the side border is wonderful. You have a very impressive collection of daylilies. So many beautiful blooms!

  21. Abby permalink
    November 5, 2010 1:44 am

    Are you sure that is a picture of Hemerocallis ‘Cathedral Bells’
    This is the description at AHS website

    “Cathedral Bells (Childs-F., 1965)
    height 24″, bloom 6″, season EM, Rebloom, Dormant, Diploid, Pin blend with green throat.”

    The reason I question it is because I have a daylily that looks like that and have not been able to find an ID for it.

    Your response would be greatly appreciated


    • November 5, 2010 11:42 pm

      Abby, Thanks for visiting and for your query. I certainly bought this plant as ‘Cathedral Bells,’ but after seeing your query and the AHS description, I went back to the website of Tranquil Lake Nursery in Massachusetts (where I bought it) to look it up; I wondered if the nursery worker who dug it for me may have gotten the plant growing next to it in the daylily field. The photo of ‘Cathedral Bells’ on the Tranquil Lake website is definitely my flower (although it looks a bit peachier in my garden), and the height is right. On the other hand, I wouldn’t describe this as an “early-midseason” bloomer in my garden (this year it began to bloom three weeks later than my early-midseason daylilies), and it has never rebloomed (although it has also been slow to get established). Sorry that I can’t be more definitive in my response.

  22. Abby permalink
    November 7, 2010 3:15 pm


    I was just so excited thinking now I had an ID for my Daylily – especially seeing the name of Canterburry Bells was so apt

    Just squizzed through Tranquil Lake Nursery in Massachusetts only to find it is no longer listed.

    It would seem to me that Tranquil Lake Nursery should supply you with a refund/replacement or at least give you a proper ID for your plant.

    Happy Gardening


  23. Abby permalink
    November 23, 2010 5:02 am

    OK! Jean
    Canterburry Bells it is.
    I just love the way it goes with that bloom
    So that is exactly what I will call mine until somebody can tell me different

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