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The Mid-Summer Garden: GBBD, July 2018

July 16, 2018

entrance garden JulyThere are only three months of summer in Maine: June, July and August. (And some would probably dispute the first half of June, arguing that it is still spring.) So July really is the middle of summer, when the garden reaches its high summer peak. This year, we had a record-breaking heat wave (exceptional for its length, the high temperatures achieved, and dew points that are almost unheard of here) as June turned into July, and blooms accelerated, with some plants blooming weeks ahead of their normal schedule. Suddenly, the garden has that lush, slightly blowsy look characteristic of high summer.

I’m thrilled with the way my new entrance garden, begun just three years ago, has filled in. Two varieties of spirea blooming by the walkway make a big statement at this time of year, and they are accompanied by hardy geraniums, heuchera, tradescantia, astilbe, and daylilies.

spirea with geranium and daylilies

Daylilies form the heart of the mid-summer display in my garden. In mid-July, the daylily bloom is just about to peak. Slightly more than half the varieties I grow are now blooming, and some of the early varieties will be finished soon.  The common orange daylily, Hemerocallis fulva, whose roadside flowers are a sign of summer in New England, will soon finish blooming. Another species daylily, Hemerocallis citrina, which forms large clumps of wonderfully fragrant pale yellow flowers, will last a bit longer.

H. fulva flowers H. citrina side slope
Happily, many of my early-blooming daylilies are re-bloomers and will continue to make flowers for many weeks (or even months). These include the lovely ‘Lily Munster’. I’m not usually a fan of daylilies with droopy petals; but this one, which can be covered with masses of flowers from July to September, stole my heart. Lily Munster flowers

Alna Pride flowerMany of my favorite daylilies are from the Maine daylily breeding program of Joseph (father) and Nick (son) Barth. One of the first Barth daylilies I acquired, and still a favorite, is ‘Alna Pride’. In addition to being strikingly handsome, this daylily, like many of the Barth offerings, is fragrant. ‘Alna Pride’ is named for the town of Alna, Maine. Other Maine places are honored in the names of ‘Sheepscot Valley Sunset’ and ‘Southport Delight.’ But most of the Barth daylilies seem to be named for Barth family members and friends, and I sometimes feel as though I have the whole extended Barth clan in my garden.

Barth daylilies

lavender hidcote blooming Daylilies aren’t the only flowers in my garden. Along the Lavender Walk, the lavender is in glorious bloom, accompanied by flowers of the groundcover sedum ‘John Creech’ and the first flowers of Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus.’
john creech blooming echinacea magnus blooming

But the daylilies really are the stars of the July garden – so I leave you with more of my daylily blooms.

July daylilies-001

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is a wonderful community celebration of  flowers, created by Carol at May Dreams Gardens and hosted by her on the 15th of each month. Visit her blog to see the bounty of July blooms from gardens far and wide.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2018 10:58 pm

    You have every reason to be pleased with the new gardens you’ve created, Jean – they already have a mature look about them. Your summer and mine are such very different things, and I’d much prefer yours! Your daylilies are glorious, especially ‘Lily Munster’, which I haven’t seen before.

    • July 17, 2018 10:17 am

      Kris, It’s hard not to love the Maine summer, which is probably why Maine has so many summer camps for children and so many summer cottages for adults. Of course, those three months of glorious summer alternate with five months of snow. There’s a popular t-shirt in Maine which reads, “If you can’t stand the winter, you don’t deserve the summer.” 😉

  2. garden337 permalink
    July 17, 2018 12:44 am

    Jean, it’s so nice to see you again. Your day lilies are gorgeous.

    • garden337 permalink
      July 17, 2018 1:59 am

      I will sorta kinda a little bit sideways in your territory in August. I am joining a Road Scholar group where we will essentially eat our way around the bay of Fundy. Lobster. I love lobster. I love scallops, too, but lobster, oh lobster. I could write an ode to lobster. And, we’ll learn a little history, gather sea vegetables from the ocean floor after the tide goes out, and we will learn how to prepare them. I mentioned the lobster, right? 🙂

      • July 17, 2018 7:58 pm

        The Bay of Fundy in August sounds delightful. You’ll probably be surprised by how early the sun rises, especially when you’re on the Maine side of the border, on the eastern edge of eastern time. Eating your way around the bay will be wonderful, but the tides are also amazing. I believe they are the highest tides in the world. At the mouth of the bay, in Maine, the tides are 25 feet, which is enough to spend hours mesmerized by watching the tides rise and fall (as whole islands appear and disappear); but at the head of the bay, in New Brunswick, the tides are 50 feet! I haven’t been up that way in many years, but thinking about those amazing tides makes me want to go again.

        • July 21, 2018 6:38 pm

          In Blotanical days we had a garden blogger there … I remember her post about the tide. The highest I’ve seen is London on the Thames.

  3. janesmudgeegarden permalink
    July 17, 2018 2:21 am

    You have a wonderful collection of day lilies, Jean. They do quite well in our climate too.

    • July 17, 2018 7:59 pm

      Jane, One of the amazing things about daylilies is that they thrive in so many different climate conditions.

  4. July 17, 2018 5:48 am

    I do like all the day lilies you have and want to add to mine. I live in PA and they do quite well here too.

    • July 17, 2018 8:00 pm

      Since there are tens of thousands of daylily varieties registered with the American Hemerocallis Society, the choices are dizzying. When I had a garden in Gettysburg, PA, I bought quite a few from a specialized daylily nursery near York.

  5. Ellen permalink
    July 17, 2018 6:13 am

    Beautiful 😊

  6. July 17, 2018 6:55 am

    Beautiful! Love the Lilies!
    Have a wonderful week!

  7. July 21, 2018 9:03 am

    Hello Jean, you have a lovely, large collection of daylilies and it’s great to see how the entrance garden has grown and developed over the years from when you first started planning that part of the garden. It looks stunning now.

    • July 31, 2018 9:19 pm

      Sunil, The daylilies have done especially well this year. At the end of July, they are now past their peak, but still with quite a few flowers yet to enjoy. (Three late-blooming varieties have not yet begun to flower.)

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