The Hot Border- July

If you are starting to consider planting cactus in your garden my sympathies are with you. We are in a drought- the most serious one I, or others who have lived here much longer than my 16 years, can recall in Delaware County. Two weeks ago my Heritage birch trees, planted 15 years ago and 25- 30’ feet tall- have started turning yellow and dropped ¾ of their leaves. They are stressed and attempting to save themselves by having less leaves to supply water to. Birch trees are shallow rooted trees, the majority of their roots grow along the surface of the soil and so they are some of the first to show stress.  Many well established shrubs are wilting and my limelight hydrangeas look fried.

In a normal year I catch the rainy season by planting in mid May, and don’t need to worry about watering again, but not this year. The only reason my garden is looking okay is because I have been watering for the last two weeks. I have not mowed for several weeks and the lawn is scorched in many areas. But thankfully drought is not the only story in the garden.

July Border- Drumstick alliums

The July border is made up of hot colored late flowering perennials such as Daylily, Monarda, Echinacea, Knautia, and Salvias. The star in my borders this year, are the nearly 200 Drumstick Alliums I planted.  Their heady firework like display adds a wonderful texture to the late flowering garden. Another plant I just found in a local nursery that I am wild about, is Asclepias ‘Cinderella’- Swamp Milkweed. It has a dusty pink color and is covered with butterflies for most of the day. This is a terrific plant reaching a height of about 3-5’ feet tall.  My wife found a white variety called Ice Ballet (40”tall) which is now planted in the Moon Garden.

Clematis Purpurea plena Elegans, Aeclepias Cinderella, and Drumstick alliums

Phlox Midnight Feeling and Asclepias Cinderella

If you are tired of the heat and all those hot colors, here is a photo of a ‘cooler planting’  -Arlaia elata ‘Variegata’ is a wonderful variegated patterned shrub and in the foreground the very subtle silvery blue Aconitum called ‘Stainless Steel.’

Aralia elata Variegata & Aconitum ‘Stainless Steel’

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7 Responses to The Hot Border- July

  1. Anna says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous. Love the final “cool” looking one.

  2. Holly says:

    Agreed. Just lovely. Love all the textures too.

  3. Such beautiful plantings. An inspiration!

  4. Deborah B says:

    I haven’t seen that Midnight Feelings phlox before. Really nice! And what is the blue blooming plant in the background in your first picture? Lovely pictures.

    I know the drought is bad when even you say that you’re watering. I have been watering some part of the garden just about every day. We don’t have to draw from the well; we have a water line from a gravity fed spring, which is holding up very well. Still, I can’t water everything. At least this seems to be hurting the Japanese beetle population. I’ve only seen a handful of them this year. Or maybe it was the late freeze that hurt them.

    • Don Statham says:

      Yes the Midnight Phlox is a little strange- looks more like a seed head than a flower- It’s very dark in color now. The blue is Johnson’s blue geraniums still going strong! Your right I have hardly noticed the beetles this year! Glad to get this rain….

  5. Deborah B says:

    I know I’m greedy but that rain wasn’t near enough. It only dampened the surface, especially in the areas that needed it the most. And no good storm in the near-time forecast. Where’s a good hurricane when we need one?

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