In late June and early July, there is the first wave of flowering perennials, mostly a variety of tall geraniums, Campanula lactiflora, Dracocephalum sibiricum (the back bone of the garden) in different shade of blue. The salvias Amethyst and Midnight blue also begin to bloom. A few splashes of bright orange trollius compliment the over riding theme of the blues. In mid July, an explosion of Lauren grape poppies come into flower shifting the palette of the garden up a notch along with the warmer temperatures. Drumstick alliums quickly follow along with the almost black flower of the landenii Lilies. The orange accents are replaced by red accents of the shrub Calcanthus Aphrodite, Persicaria Fats Domino, and Crocosmia Lucifer. The geraniums set seed and require a lot of cutting back and eventually I just cut them to the ground.
At this time of year, I start taking lots of notes about plants to move in the fall or new plants ideas to add some height to the boarder. I‘ve decided to take out some of the tall geraniums because they are self seeding all over the garden crowding out many smaller plants. I am thinking of adding some little blue stem grasses at the front of the boarder and for height adding some different blue panicums, like Dallas blues and Panicum Shenandoah. Last winter, was hard on plants and I lost many well established perennials including Nepeta six hills giant, salvias, geranium dragon’s heart and some native monarda fistulosa. The garden is never static and I find it’s important to keep adjusting the planting to strike the right balance. Here’s a few photos showing the shifting palette of the garden from early July to late.