Midsummer Garden

Yellow black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) spread readily in the midsummer garden. (Photo (c) Hilda M. Morrill)
Yellow black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) spread readily in the midsummer garden. (Photo (c) Hilda M. Morrill)

Frequent torrential showers continue to be the norm. Combined with recent hot and humid temperatures followed by cool and windy days, it has not been easy to keep up with our gardening chores.

Of course, our weeds are doing very well, especially the goutweed and the bindweed.

A surprise this summer has been the literally hundreds of weedy morning glory plants that have popped up everywhere. What I have to remember is that I’m responsible because I sowed the seeds in the past because I fell in love the beautiful flowers. However, I’m finding that they are too happy, especially in the extra good soil of the vegetable garden. So, no more morning glories!

Another naughty plant is the Autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora), which I’m finding climbing through many of our shrubs, such as the azaleas and hollies. Yes, once again I’m the guilty party who planted them years ago along our wooden fence adjacent to the sidewalk. I was entranced by the beauty of their white blossoms and their mesmerizing fragrance. People walking by would often stop and ask about them. Although the plants were banished years ago, their seeds have persevered and continue to germinate with wild abandon.

The blossoms of the black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are very pretty and attractive to moths and butterflies. When the yellow petals fall off, the seed heads are enjoyed by small birds, especially the finches. However, they also seed all over the place if not watched closely. One good thing is that the baby plants are easy to dig up and dispose of, or share with friends and neighbors who may be willing to “take a chance.”

Milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.) are not true “weeds.” We love them! The only food source for Monarch butterfly caterpillars, they have a special place in our garden. We find that they also spread by runners and have shared the baby plants. However, we do cut off the pretty seedpods before they dry, pop open and scatter all over the neighborhood.

And, yes, as always we look forward to acquiring some new plants. I’m particularly interested in an Echinacea ‘Southern Belle’ recently mentioned by fellow garden writer Irvin Etienne on his Facebook blog for the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It is a gorgeous pink! And I want to grow some Angelonia, which supposedly blooms all summer. And, there’s a ‘Sum and Substance’ hosta that looks fantabulous! And….

It looks like I may have to get a bigger boat (garden)!