The July Garden

Red-leaf coleus in the July garden. (Photo (c) Hilda M. Morrill)
Red-leaf coleus in the July garden. (Photo (c) Hilda M. Morrill)

Weeding… pruning… weeding… deadheading… and more weeding! It seems that’s all I’ve been doing lately.

Although I don’t like the idea of using synthetic herbicides considered harmful to humans and the environment, I have been using an organic citrus oil-based spray that comes highly recommended, with good results. The garden smells like orange peels.

Of course, not wanting to rely on sprays alone, I am mulching some of the flowerbeds with cedar mulch. The veggie garden, which has been sadly neglected this year, is mulched with lobster-shell compost. Soon I’ll be sowing seeds of fall crops, such as lettuces and greens (that I never got around to this spring).

The Russian sage (Perovskia) and fall blooming asters and mums have also been trimmed to make them bushier and keep them from flopping all over the place.

Major pruning is still necessary for some of the azalea and rhododendron shrubs, even if it means not so many blossoms next spring.

Some of the beautiful Kousa dogwoods are still blooming and the hollies are beginning to show some green berries.

Gorgeous daylilies are in full bloom as is the glorious pink bee balm (Monarda). We have not found it to be invasive and the hummingbirds sure do love its flowers. Also blooming are some of the hydrangeas, at least those that were not destroyed by the crazy spring thaws and freezes.

Among our favorite annuals are some pink fibrous rooted begonias, red-leaf coleus and Japanese shisu that seeded itself from last year.

We anxiously await the arrival of the Monarch butterflies! As a member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, I used my White Flower Farm $25 merchandise credit toward the purchase and delivery of a butterfly bush (Buddleia), which should help attract the Monarchs to its blossoms.

Which reminds me, I still have a $25 gift certificate to use at Weston Nurseries (one of my favorites).

A sincere “thank you” to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Membership has its benefits for sure!