But the strangest of all has been the rain. Tons of it. We had twice as much rain in June as normal and July has started out a bit soggy. I'm ecstatic I don't need to water my garden but several diseases have begun an insidious invasion and a few plants have actually begun to rot. The gaura? A squishy, rotten mess. The purple sedum I can't remember the name of? Slightly miserable but hanging on.
I came home from a trip to discover a storm had knocked over my Rose of Sharon, one of my favorite plants, and it had stayed that way all week.
Because so much time had passed the branches wouldn't pop back to their original shape and had to be cut. I should have just decapitated the whole shrub to make it even but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
I only cut off what I absolutely had to and left the rest so the pollinators and I could enjoy the flowers. It looks absurd, but realizing I was going to have to butcher my favorite shrub almost made me ill. An empty birds nest lies among the debris.
This picture was taken from the dog run and shows the Rose of Sharon after having the heaviest branches cut. I'll prune it again this winter. Monarda are blooming near the ash tree.
Kalimeris and monarda that I've convinced to grow in partial shade
But what the rain has done is make everything grow, grow, grow!
Self seeded phlox in the Dogwood garden
Trumpet lilies, monarda, and coneflowers in the Dogwood garden
The lilies are intensely fragrant. There's heliopsis in the background but the bunnies ate most of it so it's hard to see.
'Minnie Pearl' daylilies
I redesigned the Yuck Side last fall and used perennials collected from around the garden to help disguise the rain barrel. My collapsible Big Daddy rain barrel holds 156 gallons of water and fills up quickly in heavy storms. Purple pole beans have started climbing the metal arbor but since you can't see them in the picture, you'll just have to take my word for it.
Red Maltese Cross, no name toad lilies from a friend, and self seeded Painter's Palette grow easily here.
'I Lost the Tag' yellow daylilies with 'Laura' and 'Delta Dawn' phlox
Zinnias, marguerites (anthemis 'Susanna Mitchell), tricolor salvia, and an 'Abraham D'Arby' rose grow in containers. These zinnias were supposed to be pink but I love how cherry red they are.
'Dark Ponticum' monarda and native mountain mint grow in the bright shade under my crepe myrtles.
Coneflowers in the Founding Flowers garden. There's a big empty space where the rain claimed a rue.
Peacock lilies near the agastache 'Blue Fortune' and knautia
The agastache has just started to bloom but will continue until frost. Both agastache and knautia are pollinator magnets.
This sign says it all!