We finally got a reprieve in regard to the weather and have enjoyed several days of cool temperatures. I have even had to wear a heavy shirt out into the garden in the mornings until 9 when the sun reaches the gardens and begins the daily warm up. Still no rain, however, so the irrigation system goes on regularly and everything seems to be thriving so far. This next week is expected to be another heat wave with temperatures in the 90s so I am hunkering down and getting outside to work early in the morning.

Overall, the gardens are looking pretty good as one perennial fades and another comes into bloom.

The daylily display is winding down but those that are still blooming are putting on a nice show.

Some late bloomers have finally made a showing and are quite striking. This is ‘Exotic Love’ and it certainly lives up to the first part of its name, but I am not quite sure why ‘Love’ is there. It’s not my idea of love.

Another late-comer is ‘Fire King’ seen here with its neighbor, parancanda.

The parancanda has almost the exact same colors.

‘Chicago Apache’ is another bright red latecomer and is paired here with the annual melapodium, one of the toughest, carefree, and best annuals I have ever grown.

These two red daylilies and their companions grow in the hot border where they are right at home with other red, orange, and yellow flowered plants.

The white border is dominated by the daisy ‘Becky’.

‘Becky’ is a tall, long blooming perennial that spreads quickly and forms a large clump in a single season. When not in bloom its gloosy dark green foliage makes it a welcome member of the border.

The back of the border is seeing some action this week with the perennial hibiscus blooming.

The flowers are huge and last only a day so should be deadheaded regularly to keep this giant going.

The hollyhocks have been chopped down except for this one. Rust became a problem for some and others fell toppled over onto their neighbors so something had to change.

Many of the fallen hollyhock are looking ratty because of Japanese Beetle to their leaves.

The stargazer lilies have just begun to bloom. Their heady fragrance is overwhelming when I weed near them.

The rose garden is looking good with its new edging. The edging sets off the boxwoods and grass paths giving structure to the garden even when the roses are not blooming.

But some of the roses are beginning to put forth their second bloom. ‘ Pope JohnPaul II’ is the most floriferous and, in fact, is a show stopper.

The flowers are classic hybrid teas and make good cut flowers.

‘Rose de Rescht’ is an old garden rose that bears its flowers on very short stems so they are not good for cutting. The bush is never covered with flowers but pugs along with nice foliage and form all summer.

The flowers are an intense magenta color, full of petals, and about 2’ across.

Three bushes in one area are blooming together in a gorgeous symphony of color.

‘Lillian Austen’ is the prettiest rose in my garden in regard to color. It starts out rich coral pink with a yellow center; the yellow fades and the coral pink matures to rose pink with a hint of cream at the center. The back of the petals is a little darker and each petal is slightly ruffled. And the flowers are fragrant. Wow! I m blown away every time this bush comes into bloom.

‘Hawkeye Belle’ is a Buck rose and like my other Buck rose, ‘Barn Dance”, was bred in Iowa for cold tolerance but loves the conditions in my garden and is thriving. Naturally, they both come through the winter vigorous and ready to grow; and they just keep on growing and producing flowers all summer in spite of the heat and humidity. Here’s ‘Hawkeye Belle’ (‘Barn Dance is having ‘a bad hair day’ because of Japanese beetles.)

The vegetable garden is beginning to produce on a regular basis.

The invasion of the summer squash has begun in earnest. We are eating them and giving them away and still have plenty on the plants.

The cukes are moving a long much more slowly and a volunteer is providing what we have.

The cucumbers of this plant are short and stocky and don’t seem to have a lot of seeds.

When young, the cukes are have fuzz on one end. I don’t remember any cucumber like this from last year and so wonder if this is an accidental hybrid.

A couple of our onions are blooming.

The onions themselves are ping pong ball size but growing quickly this past week and we have started harvesting them as the need arises.

One of the lettuces in the musclum has bolted; the others are holding steady, neither dying, bolting, or growing.

Baby eggplants are forming.

And we have a lot of small green tomatoes at last.

I always hope to have tomatoes from the garden to eat by the fourth of July but I guess I have to accept disappointment this year. Now that I have green ones on the vine I can dream.

Garden Journal pointer

By Karen