Happy Thursday, I’m sharing a July garden update this morning! This is a photo heavy post, so grab a cold drink, apply your sunscreen, and join me for a stroll around the Potting Shed to see what’s in bloom!
Endless Summer Hydrangeas are starting to fade from their vibrant spring blues to softer greens of summer.
I cut some hydrangeas to fill a basket on the door of the Potting Shed.
It was 96 degrees on Monday, with the humidity pushing the heat index to a pore-cleansing 105, when I was taking most of these photos. You know it’s July in North Carolina when it’s hot in the shade. . .
But it’s perfect weather for butterflies, who need the heat to get airborne, and thrive in 85 to 100 degree temps.
Verbena Lollipop is butterfly magnet! It’s hardy in USDA zones 6 – 10 and prefers full sun in well-drained soil. A USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. We’re in zone 7b here in North Carolina.
You can find your hardiness zone by zipcode, here.
Fortunately the Limelight Hydrangeas don’t complain about the heat! ‘Limelight’ is a paniculata hydrangea with panicle-shaped flower heads that grow 6 to 12 inches long. Unlike other hydrangea varieties, they are drought tolerant, preferring part to full sun. Read my Public Service Annoucement: Plant a Limelight Hydrangea to find more information on this easy-to-grow shrub.
After seeing Pam’s garden, I planted some ‘Cut and Come Again’ Zinnias, throwing some seeds out around the first of May. They came up with no effort on my part other than daily watering. . .I had no idea growing zinnias from seed would be *sow* easy!
Like their namesake, ‘Cut and Come Again’, the more you cut, the more they bloom, from summer through fall. I’m looking forward to putting their name to the test! 🌸
Note the orange on the bumblebee’s hind leg: female bumblebees and honey bees have pollen baskets to collect the pollen grains to return to the nest for their offspring.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the most common butterfly we see fluttering around the garden. This is a female swallowtail, denoted by the large area of blue area on the hind wings.
They are loving the Soda Pop Butterfly Bush, a dwarf variety Buddleia.
I shared this plant tag organization tip back in the fall, but it’s worth repeating in case you missed it!
I found book rings at Dollar Tree and used a hole punch to add the tags to the rings. Some of the tags already had a convenient hole at the top.
I organized my tags by climbers/roses, perennials, and shrubs/trees so I can refer back as needed. . .so much better than having them loose and thrown together in a messy heap in a box or drawer!
Black Diamond® Crape Myrtle is in bloom! We planted a small Crimson Red™ variety in the fall, drawn to the vibrant red blooms and dramatic black foliage.
Black Diamonds are praised for their drought and heat tolerance, compact habits, fadeless foliage and vibrant bloom colors.
In addition to red, they’re also available in white, pink, lavender and magenta and are hardy in zones 6-9. You can ready more about them, here.
We have a couple of varieties of bee balm, which is a favorite of the hummingbirds and bees.
I got a little carried away stalking the bees, buzzing around the bee balm! 🐝
This favorite garden flower the bees are buzzing around is a solar light I found at HomeGoods several years ago . . .
It doesn’t require any watering and can tolerate extreme temps, unlike me. ;)
Hope you’re enjoying some summer blooms and staying cool where you are!