It’s been a while since I’ve shared a garden update.
Join for a stroll with me around the Potting Shed.
Make sure to grab something cold to drink,
it’s hot outside!
Like most of the country, July has been a hot and steamy month in North Carolina!
While other garden flowers are fading and struggling in our mid 90 degree temps,
Limelight Hydrangeas don’t mind the heat and humidity, and the large
white blooms provide an illusion of ‘cool’ in the garden on hot summer days.
‘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.
Garden Height: 72 – 96 Inches
Spread: 72 – 96 Inches
Limelight Hydrangeas are hardy in zones 3 – 9 (we’re zone 7b).
For new gardeners, a USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners
and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location.
If you don’t know your gardening zone, you can find a USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
and look up your zone by zipcode, here.
Cleome or spider flower is an old-fashioned annual that blooms from mid summer to fall
and attracts hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.
Older varieties have spiny stems and will reseed
while newer varieties are thornless and sterile.
This is Señorita Rosalita, a favorite variety of cleome that is
thornless, sterile (and not sticky!), producing 12-18” tall plants.
Chaste Tree (Vitex) has been buzzing with bees. . .
It’s fast growing,15 to 20 feet tall with a spread of 10 to 15 feet in USDA zones 5 – 9.
The clusters of purple flowers are magnets for bees and butterflies. . .
It does requiring frequent pruning to keep it in check and I read that it’s
considered to have invasive tendencies in areas such as Texas,
where it has been planted extensively for landscaping.
Check out what is also drawn to the purple flowers of the Chaste tree . . .
the dreaded Japanese Beetle!
We were out of town for a week and came back to find the
Japanese Beetles had moved in and taken up residence
on the roses while we were away.
Eeek. . .skeletonized leaves and decimated roses!
Shocking and scary to see, compared to how they looked in May. . .
Japanese Beetle recommended methods of treatment are spraying affected plants
with a pyrethrin-based insecticide or using neem oil.
Neem oil works best if applied at the first sign of Japanese Beetles,
rather than a week later when you return home to a full blown infestation!
Pyrethrin naturally occurs in chrysanthemum flowers and is considered to be one of the best
biodegradable insecticides, but pyrethroids are one of two main groups of pesticides that
contribute to colony collapse disorder in bees, where worker honeybees disappear,
leaving the queen and other members of the hive to die.
I get rid of them the safe, albeit slow way, plucking
them off the roses and dropping them in a bucket
of soapy water, which suffocates them.
While it doesn’t make a drop in the bucket in the beetle population, (pun intended :)
it is satisfying to pluck the offenders off and dispose of them in the soapy water.
It’s an easier chore first thing in the morning with the beetles are slower moving,
allowing you to shake them off your shrubs, if you don’t want to hand pick them.
The daylilies are waning. . . *sniff*. . .and almost bloomed out. . .
Peak season for daylilies in our zone 7b garden is mid-June.
You can see them at their peak in bloom, HERE.
Crapemyrtles have been buzzing bees. . .
I can’t remember them being so full of bees before. . .bees of all kinds, honey bees,
bumble bees, and mason bees.
Mrs. Powers Tuteur needed a paint touch up after 4 years in the elements. . .
Here’s a little Christmas in July flashback of how she looked with
some tartan ribbon and planted in some fresh cut greenery
with some jingle bells on her cast iron tendrils. . .
I highly recommend Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint!
It bonds to difficult surfaces without sanding or priming, including plastic,
wood, metal, PVC, tile and more.
I used Krylon Fusion Satin Black and gave her several coats
and she was as good or better than new!
Mrs. Powers is planted among some zinnias that blooming and attracting butterflies. . .
A favorite of Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly. . .
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) is living up to its namesake
and attracting an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.
This is a female Tiger Swallowtail distinguished from the male by
the iridescent blue on the lower wings.
How is your garden growing?
Hope you’re finding a way to stay cool. ♥
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We a re so, so sorry about the Japanese Beatles, they can be so horrible and distructive. But the rest of the garden is delightful as per usual. Thank you so for your blog, it inspires and bring a since of serenity to ur hectic world.
Your garden is beautiful! I especially love the hydrangeas so I have added this type to my list for my garden. My laugh for today was when I typed Krylon paint to a list on my phone ( I have a table that needs help and this sounds like a perfect solution) it kept autocorrecting to jetliner. I am thinking a trip in my future 🤣. Peace.
GM Mary! Wonderful read this morning. Rained last evening, will be heading into gardens this morning. Had those beetles show up on all my basil and rose bushes recently. I just hang a beetle bag. Usually takes care of them. Stink bugs will be next in August/Sept. I usually use your soapy bucket trick for that issue. Just always the problem of keeping up with those critters and being ahead of their game. Enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer.
What a beautiful garden — absolutely love the tour
Eek, the roses! Are you sure Rod and Rowena weren’t doing the gardening while you were gone??!! I recently posted an update on my garden, and it’s such a baby by comparison to your mature gardens. It’s so fun to anticipate it growing up. 😉 Your garden looks beautiful. I love the limelight and your added annuals. Mrs Powers looks great among the zinnias,, esp with her facelift.
Love so much all your flowers. Beetles not so much, yuck. Better you then me picking them off, lol.
Those beetles…& have you EVER seen so many spiders…eeek…although, evidently d/n like “those beetles either! Your flowers are a breath of fresh air!! franki
Your garden looks so lush and beautiful Mary! That is such a shame that the Japanese beatles invaded your roses, yikes! It has been such a weird weather summer, the flowers we planted in late April are looking haggard, but our grass looks like Augusta! Your limelight hydrangeas are simply stunning!
I live in East TN and my brother sent me about 5 envelopes of Cleome seeds. All different colors. I planted all of them along the North side of my house, and not one came up? Can you tell me how to grow these pretty flowers. My brother is gone now and I would love to grow some for him. Have a blessed day, Sharon
Hi, if I had to guess your seeds were probably planted too deep. Cover your seeds with a light layer of soil, no more than 1/4 inch deep, as they need light to germinate. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Seeds should germinate in about a week. If you plant the old-fashioned variety that aren’t sterile, they will reseed and come up the following year. Hope that helps! :)
Thank you so, so much. Now I will have to find a good seed merchant as my brother is no longer here to call on. Again, thank you for your kindness. Blessings from East Tennessee!
Lovely Mary! You certainly have a green thumb, your limelight hydrangeas are breathtaking! It’s been so dry here we desperately need rain and the heat has been brutal. So sorry about your Japanese Beetle infestation. I’ve tried the traps before and they seem to be more of a beetle magnet, luring more in our yard than when I don’t hang them!
So sorry that those horrible Japanese beetles found your beautiful flowers., Mary. Hope that you have them under control now.
Thanks for sharing your gorgeous flowers with us! I always look forward to your posts! Enjoy your week!
That does it, I have to plant a Limelight Hydrangea! Look at how big and beautiful your blooms are! Thanks for sharing and inspiring us Mary!
Oh my Mary, butterflies, blossoms and Mrs. Powers are adding so much beauty to your garden. That’s too bad about the Japanese beetle infestation. I had no luck with the limelight minis and now something ate my angel wing begonia completely gone and something is even eating coleus and the rhizomes in asparagus ferns. Wish I could catch the culprit. 😢
Mary, Your garden is beautiful and looks so happy. I’m so sorry about your roses. The beetles got all of our roses and dahlias. I took a sprayer that you can attach to a hose and hosed them down with Dawn so I could get more of them in the bucket of Dawn water as the sprayer with Dawn water stunned them. I despise those bugs! They’re disgusting! We’ve lost most of our flowers due to various animals (deer, rabbits and groundhogs) gnawing on them, including zinnias and marigolds, which they normally leave alone. It’s due to the drought. I watered the flowers, the animals thought it was their dinner and ate them! Lol In all fairness they did look tasty as they were tender and green. I loved the stroll through your gorgeous landscape! Your limelight is so pretty! We need the heat to give us some relief and we desperately need rain. I would imagine that’s everyone’s wish at this point. Stay cool sweet friend! I’m ready for Fall (can we just skip August except for those who have special events planned?😜)! Clara ❤️
Everything looks beautiful Mary. So sorry about the Japanese beetles destroying your roses.
Those hydrangeas are calling my name!
Mary, I’m sad to see your beautiful roses covered with the Japanese beetles! I’ve had issues with the excessive heat this summer more than anything. Day after day of 105-109! Things can’t survive ever with twice a day water. I’ve pulled out all my impatiens and replaced them with trailing vinca. Normally my impatiens will perform all summer in my shade garden, but not in this extreme heat. Next year I think I will just start with the trailing vinca. It seems to tolerate this heat! I’m tempted to try some limelights here. I’ve watched one in a neighbor’s garden and it seems to thrive. I’ve only had experience with oak leaf hydrangea. Thanks for the garden tour. It’s always a pleasure strolling through your garden, Mary.
I use the Japanese beetle traps and so far have changed 2 bags. Need to change another one in the morning. So hot in Oklahoma everything is burning and grasshoppers are eating all the flowers, but I just keep watering!
Japanese beetles are a curse! It’s part of my daily routine to walk around and pluck them off and dump them in soapy filled cup! Happily doing that! We, fortunately have seen less and less each year and then when you think you are safe, they reappear! We had a lot of flooding this year in the fields and that destroys their larvae….yay! They do kill the plant but they sure wreak havoc!
Beautiful gardens! Thank you for sharing them with us in such a lovely way. Happy Tuesday!
How wonderful it would be to have a book published of your beloved Potting Shed and gardens!! They are outstanding!!! Trying to be proactive by spraying for those darn beetles before they arrive. Have a great week and stay cool!!
Those Jap beetles keep me indoors! Don’t know how you can touch them. I’m scared to death of them!LOL
Mary, your limelights are just stunning. Paniculata’s are wonderful hydrangeas for sunny hot spaces. Oh, those Japanese Beetles attacked one of my crape myrtles and a little on a chaste tree. A visit to your garden is always a
treat! Happy gardening!
Do you have any suggestions what to do with a limelight when it rains and falls over. Last year was such a mess after a storm and trying to tie it to keep from falling.
Your garden is spectacular, so glad you gave us a tour, limelight is truly BREATHTAKING! I am in awe of the size and lushness of your garden, the west is so crunchy and dry these days I’m already eager for winter and hopes of rain… It truly all looks magnificent!
Your garden is delightful, as usual. Your garden shed is one of my favorites on the internet. So very charming.
So sad to see the Japanese beetle devastation going on in your garden. We’ve thus far been hit a little less harshly. I’m a recent convert to the benefits of Neem oil and have had good success with using it to discourage said beetles.
I’m curious as to whether you grew your lovely Cleome Señorita Rosalita from seed. If so, may I ask where you purchased the seed? It’s a stunner!