Along the Garden Path

The Summer Shift with Swallows, Delphiniums and Annuals

Dahlia ‘Stillwater Plum’ (single flower) and Dahlia ‘Elizabeth’ in the Rose Garden

July’s heat and high sun heralds another transition in all the gardens. Just as May and June had their own style, July brings on its own set of flowers and transforms the gardens to new color schemes.

Each year we choose new dahlias because they are versatile in size, shape, and height (well, really we can’t resist them). This year the small edging dahlias in the Rose Garden are just beginning to bloom. Dahlias ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Stillwater Plum’ are neat, tidy, and sweet.

Dahlia ‘Happy Single First Love’ in the North Garden


Our favorite in the North Garden is still Dahlia ‘Happy Single First Love,’ now blooming at three feet tall in the middle of the border. It’s not just our favorite  ¾ the bees adore the single bloom’s pollen and nectar. Their size and distinctive dark foliage make them a perfect choice for a mixed perennial garden.


Dianthus barbatus ‘Green Ball’

Annuals are coming into their own, especially in the Idea Garden. We try new varieties each year, such as sweet william (Dianthus barbatus ‘Green Ball’), double-headed daisy (Xeranthemum ‘Double Mixture’) and feverfew (Tanacetum ‘Magic Yellow)’. Also in the Cutting Garden is perennial delphinium ‘New Millennium Blue Lace,’ which was bred in New Zealand to withstand heat and humidity of summer and withstand cold winters too. So far we are delighted with all.

A familiar sight of summer is swallows flying, as if jet planes, skimming the great lawn overlooking the bay. Their flight is remarkable as they zoom and search for tasty insects. It seems now that summer is here the gardens are alive with pollinators of all kinds. This is yet another welcomed shift, with bees and butterflies in increasing numbers.

Come see the gardens shift into summer.

Click Here to see a video of a honey bee looking for food.