The axis of summer

Resting on the stone benchIn a way it’s a little strange that this seems (maybe especially to non-gardeners) to be the hub of our gardening year – that all of our efforts revolve around this very point.  We know that’s not true at all and yet… We plan and plant and starting right about now or a couple of weeks ago if we’re really on the ball, we maintain – and begin to plan again for next year. Not only that but rather ironically, mid-summer/mid-July is generally one of the least pleasant times of year to actually be in the garden. It’s usually too hot, too muggy, too buggy to fully enjoy the mid summer blooms of our labor and so this is traditionally the perfect time to vacate the premises.

Most gardeners I know actually prefer other seasons to this and design their gardens accordingly. I seem to have a spring garden at home and Gail definitely has an early fall one. The Display Garden is a September garden – although a lot of my shots today were taken here – and the Rock Garden peaks much earlier than now. The Rose Garden, of course, has two seasons before and after the mid-summer beetle battle (they emerged just this week). But unlike most summers on record, we’re enjoying unseasonably mild and lovely English sort of weather and it’s actually quite nice to be out in the garden. The plants are looking like they’re loving being here too. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. (Ask me again though in 2 weeks and I’ll sing a different song on my way to Oh Canada…)

In honor of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (hosted as always by Carol of May Dreams Gardens – visit her site to see what’s in bloom in blogs from around the world), here’s a selection of Blithewold’s mid-July blooms and one bud for next time: (Hover over for caption and click on for larger image)

Zinnias - cactus mixToona sinensis (Cedrela sinensis) Chinese toon tree in bloomNicotiana Lime GreenEchinacea 'Sundown' and Rosa 'Ballerina'Nicotiana mutabilis and a green lilyDahlia 'Gallery Art Deco' - a little more saturated than real lifeClerodendrum trichotomum - Harlequin glory bower budsHemerocalis 'Siloam Double Classic' - daylilyCoreopsis 'Sienna Sunset' and Eryngium Cleome - Spider flower