The July Garden…

I’ve got a daily visitor to my July garden.

He is carefree, bright, happy, and yellow.

He dives.

He darts.

He zigzags.

He is our neighborhood butterfly. He seems to follow the same path every day at about the same time each day.  I look forward to his visit. He floats by our south side windows in front of my work area, then heads up and over the roof, and down by the west windows of our sunroom.  He repeats this routine for an hour every day.  He seems so happy as he drifts side to side enjoying his daily flyby. This butterfly sighting is a moment of beauty and calm in my day. In fact, I have rearranged my work day to accommodate this butterfly’s daily flight by my windows.  I wish I had a better photo to show you but this little guy is elusive…

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As far as plants go, I am forever trying to get all season interest and color. My July garden still needs work. With that said, I’ve got a few spring plants still trying to hang on.  I appreciate their perseverance.

The very last wild geranium bloom…

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Long lasting bright pink coral bells…

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This growing season, so far, I have harvested radishes, a few carrots, and a bunch of leafy greens.  Most of my lettuces have now bolted, but some heirloom arugula is still going strong and is still edible…

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Another batch of strawberries is ready for harvest.

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Other edibles around the homestead are showing good potential – lemon cucumbers, mini eggplants, peppers, chilis, raspberries, rhubarb…

Grapes. Lots of grapes.

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The first ripening tomatoes of the season.

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A few blooms of color are sprinkled around the garden. This is the part that I am forever working on – getting some midsummer color in the garden. It isn’t as easy as it sounds…

Yellows.

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Reds.

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Oranges – including an orange ladybug (you have to look closely – even I missed it when I was snapping the photo).

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And, purple, my favorite.

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The one area where I think I have nailed the midsummer interest and color thing this year is our shady patio…

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My mom turned me on to coleus for shady areas.  She had the most amazing mixed arrangement of coleus last year. I just had to give it a try this year. I think I did pretty well…

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Speaking of shade – our aspen trees are providing a good amount of shade to our mountain inspired front yard. I’ve spent the last two years trying to nurse our aspen trees back to health. Last year, they looked really, really bad. In fact, all the neighbors kept commenting that it looked like it was their last stand.  I did tons of research. I called numerous tree companies looking for a cure for my little aspens. I asked around at a couple of our local nurseries. I ended up doing everything that was suggested – more water, fertilizer, and insect control. I even spent a fair number of mornings out in the front yard spraying off aphids with a sharp stream of water from the hose.  I think my efforts paid off. The aspen trees look really healthy this year.  The neighbors even noticed and asked what I did. I don’t know exactly what did it, but I will keep up the routine since it seems to be working…

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