Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: Hurrah! It’s July!

The dwarf purple crapemyrtle always shines whether the weather is hot or cool.
The dwarf purple crapemyrtle always shines whether the weather is hot or cool.

Hurrah might be spreading it on a bit thick.  July and August, with their heat and drought, are not my favorite months in the garden.  However, they do beat February like a drum, so Happy Bloom Day, hosted each month on the 15th by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.

It’s still hot in beautiful, breezy Oklahoma, but a cold front is scheduled to come through this evening, and not a moment too soon.  Eleven days straight of 104F and above temperatures is making everyone cranky including the plants.

Petunia Vista Bubblegum with pin Verbena Neon Rose
Petunia Vista Bubblegum with pink Verbena Neon Rose

Some of the plants, with water, like the petunias and verbena above, are happier than I expected.  I do like this color combination, which is planted with yellow and blue-pink daylilies.  The daylilies are nearly finished, and the camera lens I use most often is broken, so this will be a mostly macro post.

There is still a lot of color, but the plants are much more washed out and bloomed out than last month.  I’ve noticed that the drought tolerant plants are doing the best, of course, but their blooms are smaller than normal, and some are choosing to hunker down and not bloom at all until September.  The Rudbeckia and the shasta daisies are two that are blooming smaller.

Rudbeckia hirta
Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'

The only creatures not effected by this drought are the butterflies and dragonflies.  They seem to love the neglect my garden is getting this summer along with the heat.  I am reminded of the first gardening book I ever bought.  I was nineteen and living in a college dorm highrise in Norman, Oklahoma.  Why then did I buy a gardening book when I had no extra time for reading and no space for a garden?  I think I was overloaded from my studies and missing nature.  The book?  Theme Gardens: Revised Edition, by Barbara Damrosch.  If I remember correctly, the book was split into six different gardens, each with its own plan.  I was drawn to the rose garden and the butterfly garden.  Fancy that.  But, I was dismayed at her words about the butterfly garden:

“If you were able to ask your local butterflies what they would most like in your yard, you might be a bit discouraged.  ‘We would like an untidy mess,’ they would say, ‘the grass should never be cut.  The most common weeds should overrun the garden and lawn.'”


Ah, no wonder they are so happy here.

Mary Ann of Idaho Gardener asked me the color of my perennial Hibiscus, ‘Moy Grande’ so I included a photo of it.  “Pink” just doesn’t seem to capture its essence, any more than it does for the recording artist of the same name (a favorite of mine).  My hair was once the same platinum as Pink’s, but no body art for me.

'Moy Grande'
'Moy Grande'

Joan, a friend from COHS, asked about my Mom.  Mom is doing about as well as can be expected.  She is having surgeries every other day to keep her surgery site clean.  Her pneumonia seems to be responding to antibiotics.  As the doctors have said, this is a marathon to Cheyenne, Wyoming, not a sprint.  If things continue to go well, it will take six months to a year for her to become better.  Thanks to everyone who has asked, and thank you for all of your comments.  I read all of them even if I don’t get a chance to respond.  Thanks to those who have prayed for my mother too.  Without your prayers and the doctors’ skill, she wouldn’t be here.

Merci beaucoup.


  1. Merry says:

    I’ve had the same experience with rudbekia and shasta daisy this year. do you have a theory?

  2. Beautiful blooms Dee! A friend just gave me Theme Gardens. I’m enjoying it very much. My pile of books to read is growing. Don’t tell anyone, but I will accept winter just to begin read season.

  3. CurtissAnn says:

    Honey, how beautiful your blooms, still. Nature is truly amazing. We see this everyday, but tend to forget anyway. You are one of the most beautiful blooms in your garden, so generously sharing your beauty.

    Sending hugs,
    .-= CurtissAnn´s last blog ..Blogging at Goodreads =-.

  4. Racquel says:

    Well everything seems to be blooming beautifully in your garden inspite of the heat & drought. We’ve been fortunate to get a decent about of rain this month which is not a regular occurence for us either. I dread the hot days of August that will be here before we know it. By then I will be hibernating to the a/c. 😉 I love the color of your Crepe Myrtle, now that’s a plant that loves the heat!
    .-= Racquel´s last blog ..A cute birdhouse and new blooms =-.

  5. Rose says:

    Dee, I love the petunias with verbena! Pink is one of my favorite colors in the garden, and this combination is beautiful. Thanks for the tip on attracting butterflies–maybe now I forget about all the weeding needed in my new butterfly garden:)

    Glad to hear your mother is on the road to recovery.
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..GBBD July: It’s all about the Coneflowers… =-.

  6. kerri says:

    Barbara Damrosch’s quote actually encourages rather than discourages me 🙂 Our butterflies were rather late showing up with our cool, wet spring and summer, but I’m seeing more every day now.
    You know how I love pink, so your petunia/verbena combo is one that melts my heart. Truly beautiful! And the hibiscus is a glorious color too. Ditto for the crapemyrtle.
    I’m sorry your mom has had such a bumpy time and will pray for her continued recovery.
    Happy Bloom Day, Dee!
    .-= kerri´s last blog ..Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day-July ’09 =-.

  7. lynn says:

    I love the purple crape myrtle! I grow a dwarf white one and can’t wait for it to bloom. Also the black-eyed susan photo is so pretty!
    .-= lynn´s last blog ..Fertilizer Friday! =-.

  8. Aisling says:


    I love the photo of the dragonfly. I was an outdoor wedding at the edge of a lake on the 4th of july and dragonflies and damselflies were darting all around. Some folks were cringing and saying “ugh” and all I could think of was how beautiful, and varied, and ephemeral they were… like flying jewels. It’s all in your perspective. I welcome many of the “weedy invaders” into my garden cheerfully. That too is a matter of perspective I assume! Bring on the self heal, the oxalis, the field daisies, the milkweed. lol
    .-= Aisling´s last blog ..Friday Favorites – Country Study =-.

  9. keewee says:

    I just love it when everything in the garden is looking so good. You sure have some lovely blooms.

  10. rosemarie says:

    Your photos are so nice and such a lovely July!
    .-= rosemarie´s last blog ..Foliage Fridays =-.

  11. Diana says:

    Dee – what bright colors you have in your July garden. Love that neon pink verbena — I might just have to hunt for that one. And the lavender crape myrtle is so pretty. But imagine my excitement when I saw that we have the same hibiscus – the Moy Grande. I had as many as 11 blooms on it for days at a time. She likes our heat, I think! Hope this front cools you off.
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..bloom day a day late… =-.

  12. In spite of all the bad weather your garden is looking so beautiful! The crape myrle is stunning! -Jackie
    .-= Jackie (Ellie Mae’s Cottage)´s last blog ..Fertlilizer Friday and Birthday Fun! =-.

  13. Joan Wiley says:

    Love the dragonfly! I put it on my desktop. The building I work in does not have windows, so I need a dose of nature.

    Hope the hail storm passed your gardens by yesterday.

    I live in Shawnee and we got a wee bit of rain that was much appreciated.

    Enjoy the cool weather this weekend.

  14. Sweet Bay says:

    I love all of the flowers you posted. I love purple Crape Myrtles, and the pink verbena looks stellar with those pink petunias. I grew some Moy Grande seedlings this year — I hope they strongly resemble their parent! Yours is just beautiful with that dark rosey pink.
    .-= Sweet Bay´s last blog ..Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day July 2009 =-.

  15. Gail says:

    My dear, I am glad to hear that your mom is improving, albeit slowly… The crape myrtle is luscious…I am waiting for Natchez to begin blooming. Somewhere on a bookshelf is Barbara Damrosch’s Theme Gardens ….and benign neglect during a long hot summer is perfectly OKay. gail
    .-= Gail´s last blog ..July Bloom Day~~A Few Flowers That Make Me Smile! =-.

  16. Phillip says:

    I’ve had that dwarf purple crape myrtle for two years and it has never bloomed for me. Yours is beautiful.
    .-= Phillip´s last blog ..July Bloom Day =-.

  17. What a great quote. Yes, wildlife and bees and butterflies probably would like our gardens to be messier than they are, and we would probably enjoy ours gardens more if we would just accept a bit of messiness. Hey, a new reason not to weed!

    Thanks for joining in for bloom day, and I hope and pray your mom continues her progress on that marathon to Cheyenne.
    .-= Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog ..If I Was In Charge… =-.

  18. joey says:

    Your tender hand has tended the heat and drought in your garden beautifullly, Dee. Welcome the relief and enjoy the summer gift.

  19. Caroline says:

    Wishing your mom a speedy recovery. Love your dwarf crepe myrtle – I think I have room for a dwarf variety!
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..July 2009 Bloom Day =-.

  20. Jean says:

    Love all the pinks you have there! That cold front is supposed to bring us rain at any moment. Of course, I’m leaving for Maine tomorrow morning – what luck!
    .-= Jean´s last blog ..July GBBD and One Year Blogiversary =-.

  21. Diane says:

    I love dragonflies! I chatted with a funny olive green one in my garden today. He liked my weeds, too.
    Happy to hear your mom is doing okay. I hope you are bringing flowers to her – it helps.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..July: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day =-.

  22. Leslie says:

    Lovely photos as always, Dee. And Pink is a favorite of mine also!
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..GBBD July 2009 =-.

  23. 104 degrees? Yikes? But it’s a dry heat, right? I hope so, and hope that the change in temperature doesn’t bring a huge storm but only nice soft rains.
    .-= jodi (bloomingwriter)´s last blog ..Rock-Garden Eye-Candy =-.

  24. I love that quote from Barbara Damrosch. It’s a great justification for letting the garden go a bit when it’s too hot to be out there working in it. I hope you get the promised relief from the heat. I love the hot magenta with the cooler pink. It’s sophisticated without looking pretentious.
    .-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..Yes, There Actually are Things in Bloom in July =-.

  25. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I can’t believe your flowers look so well after all the heat and drought. We too are looking forward to the cold front that is coming through. I hope you get relief from the heat.

    I am glad to hear your Mom is holding her own. I will keep her in my prayers.

  26. Your irrigation system must serve you well. Your plants don’t look like they’ve been through high temps for a week and a half.
    .-= Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening´s last blog ..Garden Bloggers Bloom Day July 2009 =-.

  27. chuck b. says:

    I enjoy seeing insects from other parts of the country. That dragonfly has never made an appearance in my garden.
    .-= chuck b.´s last blog ..Michael Powers =-.

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