July – Already the Days are getting Shorter!

Early July

The days may be getting shorter, but they are certainly getting hotter! Normally, July would be a hot, dry month, but this year, there was lots of rain. In fact, I included a picture of one of the rainstorms with a double rainbow over the Fraser River to prove my point!

Top left – Lysimachia purpurea, with purple leaves contrasting with bright yellow flowers came from my previous garden and likes it here so much that in 2 years I was able to split it into 3 plants. Here, it seems to prefer areas with afternoon shade, as in nature, its ancestors lived along riverbanks with moist soil. Sunny areas here are much too dry for it!

Top Centre – One of my locally-collected native asters, also in a shady area, although it could succeed in a sunny, dry place like the Xeric Garden out front. This one was outstanding this summer!

Top Right –  Pink Phlox, “Norah Leigh”, in bloom in the first week of July. Also, a yellow Echinacea, “Cheyenne Spirit”. Norah is always the first of my phloxes to bloom and start the perfuming of the garden. it’s one of my oldest plants but I think it needs more humous in the soil, as it isn’t getting any larger since being here. I have 3 of them near each other but they aren’t growing together into a stunningly beautiful clump as I had hoped they would. Oh, well . . . maybe another year!

Cheyenne Spirit is new to me. I’ve had a terrible time getting Echinaceas to last longer than 2 weeks in my garden. This one lasted well and bloomed all summer. It also has a bright red/orange version that I have in another garden. There are three of them in all, and they seem much stronger than the other new hybrids. Now the question is, “Will they survive their first winter? It’s going to -20C tonight (Dec. 7) with no snow cover yet.

Bottom Left – My favourite view of the Pass-Through Garden, showing the variegated coleus doing well in its pot, the red tuberous Begonias blooming at the back in their pot and a new, dwarf red Monarda, “Cherry Bomb” (I think). There is also Feverfew.

The Pass-Through Garden did really well this summer. I planted Nicotiana seedlings there and they bloomed from August until the other day when it froze hard. Some of them were six feet tall, and among them, they scented up the entire Main Garden every evening! I collected seeds from them for next year!

july-2-2016-1

Now, to the Hugelbed (Food Forest). Hidden behind the arbour is this overgrown looking area. In the foreground of this image is a self-sown Tomato plant, but the star of the picture is the Goji berry bush with ripe berries already in mid-July. It kept producing until late September. I tried to dry the berries, but they all dried at diferent rates so I had to throw them all out. Next year I think I’ll try juicing them and then freeze the juice instead. Then I can add it to salad dressings or just use it as juice.

As I mentioned earlier, this bush needs lots of pruning and raising up to get those branches off the ground. It is really closer to other berry bushes than it should be, but, live and learn, eh?

That’s it for this entry. Next time there will be more pix of the July gardens and maybe some from August.

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About Trillium

Retired teacher living in Lillooet on the banks of the Fraser River in the mountains of the Interior of British Columbia in western Canada. I have gardened since I was 3 and I recently turned 71 years of age, so it has been a long time. I began gardening in southern Quebec in eastern Canada, just north of the Vermont border. Next, I tried it in Prince George, in central British Columbia, where the temperature ranges from -50F in winter to +95F in summer. After my fill of that, I moved to central Vancouver Island in south-west BC and gardened in pots on a sailboat for 11 years followed by a ten-year stint in a narrow, trailer-park garden in the temperate rainforest. At last, in July of 2014, I bought my current home in the drylands of the southern Interior of the Province to begin the learning curve once again. It's been a ride!!
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