July is the month of Monardas here. We have one straight species (Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa) and three hybrid cultivars: ‘Raspberry Wine’, ‘Purple Rooster’, and what I suspect is a home-grown hybrid that looks like a cross between Wild Bergamot and ‘Purple Rooster’.

Gardeners interested in Monarda should check out two trials of various species and cultivars conducted by the Mt. Cuba Center (published earlier this year) and the Chicago Botanic Garden (published back in 1998).

The view from our front door with all our types of Monarda represented.

A Tour Of The Back Garden In Early July

So now let’s take the overview of the garden to the back of the house.

A flagstone path leads to the Back Garden.

Happy 4th of July. July is when things start to pop in the garden after the June lull, so I thought this might be a good time to provide a tour or overview of where things are right now.

Right now there are two species of Milkweed blooming in our garden: Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and Butterflyweed (A. tuberosa). As you probably know, native Milkweed species are essential to the future of the Monarch Butterfly.

Right now is the peak Clematis moment here in our garden. This refers, first of all, to what we call the Great Wall of Purple filled out by Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ on part of the west-facing wall of the house, around the corner from the front door.

Here we are walking up the driveway to the Great Wall of Purple.

Warning: this post may not be suitable for readers who are upset by insects eating other insects.

As I wrote recently, our friend Jo ana came over to help with the garden last week. She is a keen observer of the natural world. This applies to insects as well as flying Geranium seeds. So we were inspecting some of the plants when we saw something that looked like a tick. Instead of squishing it, we tried to get a better look and as a result the critter ended up on the sidewalk.

Photo from my friend Jo ana.

The garden is full of Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) seed pods these days.

Badly focused pic of Wild Geranium seed pods.

And remember how I said that Wild Geranium spreads via exploding seed pods that hurl the seeds several feet (with a good wind) from the mother plant?

So when my friend Jo ana came to help in the garden last week she took this very cool video of Geranium pods expelling their seeds. You can actually see the extremely tiny seeds flying away. She slowed it down a bit to make it more fun to watch.

Wild Geranium

Wild Geranium is a fine woodland native, and now it’s clear how it gets around so quickly.

Our Martagon Lilies are finally blooming! I planted them fall before last, but last year they just sent up stems with no flowers. Apparently that is par for the course with this type of Lily. This year, though, there are bountiful orange flowers with maroon markings. and brick-red anthers. This variety is called ‘Sunny Morning’.

The garden is mostly quiet shades of green these days. There are some blooms, which tend to be white or blue. Here’s a selection, though I’m holding a few things back for future posts.

So when we put in the new driveway it was widened a bit, which made the narrow strip of lawn between the driveway and the Crabapple Bed even narrower and more pointless-looking. So last year I said to myself, why not take up that last bit of lawn and plant bulbs? Alliums, specifically, which were much on my mind at the time. So I did.

Allium caesium, below, and A. christophii above.
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