Monday, July 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - July 2013



The mild spring that blessed us with cool temperatures has eased into the first days of summer. Although we have had some hot days, many of the days are cooler than normal.  At this time of year, I am usually watering often and running out of water in the rain barrels. In June we had a lot of rain. I don't see any major fungal issues yet on the plants. They seem to thrive in this weather. Still, I wonder what summer will bring. With the spring bestowing a blessing of tolerable weather, it will be interesting indeed to see what kind of summer we have.


stats

Gardening Zone: 7a
June High Temperature: 106 degrees F
June Low Temperature: 55 degrees F
Precipitation: 7.52 inches



wildlife

I see so many dragonflies in the garden this year.


Dragonfly in Butterfly Garden

This Black Swallowtail had just come out of the chrysalis a few moments earlier. It is one I sheltered in the butterfly house until this moment.


Black Swallowtail Butterfly

These Fritillary butterflies were playfully chasing each other from one flower to another.


Great Spangled Fritillary Butterflies

I heard the call of the Pileated Woodpecker and looked up.

Pileated Woodpecker

I found this Luna Moth in the branches of a Colorado Blue Spruce tree.


Luna Moth (in sepia)

There are many who come to the bird feeder, but one morning there was a new visitor.


Eastern Box Turtle

what's blooming, sprouting

I planted some bee balm last fall in various places in the Butterfly Garden aka the Hummingbird Garden aka the perennial bed. It is a winner, rising tall and flowering beautifully.


Pink Supreme Bee Balm - Monarda didyma

Shasta daisies are popping up everywhere and always make me smile.


Shasta Daisy - Chrysanthemum maximum

This is the first year that this clematis made a bold display because it had finally reached a size to spread out and shine.


Clematis, Jackmanii

One of my favorite flowers is echinacea, and I have been adding a few each year to the perennial beds. They never disappoint.


Echinacea purpurea - Flame Thrower

Another favorite flower of mine is gladioli. In the past week, the spikes have begun to rise above the other perennials and open into a rainbow of colors.


Gladiolus - Lucifer

Some blooms offer a simple complexity that matches no other.


Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Alice - Hydrangea quercifolia


The roses have been especially prolific this year, what with the milder temperatures and frequent rain.


Knockout Rose, Pink

in the vegetable garden

The vegetable garden is filled with squash, cucumbers, red cabbage, Swiss chard, asparagus, tomatoes, bell peppers, peas, and some lettuce. I planted about 10 cucumber plants, and they are providing us with lots to harvest.


Cucumber, Supremo Hybrid

I have one raspberry bush that has spread, and it has been quite prolific with all of this rain.


Raspberry, Encore Red - Rubus

The peas are nearing the end of the harvest, and I will most likely plant okra in that bed.


Pea, Avalanche

The peppers are still small, but they are fruiting.


Bell Pepper, California Wonder


In the past week, a few tomatoes have begun to ripen. And I am quite anxious to have a taste.

Tomato, Beefmaster

























I usually do not have cabbage in the garden this far into the year, but with the mild temperatures I left it in to grow larger. I will be harvesting some soon.


Red cabbage, Cairo

completed chores

spread milky spore powder
sowed green beans
trimmed Carolina jessamine vines
sowed moonflower seeds
spread cow manure on lawn

chores for July

pull out peas
sow okra seeds
deadhead flowers
check under squash and cucumber leaves for squash bugs and eggs and remove
prune tomato plants
remove and destroy poison ivy plants from cottage garden


What's in your Garden Notebook for July?


I have begun a composting series with the following posts:

Composting Part I - All About Compost
Composting Part II - Advantages and Disadvantages of Compost Bins and Piles

Later this month, I will post the next article in the series, How to Make Perfect Compost.


I am joining in the following:


Helen of The Patient Gardener hosts End of Month View. This monthly meme is where garden bloggers share their garden views for the end of the month.

Daphne of Daphne's Dandelions hosts Harvest Monday. This weekly meme offers garden bloggers the chance to share their harvest.

Lisa of Macro Monday 2 hosts Macro Monday. This weekly meme is for sharing all of those lovely macros from the garden.

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© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter

78 comments:

  1. Loved all your photos and must say I'm envious of all your visitors. Rain every other day has not provided opportunities for butterflies here.

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    Replies
    1. We are often amazed at all the visitors but are very grateful.

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  2. What an amazing variety of everything you have in your garden, so many different visitors. Love your black swallowtail, that is really smart. You have such a variety of fruit and veg, they are all looking really good. The hot weather that we are having at the moment has brought all our butterflies out, I love seeing them flitting about the garden.

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    Replies
    1. Watching the butterflies is something I never tire of. They add another dimension to the garden.

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  3. I'll echo Lavender Cottage -- wonderful to see all the butterflies!! They've mostly fluttered right by our garden this year. I've started to see just a few in recent days. But all the bee-friendly plants have at least attracted lots of bumbles and smaller bees to the garden, so that's a Happy Development.

    Your veggies and flowers look lush and wonderful. Congrats!!

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    Replies
    1. The rain has added that lushness this summer...something we do not often experience. We usually have periods of drought.

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  4. Beautiful flowers and vegetables! I love how you put the chore list on your blog, a good way to be organized. We have a piliated woodpecker on our property too, we hear him all the time but I have only spotted him once and at quite a distance. For all their noise, they are pretty shy!

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    1. The Pileated woodpeckers are always a treat to see. I, too, wish I could see them more clearly.

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  5. Michelle, lovely veges! Tomatoes and raspberries ripen very fast. I love your shots of insects, I know it's difficult: they fly away quickly.
    Have a nice week!

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    1. I am so glad you stopped by, Nadezda. And the tomatoes are ripening faster than we can eat them.

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  6. Wonderful post. I so envy your butterflies, they have been scarce this year.

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    1. I have seen some butterflies, but the numbers were greater last year. Perhaps there are more to come.

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  7. Such a beautiful butterflies you have around there. All your photos are lovely but the insects, like the dragonfly are really gorgeous. You have some delicious vegetables.

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    1. With all of this rain, the garden is doing very well. I like not having to water it as often.

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  8. Every month you share with us a series of photos that give a unique view of the garden, completely different from the month before, and the same month the year before! I think it's great that you are able to capture these views, they will make a wonderful collection and you can see your garden change year after year.

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    1. I, too, like seeing how things change from year to year. It makes things very interesting.

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  9. What a wonderful post!
    Very sophisticated pictures on your blog.

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  10. Great series of photos and a great garden.

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  11. As always, your close-up photos take my breath away!

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    Replies
    1. Many thanks...it is my pleasure to capture the beauty.

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  12. Fun to see someone else also growing vegetables. My garden is behind yours in some but I do have a Cocozelle squash set on, and cucumbers making little tiny fruits so far. I also have a lot of beans planted, some are blooming. I planted some Burgundy Okra but okra likes more heat than it can get here so I don't know if I can expect much. My tomatoes are only blooming at this point. Great photos!

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    Replies
    1. I love vegetable gardening and reaping the rewards. They always taste so delicious.

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  13. Chciałabym , żeby zółw przyszedł do mojego ogrodu, ale to nie jest możliwe niestety. Piekny jest Twój ogród kwiatowy i warzywny. Pozdrawiam.
    I want the turtle came to my garden, but this is not possible, unfortunately. Beautiful is your flower garden and a vegetable. Yours.

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    1. I just saw another box turtle this morning. It is nice to see them around this year.

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  14. Wow, your photos are just amazing. Beautiful flowers, veggies and butterflies. Cool sighting of the Pileated. Wonderful photos, have a happy week!

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  15. exquisite macros... every one!

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  16. I am drooling over each picture! The monochrome shots are superb!

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  17. Everything looks wonderful...really lovely pics. I especially like the turtle and of course the butterflies.

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    1. The turtle was having a nice lunch that day on the seeds on the ground around the bird feeder.

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  18. Your garden always makes me happy! I smile as I scroll down looking at all your beautiful blooms. You seem to have many more butterflies than I have spotted in my garden this year. This has been the quietest year for them to date. We are certainly not short on blooms with all the rain. Love the box turtle. What a special surprise!

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad to hear that. It gives me great joy.

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  19. What beautiful photos. I see that we like a lot of the same things. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It is a pleasure to meet you.

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  20. Your photography is phenomenal! Such magical captures!

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  21. Beautiful macro shots, Michelle. Your compost grows some beauties.

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    1. The compost seems to have magic powers. :)

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  22. Absolutely gorgeous! Your photos make gardening look like the miracle that it is :)

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. It is a miracle, isn't it? :)

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  23. Oh Michelle it's lovely to catch up with your blog again and as usual there's so much going on. Loved that clematis scrambling through your railings. I really need to check out your compost series as I'm not happy at all with mine this year.

    Rosie
    www.leavesnbloom.com

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    1. With all of the rain, there seems to be more going on than usual. Hope the compost series helps...

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  24. How beautiful. Your photography shines in this post. Love the images with the waterdrops. We've had an unusual weather year with much more than average rainfall interspersed with 90 plus degree temps. It's interesting how the plants love the excessive rain.

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    1. I am often fearful of fungal issues when we have so much rain, but we have had enough sun in between that it does not seem to be an issue.

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  25. beautiful pictures and lovely garden. Wish I knew the secret of the Clematis.......I also wish the dragonfly would stop in here more often. I do get a few butterfly but its a job to catch them sitting still isn;t it
    Janice

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    1. That clematis is 10 years old...I think that is the secret. :)

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  26. It is great to catch up on your garden. I enjoyed your photos very much, especially the one of the turtle! Your echinaceas are lovely. I am adding more coneflowers to my own garden this summer.

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    1. Echinacea is one of my favorites. There are so many varieties with so many colors.

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  27. Looks like your garden is loving all this rain! Your veggie garden is way ahead of mine, but all the rain we had in April made for a late start here. Beautiful photos of the creatures in your garden. I was just thinking the other day that I hadn't seen a dragonfly all year, which is strange considering all the moisture we've had. Butterflies have been few, too, though I've noticed several swallowtails lately.

    "Poison ivy in the cottage garden"--yes, that's on my to-do list, too:)

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    1. This year there are many dragonflies. I don't think I have seen this many in the garden before.

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  28. A turtle!! what a wonderful surprise. Like you I'm wondering how this summer will eventually turn out. We had rain rain and more rain throughout June, so chilly we had to turn our furnace on. and now that July is here we're baking in 39 degree temperatures with humidity that just sucks the life out of you. What comes next is anyone's guess.

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    1. We have had some of that humidity as of late....ugh! We still have had rain often enough to not need any extra water.

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  29. I savored this post until the end so I could linger again over your beautiful images. Not many butterflies in our tropical weather....hot, humid and wet...daily rain continues and we are saturated. Your flowers and veggies are delicious. I am hoping for just a bit of a break so I can finally get out in the garden to do chores...right now the heat is causing migraines if I am out for any length of time.

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    1. I am unable to work in the heat and humidity as well. I am so glad you enjoyed the post.

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  30. Fantastic photos and your raspberries look delicious.

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    1. The raspberries turned out nicely. We really enjoyed them.

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  31. wonderful pics... enjoyed the entire series.

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  32. Everything so very beautiful in your garden which also happens to be a wildlife magnet. I must say the set up of your blog and quality of your pictures is very inspirational.

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    1. Thank you very much, Alistair. I am glad the garden is a wildlife magnet although I do fret when they nibble on my garden.

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  33. My chore list involves figuring out ways to beat the bunnies and the blackspot on my roses. I love that you have a turtle in your garden. I once found a turtle in my mailbox but I think some of my students were playing a joke on me. I set him free and he seemed much relieved. :o)

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    1. LOL...that must have been a joke unless it was a very skillful turtle.

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  34. Beautiful photos... Yes, enough with the rain already. Though it does make for nice weather for photographing without sunlight glare and with raindrops on foliage...

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    1. I agree...the raindrops sure do make for nice photos.

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  35. OK, so now I'm hungry again at 9:30 p.m.! Your veggies look so yummy! I agree about the Echinacea--they never disappoint, but this year they are sooooo healthy! It really struck me the other day when I went to cut some for a floral arrangement. I love it when they're in various stages of blooming. Lovely!

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    1. LOL! It was not easy doing this post with all of those photos of veggies.

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  37. Hi, I remember commenting on this post, and I subscribed to it too, so now I got all your replies, but I can’t find my own comment! Anyway, beautiful photos as always! You are so lucky having such colourful butterflies in your garden, the ones I see over here are mainly brown or white. And that photo of the dragonfly is absolutely stunning! Have a great week!

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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