The tremendous heat and dryness we've experienced in Southern Wisconsin, coupled with our accelerated bloom schedule this year, means that not much is in flower this month. Street trees are dying and I'm seeing Serviceberries in gardens dressed in fall color and getting ready to drop their leaves. As of July 10th, the U.S. Drought Monitor had bumped southern Wisconsin up to "severe drought."
But I do have one flower that is giving me a thrill in the garden this year, especially since it hasn't bloomed for the last couple of seasons. As you may have guessed, this is an Agapanthus. But it's a perennial version of the more common tropical Lily of the Nile. Agapanthus campanulatus, or Bell Agapanthus, is hardy in colder climates. I bought mine from the late Seneca Hill Perennials, which noted that it was "hardy in open gardens in central Illinois," and suggested it as a Zone 5 plant.
But some of what I have since read suggests it is not really cold hardy to Zone 5, which may explain why mine grows but does not always flower. I have been assuming it needs more sun, but I'm not sure if that's the problem. Given our intense heat this year, maybe what it really wants is dryness and tropical temps. Whatever the reason, its beautiful blue blossoms are one of the few bright spots in the garden this month.
To see what's blooming in other gardens, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts this monthly meme.