Just before Monday's rain I ran out into the garden to catch what was blooming this first week of July. Rain or sun, the pond is full of water lilies.
Lots of first timers are blooming in the Sacred Grove, like this Eryngium planum 'Blue Glitter'. I could not grow Sea Holly in this garden until we got more sun with the loss of some trees in the last few winters.
Dangling above the Sea Holly are a clump of Lilium henryi from Old House Gardens that I planted in 2008 in memory of my late father-in-law who was named Henry. I moved them last fall into this sunnier location and they have really taken off. I should point out that these lilies and the Sea Holly are growing in the vicinity of a small tree that will eventually turn this whole area into a shade garden again!
Newly planted last fall is this Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket'. I should probably have planted one of the Ligularias with umbellifer flowers but I love tall flower stalks more, and have a preponderance of them in my garden.
If you look closely you can just see the buds of Lilium leichtlinii above the Ligularia. I planted ten of these lilies from Brent and Becky and every one has come up. Can't wait til they open.
Though I love the early spring look of fern fronds unfurling, I am equally enamored of them at this season. The three ferns below always look good regardless of the weather and they can all take a fair amount of sun.
First up is the absolute workhorse fern of my garden: Dryopteris felix mas 'Linnearis polydactyla' aka fishbone fern. Grows erect, tall and wide and babies can be removed and grown on. My two original plants have resulted in a veritable feast of ferns.
Dryopteris crassirzoma has lots of substance so works well as a focal point or textural contrast in the garden. I removed two babies from this fern last week and am hoping they settle in as well as this original plant.
Athyrium felix-femina 'Victoriae' is one of the marvelous ferns with crested tips. Always a show stopper in my garden. I grow all three of these ferns adjacent to paths where they always elicit ohs and ahs.
This view lets you see the arching vase shape of the fern and the crested tips. That's Paeonia japonica in the background with its fat seedpods.
All of the above photos show the textural side of the garden. Most of the beds also include crisp evergreen shrubs to provide contrast. Last week I helped Mark prune just under 40 shrubs — and that's only the ones in the back garden. Box and yew balls are one of the leitmotifs of our garden.
Eventually the bed shown above and below will be one green wave broken by a white-flowered Chaenomeles. These pruned evergreens are our attempt to make the garden lower maintenance!