After a wet May and a dry June, early July turned cold. Unusual weather. Is that an oxymoron? Doesn’t the weather always seem unusual?

One thing I like about the northern garden is that there is always something in bloom. In my Missouri garden it seemed like there was a lull in summer when the garden went green. Which is a good reason, no matter where you garden, to select your foliage with care so that the garden remains visually interesting even when not in bloom.

Red lilies and blue cat mint, yellow sundrops, yellow and orange butterflyweed and the old-fashion orange daylilies are blooming in my garden right now. The white and pink coneflowers, hybrid daylilies, shasta daisies and the purple Liatrus are starting to bloom.

Early July partial shade garden backing onto pavement.

Early July partial shade garden backing onto pavement.


My garden is only four years old, so it is still maturing. It would mature faster if I didn’t move plants so often. However, it is often easier to move young plants to better locations. There are a few reasons to move plants: you find they will work better for the garden next to another plant blooming at the same time, or the foliage juxtaposition is better next to another plant, or the plant isn’t thriving where it was originally planted. Besides, many perennials need dividing every three years, so you’re bound to have empty spaces.
Hemerocallis 'Stella D'Or'

Hemerocallis 'Stella D'Or'


On my ledge garden the Stella d’Or is blooming. Mine seems more golden-yellow than the yellow often pictured in catalogs. ‘Happy Returns,’ a relative, is more lemon yellow. They bloom at the same time and as long as seed heads are not allowed to form, continue blooming. Great plants for a long-lasting swath of color impact.

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