As we move into July gardeners and maybe everyone else starts to wonder what just happened to the summer. In the beginning of June we were still coaxing baby plants along and now we're saying "Whoa, I better cut that back!" Where did the time go? Slow down! Many of the flowering bushes have come and gone, and I am not at all ready to dead head the first and best blooms of Jupiter's beard, salvia, blue flax, and catmint!
On the up side, the July plants are the rocks of the summer, the anchors. June flies by but July seems to stick around for a while. It is hot and sunny out there, so hot that it calls for an attitude adjustment. Soak up the sunshine and enjoy what is in front of you. Gallardia starts blooming and will give you a good show long past the Fourth. Callirhoe, or wine cups, will happily bloom through these long, hot days and don't forget the purple ice plant.
The hummingbirds just got here, so keep them around with penstemons and my very favorite, agastache sunset, dense tubes of hot pink (very yummy for birds.) Cardinal Penstemon is about three feet high with many scarlet tubes of flowers, really a traffic stopper if planted on a curb. I can never have enough of the orange California poppies that come up on their own and seem to find enough water to live on away from the irrigation.
There is, of course, still so much to look forward to. New seeds are just getting tall and container gardens are just hitting their stride with these nice warm nights. Regular feedings, "Superthrive,' and fish emulsion will keep thing happily bursting along.
July is also time to surrender some of your garden hopes to forces that are beyond your control. We never seem to be able to "have it all' and now is the time to be thankful for what is doing well in our gardens. "Oh well, the morning glories and scarlet runners that I planted up the back of my new coyote fence got wiped out by rabbits, but wow, that volunteer larkspur is really pretty with its deep blue in contrast to the maroon Mexican Hat. By next year I really will have those rabbits fenced out." And "darn, those thieves are at the alyssum again but this is going to be a memorable July for snaps." For every loss there is usually some kind of gain. Perhaps we will find that the loss of some pinons to bark beetle will open up some sunset views and some new wildflower meadows.
So relax and enjoy the show.