Friday, July 25, 2014

In the July flower garden

July is the month of flowers. 

My apologies to all that is beautiful in bloom for just now catching on to this fact.

We can get carried away by how fresh May is, and how green June arrives. These notes of the new season don't escape us.

And then it’s the 4th of July and it’s head-on summer. We settle into the pace.

Perhaps it’s the long, languorous stretch that is July that causes us to not bother so much about keeping tabs on the continuing beauty around us. 

Many of us, at any rate, don’t take the time to take apart and one by one identify that which delights the eye and our other senses as the season matures.

Besides succumbing to the restfulness of July it can be that we don’t tune in because we’re dodging the heat. 

We may be parked at the lake or are planning or taking vacations, as many of us do when kids are out of school and schedules free up a bit.

Whatever it is, we can dim, by missing it, the loveliness found now in the quiet places where the flowers grow.

My recognition of the beauty of July flowers began with the roses by the mailbox. Then the hydrangeas and orange daylilies in our yard jumped out at me. 

Appreciation roamed out to include the neighborhood. It kept on spreading as I kept looking for it. 

The flowers everywhere are admirable in their colors, height and regality.

Wildflowers are especially gorgeous this year. Substantial spring rains probably have something to do with this.

Take a drive anywhere in the countryside and you're treated to a palette of colors which is the showiest in some years. 

A wealth of wildflowers, in shades of orange, white, purple and yellow, compose dense patches and liberally sprinkle the grasses.

A visit to our library in summer always includes a stop at the outdoor garden which is riotous with color in July.

This week I stood amid the beauty of the library blooms and took in the scene. 

But what ultimately bowled me over was stepping to the edge of the drop-off on the property and realizing the steep south slope below me was a surging tide in wildflower hues.

The sun shone resplendently upon the hillside which was thick with flowers. 

As I get more practiced at identifying wildflowers each stands out separately though blending in with the others at first glance.

It was like being on the prairie in the days when the native grasses rustled in the wind as the untamed open space billowed like waves on the sea to the far horizon.

Out and about we notice a distinct trend in residential gardens. It’s been a growing preference and this year we can tell it’s become an established garden style. 

These are the gardens that have plantings attractive to butterflies and bees.

Homeowners plant these wildlife gardens as a way to give back to nature for its bounty. 

By planting flowers and herbs that attract butterflies and bees we help ensure these at-risk species will be able to find food that sustains them for their important cycles, and for the bees to do the critical work of pollination.

A big joy for me this July has been seeing bees, or the dip of butterfly wing, where basil, lavender or other herbs grow, or where bee balm stretches tall with its raggedy bright heads.

The lazy hum of bees in the July flowers is the peace of summer at its apex. A good time of the year, July is even better in the July flower garden.

Ro Giencke – July 25, 2014







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