Thursday, July 13, 2017

July Hits & Misses In My Pocono Mountain Garden 2017

What's going on in the Poconos in mid-July you might ask? Not much. For weeks, the weather has been stuck in a holding pattern of ... cool, on and off rain, cloudy,  sometimes T Storms, and occasional glimpses of sunshine.  For the most part it's been ... blah. Yet, there have been some bright spots in the garden.
The Astilbes don't mind the coolness or the rain. Along the back of my front deck garden, I have a white astilbe flanked on both sides by dark red ones. 
By the street side garden, the Bleeding Hearts in the back of the bed are now waning as spring has turned into full summer.

 On the plus side, the catmint plants in the foreground are blooming well.  I guess there's been enough sun to keep them happy. A year ago, I originally started off with the one plant on the right. Early this spring I divided some of it to make another 2 plants.  I'm not surprised about the small size of the plant in the center, but didn't expect the the one of the left to grow as large as it has in such a short amount of time. About 2 weeks ago, I  also decided to do a bit of layering with the larger plant. Hopefully, by late summer or early fall, I'll have 4 more little starter plants to tuck in here and there. 
The perennial tall, purple Phlox are finally starting to show color. I wasn't even sure if they were going to come back this year. I bought them last summer on clearance at Lowe's. I'm sure you know how clearance plants go. I was happily surprised when I saw the new growth coming up in the spring.  
My one and only Hollyhock plant has buds! I've tried for 4 years to grow Hollyhocks. Every year was a bust. I started out with about 5 plants grown from seeds and ... Nada. Sometimes, I would find huge holes in the leaves. The plant would eventually wither and die. Other times ... something would strip the plants bare. No leaves, no buds, no flowers. A skeleton. Sick plant equals ... dead plant. Even more mystifying would be plants with no leaf damage whatsoever, but the plants would be knocked down with broken stalks. Go figure.
Whatever. This year, though, I have one healthy plant (to the left in the photo) and it's about 5 -6 feet tall! With buds! I have it in my little back corner garden surrounded by fencing and make-shift barricades. Reason for defending the garden like it was Fort Knox? Lots of groundhogs this year. Oh, almost forgot. I did find one large Cabbage worm ( at least 2 inches long) on my one and only hollyhock about 2 weeks ago. Picked that sucker off pronto and drowned it! I've since been checking my one determined plant for any kind of problems, and so far so good.

One thing that the fickle weather really hasn't effected is the Wildlife.
New fawns are showing off their spots and sometimes can be found resting in a shady part of my yard.
No, I don't have Ospreys in my yard!  These 2 birds are the new fledglings for this summer season at the Osprey platform in Hawley, PA. They are so interesting and fun to watch.
Can't forget to mention crafts to use in the garden.  Seashells and dried 
or silk flowers look lovely together. Originally, I had tried using live plants in the seashells, but the plants didn't do well.
I recently filled these tiny clay flowerpots with silk flowers to use in my Fairy Garden.

When my summer gardens finally take off I'll be back to post more pics!

Happy Gardening to all!


  1. Given the weather's been blah, a lot of good things are happening in your garden. The deer are so pretty and so are the shells, good idea to use them as plant pots. So pleased your catmint is treating you well, Janie! Hope you get sunshine soon.

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