My garden, my pride!

The 5 Most Unpretentious Perennial Flowers That Grace My Garden In July

, Admin

In the middle belt, July has traditionally always been the hottest month of the year, but lately this is not always the case. Sometimes May is hotter than July, and sometimes even September. But many plants traditionally open their flowers in July. And even with not the warmest weather, July is the most colorful and colorful month in the garden. Almost all annuals traditionally bloom in mid-summer, including those sown in the open ground. But many perennials also wait until just mid-summer to appear in all their glory.

The 5 most unpretentious perennial flowers that grace my garden in July
5 most unpretentious perennial flowers that decorate my garden in July

1. Echinacea

The huge pink daisies of medicinal Echinacea are known to all, and this natural species is very appreciated in traditional mixborders. But the numerous hybrid varieties are still the most popular. Just-blooming flowers are distinguished by their more intense color, but with age in almost all varieties the petals noticeably lighten, creating an interesting bicolor effect on each bush.

The 5 most unpretentious perennial flowers that grace my garden in July
Echinacea in my garden. © Ludmila Svetlitskaya

Flowers-baskets appear from midsummer to autumn, and this plant continues to bloom even after many other perennials have finished flowering. This is why Echinacea is often used as a foundation plant in a modern flower garden.

If the flowering baskets are removed in time, the flowering cycle will be prolonged. However, some withered inflorescences should be left, as the seeds of Echinacea serve as food for small birds in winter and also provide architectural appeal to the flower bed in winter.

The most successful partner plants for Echinacea are perennial asters, coreopsis, burnet, veronicastrum, monarda, phlox and sage, although group monocultures of Echinacea are also very self-sufficient.

This hardy plant is extremely unpretentious and can withstand drought and thrive with minimal care. There are only two things it doesn't like: Heavy clay soils and standing water at the roots. Echinacea grows in most types of soil: loamy, chalky and sandy; overly fertile substrates or heavy fertilising should be avoided as it can then grow too tall. The presence of Echinacea in the garden is a guarantee of visits to your plot by flocks of butterflies, which are never indifferent to this flower.

2. Monarda

Decorative and spicy-aromatic plant, which is also called "wild bergamot" because of its characteristic aroma. Monarda leaves can be used to flavor tea or fruit salads. Depending on the variety, monarda leaves have a range of aromas, from minty to a fragrance more akin to thyme, oregano and marjoram.

The 5 most unpretentious perennial flowers that grace my garden in July
Original monarda inflorescences are hard to mistake for anything, as they look slightly disheveled

The monarda varieties are represented by a huge number of incredible shades of petals: pink, purple, violet, lilac, red and white. Such a wide color palette and a distinctly striking flower shape open up a wide range of possibilities when using it in landscape design.

Original monarda inflorescences are difficult to confuse with anything else, as they look slightly disheveled. This is because the flower baskets consist of many narrow, tubular, double-lobed, hooded flowers.

Mass flowering generally begins in July and continues through the summer. After fading the plant is decorated with rounded seed heads-bulbs, which maintain decorativeness of the flower bed in winter or can be used in floral compositions as dried flowers.

The popularity of monarda is due to many advantages: rich color palette, fantastic flower form, medicinal properties, long flowering period, fragrant leaves, possibility to use in different gardening styles, elastic stems not requiring garter as well as resistance to pests.

But this flower also has some weaknesses, in particular its tendency to be affected by powdery mildew (but, however, many modern varieties have an increased resistance to this disease), intolerance to excessive moisture, (and the plant tolerates drought hard too),  the need for division once every few years, because the middle shoots die off and the center of the bush is bare.

Mildew in most cases does not directly kill the plant, but can seriously weaken its vitality and therefore affect the longevity of the shrub.

For disease prevention do not use fertilizers with high nitrogen content, do not allow the soil to dry out for long, thin out plantings to ensure air movement, water only under the root to avoid wetting the leaves. It is better to plant monardas in full sun.

Monardas in flower beds are often in intense crimson-red color (sort "Cambridge Scarlet"), so monardas might turn away some flower-growers who prefer bedding colors in the garden. However, it is important to remember that this flower has a really wide range of shade and variation in height, so it makes sense to take a closer look at this perennial and find a place for it in the garden. Hosta

3: The shade-tolerant perennial is mainly valued for its original, lush foliage in myriad patterns and shades. Like any plant the hosta tends to form flowers and set seeds, but not always the flowering of ornamental deciduous perennials is a welcome sight for the gardener.
The 5 most unpretentious perennial flowers that grace my garden in July
The flowering of the hosta can be seen as an additional plus of these plants. © Ludmila Svetlitskaya

Many gardeners choose hostas for shady flower beds precisely because of their attractive foliage, not to get a bloom. The leaves of cultivated varieties of hosta have a wide palette of colors: from the standard green to blue, almost white and golden. They also come in all different shapes, sizes and textures (wavy, corrugated, etc.).

Some gardeners prevent hostas from flowering by removing the flower stems at the beginning of budding, as in their opinion this violates the standard look of the plant. However, hosta blooms can be seen as an added plus for these plants.

Because hostas belong to the lily family, they produce funnel-shaped flowers that somewhat resemble a scaled-down copy of lilies. The flowers tend to sit on tall peduncles that extend from the center of the bush.

As with their closest relatives the lilies, most hosta varieties have a single flower that lasts only one day to bloom. However, one plant can have ten or more flower stalks with up to 50 flowers on a stem, so the total blooming time lasts for 3 to 4 weeks.

The color of hosta petals can vary from dark purple to waxy white. If you look closely at hosta flowers, you can also see darker colored veins in many of them.

White-flowered hostas flower most often in late summer, but varieties with lilac flowers begin to decorate the garden in July. Flowering has no negative effect on the habitus of the plant, its bushes do not fall apart either during or after flowering. If the blooms are removed in time, the hostas do not become weakened, so there is no rational grain in not letting the hosta bloom.

The shade flower beds are visibly transformed during the flowering season of the hosta, so when planning future plantings, consider including hostas as beautiful bloomers as well, because their flowers can be just as beautiful as their foliage. In July, blooming hostas can be a great addition to any landscape.

4. Phloxes

The perennial meoteric phlox has been a must-have component of the summer garden since ancient times. It owes its enduring popularity to its heady clouds of lush flowers and ease of care. Few perennials can so skillfully enliven a garden in the middle of summer as the garden phlox.

The 5 most unpretentious perennial flowers that grace my garden in July
One of the most important virtues of phloxes is their long flowering period. © Ludmila Svetlitskaya

One of the most important advantages of phloxes is the long period of flowering. The first flowers open in July and the bushes often stay in bloom until September. You can also extend the flowering season by choosing varieties that start blooming a little earlier or later than traditional dates.

Other positive aspects of phlox:

  • long life (often grows freely in the garden for decades under good growing conditions and does not require frequent division);
  • continues flowering in summer heat when many other perennials look unsightly;
  • attracts bees and butterflies;
  • greatly self-sowing and new interesting colors often appear.

Garden phlox is also one of those rare perennials whose varieties have many shades of the color spectrum, including rare bluish tones.

Flox is native to the United States, but many of the early varieties originated in England and Germany. During the days of the Soviet Union, the flower was incredibly popular, so many varieties that are still in demand in the West were bred by Soviet breeders.

One of the few but significant drawbacks of phlox is its susceptibility to powdery mildew. However, a number of the newest varieties bred in the United States have increased resistance to powdery mildew and other fungal infestations on the leaves.

Although phlox grows best in full sun, it is actually a woodland plant that will do well in the penumbra, especially when grown in hot southern climates. When choosing a location for phlox, it should be able to stay in the sun for about 6 hours daily.

Flox prefers to grow in moderately moist, fertile and well-drained soil, fertilized with compost or other organic fertilizers. This perennial likes slightly alkaline soil. Regular application of lime on soils that tend to be acidic will therefore have a positive effect on the plant.

Flox looks most effective in mass plantings, in natural type gardens, in front gardens or containers (dwarf varieties). Since garden phlox varieties are represented in a wide range of sizes in height, you can find varieties ideally suited for both front and back planes of flower beds or back gardens.

Not the most frequent guest in our gardens, it is significantly inferior in popularity to its counterparts - the peach-leaved bell and the Carpathian bell. On the territory of our country this bellflower grows in abundance in the mountains of the Northern Caucasus. From a distance one cannot always guess that this is a bellflower as its small star-shaped flowers are concentrated in dense paniculate inflorescences, which from a distance makes it resemble a phlox.

The 5 most unpretentious perennial flowers that grace my garden in July
Milkflower bellflower. © Wouter Hagens

In Europe this bellflower has long been successfully introduced into culture and is very popular with florists. Thanks to the fashion for the gardens of the natural type, today you can find some varieties of this unusual bellflower here as well. Among the high-growing varieties of milkvetch the most popular one is Loddon Anna variety 57. This cultivar has practically white flowers with a delicate lilac shade and a pleasant honey aroma. The cultivar

Better darker blue-purple flowers have the variety "Pritchards Variety". Both cultivars are very tall, varying in height from about 60cm to 1.5m depending on conditions. Tall, branching shrubs are crowned with bunches of delicate, open, upward-pointing bell-shaped flowers. Inflorescences appear from July to September.

This tall bellflower is a cottage garden classic, it is ideal for the backdrop of mixborders and is also a successful companion for tall roses with an antique flower shape (such as Austin roses).

This bellflower can put up with light shade, but achieves its full splendor only in sunny places. It is easy to care for and will grow well in almost any moderately fertile soil (from neutral to alkaline) when watered during dry periods. Also the bellflower responds well to hilling in the spring with humus. New low varieties of milkvetch "Puff" (purple flowers) and "White Puff" (snow-white inflorescences) are also interesting. They are notable for their short stature of 30-40 centimeters and very abundant blooming so that they will fit in perfectly in any flower bed and can be planted both in the foreground and in the middle background.

There is also another amazing low-growing variety of bellflower 'Dwarf Pink' with very rare for bellflowers pink petals. However, so far it is almost impossible to buy it in Russia.