Blooms of Mid-July, Part 1

By the middle of July it feels like we have reached the gateway to high summer in Chicago. Let’s see what’s blooming in the garden, starting with the main part of the front garden: the Driveway Border, Sidewalk Border, and the Island Bed. The remainder we’ll cover in a second post.


Orange and yellow are definitely the dominant colors of July, with a bit of blue thrown in.


This Lily is an Oriental-Trumpet hybrid called ‘Conca D’Or’. The fragrance is powerful and seductive. I had people over last weekend and of course it refused to open until a couple of days later. Pure spite, if you ask me.

Oh, and look how the orange construction sign echoes the color of the Daylilies. Whatcha call your ‘borrowed view’.


Actually, I’ve had some real Lily issues this summer. I lost two of the ‘Conca D’Or’ to what looked like  root rot, and a patch of three Lilium auratum ‘Gold Band’ to some completely unknown disease. Definitely not Lily beetles, though. I think this fall I will plant some new lilies in a couple of other locations and see how they fare.


Oh, Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa). I love, love, love Butterflyweed.


There’s that bright orange color, of course. And there’s something fascinating about the shape of the individual flowers – the five part upward pointing crown accompanied by downward curved petals.


Pollinators also love Butterflyweed, and Milkweeds of all kinds.


We also have Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in the Island Bed and the Sidewalk Border. It’s just beginning to bloom.


Growers and retailers are trying to do away with the common name “Swamp Milkweed”, in favor of Red or Rose Milkweed. I have resisted this so far. No one, not even a plant, should have to hide where they come from.

On the other hand, Swamp Milkweed can grow perfectly fine in medium moisture soil, so the common name is a bit misleading.


You may have noticed the big orange Daylily flowers with a red eye in the Driveway Border. This is a variety called ‘Eye-yi-yi’.


The Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) are also just starting to bloom. When full opened, the petals (ray flowers) droop endearingly.


The ‘Betty Corning’ Clematis has bloomed continuously since early June. This is its first year in the Driveway Border. My goal was to have it climb all over the Mexican Sunflower and Joe Pye Weed. It hasn’t really done that, just stayed on its wire supports. However, I have hope for next season.


The first of the Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) blooms are opening. Another personal favorite and a signature plant for the front garden. From a distance they look like bright orange polka dots on a green background.


Another flower just starting to open is Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), a close relative of Bee Balm (Monarda didyma). There’s a big patch of it in the Driveway Border.


Wild Bergamot is a soft lavender that calms down the hot colors of other seasonal flowers.


In the Sidewalk Border Wild Bergamot is mixed with ‘Raspberry Wine’ Bee Balm.


Here ‘Raspberry Wine’ is mixing it up with River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium). It will be interesting to see if either one of these attractive but mildly thuggish plants can get the upper hand over the other.


If you don’t dawdle, you can still catch flowers of Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) in the cool of the morning. Soon they’ll need cutting them back.


Right along the sidewalk I planted a variety of shorter plants in the Sidewalk Border. Among these, Salvia ‘Blue Hill’ (Salvia sylvestris) and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ are still blooming.


Here’s another view of the Sidewalk Border.


Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) was hit hard by four lined plant bugs earlier in the season. The plants have recovered somewhat, but they are not blooming with their normal vigor.


‘Cassie’ is now covered with small green hips rather than flowers. Even so, she continues to put out new buds and blooms.


Finally, the Clematis jackmanii on the Great Wall of Purple is still blooming, though gradually the number of blooms is decreasing.

For more mid-July blooms, check out Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.

What are blooms in your garden are favorites in mid-July?

61 Comments on “Blooms of Mid-July, Part 1

  1. I have the same orange Hemerocallis with the dark throat, but it has a different name! The front garden is looking great, a great welcome to you and joy to passers by.

  2. So beautiful! I’m inspired by your sidewalk border, hope to do something similar here maybe next year or the year after. So much to do, so little time! Hopped over here from the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day party – thanks for sharing! I’ll be coming back for more!

  3. Your garden looks so lush and beautiful, Jason. Three big Conca d’Or lilies are perfuming my garden too, right now. Seductive is right! The nose of everyone who enters my garden is hit with that, as well as the fragrance of the Star jasmine. It seems July is both colorful and fragrant. Gotta love that! 🙂

  4. How wonderful for the people who walk past your garden, or do they all whizz by in their cars and just see it as a colourful blur, they’re missing a lot if they do! You have so many wonderful flowers and perfumes, it must be a delight to work among all the blooms.

  5. So many beautiful flowers!
    I think Butterflyweed blooms look like tiny ballerinas with their arms upraised.
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

  6. I agree with previous comments, your front garden is joy for passers by, and the orange Butterflyweed blooms are stunning. Orange is such an eye-catching colour for the front garden.

  7. If I lived in your area and was a walker, I’d have your street on my route to admire your beautiful gardens. 🙂 Day lilies, Knockout Roses and Hydrangea are in bloom right now but I’m losing other plants due to drought and water restrictions.

  8. Oh, Jason! Your garden is a wonder, and I completely agree with Judy from New England Garden and Thread. How beautiful for you, and what an asset for your neighborhood. Finally, I was fascinated by the different types of bee balm.

  9. Your garden is looking good this month. I can see why the bees and butterflies enjoy your garden. I love the tall lilies peeking up over the flowers below.Happy GBBD. Can’t wait to hear about your Fling experience.

  10. It is looking so good Jason! You must get so much pleasure out of it, and I’m sure passers-by do too. My Tithonia aren’t quite flowering yet, but then I did sow them late. I wonder how tall yours will get this summer! I love those coneflowers too.

      • I have pinched the tops out of mine to stop them growing too tall and they are really bushy this year. Still waiting for the first flower to open though…

  11. I did enjoy all those vibrant colours and the lovely blues. The wild bergamot is just gorgeous with the bee balm, and that spiderwart is

  12. That Clematis jackmanii is spectacular. Reminds me of the one my grandmother grew on an abandoned chicken coop. You have the touch!

  13. Humming birds and butterflies must love your garden! Conca D’or is gorgeous and, like you, the fragrance of lilies gives me quite a thrill.

  14. I am an older person and not tech savvy, but I am so enjoying your “blog” although it seems like an email to me. My Oakleaf hydrangea is so pretty right now, as are my old fashioned tiger lilies.

  15. Wonderful. I love the combo of River Oats with Raspberry Wine. Your neighbourhood is very lucky 🙂 My tithonia has started flowering but is much shorter this year. I’m hoping it’ll grow if the temperatures rise. My outstanding flower at the moment is Cosmos ‘Dazzler’. Your drifts of plants just coming in to bloom look so beautiful, Jason – all that colour to come!

  16. Your garden Jason is stunning. Love your clematis, especially jackmanii, and lily ‘Conca D’Or’ that is very pretty. My lilies are in buds now , so wait for bloom as well.

  17. Very colorful and bloom-filled. I agree, the Swamp milkweed should keep its name, but I do understand why they are looking to change it. Clients don’t even want to hear that name, no matter how pretty the flowers.

  18. Wow –that clematis! I have a small one, with red flowers, but I transplanted it this spring, and so far no buds. I really love the bergamot with the raspberry wine monarda! What a great mix of color.

  19. Gorgeous, and your Great Wall of Purple is still incredible!! I am determined to get asclepias to grow in my garden. I have tried before with no success, but I keep seeing other bloggers grow it so beautifully. And anything with “weed” as part of its name ought to do well in my garden!

  20. Pingback: Blooms of Mid-July, Part 1 — gardeninacity | Old School Garden

  21. I love the combo of ‘Raspberry Wine’ Monarda with the native plants. I always think the native looks a little too subdued, but it really makes a nice contrast to the fuschia of ‘Raspberry.’ No blooms on my Tithonia yet, but the plants are getting bigger and bigger–can’t wait to see them finally bloom!

    • I agree that the Wild Bergamot goes really nicely with ‘Raspberry Wine’. There’s a big patch of it in the Driveway Border and it cools down all the hot colors from the other plants.

  22. Your July garden looks very healthy. Seeing the Tithonia makes me happy–like that color. And your various monardas are great.

  23. Hello Jason, it’s good to see you’re matching the plants to the surrounding street signage (temporary or otherwise). I miss our lilies though (from the previous garden) so seeing the photos of yours brought a smile to my face.

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