Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Gardens by Karen Rose Smith

We're in the zenith of the summer gardens in Pennsylvania.  In January and February, I imagine this time of year and what our gardens will look like.  Always lots of color.  This year I planted pinks, yellows and purples with a splash of orange thrown in.  We have stray cats who migrate into our gardens, (in fact we just took in one who is pregnant--that's another blog!) so I try to plant cat friendly flowers and greenery.  Lilies are the most toxic to cats and we had a lot of those.  We are in the process of removing them.  But in the meantime, I planted snapdragons, herbs, roses, zinnias and phlox which aren't toxic to felines.  The above garden is designed with lemon grass, roses and snapdragons.

These phlox are at their height right now and attract hummingbirds.

In March I begin planting heirloom tomato seeds in our basement under a grow light on a heat pad.  Those tomatoes should be producing within the next two weeks.  Then I can freeze them for winter as well as enjoying them in the summer.  Zucchini have been coming in for the past week and I'm creating new recipes.  I'm grateful we can pick vegetables in the garden without toxic pesticides and enjoy them for supper!

We can't forget the birds!  They love the sunflowers once they go to seed.  This one came up on its own from last summer but I have other varieties planted that are budding now.  They're a little behind the self grown ones.

Petunias do well in the Pennsylvania heat and provide a selection of colors to choose from.

Bee Balm also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. But when it takes off, it can take over.  Each year, we dig some out and plant it elsewhere.   Decorative stepping stone help me reach roses and other flowers to cut for vases inside.  I like bringing the scents of summer into the house.

More photos in August when the zinnias will be in full bloom and planters will overflow with marigolds and  petunias.

©2014 Karen Rose Smith


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Deborah Blake said...

Your gardens are beautiful! My bee balm is bright red, and I love the color of yours. I didn't realize it could be so easily transplanted, and I usually hack mine back. What time of year is best for moving it?

KRS said...

Bee balm is really hardy. We moved it in early spring, mid summer and fall. You can spread it all over!