This month in the yard: July

I should call this the “Brown Thumb” edition of my new monthly series. Oh my goodness, friends, it’s been a tough month in the yard, but I’ll begin with the good news… Several flowers, shrubs and trees are still alive! Yay!

The Cana Lillies seem relatively happy.

My Asiatic Lilies are still alive but none of them will bloom which seems weird.

The first of these purple Day Lillies has bloomed! The yellow ones have been blooming for over a month.

The Lantana is spreading!

Severe windstorms knocked down my Burning Bush 3-4 times in the past month! Amazingly, it’s still alive.

The Confederate Jasmine looks great! But it’s still only about 2′ tall.

The Purple Wintercreeper is spreading out.

The Hosta Lillies are all doing well. I moved a few this Spring and the ones in shady spots look great. You can tell they’re getting too much sun if the leaves lose color and get brown holes in them.

I planted Lemongrass in this pot as well as in a flowerbed and it’s doing very well in both locations.

The first of my Purple Coneflowers have begun to bloom! They’re next to the Salvia and all of it looks a bit scraggly. They’re flowers that look better from year to year…

Now for the bad news… I’m glad I started this monthly series so I can learn from my successes and mistakes even though I mostly want to blame the weather! The deep freeze we called Winter was bad enough, but then Summer came and brought weeks of rain. Water doesn’t drain quickly in a cove – much less in hard Alabama clay.

My brand new Flowering Cherry is dying on me! You’d think it just needs water but it was absolutely drowning in rain for 2-3 weeks and turned crunchier brown every day so I decided to let it “dry out” and now it looks worse. I am confounded and decided to start watering it again. The exact same thing happened to one of the new Maple trees I planted by the driveway. One looks great. One looks dead. The dead one seemed to be particularly muddy during the heavy rains we had in June, but “drying it out” did not help.

My Roses  have dropped leaves and stopped blooming. Ditto for the Gardenia… and the Azaleas.

The Angel Trumpet plants will not grow. On the up side, they’re not dead. Also, I planted Sunflowers in May and they haven’t sprouted at all.

Worst of all, it looks like I killed my beloved Japanese Maple… the little tree I’d nursed to health from the Home Depot sick bay years ago. It looked sooooo beautiful!

And just to be clear: the weeds are thriving throughout the yard!!!

Lessons learned:

  • Fertilizer kills Japanese Maples

To do next year in early Spring:

  • Use Preen e-a-r-l-y
  • Add mulch (every year)
  • Divide giant hosta lillies by front door when they first emerge