Weekly Garden Highlights – July 29

Adult Monarch on Tithonia Photo:http://palmraeurbanpotager.com

Adult Monarch on Tithonia (Photo credit:http://palmraeurbanpotager.com)

The biggest highlight in my garden this week happened today when I spotted a Monarch butterfly sipping zinnia and globe thistle! A rare sighting, as they have nearly disappeared from my area, it totally made my day, week and month! (The above is a photo from fellow blogger Robbie’s garden as I didn’t manage to get a shot of my special visitor.)

Here are just a few of the floral highlights in my garden this week :


Papaver somniferum and Echinacea purpurea alba

The very last of the poppies– the bees and I will miss them. The coneflowers are coming in to replace them.


Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)

The sweet peas continue to please with color and fragrance.


Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ has big mop heads up to 18″ across that will eventually turn lime green and make a nice dried flower for winter.


Hosta blossom

Hosta are putting forth their lavender and white blossoms, which attract the hummingbirds. I hear their delightful squeaks and the zoom of their wings as they whiz past.

Two of the four dahlias I bought this year are blooming. Aren’t they gorgeous?


Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

I love seeing the cheerful sunflowers at the back of the summer border. The goldfinches are happy about them, too, and have already been inspecting them for ripening seeds.


Ligularia ‘The Rocket’

Lastly, three clumps of Ligularia ‘The Rocket’ are lighting up the shade garden with their golden candles.

That’s the best of best here for this week. What’s lighting up your gardens lately?


About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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100 Responses to Weekly Garden Highlights – July 29

  1. quarksire says:

    wat an awesomE butterflY shoT! 🙂

  2. Karen says:

    Beautiful shots Eliza, I love that orange dahlia, and I miss mine.

  3. Widdershins says:

    We have a family of hummingbirds that drop by our study window at least daily. I think they’re studying us. We wave and say, ‘Hi’, and they go on their way … magnificent creatures. 🙂

  4. oneanna65 says:

    Thanks for all the colors!

  5. Amazing shot. So beautiful.

  6. Beautywhizz says:

    Looks beautiful, gorgeous flowers. Monarch is such a magnificent butterfly.

  7. Kris P says:

    That yellow-rosy red Dahlia is spectacular! I rarely catch photos of the butterflies in my garden either but a sighting always lightens my heart. My resident hummers are a feisty lot and seem to spend more time chasing one another from the feeder outside our kitchen window than they do sipping from flowers or the feeder.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Kris. Hummers seem to bicker around sugar feeders, but not so much around flowers. I don’t care for that incessant fighting (it seems they are wasting their energy – but heck, if it’s sugar-water, it’s high test) so I don’t keep feeders. I offer lots of flowers instead. 🙂

  8. arlingwoman says:

    I have had no luck with dahlias! Yours are fabulous and I love your hydrangeas. Robbie is to be congratulated on that butterfly shot…Wow!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Lisa. Yes, Robbie shot is amazing. It glows! She lives in the best area of the country for monarchs – their numbers are the highest in the Midwest.

  9. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    Gorgeous gorgeous!!

  10. cindy knoke says:

    What a gorgeous garden and captures. The Monarch is a beauty!

  11. Beautiful set of flowers!

  12. spanishwoods says:

    Oh those dahlias!

  13. Cath says:

    Beautiful poppies and sweet peas! Mine are just starting to come up, so something to look forward to. I’ve been out dividing Heleniums, and was enjoying the first Paper Whites and Winter Cheer Narcissi, Muscari, and Hellebores. This morning there were baby lambs on the lawn, the combination of a loose fence and a not usually open gate. 🙂

  14. Jim Ruebush says:

    Nice shot. I’m still watching here in IA. No Monarch in my yard yet.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      That monarch shot was taken two years ago by my friend from the Twin City area. Are you near there? Minnesota and Wisconsin has some, I’ve heard. Their numbers really are precarious. Although last winter was good, one bad winter could tip the balance. They need something like 10 good years to regain their numbers. Fingers crossed.

  15. A real treat for the eyes!

  16. Love the papaver and so nice to see dahlia’s again…love them.

  17. Cathy says:

    Beautiful. Especially love that first photo and the last – Ligularia is new to me and looks stunning in the filtered sunlight. 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you very much, Cathy. The friend that gave me the Ligularia just visited and was pleased by how well they had adjusted to their new home. They put on a nice show!

  18. Sue Vincent says:

    You have a beautiful garden, Eliza. Mine has little in it yet except the occasional cow, but the butterflies have found my tiny flower bed 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Sue. If there are cows, then you have that magical ingredient nearby: compost! 😉 I envy you starting a new garden, it is exciting to design and dream!

      • Sue Vincent says:

        I have ahuge, full compost bin…and the local manure… but just one little flower bed.With things all up in the air now with Nick’s plans, I may hold off making more… I’ve no idea how long I’ll be here. If all goes well for Nick and his Em, the north calls.

  19. A lovely bouquet; and a butterfly shot to make anyone’s century 🙂

  20. This should have been two posts because I was in awe and could hardly get past the first photo. That needs an enlargement, frame, and a wall where you can look at it every day. 🙂

  21. Ann @Ann Edwards Photography says:

    such a lovely colourful palette in your garden, Eliza!

  22. Wonderful pictures, and so happy about the Monarch.

  23. Beautiful, Eliza – every photo tells a story! I haven’t seen a monarch yet, although I have lots of spicebush and yellow swallowtails. I lost most of the Asclepius over the winter and just replaced it, maybe I’ll get lucky attracting monarchs next year now that I have food for them 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      The northeast corridor for monarch migration was the hardest hit. I so hope we can turn the population around. I think it is up to us gardeners to provide the food necessary, so I’m glad you’re planting Asclepias.

  24. I love your dahlias – this is the first year I have had them survive (they look awesome). I bought a $5 hydrangea that looked sad, but it has started to grow and I think it will be money well-invested. I am hoping next year it will be gorgeous!

  25. I love anyone who has a butterfly make their day, week, month! 🙂 Such a great spirit, Eliza.

  26. Laurie Graves says:

    Monarch of the garden. What a beauty! As are all the flowers featured.

  27. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Everything is looking wonderful – particularly like that Ligularia

  28. smallsunnygarden says:

    How lovely to spot a Monarch in your garden! They show up here occasionally, but not often. (There are desert Asclepias that serve as host plants for the caterpillars, but I don’t know where to get hold of them…) And I love the shot of poppy and coneflower together. The combination may not last long, but it’s certainly a pretty one! 🙂

  29. Brian Skeys says:

    You certainly have plenty of highlights lighting up your garden Eliza. It is difficult to choose a favourite, I am though very found of dahlias.

  30. dorannrule says:

    Your garden is prolific Eliza! The Monarch is a beauty – – and I truly do love Hydrangea.

  31. Mary says:

    Fantastic butterfly shot – absolutely perfect. Lovely garden photographs ~

  32. Chris says:

    I don’t know what I am doing wrong; I cannot get the dahlias to blossom. The bottom leaves keep dying. There was one tiny bud but it never opened. I never had any luck in Fl. either. I keep trying but believe I have spend too much money for nothing. 😦

  33. Maria F. says:

    I love all of these, specially the Poppies

  34. I love this post!! All of these photos are beautiful!! So much color and life! The life all around, flowers, animals, insects…are my favorite thing about Spring & Summer. ❤ That is a beautiful butterfly! I haven’t seen one like that recently but I see small white ones occasionally, which are also beautiful. Thank you for sharing so much loveliness! 💙 😀 Very life affirming post!

  35. David says:

    I like your dahlias, I’m going to have to give some serious thought to getting some.

  36. Kathy Sturr says:

    I also spied a Monarch in my garden last week Eliza! So exciting. I think I lost my Rocket this year – haven’t seen a sign of it. We are so dry and I know it prefers a little more moisture. Sure do miss those beautiful yellow spires, but enjoy that lovely photo of yours. Something I did discover however, a nest of yellow jackets underneath my wine barrel on the driveway! I was watering it and they all swarmed out – just one little sting on my foot – but we are hiring a professional for this one. It is in too public of a space and well, I have to water. I love the sunflowers! Next year I am going to find a good place to plant a bunch even if I have to dig up a patch of grass!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yay to the Monarch sighting, notch another one for the northeast corridor!
      We have a large yellow jacket nest in the ground to the right of the front door and we’ve done two night sprayings and still haven’t got them all (Raid makes a serious jet spray) and though I don’t generally spray insects, experience has taught me that, come August, things get really ugly with those guys.
      Sunflowers are really wonderful, aren’t they? The birds love ’em. Maybe you can randomly tuck them into the backs of your sunny borders?

      • Kathy Sturr says:

        The yellow jackets are GONE … he used a spray on a long pole so he could spray up underneath – not sure what it was. Then he sprayed a spray made with chrysanthemum which I am skeptical about as 99.9% of the ingredients were “other.” If I could have rigged a spray like that, I would have used the spray I purchased in the past which is mint based – they hate mint. Then he sprayed with some sort of dust to prevent them from coming back. But anyway, it is a relief – they were quite active and we all know yellow jackets can become aggressive. He was quite a salesman – commenting on the paper wasp nest in the garage eaves and trying to tell me a harmless black ant was a carpenter ant … I had to admire him. He just didn’t know what he was up against with me ha ha. I hope you have eradicated your problematic nest by now Eliza. I would love to tuck Sunflowers into my borders but I have to tell you it is a jungle – I just don’t think they could compete to grow large from seed. I will try it, though – early, early spring because it is a great idea! Thank you.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Glad to hear the YJs are gone. Ours persist, as I’ve discovered yet another hole – this nest must be huge underground. 😦 We’ll have to give it another go at night. We need one of those extenders like that guy had!

      • Kathy Sturr says:

        Oh I wish you the best Eliza – sounds scary! He had at the end what looked like a caulk dispenser that would activate the spray.

  37. How beautiful Eliza and the monarch shot your friend took is stunning. I love to see Annabelle in the garden

  38. MK says:

    Dahlia’s are my hands-down favorite flower, although I have a very tender place in the garden of my heart for sweet peas — my Mom’s favorite.

  39. Rajagopal says:

    Thanks for your gracious like of my comment in common wp network, Eliza, and thereby connecting me to your green and floral world of hydrangeas, sunflowers and dahlias, to recap just a few. You are indeed lucky to be surrounded by home area of several acres facilitating adequate vent to your green urges. In sharp contrast, mine is just a small compound around my home which is also home to some hydrangeas, jasmines, hibiscus, roses and a few orchids, in addition to a few trees such as Graviola, Simarouba, Terminalia Arjuna and the Golden Apple. May your greening continue to flourish. Best wishes…

  40. So good that you had a Monarch visit you! It scares me that we seldom see them anymore, or the other species I used to see as well. Yours is one to celebrate 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      She has been coming every day for lunch! 🙂 Makes me wonder where she goes when she is not visiting my garden. Do monarchs make rounds like goldfinches?? 😉

      • That is a good question. And I wonder whether she should be on her way South, or whether that is for the next generation? I just saw a fat caterpillar the other day, and thought it had better hurry…

      • Eliza Waters says:

        As I recall, now through Sept. is migratory time. This one may have come from further north and is fueling up. But without tagging her, I have no way of knowing. I’m just really hoping she hatched locally, as we’ve had nothing the past few years.

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