What’s blooming in the area: Apache plume, Illinois bundle flower, lance-leaf yellow brush, datura, buffalo gourd, stickleaf, white evening primrose, velvetweed, wild lettuce, hawkweed, horseweed, white sweet clover, golden hairy aster, Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrod, bigleaf globeflower, purple mat, bindweed, goat head, toothed spurge, rose of Sharon, purple phlox, daylily, roses, sweet pea, faded bouncing Bess, heavenly blue morning glory, pink evening primrose, trumpet creeper, silverlace vine, redtop and muhly ring grass, farmer's sunflower, pumpkin. Corn in most gardens has tasseled, color is visible in some apple orchards.
What’s blooming in my garden, looking north: Black eyed Susan, blanket flower, golden spur columbine, lance-leaf coreopsis, chocolate flowers, perky Sue, Hartweg evening primrose, fern-leaf yarrow, Mexican hat, yellow cosmos, creeping zinnia.
Looking east: Biennial yellow evening primrose, garlic chives, California poppy, winecup, floribunda (Fashion), small and large flowered soapworts, pink bachelor button, coral beardtongue, hollyhock, Shirley poppy, sweet alyssum.
Look south: Zinnia, crimson rambler morning glory, sensation cosmos, blaze, rugosa and rugosa hybrid (Elisio) roses.
Look west: Perennial four o’clock, purple coneflower, white spurge, frikarti aster, lead plant, catmint, blue flax, sea lavender, Russian sage, purple ice plant, caryopteris.
Bedding plants: Dalhburg daisies, marigolds, sweet alyssum, snapdragons, petunias, profusion zinnia, supersweet 100 tomato. First tomato visible.
Animal sightings: Brown birds have nest on other side of fence, either in Russian olive or metal building; pair of hummingbirds; quail family; ants; dragonfly; rust colored grasshopper with wings; bees in caryopteris, catmint and golden aster.
Weather: Rainy, but no rain. Smell of sweet alyssum and chocolate flower strong yesterday from humidity. Leaves of young globe willow turned brown Friday; they hadn’t been watered since the first rains and could no longer survive on promises that are flooding Albuquerque.
Weekly update: Roses of Sharon are blooming in town. A woman raised in southeastern Ohio once told me she associated them with the end of summer, because when they bloomed it wasn’t long before school started.
Here, midsummer arrived a week ago Thursday, July 20. When I walked around the house in the morning I found the first zinnia, creeping zinnia and morning glory flowers. The sensation cosmos, still short, showed all three colors, and buds were visible on marigolds and yellow cosmos.
By last Sunday, there were flowers on a catchfly, an annual baby’s breath and a mauve love-in-the mist. On Tuesday, a pink bachelor button opened, on Wednesday the yellow cosmos and a blue love-in-mist on Thursday. Today, the first annual candytuft appeared. The nigella seeds were planted last year, the others this spring.
Seed grown annuals are replacing the perennials of early summer, the roses and hollyhocks, daylilies and sweet peas, that now bloom only where conditions are good or growers attentive. In my garden, the columbine and coreopsis will soon disappear; the flax has lasted longer than usual.
The changing of the guard came almost one month after the solstice and about two weeks after our first, and so far only, real rain. I don’t know if the change is caused by the changing location of the sun or the presence of water, if both are needed, or if the water in the air matters or the water in the ground.
After the rain, golden eye germinated and sunflowers started to grow. Both produced spring seedlings that had gone dormant. Yesterday, someone near the village had large, single sunflowers hanging over the wall.
Other sunflowers are beginning to bud. The Maximillans are growing about a foot a week, and are now taller than the fence. Some tahokia daisies and native helianthus have their first, preflorescent flowers.
Alas, pigweed and Russian thistle follow the same pattern, and pigweed is especially prevalent, about 2' high, along the road. A week ago Friday my neighbor cut his to the ground and removed the cuttings; there were back 2" high Tuesday night. Goat heads sprout every day.
Two days after my first flourish of annuals, yellow evening primroses were scattered in the village and along the main road. By last Saturday, wild lettuce filled some fields while white evening primroses appeared along the road nearer my house. Bigleaved globeflowers are now 3' high and beginning to bloom daily.
This change of seasons is disguised in many gardens by modern hybrids. Tea roses flower all summer if they’re happy. Bedding plants can bloom from the day they’re transplanted.
If one depended on seeds, there would be little from June until the cosmos and zinnias. Many years, there would nothing but trumpet creeper in July.
It’s a Hobson choice which is better, the garden filled with reliable color all season or the one that follows the seasons and weather alternating periods of dormancy with bursts of excitement.