The crowds have been sparse today: only 4 groups have stopped by today. The pond is looking pretty good and the rain refreshed the garden, but the chickens next door are the real hit so far!
Midsummer means a whole lot of flowers along with toxic levels of heat and humidity. But the monthly Bloom Day started by Carol at May Dreams Gardens gets me out of the a/c to appreciate the first! Any links below go to earlier posts showing these plants in bloom this July.
- Lizard tail (Saururus cernuus)
- Water lily
- Spotted Joe Pye weed (at top – Eupatoriadelphus maculatus)
- the towering sweet Joe Pye weed (Eupatoriadelphus purpureus)
- Annabelle hydrangea
- Oakleaf hydrangea
- Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
- Pale purple coneflower (at top, in background – Echinacea pallida)
- Orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida)
- Sweet black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)
- Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum)
- Nodding onion (Allium cernuum)
- Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
- Marsh phlox (Phlox glaberrima)
- Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
- Dill (Grandma Einck’s)
- Lavender “Blue Cushion”
- Raspberry ‘Caroline’
- Raspberry ‘Caroline’
- Serrano chiles
- Red baneberry (Actaea rubrea)
- Solomon’s plume (Maianthemum racemosum)
- Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis)
The asters aren’t in bloom yet, but I think they’ll be firing up soon…
It’s pond tour time here in Chicagoland, and I’m readying the pond for the MPKS tour in 3 weeks. Here’s information about tours that I’ve found so far:
The Midwest Pond and Koi Society pond tour is over two weekends at the end of the month: July 24-25 and July 31-August 1. Each of 4 regions around Chicago have a day dedicated to them. My pond is in the central region and thus will be open for the tour on Saturday July 24. Follow the link at the start of this paragraph to find out where to buy maps and other details.
Aquascape is having 4 mini-tours this year. Alas, the first one was last month, but there are 3 more scheduled. The next one is in Downers Grove on July 24, which can be combined easily with the central region MPKS tour.
Pond tours are fun even if you’ve never considered having a pond. You can see huge spectacular installations (including one big enough to scuba in) with award-winning koi, little urban goldfish ponds like mine, and everything in-between. There’s a whole range of gardening involved as well, so you get a garden walk in with your pond tour.
Y’all come visit! Since it’s a Saturday, I’ll have some of the Oak Park Farmer’s Market famous donuts if you come early enough in the day (and you can shop there yourself if you get to town by 1 pm).
The pond comes into its own come midsummer. The water lily covers the pond in pads and pink blossoms, although the latter are only out at midday. Lizard tail (Saururus cernuus) is taking over one corner of the pond, and is now showing lots of white pipe-cleaner-like flowers.
The pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) is not as widespread as it was last year due to my overaggressive cleaning of the pond bottom earlier in the year. I think I’ll have to live with a few leaves on the bottom of the pond until it’s warm enough for me to clean them up by hand rather than by long-handled skimmer net. Both the pickerel weed and the lizard tail are rooted in the pebbles on the bottom of the pond, which means fewer planters to tip over, but a somewhat less pristine pond bottom.
The goldfish have done a very good job cleaning up algae and bug larvae from the pond, which means they’re always ready for a snack when anyone gets near the pond. The day I took these pictures, two dragonflies (probably male Eastern Pondhawks - Erythemis simplicicollis) were darting around the pond, but never alighting near enough to pose for a portrait.