June was warm with some heavy downpours which meant that long stints of heavy garden work had to be restricted to just a few morning hours. One of the best parts of summer though is an early morning walk through the garden to see what new things have arrived. The shrub bed that I put in earlier in the year is doing well but needs a few years before it is filled out, so it has lots of space for annuals. Rather than dainty little masses of flowers, I put in some tall sunflowers which reach as high as the shrubs and fill in the center of the bed. This year I grew the new Procut Plum sunflower that has strong thick stems to hold up against storms and lots of great blooms. Another great flower that holds its own in the shrub garden are the cannas. The bright red Canna Americana started blooming just this past week and is great in masses or against an evergreen background.

Procut Plum Sunflower

Red Canna

The vegetables are still holding their own with lots of flowers on the beans and corn is at the tassel stage. Alas the first tomatoes fell to a critter that is, as yet, unknown. It chewed the top of the plant and took bits out of the still-green tomatoes. I have two culprits in mind – the eastern lubber grasshopper which has a voracious appetite or a raccoon/groundhog type animal. Fortunately, the next tomatoes are coming ripe and I have a cloth handy to wrap the plant at night. More successful are the cucumbers that are still growing but looking good. I am tempted to wrap these too before they get taken by nature! The eggplant is next door to the cucumber (both in containers as we didn’t move into the house until March) and looking very healthy with the first few flowers just coming out.

Cucumber

Eggplant flower

When I finally had time to make a raised bed and fill it, it was too late for most vegetables but not too late for a second sowing of sweet corn and green beans. These are both up and growing and should be about a month behind the first crop. I am not concerned about the corn cross pollinating as these are the same variety, but it was planted long enough after the first corn to avoid issues if it were different. Of course, all these veggies need lots of pollinators and the abelia hedge is still flowering and helping to attract bugs big and little.

Second sowing of beans and sweet corn

Bee on Abelia