Some of the annuals, especially the vinca and the salvia, are bravely blooming like crazy in their heatstruck pots, but some plants are showing signs of fatigue. The shrubs are holding up well, however, and the tall white panicles of the Hydrangea paniculata tardiva are still quite showy.
This is the peak time for a visitor to the garden who doesn't mind full sun, blazing heat, and high humidity: the butterflies! A friend of mine lives in the western part of the Carolinas border in an old apple orchard where she gardens extensively. She sent me the photos I'm including in today's post. Thanks, Viv!
I've always loved butterflies for their colorful patterns, their grace, their reminder of the precious but brief gift of life itself. There are lots of plants that attract butterflies to a garden. Butterfly bushes, for example, of the genus Buddleia are wonderful for bringing them in with their long slender clusters of purple or blue blossoms.
Of course, back when my husband and I were still nimble enough to keep them from jumping over the fence, we used to take the cats into the garden and they loved to chase butterflies. But the butterflies are very quick and the cats were usually disappointed after a brief but exciting moment or two of pursuit.
One time David and I saw a Giant Swallowtail in a nature preserve on vacation. It looks just like the Tiger but very very large and impressive.
Some of the same annuals that attract butterflies also attract hummingbirds: salvia, petunias, fuschias, callibrachoas, as well as perennials like lilies and the dropmore scarlet honeysuckles, among others.
Butterflies are the incarnation of summer delight, aren't they? Do you have butterflies in your garden?