Top Ten July Blooms.

My favourite July blooms are dahlias and agapanthus, but these beauties deserve posts of their own instead of being bundled in with the also-rans. So coming up soon will be posts about my ‘seashore garden’ where the agapanthus live and the ‘Henri Rousseau’ garden where all my fabulous dahlias create a jungle effect. But today’s list has some lovely blooms too.

Let’s start with fragrance and I think it is worth battling lily beetles and killing them gruesomely each day to enjoy these beauties. My favourite is the amazing ‘Silk Road’. It is an ‘Orientpet’ lily, that is a cross between Oriental and Trumpet lilies. It is a giant, growing to 180 cm. It has huge gloriously fragrant flowers. I love it and next year I shall have it growing in extravagant abundance.

Lilium ‘Silk Road’

Growing in my jungle, I have, appropriately enough, ‘African Queen’ which is an Asiatic trumpet lily in a gorgeous soft apricot.

Lilium ‘African Queen’

In my secret garden I have two lilies in bloom at the moment, one is another apricot one, at least she is white with apricot centres spotted with brown, she has lovely reflexed petals and gorgeous stamens. ‘Lady Alice’ is a real aristocrat.

Lilium ‘Lady Alice’

Also in the secret garden I have another orientpet lily but not such a giant as ‘Silk Road’. It has the unromantic name of ‘Leslie Woodriff’.

Lilium ‘Leslie Woodriff’

In a border I have the deepest, darkest lily imaginable called ‘Night Flyer’.

Lilium ‘Night Flyer’

Talking about flying, I have a new Asiatic lily here called ‘Pink Flight’.

Lilium ‘Pink Flight’

I found it impossible to pick out just one lily for my top ten blooms but if I carry on like this and show you all the clematis and all the different jasmine we will be here all day, and so I will make it snappy and select just one of each. This is difficult specially with the clematis because now is the time for the lovely texensis and viticella hybrids which I adore. But still I will choose just one viticella and it is the gorgeous Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’. Here it is looking great in my secret garden.

Moving swiftly on, although it seems very rude to ignore the beautiful Clematis ‘Betty Corning’, let’s look at the fabulously named Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’ It bears an abundance of large blooms which are in fact just the colour of clotted cream and I chose to feature this one because I pass it every time I go to the greenhouse and it smells divine, although it doesn’t look good all year round like my golden leaved one, Jasminum officinale ”Fiona’s Surprise’.

Jasminum offiicinale ‘Clotted Cream’

Another deliciously fragrant climber is Trachelospermum and I have a golden- leaved one and a pink flowered one, but today I will just show you the one scrambling up the wall and trying to creep in the windows. It is Trachelospermum jasminoides and as well as the glorious fragrance, its leaves turn red in winter. It is sometimes called Star Jasmine but this is misleading because although it has starry flowers it is not a jasmine at all

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Fragrance is another feature of my number five bloom. It is the Mount Etna broom and when mature it makes a light, airy tree with yellow pea-like flowers. Genista aetnensis is endemic to Sicily and also Sardinia where it grows in poor, stony soil. I have it in my gravel garden. Here it is with the pink, bushy Diascia personata.

Genista aetnensis

And now for something completely different and rather rare. Echium webbii is endemic to the Canary Islands where it is restricted to the Island of La Palma. It is rarely seen for sale here and I am grateful to my lovely friend Maggie for this gorgeous plant. It also grows in my gravel, but is is quite tender so it spent its first year in the greenhouse and survived last winter in the garden under a blanket of several layers of fleece. I have read that it is biennial, but I have also read that it survives for several years although it is short lived. But never mind, it is easy from cuttings. This year it is flowering for the first time and I am thrilled with it. The flowers are a beautiful shade of blue and the bees love it too. You have probably seen the soaring spires of Echium pininana. but Echium webbi is a rounded and shrubby.

Echium webbii

I have another shrub which I don’t think is particularly rare but most visitors don’t recognise it. It is Bupleurum fruticosum and it comes from sunny hills and rocky places in the Mediterranean. I imagine it would make a good seaside plant. I love umbellifers and this plant has umbels of sulphur yellow flowers which look like little buttons. It has attractive foliage so it looks good all year round. It is a great plant for pollinators, although I am not sure about the ones here; a wasp and suspicious looking beetles which will probably wreak havoc somewhere when they have finished sunning themselves. I have often been asked for a piece of this plant but so far I have had no success with cuttings.

Bupleurum fruticosum
Bupleurum fruticosum

I love apricot coloured flowers and I love mallows so Sphaeralacea ambigua is a winner for me and it is such a gorgeous soft apricot which looks perfect with Kniphofia ‘Timothy’ and the giant grass Stipa Gigantea.

Sphaeralcea ambigua
Sphaeralcea ambigua

I love the elegant spires of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’ and I don’t know why I only have one plant, I would like to have the pointy fingers popping up all over the garden.

Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Facination’

I will finish with a hydrangea and this time I am happy not to show all the ones I grow because most of them are not to be boasted about, the poor things struggle. I don’t know why I persist with them when it is really too dry for them here. But I do have one which is happy because it is lucky to live in one of the damper parts of the garden. It was a cutting which I brought from my old garden and I love it for its clusters of tiny flowers. It is called Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’. I read somewhere that they are slightly fragrant but I have never got round to sniffing them. Ayesha is pretty in pink but I suppose in an acid soil she would be lilac or even blue.

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’

So here are my July beauties, please join me and show us some of yours. In the meantime I am sorry to miss out so many lovely July flowers so I am going to put a few of them in a gallery.

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31 Responses to Top Ten July Blooms.

  1. Jackie Knight says:

    They are all just fabulous, Loved the apricot mallow.

  2. Jo Shafer says:

    Wow! Such a delightful variety! I do miss the jasmines from the South. A star jasmine climbed up the post of our front entry in Orlando, and cape jasmine grew under the kitchen window of my Mother’s house in Pensacola. I wonder if a jasmine would grow out here in Yakima, in a protected place?

  3. Pauline says:

    So many gorgeous blooms! Loved Kniphofia Timothy with Sphaeralacea ambigua, stunning combination. My Hydrangea Ayesha is now lilac coloured on my slightly acid soil.
    My offering –

  4. Kris P says:

    As always, you have a glorious range of blooms. I adore lilies but they do poorly here, although I have one noID variety I received as a gift with purchase that’s returned for several years, making me want to push my luck and order more lily bulbs to try. Your ‘African Queen’ is magnificent! Echium webbii was short-lived by comparison to other Echium here but my first one held on for 3 years. It didn’t respond well to pruning so I replaced it this year. A California mail order nursery routinely offers it but I’ll try growing it from a cutting next time as I do love it. I haven’t seen flowers this year yet but then it’s a late summer/early fall bloomer here.

    • Chloris says:

      Lilies would be worth a try even if they only last for one season. I remember you had an Echium webbii, you never see it here. I have taken lots of cuttings as I know they are short lived.

  5. Wow, I do love Lilies and yours are gorgeous. All of them, could not chose a favorite. I wondered about the Echium for my extraordinarily well drained sand – but if Kris has it, I usually can’t! I had similar hydrangea issues in my former garden. The Oakleaf (H. quercifolia) would grow when the macrophyllas wouldn’t (only at the bottom of a slope)

    • Chloris says:

      I love lilies although lily beetle is a constant problem here. I should have thought Echium webbii would grow for you and you wouldn’t have to mollycoddle it with fleece blankets. I grow Hydrangea quercifolia in a pot and it’s OK, but not wonderful.

      • Oddly, Easter Lilies do really well here?! A friend has a huge mass of them. It is funny what will grow here versus California. I think Hydrangeas are a lot harder to site successsfully than most people.

  6. in says:

    the Ayesha are so unique!

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    Gorgeous selection, Liz! I tell people about your garden all the time because I so admire your unusual collection of beautiful plants. Truly inspirational!

    • Chloris says:

      Oh thank you Eliza, what a lovely thing to say. I do like to try and have something special to enjoy all year round so that there is something to enjoy every month.

  8. tonytomeo says:

    Mount Etna broom would worry me. Three species of broom have naturalized here, and are some of the most aggressively invasive exotics now. I many have seen Mount Etna broom in Monterey, but did not know what it was. It was awesome, but still concerned me. I would grow it if I got the chance, but would watch for seedlings.

    • Chloris says:

      Mount Etna broom is my favourite, it is so light and airy. There is no problem with seedlings cropping up here, it never happens. I don’t know why, because it does have seeds.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Perhaps it lacks a specific pollinator that lives only within its natural range. Some species of yucca have potential to be invasive, but are not in some regions because each species relies on a very specific moth for pollination. Without it, there is no seed.

  9. Ohhh, that apricot S.A. I am going to look for that.

  10. Pingback: Some of the Best July Blooms | Rambling in the Garden

  11. Cathy says:

    What gorgeous lilies, Chloris – are they in the ground, or in pots? I must try some different types but they would have to be in pots any in the ground have just not thrived. Which would you recommend for reliability? Bupleurum fruticosum looks a useful plant – how tall does it grow? Your echium is amazing, as is the veronicastrum – I remember seeing drifts of this at Wisley one year. Thanks for sharing and for hosting – my July blooms are at

    • Chloris says:

      I plant the lilies in the ground and they come back each year. I don’t know about Silk Road and Pink Flight as they are new. I don’t have much success with Martagon lilies though.. The trumpet lilies don’t get attacked quite so badly by the dreaded beetle. My Bupleurum is about 4ft tall, it needs quite a bit of room. Thanks for joining in again this month Cathy.

      • Cathy says:

        And I read somewhere that Asiatic lilies are less attractive to lily beetles…pah! Not true 😉 Unless they really do arrive in swarms on any lilies other than trumpet and Asiatic ones…

  12. bittster says:

    What a fantastic show, the lilies, that clematis, and I can just imagine the scents that waft through your garden! My ‘SilkRoad’ shriveled up and died back to the ground about a month ago after deciding a late freeze and then a dry spring were just not worth sticking around for. My fingers are crossed he returns next year, as well as all the lilium regale which did the same.
    That echium is really something!

  13. Cathy says:

    You have fabulous flowers all year round, but July is even more floriferous! I love your lilies… I have been put off growing them for life by the yucky beetles. And the Echium is rather special. We have a wild Echium grow here which I grew in my garden for a few years but it eventually disappeared.

  14. snowbird says:

    Your suspicious beetles are common red soldier beetles, I don’t see them in my garden but always on wildflowers when out and about on walks. I don’t know if they are a pest or not.
    Goodness, as always it’s just breathtaking seeing what you have in bloom. I honestly love everything, especially African Queen and Lady Alice. Scrumptious they are. Such an unusual clematis and Echium webbi is stunning.

  15. Wonderful blooms. I love all your lilies, especially ‘African Queen’. The blue Echium is also delightful.

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