High summer is upon us, a month or so early this year it seems, with springtime bloomers already gone and summer flowers at their glorious best. Sit back and enjoy it. Lazy summer days are the well-deserved fruits of our hard work!  *

*~Saxon Holt and Nora Harlow  *

Blog Post: Lion’s Tail

The nectar-rich, bright orange, tubular flowers of lion’s tail seem specifically designed for hummingbirds and their aromatic leaves are repellent to deer. Blooming from late spring through fall, this South African native blends perfectly with many shrubs and perennials native to summer-dry climates.

Soft & Spiky Texture

The softly felted leaves of the shrubby succulent *Kalanchoe orgyalis* , coppery when new and aging to silvery gray, are stunning combined with the spiky, blue-gray leaves of the dwarf Atlas Mountains palm ( *Chamaerops humilis var. argentea* ). Both are native to semi-arid climates, the palm to the mountains of Morocco and Algeria and the kalanchoe to southwestern Madagascar. Both prefer full sun near the coast, light shade or afternoon shade inland, and good drainage.

July Summer-Dry Gardening Tip

* It’s also best to let flowers go to seed to provide fall and winter food for the many kinds of wildlife that depend on it.
* If pruning is needed, try to do it when the plant is dormant.

Some of the many plants that can be pruned this month or next include coast live oak, buckeye, carpenteria, ceanothus, garrya, fremontia, manzanita, monkeyflower, toyon, and wax myrtle. Sages and buckwheats are best left until early fall. Pines should be pruned in mid-winter.

Visit Public Gardens for Inspiration!

This is a good time to visit local botanic gardens and arboreta to see what plants look like in mid-summer. It’s also a good time to plan what you might add to your garden for next year. Ask garden staff if the plants you favor are expected to be available in their fall plant sale.

Further Inspiration on Instagram

Follow us on Instagram @summerdry.gardens where we post inspiring pics and helpful tips — or add a summer-dry image on your own IG account and tag us! We love to see what your garden looks like, too.

In the midst of tumultuous climate change, we realize it’s all the more important that gardeners be stewards of the land, attuned to the local environment on behalf of all creatures. Every small act we do adds resiliency.