These are some of our favorite summer flowers picked fresh and isolated in their own miniature found glass jar. Each is a perfect specimen. Blooming in the July garden and ready for flower arranging are Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’, Asclepias tuberosa, Leucanthemum ‘Becky’, Hypericum ‘Kolmoran’, Asclepias tuberosa ‘Hello Yellow’, Echinacea ‘Tiki Torch’, Allium ‘Hair’, Echinacea purpurea ‘Fragrant Angel’, Echinacea x ‘Evan Saul’, Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’, Verbena bonariensis, and Hemerocallis ‘Buttered Popcorn’.
It’s been a banner year for currants. From just a few plants in the front yard garden we have enjoyed a bounty of these tiny tart fruits. Maybe it’s all of the rain we have had this summer or maybe after three years the shrubs have decided to flourish.
The pink currants are sweet enough to eat fresh and we’ve enjoyed snacking on them or tossing into fruit smoothies.
The red currants are tart and best for jelly or jam. This year we stripped the currants from their stems, cooked them, put them through a food mill, added sugar and made beautiful jam. (You are getting some for Christmas this year!)
We love easy to grow zinnias in the kitchen garden. It’s a perfect match- annual flowers planted with annual vegetables. Every year we plant a border of the low zinnias in the raised beds. This year we chose Double Strawberry Zahara zinnias for heat tolerance and disease resistance. No need to dead-head either.
Once upon a time the fashionable winter garden was a boring line of evergreen spheres. We were afraid of brown and tan and golden flax. We were afraid to see a plant at rest or at the end of its lifecycle. Deciduous hollies (ilex verticillata), limelight hydrangeas (hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’), and switch grass (panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’) are some of my favorite plants for texture, movement and color in the winter garden. You can still plant evergreens, but just a few.