Thankfully, recent thunderstorms have somewhat renewed the garden’s vigor, though the standard for the summer garden is low. There are numerous flowers and uncountable pollinators. Alone, the wide spreading patch of mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum, below) invites so many of a variety of bees that butterflies cautiously steer clear.
Swallowtails feast on the last of the blooms of bottlebrush buckeyes (Aesculus parviflora, above), and white and pink summersweets (Clethra alnifolia, below) that are just beginning to fade. Both buckeyes and summersweets thrive in sun and partial shade, and in damp and bone dry soils. These are not beautiful shrubs outside their short period of bloom, but that is not a requirement in this garden. In summer, pollinator friendly flowers are preferred.
Panicled hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata Little Lime, below) are at peak bloom, though several partially shaded seedlings will be a bit later. Seedlings growing in close proximity to neighboring shrubs must be pruned annually to control their vigorous growth, but these flower on the new spring growth so flowering is not diminished. The hydrangea are not pollinator favorites, but their large flowers are welcomed in the summer garden.