Here, the case of summertime blues is a minor annoyance, not nearly as disappointing as thunderstorms that tantalize then regularly bypass the garden. The shade in much of the garden is a splendid benefit, not only in the heat of summer, and despite the inherent difficulty in growing flowers, I would not give up the shade for a sunnier plot.
Despite bouts of extreme temperatures, somewhat regular thunderstorms are adequate to prevent the garden from descending into a summertime lull. I suspect the appearance could be improved by deadheading spent blooms of hydrangeas, and this also stimulates reflowering of remontant types, but this is not likely to become a part of my gardening routine.
With one bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora, above) in shade and two more recently planted in part sun, I’ve discovered that buckeye is a magnet for swallowtail butterflies, in particular in more sun. All grow vigorously, and with one in dry shade and two in damp sun, this again shows the versatility of this shrubby tree.
With buckeyes delayed in flowering by a week or two so that blooms were fully enjoyed following an annual absence from the garden, swallowtails will transition immediately to Joe Pye weeds that are coming into bloom. I’ve planted the more compact ‘Little Joe’ (Eutrochium purpureum ‘Little Joe’, above), but I presume that scattered seedlings (below) will grow much taller. Two variegated leaf Joe Pye were recently planted in damp soil that promotes growth, but does not discourage deer that twice cut growth by half earlier in spring. All are considerably fuller and a foot or more shorter than in years before deer took a liking to them.
Curiously, one of two butterfly weeds (Asclepias incarnata, below) failed to survive, despite the absence a year ago of heavy infestations of aphids that annually followed flowering. I expect a seedling or two will fill this void. Many more bees than butterflies visit these blooms, and rarely are Monarchs seen.