Cottage Garden In July – Part 1

Our gardens were designed using "garden rooms".  My garden is small, and the creation of rooms creates a sense of space and mystery.

85% of our garden is 80% shade, but there is one section that receives full sun..  I'm sharing my Early July Sun Garden Room.  The sun garden is outside our main living area and our South side kitchen windows. It is long, about 35 ft and narrow, about 9 feet.

This garden section is actually over the original driveway...but I wanted a garden instead.  Grass grows well over the driveway.

Sun Garden

Our sun garden begins at the gate, the sign means "the garden of the house".   I'll swing open the gate to expose what lies behind.

Sun Garden

Starting on the right side of the gate/arbor...

Sun Garden Room

This is looking back toward the starts with an arbor that has Porcelain Berry Vine growing on it.

porcelain berry vine

If you're looking for a fast growing vine for partial or full sun this fits the bill.  This vine will cover your trellis in one summer.   It's beautifully variegated and produces beautiful berries in the fall that your birds will love.   Be careful, the birds will bomb dive to get the berries, so  make sure it is not in front of windows.

Coreoposis - Tickweed

Next to the arbor is perennial, Coreoposis, common name Tickweed.  This Coreopsis is a mix of yellow/cranberry.  Coreoposis is tolerant of many different soil types. This is an easy, low care perennial.

Chocolate Joe Pye Weed

In the background is Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate', common name: Chocolate Joe Pye Weed.

I grow this Joe Pye Weed because it's leaves/stems have chocolate-purple tones and has a dwarf habit of 3.5-4' and spread of 3'. It blooms in late summer with white flowers which can be used for cutting. This plant grows anywhere in any condition.  It is a heavy reseeder and acts like a perennial (comes back every year).

In front of the Joe Pye Weed is a Rudbeckia which has not done well in my garden in IL this year.  It has thrived here for 10 years, but this year I have lost 90% of it.  I think it might of been too wet!

Behind the birdbath are one of my most favorite plants...

Filipendula rubra

Filipendrum rubra, a perennial, common name Queen of the Prairie....I love this plant, it is really cool.  The photo is just as it is starting to bloom, when in full bloom it has spectacular corymbs.  It grown 5 to 8 feet tall, so a good selection for the back of your border for height.  It has no problem being in wet conditions, rather likes it.  It's native in IL and has been put on the endangered list  because it has trouble pollinating.

They must not have been to  my yard, I started with one plant and now have over 2o, not including ones I've given away?

In front of the birdbath are 3 day Lilies.

Day Lilly

They are yellow with cranberry centers.  Do you know how day lily got it's name?  It's because each bloom only lasts one day!  I really don't like day lilies, and this is the only yellow one I have.  I think they are more of a "landscape" flower than a garden flower.  Just my opinion.

Wicker Head Board and PorcelainBerry Vine

The photos keep moving right in the garden.  I often use wicker headboards for trellises in my garden. I find them at garage sales and GW for cheap.   Growing up the trellis is another porcelain berry vine, which re-seeded to this area from the entry arbor.

The yellow plant in front of wicker trellis is an annual Helianthus, common name common sunflower.

Helianthus - Annual Sunflower

It is a very heavy re-seeder, this means that it acts like a perennial since it reseeds heavily enough to come back every year.  With one plant I have over 10 in my yard.  I just love freebies!  It gets about 3' tall and blooms throughout the summer with deadheading.

You can see several in the photo above, I just let them come up where they do!

Nepeta - Catmint

The other front plant is Nepata, common name Catmint.  This is a very invasive plant.  I started with 1 plant and it spreads all over my garden.  I'm constantly pulling it out.  I keep 1 for our "Little One" and she goes nuts over it.

Sun Garden

Nepata in front of container.

In front is a long row of Stachys byzantina, common Lambs Ear.  It's a low growing spreader, and readily multiplies, started with one plant, now have enough for long row on both sides in the sun garden.

The leaves are fuzzy, pale and silvery green foliage.  Grown for their foliage and have a great soft feel to the leaves. These are great for a child's garden!

Flower Container

One of my 32 plant containers.

Sun Garden

In this area, the blue...


plant is Delphinium, common name Larkspur.   They like cooler temps and adequate moisture.  They will re-bloom with deadheading. A spectacular flowers.   You might not have known that Delphinium is toxic to humans and livestock.


Liatris, common name Blazing Star or Gayfeather.  Grows 2 to 4 feet, July to August.  Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Somewhat tolerant of poor soils, but prefers moist, fertile ones and generally performs better in moist soils. Intolerant of wet soils in winter. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity.

Sun Garden

Another container.  The pink flowers behind the container are the annual Cleome flower.

Cleome can reach heighs of 4-5 feet and I love this annual, great blooms all summer long and hardy.

Cleome Flower

Cleone is also a good re-seeder so can have plants next year.


In the background are 3 Agastache, blue fortune, common  name: Hyssop.   It is a flower that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, and goldfinches love the seed. Did you know the scented leaves on Agastache are wonderful for flavoring drinks and drying?  The flower spikes bloom are season and are drought tolerant.

Moving farther down are

Queen's Anne Lace

One of my  most favorite annual is Daucus carota, common name: Queen Anne's Lace.  Another common name is Wild Carrot.  This beautiful white flower would be seen in English Cottage Gardens and was given it's name for it's flowers lacy texture. It's a biennial and is related to the carrot.  If you pull the plant out and smell it's root you will smell carrot.

Queen Anne's Lace

This close up show the lacy texture of Queen Anne's Lace.  They re-seed easily and blow in different direction in your garden by the wind.  If you have one plant you will not need to buy another.  If anyone would like some seeds let me know.

I'm only half way through the garden's side...and I think this post is long enough.  So I will continue in another post.

Hope you garden is doing well and sharing her beauty with you.

Savvy Southern Style



  1. Cathy,

    Your garden is beautiful, vibrant, and of course, charming!! Your hard work is evident everywhere, as everything is blooming so wonderfully. I love all the cottage-y style features and would sit here as long as my schedule allows, and even in the scorching heat of the midday sun!


  2. Thank you for the tour of your garden and for sharing all your knowledge with us today! You've introduced me to a few new plants that I'd like to incorporate into my own garden next year. I love all the blue flowers!

  3. Diva Kreszl says:

    Such a beautiful delightful garden...thank you for taking us on a stroll through your space!!! As a gardener myself I can appreciate all the hard work it takes to maintain this gorgeous 'natural garden'!!!!!

  4. Beautiful! So many great plants! You've definitely triggered the desire to go to the garden center today!

  5. I was trying to remember all the names of the plants I love and I lost track...everything is beautiful! And this is only the small sunny part of your garden! I know why you you have so much work on your hands but it's totally worth it. This is a dream garden! :)

    Jane xx

  6. What a beautiful garden you've created, Cathy! The colors and textures are just amazing. You truly have an artist's eye and a gardener's green thumb!

    xoxo laurie

  7. Oh, my goodness!

    I am in love with your garden space! Now that you got your husband to take you on a long weekend, don't you want to come to California and help me create a beautiful garden?

    I have two factors that are keeping me from having a garden as gorgeous as yours - a dog who still digs up flowers (although she is getting better) and the California drought.

    Oh, I do have garden envy!!!!!

  8. Absolutely breathtaking ! Love it!

  9. Oh my goodness does your garden GROW! It is so delightful and boy you have left me in the dust with your amazing knowledge of plants! I just plant 'em and pray!
    What a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the summer...fabulous job!
    XO Barbara

  10. JaneEllen says:

    Your garden is exquisite Cathy. You are so knowledgeable about so many plants. Would Queen Anne's lace grow here I wonder, very hot and dry here, plus our soil is hard to grow anything in, alot of alkali all over. Your climate is good for growing many things people here can't grow unless they know how to amend the soil.
    I keep telling my husband plants won't even grow if he continues to use old seeds and old (last years or year before) potting/garden soil, am I wrong about that? He was born/raised on farm so thinks he knows all about planting but every year nothing grows, they die if they even peek out over top of soil.
    I'm not a gardener at all but some of my container plants are doing well, I keep them in partial shade most of day. They're on front porch which faces East so it's hot out there but gets shady in afternoon. Been having to water (alot of wind blows almost constantly) almost every day. Also think buying cheap soil doesn't accomplish anything, not saving if plants die but hubs won't listen.
    Since our back yard is nothing but weeds growing prolifically I hoped if we planted some kind of ground cover eventually weeds would be choked out and have at least a nice ground cover instead of dandelions and some kind of vine/weed that grows/spreads like wildfire. How come weeds live and spread so well? They've been saying on news that weeds are very bad this year (and last year and one before, etc. )
    Do you have a Lavender festival there? We have one going on this weekend in Palisade (town to north east of G.J.). Palisade is home to several wineries and peach orchards among other fruits. They have farmers mkt on Sunday mornings. There's a farmer's mkt in G.J. on Thursday nights and one in Fruita on Saturday mornings. Fruita is bedroom community town just 6 miles east of us. Used to be small town but has grown so much, many people moved to Fruita from Southern CA. Have you lived in IL all your life?
    How do you do all that work in your garden after being laid up last year, not too hard on you? Is it very humid where you live in IL? Don't work too hard, have some fun. Happy summer days

  11. I would love some queen annes lace. Do you sell the seeds or how can I get some. I would plant them in my wildflower garden that I am trying to establish by the road. They are so pretty. Your garden is so interesting as well as pretty. I like to use repurposed things too.We just did some remodeling and so I have some great windows to decorate and maybe next year I can put them outside.

  12. Your gardens are absolutely gorgeous! I love your blue gate, too. I just discovered tickseed last summer - have some growing. So easy to grow and cheerful. My flowers are all yellow though, not two colors like yours. Queen Anne's Lace is pretty, but did you know it's an invasive species?

  13. Hi Cathy,

    Definitely a charming garden. I love the way you've mixed in wild flowers like Queen Anne's and Joe Pye weed.

  14. What a delight!! These plants look so healthy and happy. The pictures say that the plants are being taken care of well.


  15. Oh Cathy, your garden is just so beautiful! It makes me miss mine so much! It would take so much moving of rock for me to create a new garden at our new home :-( I will just have to keep coming back to enjoy yours!! Thank you for sharing your gardening talent at the party this week! I will be featuring this post on my Facebook page today and have pinned it to the You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday board on Pinterest!

    • Move a rock a day, and then after how much time? you'll be able to garden again, whenever all the rocks have been moved! thank, you for the Facebook page feature.

  16. Great job of organizing and designing your space... looks to be very inviting! Larry

  17. You garden is absolutely stunning. It's so beautiful and peaceful looking!
    Have a lovely day, Kim

  18. Love your sweet cottage garden! I need to get some larkspur seed again for next year... loving all your blues! Thanks for sharing your lovely post at Home Sweet Garden Party! You are on of this weeks featured posts! I hope you can join us again this week too! It will be open this afternoon at 4pm! {} Hugs...Brooke

  19. This takes my breath away! Beautiful. Pinned. Hugs! Lou Lou Girls

  20. Oh, Cathy, your garden is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features tonight at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link to the party. Hope to see you again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  21. I love to garden and recently visited the St. Louis Botanical Gardens that you can find two parts on my blog. Your garden is so charming and lovely. Thanks for the tour.

  22. Truly beautiful~ a work of art!

  23. Your garden is awesome - love the pops of blue and the gorgeous flowers! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  24. Your garden is just soooo lovely.........I'd like to sit a spell out
    Bet you are really enjoying it, all sort of beautiful flowers, love it.
    I just saw some queen anne's lace flowers in N. C. and they were growing
    wild and just gorgeous. That is neat you only need one.
    All the varied colors make your garden very much a cottage garden.
    Blessings, and hope I get to catch part 2.

  25. Hi Cathy, your sun garden is gorgeous! I too create garden rooms. I think they are ever so inviting. I love the wicker headboard as a trellis. I almost bought one at a thrift a couple months ago and talked myself out of it. Now I am regretting it. lol! I have Nepetia planted as a border along my herb garden. I am always pulling them out and just keeping the single border. Sure does look pretty when it blooms. Thanks for sharing with SYC.


  1. […] Yesterday I shared our Early July Sun Garden Part One. […]

  2. […] you missed Part 1 or Part 2, just […]

  3. […] we leave the Sun Garden Room an arbor with a huge Wisteria growing guards the opening of the Secret Garden Pond area and sitting […]

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