While the New Jersey temps and humidity rise, watering has become a daily chore in the vegetable and container gardens. I’m also trying to keep up on the weeding but it is so hot out! I don’t enjoy weeding in the summer heat so I try to get out in the early morning or evening when the temps are a bit cooler.

Since it is hot and humid, my garden chores consist of watering, weeding, deadheading and harvesting fruits and vegetables. In July, we visit the beach a lot and spend more time together as a family so I try not to bog myself down with a lot garden stuff now.

When we are not at the beach, we spend a lot of time on the decks and at the fire pit together. With three busy teenagers, it’s great to have these outdoor spaces where we can regroup and enjoy small moments. To see these outdoor living areas see, Decorating the Deck for Summer and Outdoor Fire Pit.

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Patriotic Decor in the Garden

Since we celebrated the 4th of July this week, I decorated the gardens with some American Flags. Aside from tucking flags in here and there, I usually don’t do too much in the way of patriotic decor because we are usually away at the beach.

Patriotic Decor in the Garden
I love the red Hibiscus and American Flag combination that is sited in front of the garage.
Patriotic Decor in the Garden
For simple patriotic decor, I added a few flags to the front urns that flank the front door.
American flag in front of sedum
The American Flag paired with Sedum Autumn Joy.
mailbox garden with American flags
American Flags in the Mailbox Garden.

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Front Garden

If you read last week’s garden tour blog, you know I removed all of the Tall Phlox from the front border because it was badly affected my powdery mildew. In its place, I planted “Conefections” Cherry Fluff Echinacea, Russian Sage and Rose Mallow.

While it is best to plant a garden in spring or fall, the huge hole in the front border will drive me nuts. Therefore, I will do the work to keep these new plants alive and well in the summer heat. I’m really excited to see how the garden will look as my new garden tenants acclimate and grow in the front border.

Perennial Garden Ideas
Moonbeam Coreopsis and Butterfly Weed brighten the front walkway with hues of yellow and orange.
Perennial Garden Ideas
The Echinacea just started blooming this week! They put on quite a show in the summer border.
Flower Garden Ideas
Here is the new addition to the Front Garden: Conefections Cherry Fluff Coneflower, Russian Sage and Rose Mallow.

front garden in July

Plant Combination Ideas
Balloon Flower and Butterfly Weed
white bell flower
Balloon Flower is just starting to bloom this wee. For the first time ever, I staked them so they would not topple over and keep the garden tidy.
red front door and red flowers blooming in the garden
Bee Balm is also starting to bloom. I love this pretty fuschia…and so do the hummingbirds!
summer garden in bloom
A mix of the summer annuals I planted in spring with Coreopsis.
I just planted this Foxglove when I picked up plants to fill in the hole in the front border. It’s been a long time since I’ve planted Foxglove and am hopeful it will do better than it has in the past.

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Mailbox Garden

The Mailbox Garden is still doing really well. I added a few flags to greet visitors who stop by the house. The Daylillies that flank both sides of the bed are almost ready to bloom – hopefully by next week!

mailbox flower garden with American flag decor

mailbox flower garden in bloom with flag decor
The Daylillies were run over by someone pulling out of my driveway. Luckily, they didn’t crush the whole plant! So it will still bloom, but the foliage will look a little sad this season.
American flag in mailbox garden
Here is the Sedum I planted a few months ago. I love how it pairs with the Clematis and Petunias.

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Well Garden

The Well Garden’s orange blooms are still going strong. I am loving the Daylillies with Smoketree and Zebra Grass. It’s such a fun combination right now!

summer garden in bloom with tricycle decor
Zebra Grass, Smoketree, Moonbeam Coreopsis, Butterfly Weed, Daylillies, Petunias and Tall Phlox
summer garden in bloom
I am loving the Smoketree and Orange Daylilly Combination. The Daylillies have this reddish purple center that pairs nicely with the purple-reddish foliage of Smoketree.
callicarpa (beautyberry)
Callicarpa – AKA Beautyberry – is one of my favorite deciduous shrubs. It has these small insignificant flowers in summer, but those flowers eventually turn into bright purple berries in late fall after the foliage turns a brilliant autumnal shade in fall. If you do not have this one, see if your zone can take it because it is truly a four season plant!
moonbeam coreopsis
Moonbeam Coreopsis with Callicarpa and Daylillies.

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Backyard Gardens

I’ve been weeding the back borders little by little. Every time I go out there, I find a new small patch of Poison Ivy. Ugh! Since I’m finding it among my perennial gardens and had a really bad case last year, I recently blogged about the Best Over-the-Counter Poison Ivy Products.

Aside from finding Poison Ivy, the Blueberries are ripening so we are able to pick fresh berries every day. Blueberries are super easy to grow, but you need two varieties so they cross-pollinate. Be sure to site them in full sun and give them a year or two to develop a good root system before expecting a good harvest.

Berry and Vegetable Gardens

blueberries ripening on the vine
The Blueberries are ripe! And there is nothing like growing and picking your own fresh berries!
raspberries on the vine
The Raspberries are just starting to ripen! These berries are so sweet and delicious! My dogs love them too – I frequently find them in the brush toppling the Raspberry canes over so they can eat the fruit. LOL
strawberries on the vine
Clearly I need to purchase row covers for the Strawberries. The resident chipmunk LOVES to take ONE bite from every single ripened strawberry. Ugh!
summer garden entrance
I want to revamp this small border outside the vegetable garden. It used to have a few perennials but they petered out over the last two years.
tomatoes on the vine
Tomatoes are looking good! It’s time to pull the bolting lettuce that is sharing space in this bed.
peppers on the vine
I saw a few Jalapenos that are almost ready to harvest.

Deck Gardens

outdoor dining: rustic dining table and wicker chairs on deck
I LOVE this deck and want to be out here all the time!
wicker outdoor dining chairs under canopy with container gardens
I love to have several container gardens on the upper and lower decks. In this photo, my Caladium container is in the foreground – the recipe for it is detailed in my blog post, Container Gardening. My beautiful Philodendron is in the background on the right. For complete source information, please see my blog, Decorating the Deck For Summer.


overlooking multi-level deck dining and fireplace seating
I haven’t shown this view much. This is the view from my back slider. The lower deck is in the process of getting a small make-over. But I’ll show you what it looks like today.
outdoor fireplace with white wicker seating
Before building the fire pit, we used to use this outdoor fireplace all the time! This is a great spot to read a book or to catch a good sunset.

Backyard Border

plume poppies
The Plume Poppies are in full bloom now. The flowers are not very showy, but I love the height, texture and drama they add to the border.
adorable black Labrador retriever in the garden
While touring the borders, Koda and I noticed that a few of the Joe Pye Weed stems are laying on the ground with the leaves completely eaten. Could be deer – but could also be the resident groundhog if he pulled it down and snacked on the leaves! I’m going to spray for deer and hope it’s not the groundhog!
hostas and monarda (bee balm)
The back border looks so gorgeous this week! Shown here are Variegated hostas, Bee Balm, Joe Pye Weed, Willow, Dark Horse Wiegela and Plume Poppies.


Plow & Hearth

Final Thoughts

Do you like to decorate for the 4th of July? I would love to know what you do – please let me know in the comments. I enjoyed the flags in the gardens this year and would love to do more decorating indoors next year.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s garden tour and appreciate you joining me. If you missed a few tours or want to see how the garden has progressed, you can see them here:

Do you love to garden too? I would love to hear about it and see some photos of your gardens, no matter how big or small. Please leave your ideas, comments & more below or contact me here. Be sure to find me @bricksnblooms on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram! And feel free to tag me on any photos you post so I can enjoy your garden too!

Thank you for following along and touring the gardens with me. Happy planting – enjoy your day! xo

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