Storey staffers and friends share scenes from summer gardens.

What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, we were feeling the effects of drought on plant, animal, and humans alike. This year, we’ve had rain so often and in such big amounts that we’re floating — sometimes literally:

Flooding in Debbie Surdam’s backyard, brought on by torrential rains over July 4th weekend.

But with the earth thoroughly quenched, our gardens are beginning to rejoice amidst the mud. Lilies are lords of the land in July, from here to Norway (as you’ll see), berries are bursting, and towering flowers like hollyhocks and foxgloves are reaching great heights. This early summer onslaught has me hungry for the sunflowers, dahlias, and zinnias I started from seed and tuber that are now full of late summer promise. But I’m not rushing things, no, no, not I. Patience, grasshopper. What’s blooming where you are? — Emily Spiegelman, Digital Features Editor

Kristy MacWilliams, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Swallowtail caterpillar on dill plant

Leek flower

Rose bud

Blackcaps (black raspberries)

Sarah Armour, Duxbury, Massachusetts

Rugosa rose

Rugosa rose

Heather Tietgens, Stamford, Vermont


Begonia in bloom


David Morrison, Lenox Dale, Massachusetts

The columbine have loved all the rain this year. These beauties (Granny’s Bonnet) grew over 2 feet high!

Debbie Surdam, Hoosick, New York

Roses blooming

Stargazer lily


Andrea Herbst, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

From the Bridge of Flowers

This bumble bee has the whole flower to itself

Hydrangea with a lone blue bachelor’s button


Emily Spiegelman, Wendell, Massachusetts

Not yet a sunflower, but the promise of one.

These hollyhocks are almost as tall as I am, and so dark a shade of purple, they’re nearly black.

I have no idea what these are, but we have a huge clump of them in the backyard and they’re some of my favorite summer blooms.

My alliums are new to the garden and just blooming — already a hit with little pollinators.

And of course, there’s bee balm.

Carolyn Eckert, Florence, Massachusetts

Bee balm

The first blueberries are coming in on my recent acquisition.

Carleen Madigan, Loon Lake, New York


Anne Guest, North Adams, Massachusetts




Michal Lumsden, Plainfield, Massachusetts

Shasta daisies

Asiatic lily stamen and pistil


Asiatic lily and ant

Butterfly weed

MaryAnn Nøbben, Norway

Jacob’s Ladder — smells heavenly!

My garden is ablaze with color.

Notice the potato plant, grown from just the root of last year’s potato —
an experiment to see if we get any potatoes from it.

Deb Burns, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Just in Thyme

Lilies and sweet peas

Bee balm under crabapple

Storey Digital Editors

We are the staff at Storey Publishing — the crafters, cooks, brewers, builders, homesteaders, gardeners, and all-around DIY-ers who make Storey books.

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