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:

flood waters bloom day

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 dill bloom day

Swallowtail caterpillar on dill plant

leek flower bloom day

Leek flower

rosebud bloom day

Rose bud

blackcaps black raspberries bloom day

Blackcaps (black raspberries)

Sarah Armour, Duxbury, Massachusetts

rugosa rose bloom day

Rugosa rose

rugosa rose bloom day

Rugosa rose

Heather Tietgens, Stamford, Vermont

coreopsis bloom day


begonia bloom day

Begonia in bloom

lilies bloom day


David Morrison, Lenox Dale, Massachusetts

granny's bonnet columbine bloom day

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 bloom day

Roses blooming

stargazer lily bloom day

Stargazer lily

petunias bloom day


Andrea Herbst, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

bridge of flowers bloom day

From the Bridge of Flowers

bumble bee on pink flower bloom day

This bumble bee has the whole flower to itself

hydrangea and bachelors button bloom day

Hydrangea with a lone blue bachelor’s button



sea of color bloom day

Emily Spiegelman, Wendell, Massachusetts

sunflower bud bloom day

Not yet a sunflower, but the promise of one.

hollyhock bloom day

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

blue star shaped flowers bloom day

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.

allium flower

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

bee balm bloom day

And of course, there’s bee balm.

Carolyn Eckert, Florence, Massachusetts

bee balm bloom day

Bee balm

blueberries bloom day

The first blueberries are coming in on my recent acquisition.

Carleen Madigan, Loon Lake, New York

foxgloves bloom day


Anne Guest, North Adams, Massachusetts

viola flowers bloom day


pink flowers bloom day

lilies bloom day


clematis bloom day


Michal Lumsden, Plainfield, Massachusetts

shasta daisies bloom day

Shasta daisies

asiatic lily bloom day

Asiatic lily stamen and pistil

daylily bloom day


asiatic lily and ant bloom day

Asiatic lily and ant

Butterfly weed bloom day

Butterfly weed

MaryAnn Nøbben, Norway

jacobs ladder flower bloom day

Jacob’s Ladder — smells heavenly!

orange blooms bloom day

My garden is ablaze with color.

lilies bloom day

purple blooms bloom day

patio garden bloom day

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

thyme flowers bloom day

Just in Thyme

lilies and sweet peas bloom day

Lilies and sweet peas

bee balm under crab apple

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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