Flowers really bloom in July (at least in Howard County, Maryland where we farm). It’s a time when everything seems to be hitting its full stride and potential. Colors burst forth, pollinators are busy doing their thing and flower farmers often can’t find enough markets for the fruits of their labor.
In mid-July, we can “cut hard” on our plants and it still doesn’t seem to exhaust the supply of flowers, especially on the cut-and-come-again varieties such as zinnias and ageratum. “Yes, we have plenty of that!” is a common response to inquiries from our wholesale and retail customers in July.
Birth Month Flower
The official birth flower for July is larkspur, which we find surprising because larkspur is a cool flower, which blooms here in May and June, and has come and gone before July 1. These popular, tall, spikey flowers bloom with clusters of small petals in shades of pink, white, and lavender with a subtle fragrance. When we think about July flowers, we picture celosia, lilies, gladiolus, sunflowers, daisies, hydrangeas, and zinnias.
Unfortunately, July is when the weeds tend to get a foothold, too. If we’re not on top of the weed situation by the Fourth of July, we run the risk of having them take over and choke off our flowers. We have learned the hard way that every hour spent weeding in June saves two hours in July.
We sow our first sunflower seeds in the first week of May. Most varieties take 55-65 days to bloom. So, July is also sunflower season at Blue Gables Farm. We are overwhelmed by sunflowers when they come in. Fortunately, we have usually been able to sell most of our sunflowers.
We are glad there is a July. That there is a time when we are flush with flowers. But we’re also glad that not every month runs at such a full throttle. It can be both exhilarating and exhausting. But mostly exhilarating.