A week of dry heat wilted the flowers a little, and the deer attacked my white phlox, so the garden was a little sad. But yesterday we finally had a decent rain, and everything has perked back up.
The cool, wet spring played havoc with my annuals. I usually have so many marigolds and zinnias that I have to pull most of the seedlings up and throw them away. This year my first planting was a complete failure and my second was pretty dismal. So, except for the nasturtiums, my annuals are sparse and late. But some zinnias and small sunflowers are finally blooming, and I see the first bloom on one of the big sunflowers. I grow sunflowers partly for the flowers but mostly for the birds, especially goldfinches and cardinals, that they draw to the garden.
The weather that made so much trouble for the annuals has done weird things to the bugs. I usually have a major invasion of Japanese beetles in mid to late June -- I deal with them the old-fashioned way, by plucking them off and squishing them in my fingers -- but this year I did not see a single beetle in June and have only had three or four in July. Which is nice, but the weather has also made trouble for the butterflies, and I have only seen two or three swallowtails. My butterfly bush bloomed alone.
If you follow nature from year to year, you become sensitive to these variations. This has been the year of robins, roses, and nasturtiums. In other years, other things thrive.