August is what separates the real gardeners from the wanna-be gardeners. The days are hot, the bugs are everywhere, and many blooms that seemed so bright in June and July have faded to muted colors reminiscent of my grandmothers’ summer dresses. It’s a month that tests the patience and perseverance of many a gardener.
But August doesn’t just have faded blooms from earlier months, it also has blooms of its own. Pictured above is Verbena bonariensis which self-sows in my garden and begins blooming every August.
Its bloom has less to do with what I did and more to do with what I did not do, like deadheading it. I left the seed heads to shatter and scatter seed here and there. Then I careful avoided weeding it out earlier in the summer.
The new crape myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica ‘Coral Filli’ is blooming for the first time. It’s… bright.
But the flowers needs to be bright to stand out against the dark foliage. I’m glad I bought it, but I’m sure it is shocking to southern gardeners to know that this is a small shrub, expected to grow to only about 18 inches tall.
Over on the side of the house, the Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’ is in full bloom a week or two ahead of when it bloomed last year. This could be because we are coming up on the second anniversary of it being planted, so it is finally settling in.
By the way, last year at this time the Surprise Lilies, Lycoris squamigera, were still blooming. This year they are long past their prime and ready to be cut back, as you can see from the one that sneaked into the picture. Now that's a naked lily!
But even with these other blooms, the star of my August garden is still some old-fashioned Hosta that form a small ribbon around several other Hostas and smell sweet, especially at night.
This is one of the plants that I would take with me if I ever moved, because I’ve had it wherever I’ve gardened.
Elsewhere in the garden, there are blooms hanging on from July, including coneflowers (Echinacea sp.), black eyed susans (Rudbeckia), my Knockout roses, tall phlox (Phlox paniculata),and Helianthus ‘Lorraine Sunshine'. Other plants are also providing that odd extra rebloom here and there including the ‘Stella d’Oro’ daylilies, true geraniums and ‘May Nights’ salvia.
And out in the vegetable garden there are sunflowers like this ‘Elves Blend' and a host of other blooms including zinnias, marigolds, nasturtiums, and squash.
How is your garden blooming this month? Are you hanging in there, enduring the hot days of summer? Whatever your circumstances and however your garden looks during these hot August summer days, I hope you’ll join us for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day this month. All are welcome!
It's easy to participate. Just post on your blog about what is blooming in your garden on the 15th of the month and then leave a link in the ‘Mr. Linky’ widget below and a comment so we can find you and visit your garden to see what you have blooming. If you don’t know what to put in your comment, answer this question: Does your garden have more blooms or less blooms this year compared to last year?
We can have flowers nearly every month of the year. ~ Elizabeth Lawrence