Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Bloom Day

Where has the summer gone?  In just a few short days, local children will hoisting backpacks and boarding big yellow buses for the first day of school, a day that has always marked the end of summer for me. The calendar, however, says there is still a month of summer left, and it is much too early to be planting bulbs or emptying containers (though mine are looking pretty sad right now).  In fact, the past week of cooler temperatures and a few brief rainshowers have revived the garden, just in time for the monthly recording of what is blooming now--Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

August is the time for my favorite hydrangea, 'Limelight.'  I've been trying to prune it every spring to create more of a tree-like shape, but it likes to sprawl, even surrounding the stake holding the suet feeder for the winter birds, which I never got around to moving.  Sprawling or not, I love this plant with its large white flowers that look good through the winter.

A newer Hydrangea paniculata, 'Vanilla Strawberry,' is also blooming this month.  The flowers look nothing like the advertised blooms that resemble a strawberry ice cream cone topped with a dollop of vanilla, but I won't complain.  Perhaps it's because mine is in full sun all day.

The 'Bloomerang' lilac is putting out its second flush of blooms this season. 

Also putting out a new flush of blooms is the yellow Knockout rose, 'Radsunny.'  The one disappointment I have in this carefree rose is that the soft yellow only lasts a short time--the blooms quickly fade to a near-white.

Other shrubs, though, are blooming for the first time.  Getting ready for its fall show is the beautyberry.

The first ever blooms, pathetic though they are, have also appeared on the Clethra 'Ruby Spice.'  This poor plant has had a rough time with two consecutive years of drought.  I'm just glad to see it still alive and hope that maybe next year it will take that proverbial third-year "leap."

On the other hand, I'm excited about this new shrub Caryopteris 'Summer Sorbet.'  I ordered it this spring from Bluestone Perennials and wasn't sure the small little seedling would do much of anything this year.

Not only has it grown by leaps and bounds this summer, it is also just starting to show these lovely blue blooms. A local gardener told me this weekend that her caryopteris has not always survived our winters; I hope that is not the case with this plant, because I've fallen in love with it.

In the shade garden, the last hosta blooms have appeared.  These are the plain green hostas, sometimes called plantain lilies, I think, that aren't particularly showy, but their August blooms are certainly attractive and fragrant as well.

As I mentioned in my last post, there have been quite a few surprises in my garden this year.  I should expect these, whatever you call them--Resurrection lilies, Surprise lilies, or Naked Ladies--yet their sudden appearance every summer always catches me by surprise.

In the just plain weird category--I had three or four liatris that grew four to six feet tall this year.  When they finally bloomed, they were so heavy that they flopped over or, like this one, leaned against the arbor bench for support.  Have you ever seen anything like this before??

The volunteer 'Blue and Black' salvia already received mention on my last post, but since it has really burst into bloom, I just had to include it one more time.  Besides, all flowers look even better with raindrops, don't you think?

 All the rest of the new bloomers are annuals whose seeds were directly sowed into the garden late this spring.  I had to search the internet to find seeds for this Celosia spicata 'Flamingo,' but I finally found them through an organic seed company called Floral Encounters. I didn't think these had germinated until I suddenly saw them last week, hidden in the midst of all my nicotania.  I think they deserve a better spot next year where they can be appreciated more, don't you?

A favorite from last year, the knee-high Cosmos, 'Snow Sonata' is back again.

As are the taller cosmos, rising behind the arbor bench. 

I don't remember the name of this mix from Renee's Garden, but they will definitely be ordered again next year.  I love these old-fashioned favorites.

And finally, August means zinnias ('Raspberry Sorbet' from Renee's Garden) . . .

. . . more zinnias ('Berry Basket' also from Renee's Garden) . . .

. . . and more zinnias! ('Zowie Yellow Flame' from Park Seeds)

Looking back, I just realized I ended last month's bloom day post with this same flower.  But it has been going strong for well over a month now through heat and drought, producing these gorgeous blooms in psychedelic colors.  I think there will be even more of these in my garden next year!

What is blooming in your garden today?  Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of every month by Carol and the garden fairies of May Dreams Gardens


  1. I forgot it was Bloom day. You have so much more blooming in your garden this month. Love the psychedelic colors. That crazy liatrus is odd looking. I have never seen one with such a tall bloom. I hate to tell you this but Caryopterus has never overwintered in my garden. This one is beautiful. I hope it lasts for you. If it does I am going to try it. :) Happy GBBD.

  2. Everything looks happy this August bloom day. I had no luck with 'Ruby Spice' here so passed mine along to my daughter. She loves it but I do think it does not like droughts at all.

  3. I really like that Zowie Yellow Flame! Writing it down on a list of things to remember next year! (First thing on the list is to remember to look at the list!) Happy Bloom Day!

  4. You have so many lovely blooms. I especially like the Salvia, such a pure colour. Christina

  5. Love all your blooms!! That zinnia from Park Seed is gorgeous!
    Glad to see your Clethra is blooming. Are the blooms fragrant? Mine did a second flush of blooms this year....crazy weather.

  6. You have some great blooms going on, but it's the shrubs that caught my eye. What a great flowering woody garden you have. And except for the poor Ruby Spice clethra that wants a lot of water (mine are sited in a damp spot and still want more moisture) everything looks good.

    I have no words to comment on that scary liatris ... I just can't believe it!! Yow.

  7. Rose, I did a garden for a client one time and he put horse manure on everything soon after. All the plants went crazy --looked like they were on steroids, kind of like your liatris. It was the wierdest thing I have ever seen.
    Wish I had enough sun for some old-fashioned zinnias. I bought some seeds for some lime-green ones a long time ago. Never got them planted, sorry to say.

  8. Your garden is looking really good, considering the drought. The liatris is funny looking :-)

    The only things blooming in my garden this month are the zinnias and bachelors buttons that benefited from our watering of the strawberry starts. We still have had no significant rain --a 1/4 inch every couple of weeks just hasn't been enough. We're now in danger of losing some young blue spruce, which makes me very sad.

  9. Those hydrangeas are just beautiful. I think you've inspired me to try again. I've never had much luck with any hydrangeas except oakleafs. All your blooms are lovely.

  10. There are a lot of flowers blooming in your garden at the moment. Must be beautiful to see Rose.
    Have a great evening

  11. Your gardens are lovely. Limelight is one of my garden's stars. Don't you just love them?!

  12. Wow, where do I start?! That Zowie Yellow Flame Zinnia is a stunner! How tall does it get. I grow Zinnias for cut flowers at church, so I always go with the tall ones. Your Hydrangeas are enchanting! And that Celosia is certainly unique!

  13. It's amazing what a difference a little rain makes. Your garden looks quite refreshed.
    Don't worry about your Caryopteris too much. Despite the lack of snow last winter and sub-zero temperatures, mine (Sunshine Blue & Little Miss Sunshine) returned just fine. (In fact, they've started to self-sow.) I'm still waiting for them to bloom this year.
    It just wouldn't be August without the Hosta plantaginea and their sweet scent. I grow them just for the blooms. Who cares how they look?
    I just love your Zinnias. I feel I should just give up on them after seeing yours. I noticed from your white Cosmos photo that you are also having a problem with potato beetles.

  14. It's great you have so much blooming! Even with the return of rains, a lot is struggling here. Your garden is looking great!

  15. I definitely need to get a whole lot more zinnias next year. I love those orange ones you have!

  16. Your blooms start so early and have carried on quite well through the summer. Love them.

  17. All your blooms are beautiful this month. I like Limelight too. I use this plant often instead of Anna.

  18. Good to see that your garden managed to pull through the heat and draught. Everything is gorgeous, especially that final image. It is well worth repeating.

  19. Glad to hear you've gotten a little rain. Such a tough year for gardeners and farmers in the Midwest. I love your hydrangeas!

  20. Rose, What a marvelous show! My liatris always leans over, but, it's looking for the sun! Isn't 'Summer Sorbet' wonderful! I killed it, but, while it was here, I fully appreciated it's foliage and flowers~So did the pollinators. xogail

  21. I loved this tour of your garden. Where to start on comments is the question now? I guess I am in awe at the varieties that you are able to grow where you are. I need to branch out and try more varieties here.

    I wish I could grow hydrangeas, but the climate just won't support them. I love the color of yours. My friend is going to save some 'naked ladies' from her garden for me to plant for next year. I really do love these surprises. No, I have never seen a liatris grow that tall before. That one decided to shoot up and forgot to stop until it flopped over!

    I always wonder where the volunteers come from. I love your "blue and black" salvia If I am still living in the house next year, we have it on the market, I am planting some cosmos. I love these flowers and have been admiring them in other folks gardens this summer.

    Finally, your zinnia mix is really beautiful! I keep a file box in my garden shed and throw in the tags from the flowers I buy so I can remember the name. I sometimes go through the file at the end of the season and throw out the ones I didn't really like and make notes on the ones I like.

  22. We had a flower on our solitary hosta for the first time this year. Sadly I forgot to sow any annuals so my bit of garden is looking bare.

    But did I tell you that your photos have inspired a new liking for hydrangeas in me?

  23. What a lovely selection Rose. I am so glad you have had some rain and cooler temperatures at last and your flowers definitely look contented. That Liatris is most bizarre thoughI, have never seen them like that before!

    My favourites on this post are the Cosmos. I think they are such pretty flowers. I also really like the Celosia spicata. I don't know those at all but they do look attractive.

    The Blue and Black Salvia was definitely worth another look, the colour is lovely, very striking. I also loved the yellow rose, as you say, a shame it fades to white though.

    Beautiful photos again Rose.

  24. Those Zinnias are awesome! Mine always get powdery mildew. :( I didn't even try this year.

    And your cosmos are fantastic! Such bright and cheerful colors.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  25. I love that Caryopteris and wish it would grow for me. They really don't like our heat and humidity!

  26. You'd never know the drought problems you've had after seeing those gorgeous blooms! The zinnias are stunning. And your black & blue salvia looks much happier than mine! Thank you for the guided tour of your wonderful garden.

  27. Plant Postings, The Zowie zinnias are about 18" to 24" tall. I haven't cut any to bring inside--I'm admiring them too much in the garden--but I would think they would be excellent cut flowers.

    To all, thanks for visiting, and thanks for the advice on the caryopteris and clethra. Sounds like both are iffy in my garden, but we'll see how they overwinter. Trying to catch up with everyone else's posts!

  28. Caryopteris and clethra were two shrubs that were always on my wish list when we lived in S. Illinois. Somehow they never made it into the garden. I hope they do well for you. Maybe the liatris is doing its best to tug at the clouds and pull down some more rain. I sure wish I could send you some of ours!

  29. Gorgeous selection of flowers, so many to choose from. I've never seen a liatris grow like that before! woweee that is huge. Limelight is one of my favourite hydrangeas too, the slight touch of green in the blooms is so lovely.

  30. Hi Rose, You have a nice array of things in bloom for GBBD. I can't believe that liatrus! I didn't even recognize it at first and wonder why it grew so long.
    Sadly, I used to lose my Caryopteris every winter and have not tried to grow any in the last few years. I love those blue flowers though. The 'Summer Sorbet.' has very nice foliage.

  31. Beautiful pictures on beautiful flowers :)


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