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.