But unlike most Augusts, I'm not complaining about the heat. It's been a beautiful summer with only one or two days above 90 degrees. We could use some rain, but again, it's nothing like the last two summers when I was watering the garden every week. The Knockout roses are putting on a new flush of blooms and are towering over the Russian Sage behind them.
The daylilies are done for the most part, but a latecomer is 'Andrea's Dragonfly,' a gift I bought for friend Beckie in memory of her daughter and my goddaughter, and now shared with me.
This is the time of year when the Hydrangea Paniculatas shine.
'Vanilla Strawberry' is covered in blooms this year.
The blooms are supposed to turn pink as they age. This is the first time they have noticeably performed this way, but the pink quickly turns to a crispy brown. I suspect the all-day sun is more than they need.
My favorite hydrangea, though, is perfectly happy where it is. I've tried various camera angles to get a true picture of just how big and beautiful 'Limelight' is, to no avail.
You'll just have to take my word for it that this plant gets bigger and better every year.
I wish I could say the same for the little 'Ruby Spice' Clethra. I thought by this year, its third in the garden, it would be "leaping." At least there are a few blooms this summer to give me hope.
August is also the time of year for some old-fashioned favorites grown from seed. Here, cheery nasturtiums in an old cast iron pot.
Seeds are ordered every year from Renee's Garden for another must-have--cosmos. I don't remember the variety, though.
Sometimes a few of these will self-seed and return the following year. You can't tell from this photo, but these cosmos are growing in the middle of the tomato patch! I just didn't have the heart to pull them.
Late summer also means it's zinnia time! The smaller Profusion and Zaharas, like this Zahara 'Starlite' (I think) have been blooming in pots or along the edge of flowerbeds all summer, of course.
But the taller varieties just started to bloom a couple of weeks ago. I've forgotten the name of this mix from Renee's Garden--'Cool Crayon Colors,' maybe. I don't seem to have the number of zinnias I've had the past two years for some reason. Note to self--order more seeds next year!
One zinnia whose name I haven't forgotten is this one--'Zowie Yellow Flame.' It's about 2 feet tall, compared to the others that reach 3 feet and sometimes beyond, but the blooms are such eye-catchers, you are bound to notice them. I planted some in the roadside garden as well this year, where they are also doing great. Another note to self: plant even more of these next year!
Surprise lilies are visible all over town and popped up in my garden last week. They're fading quickly, but there are other surprises and volunteers to take their place.
The mysterious NOID phlox that appeared in the shade garden last year now has a progeny.
No surprise in this volunteer--I always have a couple of cleome that re-appear each year. What was surprising, though, was the hummingbird. I've been trying and trying to get a good photo of her on her favorite plant, the 'Black and Blue' salvia, when out of nowhere she appeared to check out the cleome. Still not a sharp photo, but I'll keep trying.
The only thing missing this August are the butterflies. Usually by the time the zinnias begin to bloom, my garden is swarming with butterflies, but not this year. They're few and far between. But as you can see, there are plenty of other cute critters keeping me company in the garden this summer.
What's blooming in your garden? You're welcome to join in--just visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens. She's probably out picking more raspberries to eat, but you can sign in any time with Mr. Linky.