Thursday, August 15, 2013

August Bloom Day

Every year at this time I say the same thing:  "Where has the summer gone??"  Of course, we still have another month of official summer, but it's only a matter of time before the days become shorter and cooler, and garden projects turn to thoughts of next spring rather than the present.  Time to enjoy the garden while we still can!

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.


  1. Hasn't this been a wonderful August Rose?? It is actually in the 40's here this morning. Your blooms look beautiful. I think water is the key element to make the SV Hydrangea do it's pink thing. With the wet beginning of the year my SVH has more blooms than ever but since it has dried up the Strawberry shading has never really come out. I have seen pictures of them in other gardens and they are either watered well or are planted where they get more rainfall. Love those zinnias. Note to self...plant some next year. Happy GBBD.

  2. What a lot of beauty to see in your garden at the moment Rose. And summertime fly's. I love the zinnia's. I never seen them overhere.
    Have a wonderful day Rose.

  3. Shortage of butterflies here too this year, Rose. :( We are finally seeing some swallowtails though, and of course, the ubiquitous cabbage butterflies are everywhere.

    So many beautiful blooms in your garden. Love those zinnias and cosmos. Wish we had enough sun to grow them here.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  4. Hydrangeas and zinnias just can't take a bad picture, they are such camera hounds! Yours are beautiful. I like that Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea a lot, although I wouldn't want the crispy brown. You are probably right about too much sun for it.

    Your late summer blooms are making me happy.

  5. All your notes to self, "plant more next year," could be notes to myself, too! I forgot to plant Cosmos, and I sure do miss it. Ruby Spice blooms may not be many, but they sure are pretty!
    Happy GBBD!
    Lea's Menagerie

  6. Oh, my! Your garden looks just wonderful this August. I am green with envy!

  7. Oh, my! Your garden looks just wonderful this August. I am green with envy!

  8. I think I said before that your lovely hydrangeas made me look at them with fresh eyes and i like what i see.

  9. We have had so few butterflies! Seeing a tiger swallowtail used to be daily, but I think I've only seen two this summer.

    I grew cosmos this summer as well, but I've been disappointed in the variety --they were supposed to be pink and white, but they are mostly white. It doesn't help that the Japanese beetles nibble them to oblivion.

    I think that's an excellent photo of a hummer at a flower!

  10. Your Hydrangeas are incredible, Rose. And your Zinnias, too! I decided not to plant Zinnias this year--to "rotate" the crops a bit. But I miss them! Happy GBBD!

  11. Rose, you have beautiful garden, happy bloom day!
    I love hydrangea as well. and have small 'Lime light', but it is in bloom. Yours is stunning!
    The 'simple' flowers, self-seeded, add some feeling of summer in the last weeks of summer, don't they?

  12. Rose your whole garden is gorgeous....I adore those cleome, zinnia and cosmos. My annuals did not bloom from seed this year. What a treat for me to see them!!

  13. You're right, in a lot of ways this summer has gone easy on the plants, and things are looking less ragged than usual for this time of year. Your garden is a joy to look at - roses, hydrangeas, golden daylily, and hummingbird (great catch, btw)!

  14. Hi Rose, Interesting that I too seem to lack butterflies in the garden this year. I could count the ones I have seen on one hand! I love the zinnias and wish I had planted cosmos. Your Russian Sage is beautiful. I never have luck with it for some reason. My one plant is pathetically small. I wish I knew what was going wrong. Too good a soil? Maybe. Could the mysterious phlox be David's Lavender? It would have a light scent if it is.

  15. You have a lovely garden!! The Andrea's Dragonfly is stunning! I look forward to seeing more beautiful photos. I live in NC, and we aren't seeing as many butterflies and bees even this year. It has been such a strange summer weather wise, I wonder if that has impacted our insect population. Anyway, take care!

  16. Rose girl yo have spectacular flowers in your garden !They are beautiful!
    We have the same sad mystery though .. no colourful butterflies at all .. just small white moth like creatures .. but loads of bees .. it is strange and it has reach huge areas obviously. I wonder what is wrong ?
    I missed planting Cosmos this year .. you have inspired me to make sure I do next year !!
    Gorgeous plants in your garden .. you should be very proud of them!
    Joy : )

  17. We don't have as many butterflies this year either. I've seen a few Fritillaries, swallowtails and a beautiful blue one I still need to i.d. I love the variety of flowering plants in your garden. So lovely.~~Dee

  18. I'm still waiting for butterflies as well, Rose. Usually once the zinnias start to bloom, the Monarchs show up. I've seen a few Swallotails, but that's it. Not even any Painted Ladies.

    After seeing your pictures of 'Zowie!' last year, I knew I had to have it too. I hope you don't mind that I linked to your blog in a post I wrote today, giving you credit for introducing me to it.

    Love the cosmos, and of course, the cleome too! : )

  19. PS--Great catch of the hummingbird! Whenever I actually have my camera out there with me, they don't come around. But if I'm doing serious work, there they are.

  20. Fantastic looking blooms, Rose :)

  21. I'm suffering some plant envy looking at your Russian Sage. What a beautiful plant you have, really big and loads of colour. It's too cold and the ground doesn't drain well enough for it here so I'll have to covet yours via the net.

  22. Your garden is beautiful, Rose...full of so many lovely blooms and colors! I'm sorry to hear you aren't having butterflies though...I have tons of them here and wish I could send some to you. I did try to help some monarch cats along but they all died, sadly...even the 1 that did make it to a butterfly couldn't fly, as it had deformed wings. But the swallowtails, wow...they are prolific around here this year...
    I've loved our weather this summer as well. Way, way different than most years. There has been humidity but it's been much less than normal and the days have been tolerable. Now that it's August the temps are actually starting out in the 60's and it's wonderful! You've reminded me that although I did plant zinnia seeds, I forgot the cosmos this year. Will put that on my list for next year :)

  23. Just love the colors in your August garden,and like that many are perennials. We planted a summer bed of annuals this year for the color.

  24. Kimberley, Glad you are enjoying your 'Zowie' zinnias, too!

    Thanks all for visiting! I've been neglecting blogging lately, but with the heat we're experiencing right now, an afternoon in the A/C catching up on blog reading sounds perfect:)

  25. Look at all of those pretty blooms, and the lovely hummingbird! I only saw one a few weeks ago. The black and blue salvia and agastache are blooming next to each other, ready for the hummingbirds when they come back. I think the one I saw was a scout.


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