Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August, in the garden

An August garden is seldom, according to most gardeners, as attractive as a June garden. This is especially so after weeks and weeks with almost no rain. But some stalwarts continue to bloom, particularly this delightful honeysuckle, Lonicera serotina -- talk about bang for the buck, this beauty just goes and goes, bloom after sweetly-scented bloom. Walking into my garden morning or evening, its rich, honeyed fragrance is the first thing you'll notice. And it's lovely opened, as above, or just about to bloom, as below.
Another garden stalwart is the Crocosmia. Not that it blooms and blooms all summer -- it saves its orange cheer for right when it's needed to add colour to a dried-out, rather dull palette. But what does go on and on, Crocosmia-wise, is the foliage, broad straps of green that clump together thickly to fill in holes as needed. There are hort-trendier varieties -- I have a few in my garden, the bronze-leaved ones are quite nice -- but most of my plants were inherited from whoever planted them long before we arrived here some 18 years ago. I rip clumps out regularly, as they do tend to spread, but I don't think I could be without them in the garden, especially in August.

And then August's star, the commonly-named Rose of Sharon, more accurately called hibiscus syriacus. We have another my dad brought over from my parents' garden and planted here many years ago, which I love for that reason. But for my favourite bloom, we have the Blue Bird, with its rich shades of blue contrasting the creaminess of the stamen. This is a nicely compact shrub so I get to see the blooms very nicely, unlike its more unruly cousin across the yard.

Isn't it gorgeous?!

Sadly, I have to leave my August garden and head to campus for a slew of administrative chores, tedious ones that are the first nasty step in getting ready for the coming term. But it will be here waiting for me when I get back later. Are you spending any August time in a garden? Do you notice changes? Tomorrow, I'll show you some more portentous blooms . . . Cliff-hanger, eh?


  1. My garden is mostly foliage, with white and pink small flowers thrown in. It's looking very frayed right about now. I'd love some new ideas for dark foliage, white flowered plants with August presence.

  2. I'm just waiting for spring!! My quince tree, which I had thought might be dead, has tentatively put out new shoots and even a few flower buds, so this is a good sign ...

  3. LPC: I've got a ground-cover rose, glossy dark green leaves with small white blooms throughout August -- no idea what it's called as it came to me from my mom, as a cutting. I also like the Hydrangea quercifolia "snow queen" for white blooms right now. . . no idea if these would work in your climate tho'
    Tiffany: Great news about the quince. Such pretty blossoms! Do you use the fruit?

  4. My quince is still an infant, but I plan to use the fruit when it starts bearing properly. I make quince paste every year ... and love quince in desserts like tarts and crumbles.

  5. Tiffany: Mmmm, quince paste with ham . . .or a good cheese . . . or both. . .


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