Thursday, August 18, 2016

The stars of my mid-August garden


August is a difficult month for gardeners—so much death and disease in the garden and sometimes I’m tempted to just give up. My garden is mainly spring and early summer shrubs and perennials. August is the time sun-loving annuals come into their own, but I don’t have too many of those—-mainly because I don’t have much full sun.

The full sun I do have is largely devoted to summer blooming bulbs like Dahlias which keep going until frost. True it’s necessary to dig them up and they are not the easiest bulbs to winter over but they are worth all the trouble.One of my favorite summer bulbs is Acidanthera AKA Abyssinian Gladiolus summer which is easy to grow and generally disease free:

The there are dazzling white species lilies--the last of the lilies:

Although my garden is at its best in Spring and early Summer, I do have some perennials which reliably bloom in August, such as the rudbeckia(variety unknown) which was here when we moved here decades ago; it has probably been flourishing in this garden for 50-60 years.

There’s also Rudbeckia Herbstone, the tallest of all, which is slowly taking over the garden.

I used to have a whole lot of pink and white phlox which blended beautifully with the gold of the rudbeckia, but a vicious groundhog has destroyed my phlox for 3 years in a row. It’s time to cut my losses and dig up the phlox.