Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August in the Garden ~ GBBD for August 15, 2011

Well, here we are, a day late but definitely not short of blooms for the August edition of the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. The summer has flown by, but even at the height of the dog days of summer, every bed is awash with late summer color, and unexpected "re-bloomers" continue to delight us.

Our rose gardens have been a source of rich color all summer long - except for this past weekend when the New England Rose Society met here for the summer meeting. But a day after we hoped for a wonderful showing, buds opened in every bed in a kaleidoscope of color.

Top Row L-R: Memorial Day, Sir John Betjeman, Rosa rugosa “Rubra”, Cupcake; Middle Row L-R: New Dawn, New Dawn, Passionate Kisses, Double Pink Knock Out; Bottom Row L-R: Blushing Knock Out, Sea Foam, Pretty Lady
Top Row L-R: Teasing Georgia, Julia Child, What a Peach;  Middle Row L-R: Rio Samba, Tropicana, Rio Samba (showing color evolution); Bottom Row L-R: Unknown, Bella Roma, What a Peach, Hotel California
Clockwise from top left: John F. Kennedy, Drop Dead Red, Munstead Wood, Unidentified blush, Double Red Knock Out
The marginal plants and lilies in the water garden have also provided sporadic bursts of color, although we've had to spend a fair amount of time reining in the water mint.

Last summer we acquired the cattail reeds from a local river while we were canoeing, and we were delighted that they survived the winter and developed into graceful plants this summer. The marsh marigolds are still blooming as is the houttuynia. The lavender mint blossoms and pink obedient blooms make a lovely combination along the edge of the pond.

Although they started blooming six weeks ago, the daylilies (hemerocallis) are still a dramatic presence.

And along with the daylilies, the clematis have also been solid performers throughout the summer. I love the contrast between the deep purple and the light green of the lemon balm. "Betty Corning" has outdone herself this summer, however. The bell shaped blossoms have covered the vine since early June.


The butterfly garden seemed to sprout overnight  After heavy pruning in spring, the shrubs seemed to languish and then almost overnight, they burst forth with six foot canes topped with lavender, magenta, deep purple, and white flower spikes. Hummingbird clear-wing moths and monarch butterflies have been visiting daily.

The butterfly garden is next to hte gazebo, behind the rose beds. The purple spikes of "Dark Knight" make a striking statement.
We have a rainbow of butterfly shrubs circling behind the dark purple shrubs.
 In the perennial beds, coneflowers, tall phlox,  rudbeckia, Japanese anemones, and sage are taking center stage. The cransebill are still blooming, but starting to wind down.

Balloon flowers and the last of the Montauk daisies
The tall phlox are gorgeous this year
The second round of foxglove spikes timed themselves perfectly with the coneflowers.
The coneflowers have provided cut flowers for the house for weeks. In the back is ligularia, which shouldn't thrive in this sunny bed, but it does. Barely visible in the back are daylilies.
In the herb garden, the tarragon, oregano and hyssop make a bold border. We've been harvesting mint, oregano, parsley, thyme, and sage for weeks. Cooking with fresh herbs has become our new favorite thing to do..

In New England, the stars of the August garden are the mallows and hibiscus. Malva sylvestris “Zebrinba” and the more common pale pink mallows self sow freely and can become a bit of a nuisance, but in the spring, I transplant dozens into the perennial beds alongside the lupines and peonies for some color later in the summer.

Rose of  Sharon shrubs Hibiscus syriacus are one of our favorite flowering shrubs.  We have both single and double varieties,  

The hardy hibiscus, Hibiscus moscheutos, bring the feel of the tropics to our New England gardens just as paradoxically, the days are becoming shorter and the nights are becoming cooler.


The shade gardens have really come into their own over the summer, with brilliant foliage and unexpected pops of color.

In the tree grove a carpet of wood violets contrasts with hostas. This has been a favorite place to spend time during the recent heat wave. Stepping under the canopy of the trees, there was a dramatic difference in temperature.
The hosta blooms are fading but the striking foliage lends its own textural interest to the shade beds.
Hyssop in the background does well in this shady area and contrasts nicely with ajuga (left foreground) and the bright chartreuse hosta.
 We plant few annuals, but torenia and impatiens are two that we routinely plant in the shadiest areas. They contrast beautifully with hostas and add color where none is extpected.

A few additional late summer blooms have added color here and there. Hydrangeas and windflowers, obedient plants, chrysanthemums, and some annuals that we've tucked into pots will carry the beds into September:

The windlowers just started blooming within the past week and will bloom for another month or more. The delicate pink petals open a medium pink and then fade to a pale pink blush. The white counterpart to this prolific bloomer blooms in the spring.
The blooms of the hydrangea tree in the deck open with a pink tint that fades to white, opposite that of the pee gee (shown below), which opens white and develops a lovely pinkish hue over time.
Reading Nancy Ondra's books has taught me to appreciate and embrace seed pods. These, of my favorite columbine, are ready to be harvested for seeds. In the background are ruby colored chrysanthemum, a staple of the late summer and fall garden.
This summer we have enjoyed a much more enthusiastic blooming season, in part because the weather gave us extremely hot weather alternating with adequate rain. Although the humidity has caused powdery mildew to flourish, the garden as a whole continues to thrive

Thanks so much for joining us again for this month's stroll through the garden beds.  Be sure to check out the other amazing gardens that participate in May Dreams' Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!


  1. How lovely everything is...color, texture, and fullness! Your buddleia shrubs are so striking, and the coneflowers seem to go on forever. I really enjoyed your bloom day post.

  2. What an amazing amount of bloom there is in your garden; and so beautifully put together, a real pleasure to see. I imagine the wonderful sound of bees and the flutter of butterflies with so many insect friendly plants. Christina

  3. Everything looks really lovely. You have an awful lot going on at your place. How wonderful to have it all to enjoy right now.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. Your gardens are alive with bloom. So much still going on in your beds as mine is winding down here somewhat. Of course I love ll of your roses and lilies. Your sure have a lot of beautiful hibiscus blooming also. Just gorgeous!

  5. What well-choreographed plantings! Love the water lilies. And the anemones are one of my favorites --mine too are in bloom, waaayyy across the country from you. Great to think of all the gardens between mine and yours!

  6. Beautiful post...such a wealth of blooms! I'm so smitten with your large swathes of Echinacea...and can't believe your Ligularia does so well in sun! Mine gets a few hours in the middle of the day and you'd think it was never watered...dramatic thing that it is!

  7. I can see why you were a day late. You weren't kidding about all the blooms. The roses look like a catalog they are so beautiful...we are experiencing a bit of some re-blooming but nothing like yours...Happy GBBD

  8. You really have an abundance of blooms. Your gardens must be massive with the variety you have shown. I really enjoyed your post this GBBD. I am guessing your garden is a flutter with wildlife activity.

  9. What fantastic flowers you have, such a variety, and all looking so happy, not stressed at all after a summer of sunshine. Your roses are looking magnificent, I'm sure your visitors were impressed!

  10. Gorgeous, you still have so much going on in your garden. Loads of beautiful flowers, love the deep purple Buddliea.

  11. Good Morning! Your roses look exceptional and everything looks so fresh and lovely. Your hemerocallis still look wonderful! I am also amazed at the daylilies this season... perhaps it's the reblooming varieties that I've attained in the past couple years... they are starting to make lovely clumps and have been in some cases blooming since mid-June. Daylilies are one plant that I definitely want to locate early, mid, and late varieties of... I mentioned somewhere that we often buy from growers we can visit, late in the season, which pretty much assures us of that extended season.
    Wishing you a lovely August and fall... Larry

  12. You have got a terrific garden! Expecially love your wonderful roses.

  13. what a stunning garden you have have. I especially love the different names to your flowers to those we have in the UK. i.e. Coneflower we call Echinacea.

  14. Your late summer garden is gorgeous! So much color and so many varieties of plants. I loved the rose collages, it doesn't look like the heat affected your roses at all.

  15. i wrote a post about ligularia in my shade garden. It looks like your rocket has left the launching pad!lol a bounty of blooms indeed!

  16. My buddleia will be just a quiet, slightly muddy white, blurred by a golden eye in the centre. When I look out at it there is a haze of buds surrounding the bush. No flowers as yet. Last garden had a gentle mauve, with wonderful scent. Self seeded, but sadly my cuttings didn't take. Another for the wish list.

  17. Wow! You do have abundance of flowers. Your collages are very beautiful. I imagine one will need a few days to tour your garden. :)

  18. Your butterfly shrubs are amazing: I've never seen so many different colors in one garden!
    Did you ever try to collect one petal from each blooming plant and count them? I bet you have a hundred! Wonderful!

  19. I'm green ....... your garden is so beautiful and must look even better in the real, Frances

  20. I can't believe how beautiful your blooms are, you have a wonderful garden, that's why you both look so happy! Nice of you to drop by too your encouragement means so much.

  21. Dear Cathy and Steve, I so much enjoyed my visit to your garden, today! You have an amazing amount of beautiful blooms, I can't begin to choose a favorite. Beautiful! P. x

  22. Cathy and Steve, I look forward to seeing your GBBD post every month. The hibiscus look wonderful and this year was hard on my butterfly bushes. Good to see yours doing so well. Can't wait to see what next month brings in your garden.

  23. Very nice indeed...I dream of having a water garden but my space is small. Thanks for posting so many beautiful flowers...

  24. I have 4 Butterfly Bushes and love them! I always know where to find butterflies. Enjoyed your Album - All this on a half acre? Your pond is amazing!


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