Last year I did not post anything here during the month of August. By then in 2011, summer had been so inhospitably hot and dry, the garden and I retreated until mid-September.
Well what a difference a year makes. Weather has been hot and sometimes dry, but enough rain came this summer to encourage plants to keep trying. August in the garden this year has been a surprise, deviating from the normal rule of brown and more brown.
Sweet peas have bloomed all summer, highly unusual. This is not the sweet-smelling type, but rather a passed-along perennial one that has no fragrance, Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea).
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ stopped blooming during the hottest part of July but by early August it perked up. I suppose extra rain must have helped it.
This ‘Dark Pink’ Butterfly Gaura and ‘Angelface Blue’ Angelonia continue to add color in a small front yard border garden that is new this year.
Cleome is an old-fashioned favorite. Many have set seed, others are just starting to bloom. The plant as it transitions through various phases is an architectural marvel.
Lantana nearly wilted under the 105F. days of July, but has begun blooming profusely again.
One of two Crape Myrtles at the front walk broke off in a storm just before bloom time in early July. This remaining one has bloomed for eight weeks.
The gardenias usually rebloom but with this year’s additional rainfall have been especially beautiful.
Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) is underplanted with an annual, ‘Snow Princess’ Sweet Alyssum. I have never been able to get Euphorbia to survive before, but this one has done pretty well in a ceramic pot. It seems to require a lot of water and I did give it a few extra waterings.
Here is another look at the alyssum. I have not planted this little annual for many years and was happy to rediscover it this year.
Meadow Sage ‘May Night’ bloomed March until May this spring. It recently began flowering again.
I just purchased three Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ to add to the borders.
Zinnias were slow to take hold but finally are generating garden color and bouquets.
Foliage and flowers of Shasta Daisy dried up under the sering July heat. The plants were cut back by one-half and have bloomed sporadically throughout August.
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ has brightened the garden since July. Next year I need to remember to stake it.
Just yesterday I noticed a flower forming on the Ginger Lily. It is open today a little bit more. Also found two more buds.
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan) Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) from the North Carolina Botanical Garden this spring. Deer or rabbit, something has been eating it and for a while it totally seemed to disappear. Now it is trying again. At the Botanical Garden today I saw lovely groups of these in flower.
This Buddleja was crushed under a neighbor’s falling pine in early July. I had been meaning to remove it from the garden anyway because it is now considered invasive in this area. It revived itself with extra vigor.
Getting a good photograph of Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) has proved difficult, but I wanted to include it here anyway. Having started blooming at the end of May, this Russian Sage is becoming even fuller now and is arching toward a poorly sited Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass).
Unusually lush, August this year has felt like an anomaly. Even most of the Fescue lawn is still green. No time off for the gardener/garden blogger this month.