The Loveliest Ladies of August: Summer’s Beautiful, Late Bloomers are Well Worth the Wait …

August 10th, 2011 § 4 comments

Blush-tinged blossoms and gorgeous, season-spanning foliage make Hydrangea quercifolia one of my favorite native plants (shown here with Juniperus squamata ‘Holger’ and the lingering blue flowers of Adenophora confusa) . Check out this shrub’s autumn coloration here!

After last night’s much-needed rain, I awoke to the sound of hermit thrush, sweetly singing in the hemlock stand beyond my bedroom window. Slowly the morning symphony of songbirds is subsiding; soon-to-be completely replaced by the cacophony of crickets and squawking blue jays. Late summer migration is already beginning, with geese flocking in fields and nearby lakes. Many songbirds will take flight this month; starting their long journeys south by the light of the August 13th full moon. Indeed, late summer is upon us, and even the garden is relaxing into vacation-mood; with lazy-day looseness replacing the tightly uniform patterns of early summer …

When Other Shrubs Look Past Their Prime, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’  Shines in August Spot; Here Beside Co-Star Fagus sylvatica ‘Riversii’, (read more about this dynamic duo here)

Of course for those of us staying on in colder climates —to weather all four seasons— there’s still much fair weather yet to be enjoyed. I so look forward to these golden, halcyon days of summer; work slowing down, days on the river, dinners from the garden and long flights over the valley at sunset. Of course, if you’ve been following this journal for awhile, you already know that the late season is my favorite time of year in the garden. Many of my garden’s largest beds and borders are planned for a late August through November color crescendo. I love the play of rich purple, maroon, chartreuse, fuchsia and saffron in the last weeks of summer and early days of autumn. And now that we’ve arrived in the second week of August, some of my favorite plants are budding up and coming into bloom. Included in this post are some of my all-time favorites. But really, the show is just beginning. Stay tuned for more late summer show-stoppers. But for now, to travel back to this post for a few late summer garden-design and plant combination ideas (click here). Or, for more past-posts and late-season plant profiles, click on the August through November archives; listed in the sidebar along the right side column …

Actaea simplex or Cimicifuga racemosa/simplex? Matters Not How She’s Taxonomically Categorized, Fairy Candles (favorite cultivars include the above: ‘Hillside Black Beauty and also, ‘Brunette’) are a Season-Spanning Delight with Swoon-Worthy Late Summer Fragrance! To read more and see Fairy Candle photos: check out this plant-profile (click here)

Tricyrtis formosana ‘Dark Beauty’ with Ucinia egmontiana (Click here to learn more about the Spotted toad lily, shown here in my garden with Orange Hook Sedge)

Read more about Bi-Colored Bush Clover, Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Edo Shibori’, in this post (click here

With Her Emerald Gown and Stunning, Late-Season Blossoms, Kirengeshoma palmata (Yellow Wax Bells) Will Always be a Shade-Garden Star (see more photos and get details on this lovely perennial by clicking here)

I adore this time of year in my garden, and keep adding more and more late season perennials and shrubs to expand and enhance the show. What are some of your August blooming favorites? Do you prefer the cool tones, the muted colors or the eye popping brights? Hope you will enjoy the glorious days of late summer while they last!

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§ 4 Responses to The Loveliest Ladies of August: Summer’s Beautiful, Late Bloomers are Well Worth the Wait …"

  • Jen says:

    You did it again! A secret Wednesday window for me(that isn’t blocked at work) That toad lily is a-mazing!

    Jen

  • John says:

    Hi Michaela, So much interesting content in this post, I opened five links. For late summer, I have a small fig tree in a container on my deck, now in its second year, bursting with figs, at least 100, that should be ready to pick and eat in late August and September. It’s in a container so I can move it into the garage over the winter, since I live near Boston. It’s thirsty and a big feeder, so I have to tend to it every day the sun is out. I also love Jerusalem artichoke. It gives lots of yellow daisy-like flowers that last for 4 to 8 weeks, and it requires watering only in the most severe drought. Only bad point is the plant itself is not so attractive, so I tend to plant it in the wild parts between my yard and the woods. Its tubers are sold by the pound!

  • Michaela says:

    @ Jen – So happy to add a little fresh green, color, and a bit of hortimania, to your day. xo M

  • Michaela says:

    @ John – Glad you found and enjoyed the links! I love figs, and really, should try just what you are doing (moving the pot back and forth). And yes, I agree with you on the Jerusalem Artichokes. Pretty flowers and tasty treat, but definitely a wild thing. I don’t grow them here, but really should add a few at the edge of the meadow. Thanks so much for the comments. You may have inspired a fig purchase! ;) M

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