The Pleasures of Gardening: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day August 2015

– Posted in: What's up/blooming
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I have been spending every free minute gardening this season and enjoying myself thoroughly. I focused first on getting all plants into the ground as soon as I acquired them, and then switched to weeding. Only another gardener could understand the pleasure to be had from setting a bed to rights, especially if the soil is moist and the weather is pleasant. To non-gardeners, weeding is a chore, not a way to declutter one’s canvas to see what’s needed to improve it. That’s why you haven’t heard much from me this summer–I’ve been gardening.

brunnera looking glass silver heart black beauty lily incrediball

Incrediball hydrangea, Black Beauty lilies, and Looking Glass brunnera delight me with their beauty, even though the lily is toppling over.

There’s plenty more maintenance I could do. I feel like I’ve just been working on the bare minimum needed to keep chaos at bay. I could be staking those ‘Black Beauty’ lilies, or finding a place with more sun in which to grow them. I can’t think of a place I’d rather move them to, but I might stake them next year. Might. I kind of like the curves the stems make as they lean, a kind of casual elegance.
Daylily and phlox

Just imagine the phlox as lilac pink, not blue purple.

I planted the phlox near this ‘Lemon Cap’ daylily last fall, without either of them being in bloom, and was quite satisfied with the color combination this August. Too bad my camera didn’t capture it accurately.
Sedum bidens verbena canna

Tropicanna Gold canna, Meteor Shower verbena, Fireburst bidens, and Lemon Coral sedum brighten up our back deck.

All of these plants except the cannas are sample plants from Proven Winners. I thought the bidens would be more of a mounding plant than a weaver, but I still like the effect.
yelloween orienpet lily

‘Yelloween’ Orienpet lily

‘Yelloween’ is a hybrid of Oriental and trumpet lilies. It has the wonderful fragrance of an Oriental lily. I got it from Longfield Gardens.
Leucojum autumnale

Autumn snowflake (Leucojum autumnale) blooming in August. Go figure.

Perhaps you have summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum)? This is in the same genus but the flowers are much smaller, a fact I didn’t grasp when I first ordered and grew it. The leaves look like grass and I may have weeded at least one of them out before I realized it. I planted it in my cabin fever bed, but it is so small you really can’t see it from the window–which is the point of the cabin fever bed. It is better suited to a trough or container where it can get close inspection.
hydrangea foxglove

Pure serendipity. Foxglove echoes the hydrangea blossom.

In general, wherever a foxglove decides to sprout, that’s where I leave it. The Forever & Ever Blue Heaven hydrangea is supposed to be blue, but somehow doesn’t quite make it. In one of gardening’s happy coincidences, they are blooming together, and every time I round the corner, I smile. And then vow to make the soil a tad more acid for the hydrangea.
Mighty Chestnut daylily

‘Might Chestnut’

When Walters Gardens sent me ‘Mighty Chestnut’ daylily last year, I really didn’t think I would like the color. But I do. However, I think I’m going to move it out of the apricot-lilac bed and into the brightly-colored parking pad bed. Or maybe I should pair it with Coppertina ninebark. Something to ponder over the winter.
Cyclamen purpurascens

Hardy but petite Cyclamen purpurascens.

Yes, cyclamen can grow in upstate NY. No, they are not the same as the ones you buy at the flower shop in the dead of winter. These are much smaller, about the same size as those autumn snowflakes–the size of my pinkie nail. Fall-blooming Cyclamen purpurascens is said to be the hardiest variety, but I also grow the spring blooming Cyclamen coum and it’s come through two winters so far. I just love the intricate variegation of the leaves.

Those are some of the highlights of my August garden. I know so many of you have been having an exceptionally dry and hot summer, and I wish you a wonderful fall.

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

Reese August 27, 2015, 3:15 am

Thanks for sharing your gardening experience Kathy. I love reading blogs and article about gardening.

GF Paysages August 22, 2015, 6:23 am

you seems to be very passionate by your garden! good job!

Barbara Phillips-Conroy August 19, 2015, 2:29 pm

Hi Kathy – Garden silene viscaria atropurpurea in the mail tomorrow a.m.! Should be a good test to see how our mail works. Every time I start to go a little crazy about the number and size of weeds, I start humming “let it Go!” to myself….so far so good. Your garden looks wonderful – aren’t those unexpected little vignettes just the best!

Alana August 18, 2015, 5:51 pm

Neither my spouse nor I haven’t been able to do much gardening maintenance this year due to family obligations – our gardens, including our community gardens, have been on automatic pilot. I enjoyed seeing all of your blooms – Cyclamen purpurascens is now on my list to check out. Small, for me, is good.

Kathy Purdy August 18, 2015, 6:59 pm

If they still give you pleasure, even on autopilot, that is what matters. There have been plenty of years where I had to neglect my garden and take care of other responsibilities. That’s one reason why I’ve enjoyed this gardening season so much–it’s been the exception to the rule!

commonweeder August 18, 2015, 10:39 am

Things look great at your place. My Black Beauty lilies are just as casually elegant as yours. I’m also beginning, this summer, to thoroughly document the making of my new garden as you did. You are ever an inspiration for me – ever since my very first postings when you gave me so much technical advice. Thank you always.

Kathy Purdy August 18, 2015, 1:02 pm

Thank you, Commonweeder, I am glad to have been some help. You should also check out Fairegarden (if you don’t already read her) as she just started a new garden last year and is chronicling her new beginning as well.

Linda from Each Little World August 18, 2015, 9:11 am

That foxglove/hydrangea combo could not be more perfect if you’d spent hours creating it at planting time.

Kathy Purdy August 18, 2015, 8:25 pm

Thank you, Linda. That is quite a compliment coming from you!

Jane / MulchMaid August 18, 2015, 12:55 am

Being an orange-lover, I particularly like ‘Mighty Chestnut’ and the Firecracker bidens. I am unfamiliar with bidens, but now I will be looking into them. Happy Bloom Day!

Les August 17, 2015, 6:03 pm

Weeding is a form of therapy, but so is going to the beach, kayaking, drinks with friends, and 100 other things I’d rather do. Yet, every now and then I have to reign things in and always feel better afterwards.

Judy Goodell August 17, 2015, 4:16 pm

I appreciate your naming all the plants in the photos. I gave up growing oriental and asiatic lilies years ago because of the red lily beetles- are you not bothered with them?

Kathy Purdy August 17, 2015, 4:40 pm

Hi, Judy. I am not bothered with them–yet. They have been reported near Ithaca, NY which is about an hour west of me. So I am enjoying them while I am able.

Charlie@Seattle Trekker August 17, 2015, 2:24 pm

Love the shot of the Autumn Snowflake, this was new to me. This would make an amazing addition to my garden.

Kathy Purdy August 17, 2015, 2:41 pm

I got mine at Odyssey Bulbs. I think other bulb companies have offered it in the past.

Dee/reddirtramblings August 17, 2015, 9:34 am

So enjoyed seeing your blooming plants. I just love the lilies. I enjoyed that bidens too until it died from the heat here. Still, it was fun while it lasted.~~Dee

Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern August 17, 2015, 9:24 am

I love that bidens! I might have to look into that. I know bidens grows well in my garden. Oh, and the cyclamen! I have to look into those. I love cyclamen. Such wonderful combinations Kathy! I love working on a flower bed and bringing it up to par. Some of my areas are really overgrown with weeds but I am noting that August is not a month for garden improvement projects – it is quite hot and tropical here for North Country.

Donna@Gardens Eye View August 17, 2015, 8:16 am

Kathy it all look s so wonderful…beautiful views of the garden….it has been drier in my part of NY missing many of the storms in other parts of the State so not much has gotten done this season.

Kathy Purdy August 17, 2015, 11:01 am

I’m so sorry it’s been dry for you. It is hard to enjoy gardening under those circumstances.

Leslie August 16, 2015, 11:45 pm

Lovely! It looks very floriferous there…and such a wonderful mix!

Rebecca August 16, 2015, 10:09 pm

Lovely blooms. I especially love your hydrangea with the foxglove. Here in TX, I really can’t grow hydrangeas…too hot and dry for their liking, so I’ll just have to admire them via your pictures.

Kathy Purdy August 17, 2015, 7:54 am

Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca. I can’t grow bluebonnets, although I can grow other lupines.

Frank August 16, 2015, 9:50 pm

The black beauty lilies look great, I love how they fill the space and hang over the brunnera, I wouldn’t change a thing! (including staking)
That canna is a nice one. I’m having trouble finding a good variegated one and will keep my eyes open for that one!

Jane Rutkowski August 16, 2015, 9:19 pm

Your flowers are beautiful. You have Autumn snowflake blooming in August. I have one Oriental Poppy just starting to flower in August. It’s been in my garden for 3 years and never bloomed. This year it decided it would. Maybe it won’t go dormant til November. Who knows.

Kathy Purdy August 16, 2015, 9:58 pm

Wow, an Oriental poppy in August! It’s been an atypical summer weather-wise; I guess it got knocked out of its apathy.

VW garden August 16, 2015, 8:52 pm

Oh, those Black Beauty lilies – I’m drooling! I planted some a few years back and they aren’t doing nearly as well. Yours are luscious!

Kathy Purdy August 16, 2015, 8:59 pm

Thanks! I had some at my old house that didn’t do nearly as well. My new next-door neighbor gave me these and they are taller this year than they’ve ever been.

Carol August 16, 2015, 7:21 pm

Your flowers look great, and include a lot of variety! Thanks for joining in for bloom day.