Blooming in August in NE Ohio
Pink and Yellow are the primary colors blooming in August in my NE Ohio cottage garden. I have no idea where August went but it flew right by before I remembered I hadn’t featured the garden blooms! So here are some of my precious babies blooming their heart out for you from the beginning to the end of August. Some of these will continue to bloom in September, such as the Goldenrod in the above featured photo. Yes, this is the wild Goldenrod thanks to the birds that visit my front garden. I leave a couple of stalks of this wild Goldenrod to enjoy, digging out the majority of it because it has a tendency to take over. It sure draws the bees, wasps and other insects in droves so it’s fun to photograph.
I think these Anemone were inherited from cousin Nancy’s garden. We stuffed my hatchback full of plants one year when she was dividing out her perennials. I have a section of the garden by the glorious Wisteria that I call the Nancy Garden because so many of the plants remind me of her.
Eupatorium, Joe Pye Weed, attracts butterflies and so I let it self-seed in the back part of my hedge row. It blooms right after the Tiger Lilies are finished and it’s about the same height so it can be seen over the Boxwood lined pathway. The Boxwood I planted was supposed to be a small one and since it took years to grow from the root stock I planted, I never knew it would be as rambunctious as it is so it’s a good thing there are a few tall perennials behind it to add some color amongst all that green.
Phlox paniculata “David” is the only true white flower in my garden and it’s a welcome sight to see. Surrounded by a grass that competes for its space and another white flowering Phlox, Phlox paniculata “David” is always a standout.
We get a wild Lilac colored Phlox deposited by the birds in the back garden. It reminds me of my great-grandmother’s garden so it always makes me smile.
Physostegia virginiana, also known as Obedient Plant, is one of my favorite August bloomers. I love watching the bees climb in and out of the tubular flowers.
Here is the view of Physostegia virginiana out my window where I can watch the butterflies and hummingbirds go after the wild Sweet Pea that climbs up the Obedient Plant and the shrub that’s beside it. Even though its bloom is the signal that summer is almost over, I get several weeks of enjoyment while it blooms into September.
Here is that glorious perennial wild Sweet Pea and when it’s first in bloom, it’s this vivid dark pink, almost impossible to photograph in its true glory but this photo comes as close as I’ve been able to get. You can’t miss that color as it weaves itself amongst the green of other plants that bloomed in the spring and are now resting.
Another great self-seeder is this Rudbeckia, also known as Black-eyed Susan. This particular plant right next to my sidewalk where a Tiger Lily also planted itself is particularly happy. It hasn’t been afflicted by the black spot that others in the garden seem to get every year. You can see the green spiky leaved stem of the Tiger Lily supporting the Black-eyed Susan.
We got the heat in August with very little rain so it has been a struggle to keep the garden watered by hand. We don’t use a sprinkler or soaker hose system, rarely watering with the hose because I like to toughen up my perennials so that most of my garden is reliant on mother nature for its sustenance. I did drag out the hose twice for the back garden, especially for the vegetables when we had a long period of no rain. The hostas were in dire need so I watered by hand with a several gallon watering can several times. I get my exercise that way and we don’t run up the water bill. Besides, in August I can smell the chlorine in our city water so if I don’t want to drink it, I surely don’t want to share it with my vegetables.
There does come a point when some water is better than none so I give in and give the babies a drink. I can do that because most of my garden is partial shade to half the back garden being full shade so the heat of the sun doesn’t fry everything. I do have massive tree roots as well, so even if I do some supplemental watering, the perennials don’t get much because the trees suck it up. I find that if I water by hand before it’s predicted to rain that I get less run-off and my plants get more of a benefit. Our back garden and the vegetable garden are both on an incline so any water that hits the dry soil runs away to the next plant in line then into my neighbor’s yard behind me which turns into a swamp during heavy rains. The only way to control that is by watering each plant individually with a watering can so that the wetter soil wicks in some of the moisture from a good rain.
Today we finally had several hours of glorious rain, sometimes a torrential downpour so I’m hoping that the ground soaked enough of it up to revive the hostas which were looking pretty weepy. This year was the first year in many where the ferns lasted into August. They’re normally crispy fried by July, which is the way they are now, to a point of looking like they were never there at all except a few tell-tale signs of a brown frond or two.
This is how the Hostas and Ferns looked at the beginning of August but they’ve been droopy the rest of the month with the lack of rain. Still, this is the first year they’ve looked this good in August even with the lack of rain because the slugs haven’t eaten their way through the leaves. That little white flower with the red center is a Rose of Sharon volunteer. We have them in all sorts of colors deposited throughout the garden. I’ve found that once they get over six feet tall, they don’t have a long life so I don’t worry too much about them self-seeding everywhere. I kind of like the surprises because you never know what color the blooms will be.
An unusual year in the garden but fun to compare to past years.