Blooming August


 

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Unique’

 

The mid-month bloomers post seems to come round ever more quickly these days. That’s summer for you I guess.

But things are especially early this year it seems. Looking back, the September post of last year is more like this one than is August. Last year Spring was cold and quite late, this year’s was exceptionally mild. On the Hydrangea paniculata the blooms, emerging pure white just a month ago, are fading already. Fading elegantly it has to be said, but it is going to be over far too soon.

 
 
 

 

Hydrangea (inherited, variety unknown)

My love hate relationship with hydrangeas continues this year. The white varieties, especially the paniculatas, are above reproach but I’m still not sure about the colours. Not until they start to fade anyway. Then I adore them. The specimen above is interesting. It is easily four feet high by as many wide and yet lived happily, or it did until our paths crossed, at the very front of the lower terrace bed. One of my earliest evictions, it’s now perched at the top of the hill where it leads a much quieter existence and has a lot more space. It must be happy enough because it has flowered again for the first time this year. Previously deep pink, some of its flowers now bear shades of blue. I’m thinking of getting some soil acidifier for next year and pushing it all the way.

 
 
 

 

 Dahlia ‘Karma Chocolate’

So far, August has been wet in the South West. It’s been enough of a challenge taking the photographs for the post, let alone getting any meaningful work done outside. Hot summer colours shine through regardless.

 
 
 

 

Persicaria ‘Black Field’

The Persicaria I purchased last year for the slope is already four times larger and threatening a takeover bid. On the strength of it I have just purchased ‘Orange Field’ as well.. a lovely salmon/coral tone. They may spread, but where they are growing the weeds are not and that is fine by me. I just wish suppliers would be consistent with plant information. I can find heights listed for this variety ranging from 2 feet to 4 feet. What’s a girl to do?

 
 
 

 

Anemone hupehensis Praecox

Less vigorous for me here are the Japanese anemones, but they do at least have some flowers. The plants seem smaller than last year and one of my three has died. Perhaps in the fullness of time they will suddenly take off and I’ll have to eat my words.

 
 
 

 

Anemone x hybrida Honorine Jobert

 
 
 

 

Phygelius

It’s still possible to get surprises, even after living in a house for a couple of years. This popped up around the side of the greenhouse after we cleared the border in front of it earlier in the year. A gorgeous deep coral, the yellow throat is just visible on the open bloom.

But oh what a performance to photograph. Did I mention it’s been raining? The original target for the shot was an alternative stem, standing out against the dark background of trees. But the only way to capture it was to get down on the ground. Mike carefully spread a black bin liner over the wet gravel but he couldn’t crouch down quite low enough, it would have to be me. My head was spinning trying to focus the image while effectively hanging upside down. And every few minutes we had to pick up all the kit and run for shelter as another torrential shower came through. Eventually, with the benefit of an ant’s eye view, I spotted a section of the plant that we’d been constantly stepping over. It’s actually the better shot. And not before time, I dread to think how many inches of rain have fallen since then.

 
 
 

 

Tricyrtis formosana ‘Pink Freckles’

 
 
 

 

Alstroemeria Princess Diana

 
 
 

 

Perovskia atriplicifolia Lacey Blue

I’ve been admiring Perovskia in so many places lately, a purchase was well overdue. This is a compact form which will look great in the terraces…

 
 
 

 

Echinacea purpurea Pow Wow White

.. along with this similarly compact Echinacea.  I hope it lasts longer than other new varieties that I’ve tried.

 
 
 

 

Fuchsia ‘Blackie’

A tender fuchsia, overwintered in the greenhouse. When the skirts of this one start to emerge they really are almost black.

 
 
 

 

Tillandsia

I’ll leave you with a couple of highlights from inside the house. An air plant has just produced this stunning flower spike. The tiny purple blooms only last a couple of days but the pink flower head remains much longer. It doesn’t need any soil to grow. Just a spritz with a water spray every couple of days.

 
 
 

 

Oncidium heterophylla

And I really wish you could have a sniff at this orchid. The scent is reminiscent of the very best Belgian chocolate and it can completely permeate a room. I’m hungry now.

 
 

Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens (here), where you will find other August bloomers from around the world.