August Is Bloomin’ Lovely

Persicaria 'Black Field'


Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Black Field’ and Crocosmia ‘Carmin Brilliant’


Shall we give bathroom renovations a break for a day or so? I know I’m ready, even if no-one else is.

And it’s Wednesday. It’s the 15th. Surely it must be… Bloom Day!

The garden has changed a lot over the last month. Mostly on account of neglect but I did say we weren’t going to talk about bathrooms. We’ve also had, Hallelujah, some rain. A few of the usual stalwarts have fallen victim to the onslaught and flopped, Phlomis in particular needs scaffolding and urgent buttress support, but many others have had a new burst of life. The colour palette has shifted too. The hot, hot, colours of late summer have arrived. And how.


Helenium 'Waltraut'


Helenium ‘Waltraut’ and Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Orange Field’

Heleniums are one of the success stories of this long hot summer. They’ve struggled greatly over the last few years. This year, however, it’s been the molluscs which have struggled and in consequence their traditional targets have thrived. And I so love persicaria, as no doubt I’ve bored you with many times before. It’s the most reliable perennial in the garden. Now coming into its peak season it will last well into autumn. And nothing eats it..


Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Alba'


Also in white. Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’.

Newly divided this year and added to the planting on the bank, I couldn’t have anticipated how much I would love this persicaria against the backdrop of the very pink and very frothy inflorescence of Anemanthele lessoniana.



On the other side of the Anemanthele a new development is underway.

This particular area of the bank has always troubled me. In early Spring it forms the pulmonaria cascade and is at its best. You can just about pick out the spotty pulmonaria leaves growing back after the annual haircut, much aided by the recent rain. But what happens then? Not a lot. It leaves me with an incongruous strip cutting through the bank which stays low, green and frankly pretty boring for the rest of the season. So this year I added Geranium ‘Rozanne’, which for some inexplicable reason appears more purple here than she is in reality. And above the geranium I’ve just interplanted the pulmonaria with a dozen or so divisions of Verbena rigida, too young to bloom as yet. If life is fair then next year we should see the traditional pulmonaria cascade in Spring followed by a second river of blue in summer.. well time will tell.


Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Lacey Blue'


Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Lacey Blue’

The pulmonaria may have loved the rain but in this year’s hot sunshine I’ve enjoyed plants that I’d previously thought were long gone. Even perovskia!


Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace'


Tulbaghia violacea ‘Silver Lace’


Verbena bonariensis


Verbena bonariensis too, has never looked better.

Back in Spring me and the bunnies gave it a Chelsea chop. It’s not usually on the list of suitable candidates but it does seem to have worked so I suppose thanks are due to Flopsy (plus all her friends and relations) for giving me the steer. Let’s whisper it though. I’d hate them to think they could go really wild next year. Buy shares in chicken wire folks.. you heard it here first.


Thalictrum delavayi


Thalictrum delavayi

Feeling much like me. Bowed but not quite broken. Yet. It’s said this tall and very wispy perennial does not need staking. Well all I can say is that if the chicken wire cage wasn’t there she would be on the ground. Perhaps because it’s her first year. Maybe she was a victim of the wind. But she’s tougher than she looks, I’ll give her that. And she does have a certain charm.


Rose 'Boscobel'


Rose ‘Boscobel’, Phormium ‘Pink Panther’, Erigeron karvinskianus and Verbena rigida.

This year I’ve added the red buttons of Knautia macedonica to the mix.


Rose 'Boscobel'


Rose ‘Boscobel’

The roses are well into their second flush.


Erigeron karvinskianus


Erigeron karvinskianus is such a familiar sight anywhere in the West Country, to the point of being invasive. It’s only two or three years since I introduced it here and already it is rampant. It gets by with very little water and can frequently be found growing in walls.


Astrantia 'Buckland'


Astrantia ‘Buckland’ against a backdrop of Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’


Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit'


Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle Spirit’

Much as I love (some) hydrangeas they do invoke mixed feelings. They are, after all, late summer plants.


Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'


Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

They don’t seem to be doing as well for me as in previous years. Many were late to come into leaf after the very cold Spring and the flowers generally appear to be smaller.




Some give the distinct impression that autumn is already just around the corner.

Not sure I’m quite ready for that..


Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'


Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

Shall we end with a bit of cheer and just pretend that summer will go on forever?


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