Hints of Autumn in the August Garden: GBBD, August 2014
By mid-August, there are hints of summer’s end in Maine. This morning’s temperatures were in the forties (F), and the builders working on my house arrived wearing sweatshirts and carrying steaming cups of hot coffee.
In the garden, the daylilies (Hemerocallis) are winding down. Most varieties have finished blooming, and many of those that are still in flower have only a few buds left. ‘Mary Todd’ opened its last flowers today, and ‘Orange Bounty,’ ‘Decatur Elevator,’ ‘Woman’s Work,’ ‘Mae Graham’ (one of my favorite pink daylilies), and an unnamed wine-colored variety will finish blooming within the next week.
It always makes me sad when I see that a favorite daylily variety has only a few buds left. Happily, I have other, later-blooming varieties with far more blooms to come. In the blue and yellow border, ‘Yellow Pinwheel’ is about halfway through its bloom period. In the fence border, which was planted for late summer and fall bloom, ‘Final Touch’ has only recently begun to bloom, the very late cultivar ‘Sandra Elizabeth’ is just beginning to send up flower scapes, and this week saw the first delicate flowers of ‘Autumn Minaret’ floating in the air atop slender 5’ stems.
The height of ‘Autumn Minaret’ is matched at the other end of the fence border by the tall Rudbeckia ‘Autumn Sun,’ a favorite plant that also lights up the back of the blue and yellow border. The very names of these cultivars signal the approach of fall.
Strong yellows are the dominant colors in the August garden. Right now, they are accompanied by the pink tones of several daylilies, the violet-blue of Veronica ‘Blue Giant,’ and the stronger blues and soft pink of balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus).
Soon, though, the yellows will be offset by crisp white flowers of Liatris spicata ‘Floristan White,’ white balloon flower, and the white flowers of Phlox paniculata ‘David’.
A Maine garden in August is a beautiful place to be, and all the more precious when the temperatures and cultivar names remind us that fall will soon be here.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens; visit her blog to see the delights of August gardens around the world.