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Hints of Autumn in the August Garden: GBBD, August 2014

August 16, 2014

blue & yellow in AugustBy 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.

fading august daylilies

yellow pinwheel 2014It 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.

final touch 2014 autumn minaret 2014

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.

autumn sun fence autumn sun b&y

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).

veronica blue giant 2014 platycodon shell pink
platycodon 2014

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’.

circular yellow & white phlox david buds

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.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2014 8:11 am

    Lovely. I’m assuming you’re enjoying your August garden and construction and not worrying about lesson plans. 🙂

    • August 17, 2014 10:35 pm

      Judy, It is lovely not to be panicking about course prep at this point in August. I wouldn’t exactly call the construction enjoyable, but at least it is progressing (although several weeks behind schedule, as these projects almost always are).

  2. Nell Jean permalink
    August 16, 2014 10:25 am

    Your Daylilies are beautiful. We’re having an occasional welcome rebloom here.

    Autumn cannot come too soon to suit me. The gardens are managing while I’m about to melt.

    • August 17, 2014 10:37 pm

      Nell Jean, I have several reblooming daylilies in my garden, but only ‘Happy Returns’ reblooms reliably. I think our season often gets started too late for most of the plants to have a chance to rebloom before frost. I’ve had some surprise reblooming in plants that I didn’t even know were rebloomers in years (like 2012) when spring came very early here.

  3. August 16, 2014 5:16 pm

    And I was complaining because we had nights in the low 50s. Brrr the 40s. Your daylilies are so beautiful Jean and I really like ‘Final Touch’. I will have to find it. I also have ‘Autumn Sun’ and it seems it has spread to another area. What a delight to see it. I can’t wait to hear how the construction is coming along.

    • August 17, 2014 10:39 pm

      Donna, I enjoy ‘Final Touch’ — especially because it begins blooming just after the peak of the daylily season in my garden. In my Gettysburg garden, it would rebloom, but I don’t think it will have time to here.
      I will do a post soon about the construction.

  4. August 16, 2014 6:31 pm

    A belated happy GBBD, Jean! I’m always a bit disappointed to see the daylillies wrap up, too, although, this year, I’ve been thrilled to get some early repeat blooms. I’m chalking that up to the sub-tropical moisture we had going for several weeks.

    • August 17, 2014 10:40 pm

      Kris, I have such a bitter-sweet relationship with daylilies. I spend weeks peering into plants for developing flower scapes and waiting impatiently for them to begin blooming. And then, before I know it, I am sadly counting remaining buds. 😐

  5. August 16, 2014 6:33 pm

    So Jean, share some pix of the addition to the house. You shared your plans and some diagrams some time back. I’d love to see some “along the way” pictures…
    Oh, and you’ve got lots of pretty blossoms in Aug!

    • August 17, 2014 10:43 pm

      Ginny, I’ve been keeping a photo record of the construction and am hoping to post a kind of time-lapse photography slide show as soon as the outside is done (in the next 2-3 weeks).
      Because the season begins so late here (2-3 weeks behind your climate), there’s still lots going on in mid-August. (For example, my Phlox paniculata ‘David’ just began blooming today.)

  6. August 16, 2014 9:14 pm

    Your daylilies are gorgeous, I wish that I could get that kind of result…Great photos.

    • August 17, 2014 10:45 pm

      Charlie, Daylilies are easy-to-grow plants in my climate and sandy soil. The feeling you have expressed is what I feel when I look at other people’s photos of lushly blooming Clematis.

  7. August 17, 2014 9:30 am

    I really like you Autumn Sun Rudbeckia. I only have the double variety.

    • August 17, 2014 10:45 pm

      Cindy, I didn’t even know there was a double variety of ‘Autumn Sun.’ I’ll have to look for it.

      • August 18, 2014 4:01 am

        Sorry, it’s not a double Rudbeckia laciniata “Autumn Sun” per se, but a double R. laciniata. The cultivar is probably‘Goldquelle,’ ‘Hortensia,’ or ‘Goldenglow.’ Nice tough plants.

  8. August 18, 2014 4:48 am

    You have a lovely selection of daylilies still in bloom, the dark pink one is especially pretty. They are recent additions to my garden so I won’t see any flowers until next year. I can’t wait though!

    • August 22, 2014 4:45 pm

      Paula, It can sometimes take a few years for a daylily plant to form a large clump with lots of flowers — but it is worth the wait. And I find that when a young plant has only one flower scape and a few flowers, those few flowers are all the more precious to me.

  9. August 18, 2014 5:53 am

    Hi Jean, and i always become sad when the beautiful plants and gardens in temperate countries like you will be facing the frost or winter, because they will die. It looks like your garden is teeming with colors right now. I have been amiss in coming over here lately.

    • August 22, 2014 4:48 pm

      Andrea, I suppose because this is the climate I grew up in, I don’t feel as though the plants die. (Really, they don’t.) The plants go into dormancy, but the roots stay alive under the soil gathering nutrients and energy to burst forth into a glorious show the following spring.

  10. August 19, 2014 4:37 am

    Hello Jean, wow, that’s getting cold quickly already! I’d be in full winter-preparation-panic mode if the night time temperatures we’re beginning to fall that low here. As it is, I have some time yet but the days are getting noticeably shorter. You have a beautiful collection of daylilies, ours, which we inherited, were not much of a show, but when the bed they’re in is “restored”, they should give a much better display.

    • August 22, 2014 4:51 pm

      Sunil, Because of the warm gulf current that leaves the east coast of North America south of where I am to cross the Atlantic and warm the west coast of Europe, you have much milder winters and a longer gardening season than we do here. I was very lucky during the period I was establishing my back garden to have a daylily breeder 15 miles away; I would sometimes drive to his nursery on the weekend and come home with 6-10 new varieties.

  11. Nell Jean permalink
    August 20, 2014 9:03 am

    Do you think your Lycoris squamagera might be in too much shade? They tend to sulk after they’re moved. Maybe this year is the bloom year.

    • August 22, 2014 4:52 pm

      Nell Jean, That is a very good suggestion. This is only their second year in the garden, so I’m willing to wait another year or two to see if they bloom. But if they continue to send up foliage in spring without blooming later, I should consider moving them to a sunnier spot. Thanks.

  12. August 21, 2014 4:49 am

    Jean, I love all your daylilies I couldn’t chose one! I guess is too early for fall, but is so great season. Enjoy your garden.

    • August 22, 2014 4:54 pm

      Lula, I guess it’s fair to say that I couldn’t choose just one either! 🙂 I love fall and am happy for the dry sunny days and clear, cool nights that we often get at this time of year. I just hope frost holds off until later. As long as there is no frost, there is still plenty in my garden to grow and flourish.

  13. August 22, 2014 12:22 am

    I had the same reaction to seeing that my daylilies were ending their bloom season. On the other hand, I look forward to see the asters and goldenrods blooming.

    • August 22, 2014 4:58 pm

      Jason, I still have quite a few daylilies to enjoy in my garden, but the big show is over for this year. Five varieties of daylilies are currently in bloom (compared to a couple dozen varieties at the peak of their season), and my very late bloomer, Sandra Elizabeth, is just now sending up flower scapes. I haven’t had good luck with asters (mostly because they seem to have been a woodchuck favorite and had a hard time getting established), but I’m hoping to get some flowers on them this year. And, who knows, if we have some warm Indian summer weather and if frost holds off, I may even get some morning glories blooming on the fence.

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