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Waning Blooms and Swelling Buds: GBBD, August 2015

August 16, 2015

semi-double yellow daylilyMid-August is a transition time in my Maine garden, with the blooms of high summer waning and the flowers of fall still in bud. The daylilies have been winding down fast over the past couple weeks. Each day seems to bring one more variety opening its last flower; on bloom day, it was this unidentified cultivar with a semi-double yellow flower. There are still a few daylily varieties with buds left, especially the fall-blooming cultivars ‘Autumn Minaret’ and ‘Final Touch,’ which are just getting started. I also expect fall blooms from the early rebloomers ‘Happy Returns’ and ‘Boothbay Harbor Gold’ – but right now they are resting, like actresses between gigs.

autumn minaret 2015 final touch 2015
Among the astilbes, only A. chinensis taquetti at the back of the deck border is still in flower – and it is nearing the end of its bloom. astilbe chinensis

There are, on the other hand, a number of long-blooming yellow composite plants that are going strong. These include Coreopsis verticillata (I think this is ‘Golden Showers’),  Heliopsis helianthoides (false sunflower), and the wonderful tall rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne,’ which lights up the back of the blue and yellow border at this time of year.

coreopsis verticillata heliopsis helianthoides

Geranium x oxonianum stalwart One of the true stalwarts of this summer’s garden is the pink Geranium x oxonianum. I have this planted in a number of different places, and it has been blooming continuously since the first week in June. Other impressive long-bloomers have included Geranium x ‘Nimbus’ and Spirea japonica ‘Magic Carpet.
geranium nimbus spirea magic carpet

liatris & heliopsisOne late summer flower that is putting on a good show right now is Liatris spicata ‘Floristan White,’ which grows in the circular bed at the turn into my driveway.

The tall garden phlox, P. paniculata, should be the glory of the late summer garden in northern New England, but my early-blooming variety ‘Blue Paradise’ has already finished and my late-blooming variety ‘David’ has not yet begun to flower (despite lots of tantalizingly swelling buds). Happily, I have just acquired three new varieties of phlox to go in the new front garden, and two of these (‘Bright Eyes’ and ‘Miss Pepper’) are putting on a good display in their pots.

new phlox
Bright Eyes phlox
Miss Pepper phlox

David budsPhlox paniculata ‘David’ is not the only plant in my garden whose swelling buds provide a promise of blooms to come. A number of fall-flowering plants are also making new buds. These include the aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) ‘Bluebird’ and three different varieties of sedum (S. x ‘Matrona’, S. spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’ and S. spectabile ‘Neon’). In addition, there are many tiny buds on the morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor) vines on my garden fence, promising a ‘Heavenly Blue’ display to come.

Swelling buds

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see other late summer (and, in the southern hemisphere, late winter and early spring) blooms.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2015 11:10 pm

    Lovely blooms

  2. August 17, 2015 9:44 am

    Thank you for a lovely walk through your garden today, Jean! So pretty! Our Midwest garden is a sea of golden sunshine at the moment with so many yellow perennials in bloom! Wishing you a great week in the garden, Jean! ♡

    • August 17, 2015 8:51 pm

      Dawn, I love all those sunny yellows in the late summer garden. Usually, I think of the August garden as yellow and white, but this year the white is sparse — at least until phlox ‘David’ finally blooms.

  3. August 17, 2015 2:41 pm

    I do love see what is in bloom in your garden…Daylilies are such a wonderful visual treat this time of year.

    • August 17, 2015 8:53 pm

      Charlie, I keep extending the daylily season in my garden by going to daylily nurseries after the flowers are mostly done in my garden and buying plants they have still in bloom. Usually, I have the very late ‘Sandra Elizabeth’ to see me through September, but this year she is sulking and has not sent up any flower scapes.

  4. August 17, 2015 7:49 pm

    I love the tall phlox – only the stubby annual forms will grow here and even those tend to succumb to mildew. Reblooming daylilies always seem like something of a minor miracle to me – as our heat eases, I’m hoping I’ll see some of mine return too.

    • August 17, 2015 8:57 pm

      Kris, Rachel, the owner and phlox guru of Perennial Pleasures nursery, argues from her very extensive experience growing hundreds of phlox plants that powdery mildew is not caused by poor air circulation as is usually assumed but by hot, dry soils. This analysis would seem to make sense of your experience with powdery mildew.

  5. August 17, 2015 8:42 pm

    That semi-double, no-name daylily is lovely by any other name! And your Phlox look great. Wish mine didn’t have the brown-leaved stems. Kinda takes away from the pretty flowers. Hope I can find that “Miss Pepper” Phlox you have for next year; it’s stunning.
    It’s great to have buds that promise more flowers to come. I’m still waiting for my Anemones to start. I found one threatening to do so, but, so far, only threats.

    • August 17, 2015 9:02 pm

      Emily, Check out Perennial Pleasures Nursery. They sell dozens of varieties of phlox by mail order. ‘Miss Pepper’ has slightly smaller flowers than many of the other varieties, but there are so many of those smaller flowers!
      I planted a fall anemone when I put in my serenity garden. Alas, the deer devoured it before it ever had a chance to bloom and it was never heard from again.

  6. August 19, 2015 7:28 am

    I would like to give that R. laciniata a try. Very nice.

    • August 19, 2015 10:01 pm

      Jason, ‘Autumn Sun’ is a beautiful cultivar and seems like a natural for you given your love of tall plants! I have it growing in two places, and it seems to be happier in the part-sun at the edge of the woods than in the full sun at the back of the fence border.

  7. August 29, 2015 8:42 pm

    I love seeing your August garden Jean…it is transition time and I adore any and all blooms that keep going through late summer.

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