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The Season of Summer Phlox: GBBD, August 2017

August 15, 2017

Side Slope August

Our garden season in Maine is short; but as you can see from the above view down the side slope from the patio border to the driveway, there’s still quite a lot happening in the garden in mid-August.

If July is daylily season, the stars of the August garden are the summer phlox (Phlox paniculata). I have been taking advantage of my new front garden project to add more of these. Two varieties, ‘Blue Paradise’ and ‘David’ are old friends that have been growing in the back garden for years. ‘Blue Paradise,’ the earliest blooming of my summer phlox varieties,  has already been flowering for weeks and is beginning to look a little tired. ‘David’ is just beginning to open its flowers in the fence border.

Blue Paradise August David opening

As I add more phlox to the garden, I’ve been taking advantage of the amazing selection offered by Rachel Kane at Perennial Pleasures in Vermont, a nursery that specializes in growing and propagating old-fashioned garden varieties. The pink phloxes below include ‘Robert Poore’ (the photo doesn’t really do justice to its intense color), a variety that Kane has named ‘Old Cellarhole’ (because that’s where she discovered it growing), ‘Bright Eyes,’ and ‘Miss Pepper.’

Pink phlox

Although the daylilies are past their peak in mid-August, there are still more than a dozen varieties in bloom, including these which had flowers open today.

August Daylilies

Casa Blanca blooms The Casa Blanca lilies are adding beauty (and their glorious fragrance) to the August garden.
While the lilies have just begun to bloom in August, the flowers of Geranium x oxonianum are garden stalwarts that have been blooming since early June. I occasionally think about cutting back their long floriferous arms, especially now that they are putting up new blooms from fresh new mounds of foliage at the centers of the plants – but I love the way they weave their clear pink flowers among other plants, as here with the blue balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus). Pink geranium & blue platycodon

Composite flowers (now in the family Asteraceae) also come into their own in August. These include the flowers of Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ blooming their hearts out along the Lavender Walk.

Echinacea August

But also the flowers of Liatris, here Liatris spicata ‘Floristan Violet’ blooming with daylily ‘Late Summer Breeze’ and L. spicata ‘Floristan White’ blooming with ‘Orange Bounty.’

Late Summer Breeze and Liatris Liatris & Orange Bounty
In the back garden, the lemon yellow composite flowers of the tall rudbeckia ‘Autumn Sun’ (or ‘Herbstsonne’) light up the back of the blue and yellow border. Autumn Sun
Solidago And around the edges of the garden, the native goldenrods (Solidago) have begun to bloom.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the creation of Carol at May Dreams Gardens and is hosted by her in the 15th of every month. Visit her blog to see what other gardeners have in bloom this August.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2017 6:51 pm

    Your season may be short but you make the most of it, Jean! I wish I had your success with daylilies or oriental lilies for that matter. I love the phlox too but that genus doesn’t even enter into the realm of possibility for my western garden.

    • August 20, 2017 9:04 pm

      Kris, As I’ve matured as a gardener, I’ve found that I grow fewer genera of plants (although often more varieties within a genus). Over the years, I’ve come to terms with the fact that some plants I’d love to grow are never going to thrive in my conditions and I’ve learned to appreciate the plants that do thrive here.
      These are the first oriental lilies in my garden for many years. I tore them all out years ago when the scourge of the red lily leaf beetle descended on us and replaced them with daylilies. I’m hoping these lilies will work out and not be destroyed by beetles.

  2. August 16, 2017 9:55 pm

    Wonderful! Love all the Lilies

    • August 20, 2017 9:06 pm

      Lea, Those Casa Blanca lilies were just added to the garden this year. Their blooms didn’t last very long, but they were a source of delight while they did.

  3. August 17, 2017 12:13 am

    You have me excited to add a few new phlox this fall!
    Two of my favorites from Rachel are ‘Cabot Pink’ and ‘Dorfsfruede’. ‘Bright Eyes’ didn’t make it through our drought last year, but seeing your photo makes me want to try again.

    • August 20, 2017 9:08 pm

      Bittster, I’m hoping to add a few more phlox when I add a border at the edge of the woods year after next. I’ll have to consider these two. So far, my favorite is ‘Robert Poore.’

  4. August 17, 2017 11:11 pm

    Hi Jean, your garden is teeming with beautiful colors now! I also love the way you collaged those lilies. Even if you have short garden season there you were able to capture their beauty the way you chose your plants. Beautiful.

    • August 20, 2017 9:20 pm

      Andrea, Daylilies are among my favorite flowers in the garden. I love all the beautiful colors in their varieties, and over the years, I have added many that bloom quite late into the autumn.

  5. August 19, 2017 6:24 am

    Hello Jean, I love the long line of purple Echinacea, it’s something I still miss from our last garden. I know your gardening season is shorter than hours and at this point, it feels like you’re just about overtaking us, but there’s still plenty of flower-power left.

    • August 20, 2017 9:22 pm

      Sunil, I agree that there’s still quite a lot of flower power left (although I don’t have the variety of different plants in bloom at this time of year that I do in June and July). Many of the composites that are in bloom now (including the Echinacea) will continue blooming until frost, and the asters haven’t really gotten started yet.

  6. August 21, 2017 11:14 pm

    My daylilies bloom in June and are long gone by now. I do miss them. Thanks for sharing yours and everything else was stunning!
    Jeannie @

    • August 22, 2017 3:12 pm

      Jeannie, I have a long period of anticipation until the daylilies begin to bloom in July, but the compensation is that some of the late ones and the rebloomers can last into October.

  7. Joanna @ Gingham Gardens permalink
    August 27, 2017 12:19 pm

    Hi Jean, just popped over to your blog from GBBD. I’m loving what I’m seeing. We have lots of the same plants. When you have a few minutes, stop by and take a little tour. Happy Gardening!

  8. September 9, 2017 6:35 pm

    Enjoying the wide views – your garden is looking good.

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