Summer Finale: August 2013 GBBD

We are at the mid-point of August. Mid-summer flowers are fading, late summer bloomers are peaking, and the very first flowers of autumn begin to open, like scouts checking out a new territory.

Anise Hyssop, Joe Pye Weed
Flowers of the Driveway Border and Front Island Bed, including Anise Hyssop, Yellow Coneflower, ‘Gateway’ Joe Pye Weed, and Cup Plant.

I am very impressed with Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata). The flowers are very long-lasting, and the bright clear yellow wears well through the summer. This spring I planted several more Ratibida. For this year they are growing only basal foliage, but I am confident that next year they will bloom, providing me with a more dramatic swath of this plant.

Yellow Coneflower
Yellow Coneflower

Three other stand-out plants at this time of year are Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum), Joe Pye Weed ‘Gateway’ (Eutrochium purpureum subsp. maculatum), and Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum). The Anise Hyssop was slow to start blooming this year but is providing lots of very blue flower spikes right now. It goes well with the pink/purple umbels of ‘Gateway’ and the yellow daisies of the Ratibida and Cup Plant.

2013-08-11 11.40.50
Anise Hyssop
Joe Pye Weed 'Gateway'
Joe Pye Weed ‘Gateway’ with Cup Plant in background

Tall Ironweed (Vernonia altissima) is blooming for me for the first time this year. I’m looking forward to larger and more dramatic clumps of this plant.

Tall Ironweed
Tall Ironweed

‘Prairie Sunset’ Heliopsis (Heliopsis helianthoides) continues to bloom effortlessly, as they have since the end of June. You can see that the flowers of the Wild Bergamot are close to played out, though. The clump of Bergamot in the Sidewalk Border became afflicted with powdery mildew, so I cut them way back.

Heliopsis 'Prairie Sunset'
Heliopsis ‘Prairie Sunset’

The ‘Rasberry Wine’ Bee Balm, on the other hand, still has a fair amount of color.

Bee Balm 'Raspberry Wine'
Bee Balm ‘Raspberry Wine’

The Susans have arrived, both the shorter Orange Coneflower or Black Eyed Susan (Rudbecia fulgida), and the taller Brown Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba).

Orange Coneflower
Orange Coneflower with Firecracker Plant in a pot to the back.

In the parkway, Sedum spectabilis ‘Matronna’ has begun blooming. These are the first Sedum I’ve ever planted, for some reason. Also Calamint (Calamintha nepetoides) has formed low mounds filled with tiny white flowers much favored by pollinators.

Sedum 'Matronna'
Sedum ‘Matronna’

Across the driveway, the very first aster flowers are opening – the low-growing, blue Aromatic Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolius). Odd, because usually these asters tend to open later in the season.

Aromatic Aster
Aromatic Aster with friend

Near the front door, the compact Summersweet ‘Hummingbird’ (Clethra alnifolia) is blooming and scenting the air with a sweet fragrance.

Clethra Hummingbird
Summersweet ‘Humingbird’

The last of the Clematis jackmanii are blooming on their west-facing wall. They certainly were magnificent this year. And the rose ‘Cassie’ is having a new flush of blooms.

Jackman Clematis
Jackman Clematis
Rose 'Cassie'

Not a great deal to see in the back garden in terms of flowers right at the moment. There are Cup Plant growing against the outside of the alley fence, plus containers, fading ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangeas,  and the very beginnings of Brown Eyed Susan.

Hydrangeas in the back garden.
Cup Plant
Cup Plant growing against the alley fence.

Garden Blogger Bloom Day is graciously hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Check out the link to see the flowers blooming in other gardens.

64 Comments on “Summer Finale: August 2013 GBBD”

  1. I can see that we have a love for the same plants. They all suit my soil, and they attract bees and butterflies. I have to get the blue anise hyssop and Raspbery Wine Bee Balm. It really looks good in your garden, although the summer is almost gone.
    I still have lots of plants blooming, so I must make a post soon.

  2. It all looks wonderful. Love those tall prairie cup plants along the fence. My summersweet ‘Hummingbird’ blooms completely white, but yours is pink — I do have ‘Ruby Spice’ that is a soft pink though. In any event, the scent of clethra is lovely! I like seeing the re-bloom on the purple Jackmanii clematis, always a plus at this time of year.

  3. Thanks so much for these beautiful photographs. No wonder you attract so many birds, butterflies and bees! I am just now getting excited about the prospect of having some of these beautiful plants in my front yard, albeit a tiny space. A couple weeks ago Art and Linda’s Wildflowers planted and designed over what was formerly hated dying grass and detested shrubs… I am watering and fertilizing and praying.

    • The good news is temps have been mild. Bad news is that its pretty dry. Don’t know what Art and Linda said but I would say the main need now is water, fertilizer not so much. Long deep waterings with a soaker hose is best. Regarding prayer – hey, it can’t hurt. Eager to see how your new garden turns out. What plants did you get?

      • Yeah, I’ve been watering more than fertilizing but Art was so disgusted with my soil (I never cared for my lawn, so it just took whatever it could from the soil) that he even dropped off extra compost last week (I had already put some around everything). The variety of plants is too long to list here – he almost did a “sampler” given the conditions. I think it will even out as things take, probably not everything will survive, but right now I’m excited that he did plant a few things I craved like Prairie Smoke and a Sweet Joe Pye Weed. Most of the plants are so small it’s hard to tell what they will eventually look like, but that’s exciting, I get to watch them grow. There are a couple Blazing Stars that are starting to bloom, and I had put some others myself on the side of the house. Anyway it’s an eastern exposure thing so in the afternoon it’s not in full sun. I must be doing something “right” – the grass we “killed” is starting to come back in a few spots!…

    • Anise Hyssop has been a favorite of mine since I first planted it 10 years ago. I grow the straight native species Agastache foeniculum. I think Blue Fortune and most of the other blue Agastaches are hybrids between A. foeniculum and the Korean species. The main problem I have with the native is controlling the height.

  4. “like scouts checking out a new territory” – love that, isn’t it so true? Most of my plants look the same since I do a lot of container gardening. The Black and Blue Salvia is attracting hummingbirds every day, and the Rose of Sharon has called every bee in the neighborhood. I think your late summer garden looks great!

  5. I hope my garden looks this good one day in August!!! It is beautiful Jason! Your first photo is a wonderful combination!!! I have always fancied Anise Hyssop and now you have convinced me to get going with planting it next year!

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