Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – August 2012

This post is going to be a long one, so please get yourself a drink and settle down comfortably!
Things are going well in the garden considering we’re heading into late summer. I think I have enough Asters around the garden for a fair show this year; so far only the flat-topped Asters have begun to bloom, but this is no surprise and actually I hope they hold off for a while yet to extend the season further.

The weather so far for August has been fine, generally warm and often hot with little rain – I currently have to water all potted plants and even some in the borders. We are about due some real rain to keep the garden happy otherwise I’ll have to get the hose out for perhaps the second time this year!

So far Miscanthus ‘Flamingo’ isn’t showing much sign of producing any fluffy blooms/seed heads for me… Perhaps it was too wet for it? It’s growing very well otherwise, but will be a big disappointment if I don’t get anything this year; the Stipa gigantea has also been a massive disappointment and has barely grown at all, which of course means my feature grasses have been a waste of time.
Meanwhile the small and otherwise insignificant Salvia Schneehügel has been blooming for a month or more now and proving to be much more prolific than other Salvias such as caradonna. I need to plant something to complement the lovely white blooms because they’re too small to make any statement.

Sedum are beginning to get the slightest hint of colour to the blooms, and the Veronica is still blooming – very late! I’m unsure about the red Helenium with the purple though, but then they wouldn’t normally bloom together.

The garden this year is vastly different to last; we have colour left! This time last year there was little in bloom and everything was so dry they were already yellowed. I quite like the late lush colour, although I don’t think I’ll be happy to suffer another 4 months of rain next year.

This is the first year I’ve had Heleniums and the second year I’ve had Rudbeckia – and a rather pleasant surprise is that Gatekeepers also love the Rudbeckia! So it’s a keeper ;)


Black Hollyhock has popped up – I didn’t realise I had a plant in this spot until it was quite large! I’ll save some seeds for more next year.

Sea Holly is a big hit with the Butterflies; if you don’t already have it in your garden, please get some. Bees and Hoverflies also love it so it’s a big hit all round! There’s often at least 3 Gatekeepers on it.
I also love the accidental combination of the Blue Sea Holly and pink of Sanguisorba.

After spotting the bud on this Agapanthus, seemingly months ago it’s only over the past couple of days that its blooms have finally opened! I’m also beginning to think it may be ‘Back in Black’ which I bought years ago. Its stem is quite dark – almost black and its blooms much darker than the usual light blue I see around. I actually thought I’d lost back in black years ago, but it must be another one I lost.

My roses are doing well this year; all the David Austin roses are blooming again including other unknown roses in the front garden. Their blooms are much improved over last month’s as we’ve had almost no rain for a few weeks (due some later, apparently. But they have been saying this for over a week now and keep changing their minds). ‘Harlow Carr’ is at the top and ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ on the bottom.

This month I’ll finish with the unknown Umbel, which is most likely Ammi majus…

Thank you to Carol at: May dreams Gardens for hosting this memo.

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

23 thoughts on “Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – August 2012

  1. Lots of autumnal colours there, you are converting me to heleniums, I have a spot where they should fit in nicely. Your roses are looking really good, mine have had far more blackspot than usual, are yours suffering too?

    • Hi Pauline,

      Hahaha, my evil plan is working, I am converting someone ;)
      Take that jump, you know you want to; I did.

      I haven’t really noticed any black spot on roses this year, no. However I did notice recently that Tess is looking, rusty – the only way I could describe it without knowing the actual name of the problem. The rest all look OK though *touch wood*

    • Hi Ronnie,

      Expect to see more Rudbekia – once I finally get round to posting the butterfly photos!
      Not so sure I’d say the garden is well positioned; wrong side of a hill so in winter gets little to no direct light, but it is almost full south so once the sun rises in the sky it does receive plenty of direct sunlight (Feb – Nov)

  2. Liz your garden looks so good. You have so many beautiful blooms in blooms now. I am so jealous. LOL! Mine is fading fast here. Have a wonderful week.

    • Hi Lona,

      We had some rain today – first real shower in almost three weeks and the garden will be much happier for it; the Heleniums were struggling a little and I’ve had to water them regularly until they get settled.

      I hope you have a lovely week too; I’m enjoying a week off work here.

  3. Beautiful! I will put sea holly on my ‘must have’ list. The rudbekia photos are so cheerful – I love the combination of pink and orange. I think people should use that combination more often.

    • Hi,

      Definitely get some sea holly! It also looks good when dead – certainly dies well. And can look nice throughout winter, especially if you get heavy frosts or snow.
      Orange and pink isn’t a combination I would normally go for – don’t often have orange at all – but I was playing around, placing the Helenium in the border to decide where it ought to go and was surprised to discover I love it with the Persicaria!

  4. I’m in awe at the colour in your garden. My garden is looking distinctly soggy and needs much more colour. Some plants such as Astrantia have taken over parts of my garden and I need to have a good go at the this autumn and may be I can get some others plants with more colour in there. Do you grow your ammi from seed directly in the garden or do you start it off indoors/greenhouse?

    • Hi,

      Do you cut your Astrantias back? Sometimes they will give a second flush if you do – mine do although often not as good as the first. Sorry to hear you don’t have much going on in the garden… I’m surprised actually, but others seem to be suffering from the same problem too, so you’re not alone!
      The Ammi were part of a seed mix and I didn’t know they were in there! So it’s a bit of a guessing game deciding which they are. But yes they were directly sown earlier this year and it was a very pleasant surprise when I noticed umbel-like blooms appearing as I do love umbels and have often considered bringing cow parsley into the garden.

    • Hi Janet,

      I’m glad people are liking my Helenium and persicaria mix – I’d assumed everyone would run away screaming at the very thought of combining such colours! It wasn’t an intended combination… I bought the Heleniums and placed the pots around the border to decide where they should go, low and behold I came across a happy mistake and decided that I liked it a lot. My garden is practically unrecognisable at the moment with all the orange and yellows from Heleniums, Crocosmia, Coreopsis and Rudbekia!

    • Hi Donna,

      I’m uncertain that the Heleniums have the staying power here – I’ll probably grow bored of them over the coming years, but I do think the rudbeckias will likely stay, mainly because of the Butterflies enjoying them. I realise I am quite smitted with the Helenium + Persicaria combo, but I am doubtful about it being a lasting one.

  5. Gorgeous colours and blooms. I like the red helenium against the purple Veronica too, and the orange version with the pink sanguisorba. With the light mellowing, they don’t cause the clash you might expect. I’m surprising myself by some of the ‘clashes’ I’m actually enjoying in our garden.
    Have never yet seen a Gatekeeper in our garden though. The scabious, leucanthemum, verbena and buddleia are covered with Small Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and Peacocks, and a few Commas, but the Eryngium is simply buzzing with bees here. Fabulous hollyhock.

    • Hi,

      I’m surprised by the warm colours I’ve begun to collect in the garden this year… More yellow is creeping in and now the orange and red… Well, it’s almost unrecognisable here! But I am enjoying it, and hope I can force myself to try more combos next year because as much as I like them now, by spring next year I’ll have forgotten how nice they look and won’t want to try it again.
      We have loads of Gatekeepers here; last year 30+ and this year I think max has been around 15 which is good considering all the rain and I’m thrilled to have even 2, let alone into double figures. The garden just wouldn’t be the same without them flitting around all the time, chasing each other and any other flutter or insect that comes close!
      I love how the Sea Holly seems to literally move; there’s so many Bees, Hoverflies and Butterflies on them that they’re constantly moving around. Definitely an excellent addition to any garden.

  6. I love the combination of the Heleniums and the Rudbeckia! There’s something quite exciting about that color combination. I became a fan of Rudbeckias last year too. They seem to be at their best when so many other things in the garden here look worn out, and the bees and butterflies seem to enjoy them too. There’s such a fabulous color variety as well, from the classic yellows to near chocolate colored petals on some. I’m glad you’ve decided they get to stay. Someday I would love to plant sea holly…those blooms are just beautiful.

    • Hi Claire,

      I have some of the reddy, chocolate Rudbeckias too – well, they’re yellow with a range of reddybrown centres, some are almost totally red and others have the smallest red. They were sown in 2011, didn’t bloom until almost Christmas, survived the winter and are now sizeable plants sitting on a potting bench underneath the kitchen window and providing me with plenty to look at!
      The Sea Holly will definitely help with your Bees – and wild species – and they do like dry soils… Not sure how they survive in my heavy clay but they do.

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