The August Garden

defrost49August 14, 2012

Here it is not quite the middle of August and my garden beds look bedraggled. The phlox got battered but was near the end of its bloom period anyway. I'm gearing up to divide some perennials and move some around. The kidney shaped bed doesn't look too bad although nothing is in bloom except one small shrub and some young yellow echinacae. I've got a good mix of shapes and foliage. I bought some creeping thyme on sale at Agway to put at the south edge of the border.

Are you happy about your August garden? What's blooming or simply looks good? The plants in my circle bed are too large and too many are too tall (white phlox is at least 5' tall) for such a small bed (maybe 12' in diameter). I also hate to cut anything down because the birds love the seed heads. This bed is in our view from the kitchen table. Maybe I should plant things that would look neater. I do not have any annuals in this bed and due to the height of the perennials, the north side of the garden is shady.

Brag all you want if your beds looks great at this time of year. I'm looking for insight and inspiration.

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As I drive around I'm mostly seeing rose of Sharon, hydrangeas and brown eyed Susan's.

In my garden, it's all about the Tithonia. I still have echinaceas in bloom and rudbeckia. Plus my annuals.

I went to Tower Hill earlier this week to get August inspiration. (I'll be posting pics in the gallery soon). Their gardens seemed to be all about the foliage - the colors and the textures. I didn't walk around all the gardens, but I would say the vegetable garden as the highlight this month.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:40PM
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molie(z6 CT)

No, I'm not happy with my August garden. Many of my plants look very tired and "done" for the season. I had planned to do some fall transplanting but now I wonder if that will add more stress to the plants.

My sedums look ratty -- the taller ones especially are flopping over and bare-leaved and Vera Jamison has spread apart and is bare in the center. This should be their best time.

Every hosta, except one that's behind a tree, is crispy.

But the worst of it are my day lilies. Several of them are rebloomers, but I've had to cut so many back because of browned leaves so I think they're done too.

The strangest things are my Japanese Anemones. Usually they bloom in the fall, but they've already started flowering here in mid-August.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Molie, I think we've had more rain than you since my day lilies are doing ok. I haven't watered the flower beds. One is decently moist thanks to a high water table. The others are pretty much powdery, dry soil but echinacae is tough. A weedy spirea is crispy brown in a spot that only gets afternoon sun and bakes against a concrete foundation wall.

Pixie Lou, I look forward to your photos. I have not been to Tower Hill but was thinking of visiting Tarbin Gardens in NH to see what they are growing. They have English style gardens and afternoon teas.

A friend with an incredible garden (lots of pots and tropicals) posted photos yesterday on her blog and fb. Phlox, butterfly bush, agastache, hydrangea are all doing well for her. Lil Joe Pye weed looks great plus her sedum. Kick myself for losing an Autumn Joy due to leaving it in a pot last winter instead of getting it in the ground. Her sedums looked great.

Next year, more impatients for me IF I will keep them watered. Those in two tub planters are doing ok. Roadside planters with those super-tunias look great this year. A local nursery and landscaping company are doing all the work.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:56AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

My yard is looking tired right now, so I can sympathize, defrost. I have a lot of Maples, Spruce, and a Sycamore in the neighboring yards very close to my lot line that just suck the moisture out of the ground, so when it gets hot and dry, sometimes I just can't water it enough and some areas just don't look their best.

The garden in spring is naturally the best in my garden as I suppose it is in most gardens. Everything looks fresh and healthy and vigorous. Then I have a lull in July that I am trying to address with Clematis for starters. From August forward, what do I have that is not looking tired....?

My full sun bed in front looks the best right now....

Perovskia looks good it's entire life cycle save for a little slow to get going in the spring.

Agastache 'Ava' the same. Looks good from beginning to end, and stays upright for the most part. Other Agastaches either didn't come back, or some like 'Honey Bee Blue' are finished blooming and looking a little tired. 'Black Adder' is new to me this year and it did very well and still looks good.

Butterfly Bush looks good just about until frost and whether it looks tired or not, depends on whether we have had too much or too little rain and whether I've been able to keep up with it. For the most part, it tolerates a lot without skipping a beat. I do have to keep it deadheaded and leave it up over the winter without cutting it back until spring. So I try to prune it back a little as I am deadheading to keep it neat in areas where I will see it all winter.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' another plant that looks good throughout it's life. In my full sun garden they stand upright and don't flop open. And a great companion'..

Pennisetum 'Hamlin' a great ornamental grass that is just the right size to me, stays in a clump, reseeds lightly, and looks good all season. Mine is just starting to show it's plumes. It also changes color in the fall to yellow.

I would love to grow that grass 'Morning Light' but I haven't the room right now. It would be taller.

I don't use Daylilies.

Chrysanthemums also look good throughout their life cycle, if you keep them pinched back. I have about 10 of them, so it's not that big a job. I do it twice. In late spring and then again on July 4th for the last time. They stay green, healthy and neat all season and then bloom in either late August, early Sept, or later, depending on the variety. I have not had trouble with hardiness for the most part.

Euphorbia is new to me last spring. I am really enjoying it. It blooms in the spring and then pushes out new foliage after you trim it back, that again looks great all season. At least the one I have. I have it mixed into the edging next to the Mums and they look nice together and stay neat and healthy looking. Half the Euphorbia foliage turned a little burgundy. It seems to tolerate everything and has needed no special attention. My full sun bed is a little wild with the Perovskias and Agastaches and Echinacea, so the edging of Mums, Euphorbia, Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Pennisetum 'Hamelin' keeps it looking neat.

Small shrubs that look nice this time of year, are Clethra. I have mine growing well under the drip line of a large Maple facing East and it always looks great. One is 'Hummingbird' and the other is 'Sherry Sue' which is taller and the flowers are longer. Hummingbird has flowers right now and Sherry Sue's blooms are there but not open yet. They do sucker some. But the foliage looks fresh all summer. Turning yellow in the fall.

Some of the late blooming Hydrangea are great this time of year. I have a standard 'Pink Diamond' that I added two years ago that is a great addition. I don't have it in my full sun bed with my perennials but it could work at the back of a bed I suppose. It is flowering right now. It does prefer more moisture than some, and the neighboring trees hog all the rain. I had some yellowing and dropping leaves in July but it bloomed fine.

I was going to take a photo or two, but it's soaked out there this morning. This has been a pretty good year and would have been better if I was able to give it more attention. I have only a small 18x16ft bed for full sun, so I don't feel I have enough space to really get the effect I want, but it is pack full of bloom all season and I enjoy it. I wish it were in the back outside my kitchen window where I could look at it more. In the spring I am always moving things in that bed but aside from the spring effort to prepare the bed for the season, it really takes very little effort to keep it looking good the rest of the season.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:24AM
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spedigrees z4VT

I'm very happy with some of my gardens right now, and disappointed in others. My 3 perennial beds are their peak of magnificence this time of the year, ablaze with the red and purple of my tall phlox. My daylilies are starting to go by, but a few plants are blooming out in the 3 gardens in particular right now. I have so many varieties that some are always in bloom.

My orange garden has been a disappointment due to the plague of Japanese beetles. The various types of rudbeckia and marigolds are only now beginning to recover. The perennial type of black eyed susans were particularly hit hard. I'll leave them but next year plant a lot more of the annual type which fared better. I'll also plant a few pots with marigolds but try orange geraniums and orange gerbera daisies in the other pots, and hope for the best. These plants did well in pots in other full sun areas this years despite the beetles.

The gerbera daisy in a pot atop the sawed off trunk of our old quaking aspen thrived this summer as always, apparently immune to the disgusting beetles, and flowering continuously. Ditto with my geraniums in wine barrels at the front of the house. These annuals are still a picture of red gorgeousness and probably will be up until frost.

My veggie patch is doing well. Sunflowers, corn, and summer squash all providing us with food and color. Last year Irene decimated it, but this year it's all it should be.

My "gnome" garden was a far cry from its former glory, partially because of the disgusting beetles, but also because I was late starting my cosmos plants.

The front porch started well, but has deteriorated. The nasturtiums in my hanging pot have a lot of dying leaves and sparse blossoms. I'm collecting seeds for next year, but they are past their prime, and I'll be dumping the pot when I get enough seeds for next year. However since they looked great all during July up until a week or so ago, I can't say I'm unhappy with them.

The snapdragons in pots on the railings are also past it now, but they did look nice earlier.

As far as failure goes, the pole beans in a giant container on the porch that I expected to climb and cover the posts and railings with lush foliage produced a handful of beans and sparse tiny leaves. They won't be coming back next year. Any ideas for something that will climb and grow quickly? The porch gets full sun from noon til dusk, and shade in the morning. (Actually next summer the porch and trim re-painting project will be taking place, so I won't be planting any vines until spring of 1014. I have some time to think about it.)

Then there are the morning glories. I'm perhaps unhappiest of all my gardens with these. Last year they grew up the posts of our fire escape and produced beautiful blue flowers every morning. This year I decided to expand this little garden and I planted morning glories, 4 o'clocks, and moon flowers, hoping for showy blooms all through the day and night. They germinated and proceded to climb the poles, looking healthy, but not a single flower had appeared on any of these plants! Does anyone have an idea as to what might have gone wrong?

Lastly I am extremely unhappy with the hollyhocks I planted behind the house. They are stunted pathetic things, needless to say, no flowers. The leaves look healthy but the plants are short and growing sideways. I know that the soil needs to be built up back there, and that could account for it, or perhaps sun only until noon everyday is the problem. It's annoying since these were grown from non-hybrid heirloom seeds that I bought, and now I won't be able to collect seeds to continue the line.

The gladiolas I also planted behind the house made up for the hollyhock failure. I had forgotten how much I love glads. I'll definitely be digging up the corms to save for next year, and perhaps I'll plant daylilies to fill in where the hollyhocks were supposed to be.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:36PM
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I appreciate the visits to your gardens even without photos. Prairiemoon, I do have a Hummingbird Clethra and that is one bit of color in one bed. I like the shape of this bed with a still young weeping crab apple. I have some young yellow echinacae on the east side and have added some hostas. Forgot the name of a purple leaved perennial that is a late bloomer. It's appeal is its foliage. Haven't thought about perovskias but they are something to think about.

Spedigrees, I have a tin wash tub of scarlet runner beans against our front porch. Maybe I'm not fertilizing them enough. They are skimpy. I have ordinary anise hyssop grown from seed which self sows and the hummingbirds and goldfinches love it. I should look into other varieties. The spikes would look good with the yellow echinacae.

The clary sage which smells awful and self sows a little too heartily was on the verge of being banished from my garden, at least the circle bed which has too many tall things. Then, yesterday, the humingbird enjoyed every blossom on the smaller plant that still has new flowers. I'm thinking I need a wild garden.

How deep are your hanging pots that hold nasturtiums? I think mine are much too small and shallow. The nasturtiums in the vegetable garden are huge and rampant (when will I learn to space seed further apart?) and choking out cucumbers that should be sharing the space.

Taller marigolds that I grew from seed are just starting to bloom among another cucumber patch. Last winter was my first experience with a light table. I was lucky to have hardly any Japanese beetles this year.

Love the current rain. Looks like Sunday will be good for transplanting a few things.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 6:42AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I'm pretty happy with the august garden. This month is a bit of a transition into the fall when things are gearing back up. All the carpet and fairy roses are just getting ready to put on their next show which will last into Nov. The hydrangeas look good, especially since the deer have stayed away. I do have a number of plants with mildew this year which I've never really dealt with too much before. The hibiscus are magnificent at this time of year and the rose of sharon are just finishing up. I do love ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford'. She is just gorgeous right now with her dark leaves and rich yellow daisy-like flowers. Lots of other perennials still hanging on with a bit of bloom.

Donna, I have a bunch of sedum 'Autumn Joy' you can have. If Annie has a fall swap I can bring it there, or of course you're always welcome to come here and dig things up. They're a bit scrawny and unhappy on my slope so they could use a good home. Could the purple foliage plant be chocolate joe pye weed? That should start blooming next month. One of mine got very tall this year. Actually, everything appears to be on steroids from all the rain we had. Have you tried cutting back your phlox once or twice during the growing season so they'll be shorter. I cut back 'David' at least once to about a foot and then it winds up being about 3' tall.

I forgot one of my favorite fairly new shrubs to me that blooms in August and that is 'Lo and Behold' butterfly bush. It's a blooming powerhouse and covered with butterflies and bees and has stayed quite small over the last few years. I think they're about 18" high and 2' across. I have 3 of them planted together and it makes a nice purple statement. And also lespedeza thunbergii is a stunner and just about ready to pop. Come to think of it, if sweet autumn clematis wasn't such a thug, those 2 would probably make a good pairing.

There's one thing that LOVES August. Crabgrass!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi spedigrees, I was wondering about your phlox. You mean paniculata, right? Do you ever have a problem with mildew on your phlox? The red and purple together sounds really pretty.

Sorry to hear you have a lot of Japanese beetles. Wish I had a solution to offer. I haven't had a large problem with those, but have read posts on it and the only thing I have heard people succeed with is that Milky Spore on their lawns. I seem to remember you have a larger property than my small 1/4 acre, so that might be impractical for you.

LOL. 'red gorgeousness' :-) Sounds like you are really enjoying at least parts of your garden this year.

As for the question about no bloom on your morning glory garden, that is a mystery. I would say that I have had Moon Flower Vine go a season without bloom, due to their late bloom and early cold weather in the fall that year, and I am in zone 6a, so that might just be the case. Morning glories can also start blooming late, especially if you get a late start with them. I stopped growing both of those, but I see this year I have volunteers and they have been blooming for a few weeks now. No bloom on 4 clocks really surprises me though. I have no idea what could be the reason. They do bloom in the early evening though, later than 4oclock in my garden. I know I didn't realize that the first year I grew them and was consistently missing the time of day they were open.

The hollyhocks, I would suspect not enough sun. I always heard, they grow in any soil.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:01AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi defrost, I also use a dark foliaged sedum and a dark foliaged Penstemon in my bed for contrast. Neither of which adds a lot of bloom but the foliage adds a lot of interest. Also just added a short 'Midnight Wine' that has dark foliage that is still young yet, so I'm hoping that will add something more in the next couple of years.

Hi Thyme2, Your August garden sounds great. The rain lately was just what we needed. You reminded me that August is a great month for Butterflies. I have always had a Butterfly Bush, but still, I've never seen more butterflies than I've seen this year. Butterfly Bush, Agastache 'Black Adder', Echinacea, and Liatris seem to be their favorite plants here.

I've never seen more crabgrass either, unfortunately. *sigh*

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:13AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Okay, the sun is out, I got a few photos...
Reblooming 'Golden Celebration' Rose...

Butterfly Bush, 1st year in this position, Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and Pennisetum 'Hamelin', next to the driveway.

Echinacea and Agastache 'Ava' along the street.

Same bed, Salvia 'Black and Blue' in front of Perovskia

Along the street edge, Euphorbia with a Mum not in bloom yet to it's right and a Sedum 'Purple Emperor' behind....

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:36AM
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Wonderful photos, there is hope!
Thyme2, thanks for your offer of Autumn Joy sedum. I'm not sure if I can go to the fall swap at Annie's. I would like one.
ohoh, I haven't been cutting back the phlox. I better look that up.
I've been admiring the agastache varieties. Mine is ordinary anise hyssop grown from seed and definitely loved by bumblebees, hummingbirds and goldfinches. I was going to ditch this but it would look very nice next to the mystery dark leaf perennial which I know isn't Joe pye weed.

I weeded the kidney shaped bed which has a lot of bare spots so I can easily do some transplanting this weekend. The local nursery has a good selection of blue mouse ears hosta and a variegated version that was quite small but I'm going to wait until if and when I have a good spot. I think a plant that small needs to be where I can easily see it and enjoy it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:02PM
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I'm fairly happy with my August gardens. My white garden is in part shade and doing fairly well.
I planted a lot of zinnias this year and they are tolerating the drought very nicely. My 'Little Lamb' hydrangeas look great despite the heat and very limited watering.
The only thing I am unhappy about are my vegetables and my morning glories.
All my vegetables have some kind of mildew. They are still producing but look horrible.
And morning glories.....I don't know why but they hate growing in my yard. They never do well. Most of them die off in the early stage. I have one that climbed to the top of my pergola and is blooming, but has some kind of unsightly disease on it's leaves. I haven't had much luck googling the problem, either.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

PM2, nice photos! I planted a bunch of 'Hameln' this year and the jury is still out. It seems much taller than I expected and it's flopping. Not what I expected or hoped for, but I'll see what it does next year.
So, you think perovskia is a good plant. I have a buddleia alternifolia that is getting a bit out of control. I was hoping to sort of limb it up and make it into a standard but that has been a miserable failure! It was worth a try though. I'm thinking about taking it out and replacing it with perovskia. I had it in a garden at my other house, but it was very floppy. The spot I want to place it is a bit more sandy. I see them growing beautifully at gas stations and parking lots (does that drive anyone else nuts when you see great plants growing at shopping centers, in parking lots, at banks, etc. when in your nourished garden they look like crap?!? But I digress.....) and I'm thinking at parking lots maybe the soil isn't as rich. What do you think? What kind of soil is yours in?

Donna, if you're interested I also have agastache 'Golden Jubilee'. Keeps a pretty nice yellow color all season and looks nice with the lavendar/blue blooms. We'll have to make a plan for you to come dig stuff up from my garden if you can't make Annie's.
I started cutting back ANYTHING that I thought got too tall in the garden a few years ago. I cut back tall rudbeckia, garden phlox, ironweed, joe pye weed and others. If you whack them back early in the seaon (just like you would cut back asters) they'll be a number of feet shorter. It has worked really well for me. Can you post a pic of your mystery purple plant?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:28PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Defrost, you are certainly getting a head start on fall garden work. I am still waiting for cooler weather and a little bit more time. I am not my usual motivated self to prep for next year, but I'm sure that will change if the weather gets cooler.

Teresa, I haven't grown Morning glories for awhile, probably because they bloom so late and I didn't want to add them to any of the structures that I set aside for other vines. But I still get some volunteers from when I was growing them. This year, they look pretty good, especially since I did no work to have them. I will have to check them out tomorrow and see how the foliage is doing. I think they are happiest when ignored.

Thyme2, I went back and looked at photos of 'Hamelin' in earlier years, and they seem to perform well for me in full sun and part sun. I think they get fuller and prettier each year. Your 'Hamelins' were marked and raised commercially, right? I only ask because there is a similar grass that is a Pennisetum 'Karley Rose' that I had and shovel pruned, because it got larger, and messier than the 'Hamelin'.

Yes, Perovskia is a good plant for me, because I do like that 'meadow' look in full sun and that helps me accomplish that. I also find it so carefree and free of pests and any foliar issues at all. The flowers are so long lasting and it looks good in every stage of growth. And it's pretty drought tolerant. I've read that some varieties are more upright then others. I haven't tried others, and mine has flopped in some years. This year it did some of that, but when it started to get horizontal, it pushed out new stems that went vertical and filled in. It is a nice filler plant if you have other plants with large bright flowers that can complement it. Mine is planted in clay/loam soil. I don't fertilize it. I would ask around for ideas of which variety doesn't flop. Didn't Piet Oudolf use a lot of Perovskia in his designs? I wonder what variety he used? I just looked up Highline in NYC and he used Perovskia atriplicifolia and in the Chicago Lurie Garden, he used Perovskia a. 'Little Spire'. I love that there is always a plant list on his sites.

Have you tried other Buddleias and is the location full sun? Do you deadhead yours? As I deadhead, I try to keep it trimmed to the shape I like it. It is very forgiving that way. There is a 'Peacock' variety that grows lower, and the flowers are large and fat. OH and I always cut mine back to about 10 inches off the ground in the spring, after I see initial growth. So you get a fresh start every spring.

I wouldn't be without a butterfly bush. They never stop blooming until frost. The butterflies are all over them and some have a good deal of fragrance. They also don't seem to have any pest or foliar issues. But again, it fits that meadow style that appeals to me. I wonder if you like a more manicured look?

Here is a link that might be useful: August Bloom List on the HIghLine in NYC

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:41PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Prairiemoon I love your pink echinacea and agastache. They look lovely together, a beautiful display!

Yes my phlox are all paniculata I believe. (I looked on my old saved tags.) Thankfully I've never had a problem with mildew (or woodchucks!) I have so many different varieties that some are always blooming during August. I have some bi-colored pink varieties too that are pretty. This shot was from last August, but shows what the reds and purples look like every year.

I think you must be right about the hollyhocks. I've also heard that they will grow in all types of soil, come to think of it, so it must be they need a sunnier location.

I guess there is no solution to the Japanese beetle problem. I do have a lot of open meadow, as do my neighbors, so treating all the soil with milky spore would be next to impossible.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Spedigrees, very pretty color combination. I bet they are fragrant too. Better luck next year with the Hollyhocks.

Yes, I guess you are stuck with the Japanese beetles until someone comes up with something to keep them at bay. It is wonderful to have open meadows though, so there is that.

That Agastache with the Echinacea is called 'Ava'.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 7:50AM
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Wow. Beautiful flowers!

I had no idea that agastache comes in yellow. I just learned how to pronounce 'agastache' a few weeks a go.

I had to keep chanting to myself 'sounds like mustache...sounds like mustache'.

I would love to see them and the 'Ava' is just lovely!

Spedigrees, I like the colorful bottles around your phlox. Are they decoration only or do they serve another purpose?


    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 7:16PM
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I'm always pleased with the front garden, although now the roses have pretty much stopped their non-stop blooming. The obedient plants are pretty and I still have some phlox and daylilies blooming. The monarda is covered with horrible mildex. The butterfly bush looks OK and the hydrangeas have turned a pretty soften greenish color. My Russian sage always flops. I think the soil's too rich; nothing much I can do about that.

As for my redheaded stepchild, the back garden, it's suffered from my neglect, partially due to my shoulder injury. It's higher maintenance than the densely planted front garden and the weeds just really got away from me this year. I almost gave up on it until my steel willpower kicked in and I started mulching. I've attached a video I made where you can see the weeds and then the newly mulched areas. I'm motivated next year to really pump up the look of this garden. I'm inspired by this post's talk of Autumn Joy and think I'll buy two more. Love them.

Yes, the Japanese beeales, as well as others, were horrific this year. Maybe next year I'll actually get stuff put into my lawn in time to stop their reproduction.

I am thrilled that I finally, after several years of promises, transplanted and divided some overgrown plants. Next year I'd like to overhaul the large back garden by planting things in waves. It's hard because when I first created this garden I plopped some roses in bad places and now don't want to move them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Gone to Seed

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 8:26AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

PM2, I do have other Buddleia davidii and I do like that in late summer. I planted 3 'Lo and Behold' and those are very excellent! Very low and they self clean and have a nice shape. The butterfly bush I need to get rid of is alternifolia which blooms in late-spring/early-summer and has smaller flowers all along each stem. But, it sent out runners everywhere and became very whippy in shape. Prune as I might, I was never happy with it. I went shopping for a perovskia and came home with caryopteris. I was about to get a 'Little Spire' and I think I will go back to get it and plant it in a different area. I have a pretty relaxed garden style, but the alternifolia was a little toooooo relaxed! Thanks for the info on the grass. I did have a sneaking suspicion that this could be mis-labeled. My mom bought them from a wholesale nursery with her master gardener group down in NC so I would hope they were labeled properly (since they were so cheap I got 12), but they just don't look right to me. I'll see how they do in the next couple years.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 7:47PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Chardie, you've made great progress on your neglected garden! I'm hoping your video will inspire me to tackle my own overgrown gardens. Also you are one brave lady to take on the house painting task on that tall, tall ladder! There is no way I would climb that high above the ground for any reason! I love older homes. They have so much more character than modern houses.

Tina, the bottle border was originally to keep my over-enthusiastic hubby on the mower from violating the borders of my flower beds, but I like the decorative effect, especially in winter when the bottles peek through the snow and add some color and interest to the white landscape. So they are sort of a dual purpose garden ornament, I guess.

I think I have solved the morning glory/4 o'clock/moon flower problem. Apparently these plants suck the nutrients out of the soil at a surprising rate, and all they needed was a good dose of mulch/fertilizer. I added shovelfuls of aged horse manure to the bed and now, a week later, the yellowing leaves have become a vibrant green and plants are shooting tendrils skyward making up for lost time. I feel badly that I've been starving the poor things. I had shovelled liberal amounts of horse poop into the soil before planting the seeds, more than enough to see any other plants through the summer, but apparently morning glories have a voracious appetite! Who knew? I wish I'd applied this cure much sooner, but hindsight is 20/20. Perhaps it's not too late for blooms to appear this fall.

I'm also curious as to whether the 3 species of related plants will cross polinate and what the resulting seeds would produce.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:11PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Tina, not sure you are seeing a yellow Agastache. There is a plant that is yellow in my photo, that is parsley after blooming. It doesn't usually get that deep a yellow color, especially this early, but we've had a couple of dry spells. I do believe there is a yellow Agastache from High Country Gardens though.

Chardie, we put garden priorities aside for one reason or another this year. Intended work on the house, that in the end stopped due to our son's shoulder injury. Then one thing or another. So the weeds have definitely gotten away from us this year in some areas. I don't know if I'll get to any of it either. I hate to see weeds go to seed, so I hope I find opportunity to get to it soon. I have been feeling like I've bitten off more than I can chew lately, too. (g)

How did you injure your shoulder, and is it back to normal?

Thyme2, I almost bought the 'Lo and Behold' but I bought 'Peacock' instead. It's also a smaller version and I really like it. I don't like the position it is in right now, so I'll be moving that in the spring.

Caryopteris are nice. I've seen some pretty golden and variegated versions too. The one I liked the most, I saw at Broken Arrow & it really isn't hardy here. Someone was just posting that they pulled out the 'Little Spire' because it was spreading too much. I can't remember where I saw that post. Thanks for sharing on the B. alternifolia, as I've been on the fence about getting one. That wouldn't work for me either.

Post a photo of your grass if you can, when it has the plumes on it.

Spedigrees, thanks for sharing about the morning glory revival. I know if I would just repeat the fertilization on a lot of things, they would look better. I put down fertilizer in the spring when it is cool and I'm working out there more, and then when it gets hot, I'm barely keeping up with the watering, so I've tried to choose plants that can fend for themselves. Good to know about the morning glories. I hope we'll see some photos of blooms before the summer quits.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 6:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh, Thyme2, I just noticed on the 'What is blooming in your garden?' thread, almost half way down the page, Steve posted a photo of 'Karly Rose' Pennisetum. Does your 'Hamelin' look like that?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 6:34AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

PM2, I can't quite tell. Mine is a floppy mess. I have multiples planted in 3 different places and they are all taller than expected and flopping all over the place. ARGH! I recently visited Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Tower Hill and one of them had 'Hameln' planted in a mass. It was nice and low and looked nothing like mine.

How does the variegated caryopteris do for you? I saw a gorgeous specimen at Tower Hill and now have to find one. I'm not sure if that's a tricky one in Z5 though.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 7:42PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You lucky duck, getting to the Maine Botanical Gardens. I am still waiting to get there. I did manage to get to Tower Hill for their spring plant sale and we enjoyed that.

I don't have that variegated caryopteris. I saw it at Broken Arrow nursery in CT. It was supposed to be borderline hardy for me in z6, so I left it there. I did buy a holly shrub there once that was borderline hardy and it didn't make it through the first winter, so I was hesitant to try that again. I think the one I saw was 'Summer Sorbet'. It was not a golden, it was variegated. Too bad it's not hardy here, it was pretty.

Here is a link that might be useful: GW post on variegated caryopteris

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:16AM
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Hi Praire,
I was painting a lot this winter (kitchen, bathroom and stairs) and got bone spurs. Three months of physical therapy later, it's pretty much healed!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:50PM
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