It continues rainy here, though not so much as in June and early July. From 16 July to 15 August we had slightly over 8 inches of rain, which is still about twice as much as usual for a summer month here. Temperatures for the same period reached a high of 85.5°F, on 24 July, and a low of 48.2°F, on 2 August. The first fifteen days of August, with an average high of 73.8°F, have been noticeably cooler than the last sixteen days of July, when the average was 79.3°F. Ten days of the last sixteen in July reached a temp of 80°F or more, but we’ve had only one day in August so far when we’ve hit 80°F, on 13 Aug. when it was 80.4°F. Fall feels near.
On to the flowers, before they’re no more.
I’ll start with a couple of context shots.
Bee Balm — Monarda didyma (wild scarlet bee balm) and M. fistulosa (wild bergamot) — are both blooming. The wild bergamot is a new plant (planted some last year and this year) and is proving slow to get going but at least there’s a bloom or two. The scarlet bee balm, of which I bought two plants from a plant sale in 2015, that have now grown to a colony, has been blooming since early July, attracting a variety of bees, hummingbirds, and lately, hummingbird moths (saw one today but didn’t have the camera.) They’re cheerful.
Milkweed — Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) and A. incarnata (swamp milkweed, the white ‘Ice Ballet’ variety) are planted in the front yard. The common milkweed finished blooming in late July, attracting some monarchs (not many), and it’s now hosting mainly slugs, some milkweed tussock moths, and a couple of monarch butterfly caterpillars; I’m afraid the slugs are eating them?
The white ‘Ice Ballet’ A. incarnata finished blooming a week or so ago. It attracts many insects.
Speaking of attracting insects, the angelica (Angelica archangelica) — a biennial that I planted last year in the front yard after having one in the back yard for several years — is also an insect-magnet.
Echinacea have been blooming for more than a month.
Other front yard bloomers:
SIDE YARD & VEGETABLE GARDEN
The highlights here are the crocoscmia (‘Lucifer’), almost finishing blooming now, the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), and the butterfly bush (Buddleia ‘Ellen’s Blue’), all of which are visited by the hummingbirds, and the hummingbird moths (hummingbird clearwing and snowberry clearwing).
Buddleia (Buttterfly Bush)
(I know these are invasive in some areas; here, we cheer when they make it through a winter. You can see mine is right up against the house to give it a fighting chance.)
Hummingbirds resting on lilac limbs near all of these plants.
Other side yard flowers:
This is where most of the action is in August, with veronicastrum just beyond peak and Joe Pye weed just starting to bloom. The hydrangeas — a PeeGee, which is flourishing now, and one of the normally non-blooming varieties, a variegated species (??, from a local plant sale years ago), bloomed a couple of weeks ago for the first time since I planted it in 2015, just in a little corner of the plant, but it’s still in flower. The goldenrod is everywhere, filipendulas have mostly finished, along with phlox, but some persist. One of my favourites, ‘Blue Glow’ blue globe thistle (Echinops bannaticus), is just past peak too.
Veronicastrum ‘Fascination’, heather, and echinacea
Others adorning the back yard:
Not much blooming in the shade garden at this time of year, except the 7-foot tall elecampane (Inula helenium), which is striking.
The pink filipendula is just about done.
I’m still waiting for the hazelnuts to ripen. The ‘Ruby Spice’ clethra (summersweet) just started blooming, and the PeeGee hydrangea that the previous owners planted looks better than it ever has since I pruned it back hard last fall.
Fennel (which I planted at least 10 years ago for swallowtail larvae), Queen Anne’s Lace, yarrow, goldenrod, and woodland sunflower have taken over for the month of August.
September blooms will include more hydrangeas, willow gentian, sneezeweed, asters, pink turtlehead, maybe Japanese anemone, and perennial mums. See you then!
Featured image: jewelweed, goldenrod, milkweed.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. (She’s in USDA hardiness zone 6a in Indiana and I’m in zone 4b/5a in New Hampshire.)