Plants for August Punch

There are plenty of plants in bloom this August at The Farm but many are timid and don’t shout out “Look at Me!” Hydrangea Limelight is doing splendidly, but certainly is not  a brightly colored attention grabber!

And so even though I’ve commented on loving orange, not all brightly colored blooms grab your attention even if planted in large numbers. I’m thinking of Belamcanda, (blackberry lilies). These are wonderful plants that intrigue me. They are really fun to photograph, even as their flowers fade.

Coiled spent blooms

From a distance though, blackberry lilies don’t make a huge statement. The same goes for so many of my August blooms. The bright blooms of July are ending their show. Phlox and Daylilies , Delphiniums, Ligularia, Helenium and Clematis are all winding down.

A pink Clematis Integrifolia

I find that many of the flowers I grow are quite subtle. They are blues and lavenders. There are Gentians and Roscoea, and  dainty Thalictrum.

Purple Roscoea


Some of my plants are small and try to hide.


My favorite whites may be sophisticated, but they are hardly “screamers”!

Balloon Flowers

One of my favorite plants at this time of year is Anemonopsis macrophylla. But again, this is a dainty subtle little thing. It has marvelous buds that last a long time before opening and fill me with anticipation. But showy it is not.

Appealing buds!

While there is certainly a need for small, dainty and subtle, there is also a need for VIVID! I’ll reassure myself that this doesn’t mean I can’t still love my pastel Japanese Anemonies. I need to change some of my garden habits. I’ve avoided bright Gladiolas and Dahlias. I’ve shied away from bright reds. I don’t even grow many annuals. Perhaps it is ME who is timid. I need to grow fire engine red cardinal flowers, large patches of sunflowers. I am trying to add more sensationally bright foliage. I’m even in zone denial in my effort.

Extra effort will be given for this zone 6 baby. Leycesteria formosa ‘Notbruce’

For now, my most colourful areas seem to be places where foliage takes charge, spots where Heucheras and grasses make lovely combinations. Hardly garish!

Fallopia japonica variegata

I do have some bright standout plants that are no less wonderful for being “old”. The Rudbeckia makes a lovely splash against the dark Diablo Ninebark.

The ever increasing patches of various Echinaceas make a bright statement as well.

Echinacea Fatal Attraction

Echinacea Green Jewel

Astilbes which are late to bloom also make a statement in shady areas.

A new Crocosmia could be made into a swath rather than a single plant standing alone.

Red Hollyhocks could be added to the scene. Why no Monarda on display? There is the monkshood which will appear later in the month and which looks fabulous with Anemone Honorine Jobert. Way too many blue lobelias are beginning to appear. No, the end is not here yet! I need to get comfortable with some changes though. So much to consider for next year. Please offer your”bright” ideas!


About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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6 Responses to Plants for August Punch

  1. Sue says:

    August can certainly be a challenging month in the garden but you appear to have it going on, Marie! I was surprised to see you have Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’. Mine has been hardy in the ground for a couple of years now. I have it on good authority that Dan Hinkley grows it next to his front door at Windcliff (but you didn’t hear that from me).

  2. So glad your Golden Lanterns is doing well over time! A girl can hope!!! I can grow Vitex, you can grow Musa basjoo, so I figured this too was worth a try.

  3. Michelle says:

    Funny thing about small plants with tiny blooms, I find that visitors often notice those first. Maybe because they are used to seeing the big or mass bloomers that many tend to have in their gardens. You have a lot going on in your fall garden.

  4. tezalizard says:

    I must admit to squealing with delight when, after scrolling down, I came upon what is one of my all time top 5 plants – Anemonopsis macrophylla [it truly is a Lost Horizons thing you know!] – in bloom no less and with so many buds to come! Be warned, this alone makes it next to impossible for me to not come traipsing through your garden again very soon – [pizza on M and I!] Of course you’ll likely have to come and pull me up off the ground. I confess that my camera and I have a date with Miss Anemonopsis!

  5. This time, however, LH had nothing to do with my discovery of this plant. In fact, it was the early “Idyll” group travels to public and private gardens and fabulous nurseries that was responsible. When I asked at LH for this plant, I was told that the Governor General had bought up all their stock. PFFFFT! In the end, it took several years for it to decide to thrive here.

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