Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Favorite Garden Combinations of 2010 (Part 6)

Late Summer
     Late summer is August here in Zone 5 and that means heat and hydrangeas.  Beautiful weather abounds and we try to soak up every bit of it.
     Admittedly, this is our "down" month of the season.  I am still growing in the art of seed-starting and many of the annuals I planted did not reach their full potential (a nice way to say they kicked the bucket at about an inch tall).   But with adding on baby number three it was kind of a full spring already... the poor seeds never had a chance.
   So, there is still room to grow but there still were some moments in the August garden worth appreciating.  And there is always next year!

     In our Backyard, the fence was starting to look more filled-in as our Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' shrubs entered their second year of growth.   Three of them are lined along the fence and were under-planted this past season with white impatients.  When we purchased them from our favorite family-owned nursery, the owner's mother told me they were lovely and extremely hardy. This greenhouse nursery is the same one where I once worked and got my start with plant mania, eight years ago this March.  I am still trying to relive the wonder of being constantly surround by so many plants, I think. 

  Here is H. 'Limelight' beside the meadow rue, Thalictrum hyb. 'Splendide'The meadow rue is just having its first season, but already looks very pretty beside our garden gate and has flowered for a couple of months!

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

    A couple tiny ones enjoying the shade.
My baby, Logan (right), and his friend from town who is just a couple of months older (left). 

   A view looking back from the Shade Path Garden (below).

     Our Shade Path Garden was taking a siesta, except for the patches of annuals we planted in the bare patches left by a spring clean-up of our river of forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica).  I cut the forget-me-nots to the ground, and the foliage re-emerges by the end of summer.  If left, it usually gets covered in powdery mildew, so this way we get the best of all worlds - fmn's in spring and annuals during the summer months. 

   A patch of white impatients amongst the hostas and perennial foxgloves (Digitalis grandiflora), which have their flower stems cut back to the top leaves before they set their seed.  This allows them to sometimes develop another flower spike later in the season, even into October.

  Little Grace taking a scamper down the path.

   This year we tried patches of pink impatients and dark-leaved begonias as we move closer to the Circle Lawn.   Part of the color transition to the warmer colors. 

   Re-blooming foxglove as mentioned above.  You can see the cuts made to the other stalks to the right of the flower. 
     One more combination that we do not want to miss... California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and Geranium 'Rozanne' still going strong from July.
     These are mounded in our Driveway garden, just at the entrance to the backyard, and make their way by crawling over what is left of the bearded irises from May.  They are ideal for this type of succession planting, because they continue the show while disguising the dying irises.

   The girls love to pick the poppies and since there are always plenty, they are free to help themselves.  The girls are great for reminding me to bring flowers in the house to enjoy them more!  Anna taking a whiff (right).

   Little girls on their bikes enjoying the end of summer.

A couple more photos... of the beauties in Late Summer (from top left): Liriope muscari in the Front Woodland; pink Gerbera daisies and Asparagus densiflourus fern potted on the patio; Japanese anemones (Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’) beginning their bloom in the Front Walk.

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