Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My August Garden

So much has changed in my garden through the month of August. I'm glad I took a few photos of flowers at the beginning of the month (even though I didn't post them), as those blooms have faded and finished already. The weather has cooled off dramatically in one week, and today it feels like autumn is already nipping at our heels.

I really enjoy seeing the day lilies blooming. I only have a few varieties, but they do so well that I'm thinking of getting more next year.

I had some gorgeous Asiatic lilies as well, but last year the leaves were eaten away by what I thought was the rabbit. I moved all those lilies up to the patio garden to keep them further away from the rabbit. Unfortunately, although the lilies all came up in huge numbers, they were attacked again. It wasn't a rabbit at all, but Red Lily Beetles that were decimating the entire flower! Apparently, there is no known way to eliminate the beetles aside from picking them off the flowers manually. My husband even took the shop vac to the blooms a few times, but the beetles are prolific and continued to munch through my entire bed of lilies. I finally ripped out all the dead stalks, roots and all! Gone. Sadly, no more of this ... 

Before we went away camping, my husband and son worked away at the front garden setting up this simple brick edging. I had seen the idea on pinterest, and knew I wanted to do this to help tidy up the front garden. 

Pretty blue balloon flowers are doing well here :)
When we visited our favourite gardening store earlier in summer, I noticed they had these bricks on sale for 50 cents a piece! There were only a few bricks left, but it turns out there were just enough to complete the job. I spent even longer out there digging out huge weeds (mostly thistles and dandelions), and then pouring six huge bags of bark nuggets across the garden. 

I'm really happy with the look, and the bark nuggets will help keep the weeds down. I don't do a whole lot with this garden since it gets full sun and is really hot to work in except for the early morning ... so it gets neglected. But since it is the front garden, everyone sees it and I wanted it to look a little more loved.

Right now my sneezeweed and balloon flowers are all in bloom. I've noticed lately in the gardening stores that the balloon flowers you buy now start off closed like a balloon, but then open up into a star-shaped flower. My balloon flowers remain closed, which I prefer. It takes a long time for them to sprout a new plant, but when they do I move it to another location to allow it to spread. I lost a huge balloon flower last summer, and still have no idea what killed it, but it seemed to have been something destroying the roots. Luckily, I had a few other plants already taking root in other locations so I still have them around.


I have loads of Black-Eyed Susans that I keep splitting and spreading around the gardens. I like the fact that they're native to North America, and we saw lots of wild ones up north where we were camping. By the end of summer the garden is in need of a burst of colour, and this flower does the trick! The flowers last a long time, and even when the blooms are finished, the little birds enjoy the seed heads right into winter, so I never cut the stalks down.

Black-eyed Susans

One surprise I got this year was a hollyhock! I planted this hollyhock many, many years ago (probably more than 10 years ago!). I never saw it again a couple of years after I planted it. But this year, suddenly I saw this delicate papery yellow bloom, and went out to investigate.


Do you know, I think I have been ripping this poor flower out every year thinking it was a weed. There is a weed with a similar leaf that grows low to the ground, and I think I've been mistakenly ripping out the hollyhock year after year. I'm quite amazed that it survived such punishment! So here it is now in all its glory, and I will remember to leave it alone next summer. All these years I've thought that hollyhocks didn't do well in my yard too. Now I know the truth, I'll be picking up some more next year ... can't wait to grow more along the fence!


Despite my moaning about the pond garden earlier in the year, things here have filled in to the point of it looking like a jungle! I bought some Love-Lies-Bleeding in the spring and planted about six plants here and there around this garden. It did so well, and now the flower heads are enormous! Love this plant as it has such a dramatic look. You do have to stake these heavy plants up though. I bought a few plant hooks at the dollar store and they work great. If you don't stake up the plant, the flowers won't grow very big at all (which I discovered with another plant in a separate garden).

The above two photos were taken earlier in August. You can see how thick the love-lies-bleeding have become in a few weeks. 

Below is how the garden looked in July ... love that astilbe!

An interesting plant I picked up in July was this ... a Sensitive Plant ... 

Whenever you touch the plant, the leaves close up instantly! Very curious. It even has the tiniest of flowers which I'll show when the next one blooms (I missed the photo opportunity this past week). I'll keep it in the pot so that I can bring it in in the winter. I doubt anything called "sensitive" will survive our cold winters.

my miniature rose :)
The gardens did well this year, with only a couple of dead things. My iris were such a tragedy, even though they have now been transplanted, I doubt they will survive. There were grubs in almost all of the corms, and the corms were all mushy. But stranger things have happened ... like the hollyhocks ... so I'll keep my fingers crossed that one or two of Mom's iris return. I doubt I can ask my sisters for any more of their iris (also from Mom's garden), so if mine don't come back to life, I've lost my most favoured flowers in my garden. Here's what they look like now ...

the iris are the spindly bits above and below the wall :(

Not terribly promising. But now that I know a thing or two about caring for the iris, I can always buy some more and start again with new varieties. But you know how it is when you inherit a flower from your mom and your mom passes away but leaves you this sweet reminder of her. You really want that flower to survive!!

The potted plants did well ... geraniums and creeping thyme. The geraniums will be brought indoors again. I figured out that what they really need is a good fertilizing every couple of weeks. I'll continue that through the winter so that they'll keep looking good indoors as well.

A small fern I couldn't resist ... I think (but am not sure) this is a Japanese fern. If I can confirm that it is, I'll pop it in the ground. If it isn't, I may have to bring it in for the winter.

creeping thyme ... I think I'll bring this indoors for winter ... I hope it doesn't take over inside the house!
There are a few other things, but I'm sure you've had quite enough to read with this. Sorry it's such a long post! And thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful day :)


my burning bush has begun to burn!!!


  1. Looks like a very beautiful garden.

  2. Beautiful garden. So much to see and enjoy. I would imagine it's ever changing. How wonderful that the hollyhock survived and bloomed. I love them. They stand so tall and proud and will certainly brighten up the fence line. Those bricks nicely edge your front garden.

  3. Considering we are so far apart the first part of your post sounds similar to where I am, then we get to the sneeze weed & balloon flowers - pretty sure we don't have them here. Love the story about the hollyhocks you are funny but I'm glad one struggled to make it's way through for you x

  4. OH wow, your gardens looks beautiful. So many pretty flowers, the brick edging looks great. The Sneezeweed and balloon flowers are lovely along with the Love lies bleeding. Lovely images, enjoy your day!

  5. Thanks for the beautiful garden tour, Wendy! I love that the hollyhock surprised you :) You have so many interesting flowers and plants. I love the balloon flower (I've never seen them here), and the sensitive plant! Your little pond is wonderful, too, with the amazing love lies bleeding. I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful gardens! xo Karen

  6. Your front garden updates look great don't they!! Lots of work, but well with it. I hope that your transplanted plants do well in their new home. You really have some gorgeous flowers don't you! So funny about the hollyhock! It is obviously determined to grow though! xx

  7. Your flowers are so full and beautiful. I see some I'm not familiar with and go back to the black eyed susans as a favorite. Enjoy this time of year! Sweet hugs, Diane

  8. You have quite the floral showcase - wow! And so much variety. I am really struck by the orangy-red flowers with the rows of yellow around the center that look like tiny that the sneezeweed? I'll have to look it up and see if it will grow easily here. I'd love to add that flower to my perennial garden!

  9. Wendy,
    I have been reading your previous posts and catching up with your Summer activities. I feel as though I know you well enough now, to know that when Summer arrives-your will be embracing the beautiful outdoors! What a terrific Summer you have had, so enjoyed seeing the black bear, your canoeing expedition and your gorgeous garden!
    Have a lovely weekend,

  10. Your garden is absolutely gorgeous! I have always loved flowers and I have always wanted to try my hand at a garden, but I seem to kill things off!! I love house plants and I just hate when I kill them... Perhaps a gardening book is in order?
    I Hope you're having a great weekend, Tammy

  11. Your garden is absolutely gorgeous! I have always loved flowers and I have always wanted to try my hand at a garden, but I seem to kill things off!! I love house plants and I just hate when I kill them... Perhaps a gardening book is in order?
    I Hope you're having a great weekend, Tammy

  12. Thank you for sharing these photos; your garden looks very interesting with its wide range of plants and flowers. We have had a very wet and cold summer here in the West of England, and it is raining yet again as I write. My garden has been somewhat neglected as a result.

  13. Your gardens are still looking beautiful this late in the season. I like your pond and the patio area. There are definitely signs of fall in nature and the gardens now. Have a great day!


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