Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow Up August: Welcome Late Summer Blooms!

Welcome to My Garden!

As the summer quickly passes by, the month of August brings an abundance of late summer blooms. The northeast has been fortunate weather-wise with temperatures mostly in the 80's with some "dog days of summer" thrown in, but there have been frequent enough rain showers to keep the garden thriving. While a cooler spring has delayed the blooms of Crape Myrtle, which is just starting to open its buds, the weather conditions have been ideal for Hydrangea. Following a seven week drought last season, and they are now in full bloom and showing all their glory! Welcome to my zone 7a Long Island garden. Join me for a stroll!
Hydrangea Limelight Prime
The highlight of the late summer garden this year are the Hydrangeas. This Hydrangea 'Limelight Prime' displays an array of changing color from pale green earlier in summer to bright white in mid-late summer, then to a deep pinkish-red as fall approaches, thus continuing the show! Hardy in USDA zones 3-8, 'Limelight Prime' prefers partial shade, grows to a mature height and width of 4-5 feet tall by wide and blooms on new wood.
Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band'
Another beauty is Hydrangea Let's Dance 'Big Band'. I had this cultivar growing in a twenty-inch pot for three years and just transferred it into the northern garden. It is a compact enough (2-3 feet high by wide) to grow either in container or in ground, and it is thriving. This re-blooming variety is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and prefers more shade over sun.
Walkway Border
Follow me to the back patio border. Here the bluish-purple blooms of Platycodon 'Komachi' (Balloon Flower) blooming along with the white blooms of Abelia 'Kaleidoscope’, with Blue Globe Spruce in the backdrop. ‘Komachi’ is the only variety of Balloon Flower in which the flowers remain as "balloons", which can be popped once they dry out!
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Komachi' (Balloon Flower)
Here are the interesting blooms up close! They are always quite the conversation piece when visitors stroll the garden. 
Echinacea Pow Wow 'Wild Berry' (Coneflower)
Also along the walkway is Echinacea (Coneflower) Pow Wow 'Wild Berry', which continues to bloom since last month.
Back Northern Border Hosta 'Patriot’ and Black Eyed Susan
Along the back northern border, Hosta 'Patriot’ is showing its blooms along with the blooms of Dwarf Black Eyed Susan 'Little Goldstar'.
Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar' (Dwarf Black Eyed Susan)
This variety of Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar') remains in small clumps and does not spread like other varieties.
Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'
Also in the same garden is Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'. Due to the alkalinity of the soil in this location, the color of the blooms is pink, while on the other side of the property they are blue.
Buddleia 'Pugster Blue' (Dwarf Butterfly Bush)
I have always loved Dwarf Butterfly Bush due to its perfect compact size, but have not had the best of luck with them in our zone, where the winters can sometimes be harsh.  This dwarf variety 'Pugster Blue' seems to finally be happy in its spot. Fingers crossed as time will tell! 
Allium 'Millenium' 
Here is a perennial I have always admired in other gardens and finally purchased some for myself. I love how they bloom later in the season after the 'Globemaster' Allium bloom in springtime. The blooms also attract the pollinators! 'Millenium' grows 15-20 inches high by 10-15 inches wide and prefers full sun. They are hardy in USDA zones 4-8.
Hydrangea 'Tardivia'
Walking along to the northern side of the property, this Hydrangea 'Tardivia' (hardy in USDA zone 3-8) produces massive fragrant panicle blooms in late summer on an 8-10 foot tree-sized plant.
Hydrangea 'Tardivia'
This one is about twenty years old and I look forward to its blooms every year.
Lilium 'Stargazer'
While the Lilium 'Stargazer' have already finished blooming, I had to include a view from just a week ago for Bloom Day! These bloom along the pool patio every summer and I can smell their fragrance across the yard when there is the slightest breeze.
Daylily 'Stella D Oro'
Continuing to bloom since June is Daylily 'Stella D Oro', which just keeps on giving. While I've been wanting to clean up the foliage, they just keep producing more buds, so I will need to be careful!
Pink Double Knock Out Rose
The Double Knock Out Roses continue to bloom as well. These pink ones exist along the northern side of the property with southern exposure. 
Hosta and Leucothoe 'Axillaris’

For some foliage, here is Leucothoe 'Axillaris' with the blooms of Hosta in the foreground. It makes for some interest in the shade border...
Front Walkway Foliage Combinations
and along the front walkway are the large heart-shaped leaves of Weeping Eastern Redbud 'Lavender Twist'. Weeping White Pine follows, with 'Skylands' Oriental Spruce in the back center and Coral Bark Maple to the back left. 
Front Garden Berm
In the front garden berm are various cultivars of blue and gold blooming Hosta along with variegated evergreen Osmanthus 'Goshiki' and perennial Sedum 'Pure Joy', which will be blooming next month.
Hosta Blooming!
Another variety of Hosta in the garden is Shadowland ‘Etched Glass’. I enjoy its combination of lime green and golden highlights.
Pink Dipladenia  
Last, but not least are the vibrant blooms of  tropical Dipladenia, which sits right by the back entry where I get to see it everyday. I am going to try overwintering this beauty inside near a window to see if I can get another season out of it. Similar to Mandevilla which is a climbing vine, this species tends to be more shrub-like.
Sedum 'Brilliant' Future Blooms!
That is it for our stroll. There is always something to look forward to in the garden, and there will be more blooms to see next month!
Thank you for Stopping By!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my August garden. I so appreciate you being here, look forward to your comments and look forward to seeing what you have blooming in your neck of the woods! Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who had hosted Foliage Follow-Up, a meme I will continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosFriday Bliss at Floral Passions, Macro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden. Wishing all with gardens that thrive!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

This Month in the Garden: St. John's Wort

Feature Flowering Shrub: St. John's Wort
Welcome to This Month in the Garden. This month we feature St. John's Wort. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8, St. John's Wort a semi-evergreen flowering shrub that comes in a variety of cultivars ranging in size from 2-3 feet tall by wide up to 6 feet tall with a spread of 3-6 feet in width. In its native form, Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort) is renowned for its medicinal properties and contains various active compounds, including hypericin, hyperforin and flavonoids, which are believed to possess unique antidepressant and anti-inflammatory qualities. As a topical, it is used to treat wounds, burns, muscle ache and bruising. St. John's Wort has been used throughout European medicine as far back as the ancient Greeks to treat a variety of conditions, including insomnia, depression, anxiety reduction, and nerve related pain. 
Hypericum x inodorum 'Magical Universe' (StJohn's Wort) Summer
While the seeds and berries are considered toxic, the flowers, leaves and stems of the plant are typically harvested during the height of the bloom season. At that time they are dried thoroughly to remove moisture, extracted and infused in a solvent, such as alcohol or olive oil, then further filtered to obtain a clear liquid extract, which is then prepared as an herbal tea, tincture, capsule or tablet form. The final product is stored in dark glass bottles to protect the herb from light and preserve its medicinal properties.
Hypericum x inodorum 'Magical Universe' (StJohn's Wort) Late-Summer
Today's feature variety, 'Magical Universe' is a hybrid, dwarf cultivar with deep green foliage and small, bright yellow blooms starting in June, followed by fruit that deepens to deep red in fall. Staying at a more compact size of 2-3 feet tall by wide, St. John's Wort 'Magical Universe' prefers a location with full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil with moderate watering. A location with bright morning sun and late afternoon shade is ideal. While this form of St. John's Wort is not considered medicinal, its lovely bright yellow blooms and red ornamental berries bring interest to the landscape throughout the seasons. As its foliage turns to a deeper burgundy in fall and the red berries dry, the plant adds a decorative touch even into winter. St. John's Wort is known to be drought tolerant once established, able to withstand a variety of soil types and is deer resistant. Other varieties of St. John's Wort include, but are not limited to, Hypericum 'Hidcote', 'Magical Midnight Glow' and 'Blue Velvet'.
Hypericum x inodorum 'Magical Universe' (StJohn's Wort) Autumn

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for the month of August. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! Also, be sure to check out my author page and books, as I share a lifetime passion of gardening! 

Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2010-2023. All rights reserved.