Gardens can become tired by August. And so can we, of them! Here, a few images of plants…workhorses… that will happily take care of themselves and provide vivid beauty in late season when most of us prefer to sit back and sip. Above, Purple Coneflower and Dahlia. Dahlias are late to bloom, but once they do, the show electrifies as the temperature cools.
Coreopsis “Zagreb” is a cheery perennial that blooms throughout the summer. Here with tangy “Fire” Profusion Zinnia and a bit of Angelonia. Pale colors can wash out in the late summer light. For that reason, aside from white which always pops (especially at night) we prefer to use bolder colors in our borders.
Annuals come into their own, especially when provided with fertilizer through the season. They can smother the most insistent weed. Above, Angelonia in two colors, “Punch” Vinca, Salvia “Victoria Blue” and Coleus. None of these varieties require deadheading beyond a rare snip.
Salvia “Mystic Spires” (this relatively recent introduction deserves to be more available), Melampodium, Magenta Sunpatiens, Dreamland mixed Zinnias, a lime Echinacea, “Fire” Profusion Zinnias, Rudbeckia “Indian Summer”. There are a host of incredibly showy Salvias more widely grown in recent years. Beloved by hummingbirds and butterflies due to vivid colors and tubular flowers, they come into their own in late summer and fall. We were awed that the Salvia “Mystic Spires” we planted in 2013 bloomed through the first few fairly hard frosts that did in everything else.
A perky lime-colored Echinacea (Coneflower). Wish I’d kept the tag for identification! Stems are short and sturdy. The Sunpatiens in the background have become a staple for us in both sun and part shade. Here, Magenta. We love the Bright Orange, Dark Rose, White and Hot Coral varieties as well.
Angelonia, Magenta Sunpatiens, Rudbeckia Indian Summer, Salvia “Mystic Spires”, Phlox “David”, “Fire” Profusion Zinnia. Unlike the commonly planted Rudbeckia “Goldsturm”, which sports golden flowers that can be coarse in a field of pinks and blues, “Indian Summer” blooms are overblown and a bright, sunny yellow – a hue that plays more effectively with most other colors in the garden.
So find a comfy chaise, put your feet up and enjoy the show. You’ve earned it.
“More than anything, I must have flowers, always, always.” Claude Monet