I have been AWOL again from the blogging world this month, because I have become obsessed by my latest garden project which has left me with no energy or mindspace for anything else. I hope to finish it next weekend and then all will be revealed. And then I will be able to catch up with everybody.
In the meantime, I cannot let the month slip by without picking out my ten favourite plants. Yet again this a difficult task as there are so many to choose from at this time of the year.
In no particular order then, I will start with a very elegant crocosmia which I bought last year, Crocosmia aurea ‘Golden Ballerina’. It is similar to ‘Star of the East’ but much more graceful and with very large flowers.
I never used to like crocosmias because I associated them with the weedy and invasive montbretia which is so difficult to get rid of. First of all I fell in love with the fiery red ‘Lucifer’ and he remained a favourite until he was superseded by the even better ‘Hellfire’. ‘Emily Mckenzie’ is lovely too, with burnt orange flowers with a dark blotch. A couple of years ago the gorgeous apricot ‘Limpopo’ became a favourite and now I am searching for ‘Spitfire’ which my gardening friends and I voted a winner when we saw it recently in the hot border at Hyde Hall. Crocosmias are easy from seed and they come up with some surprises so it is worth having a go.
My ginger lily relative, hedychium is looking good right now. This lovely coral -coloured one is called Hedychium coccineum ‘Tara’ and unlike some hedychiums this one is hardy in my garden even though it looks so exotic. Hedychiums are sometimes shy to flower and so I dose mine with tomato food.
Daisy flowers are a feature of the august garden. I love echinaceas and so do the bees and butterflies. Echinacea purpurea spreads into nice big clumps.
Like many gardeners I have been beguiled by some of the gorgeous new echinacea hybrids over the last few years. Unfortunately they never survive the winter. At the Hyde Hall Flower show earlier this month I saw a fabulous one which is supposed to be winter hardy so perhaps I should have risked it. But I didn’t, so this is one that got away. But isn’t it gorgeous?
Rudbeckias are gorgeous daisy flowers with a dark central cone and they come in a range of perennials or annuals. I love the tall Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstonne’ which grows to 6 feet tall and has buttercup yellow flower with droopy petals.
Another perennial, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ makes a nice statement with its bright daisy flowers.
I fell for this dark rusty brown rudbeckia hybrid recently. In fact it is Echibeckia summerina; a cross between a rudbeckia and an echinacea. I didn’t realise when I bought it. I hope I haven’t shocked you with such a travesty. I have no idea whether it is hardy or not. But I love the colour.
My final rudbeckia is a cheerful annual which I grow every year. It is Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’. Maybe next year I will have a change and try a different one.
And now for something cool after all these hot colours. The gentian- blue flowers of Commelina dianthifolia are quite small and only last for a day but as they are produced with such abundance they create a striking picture. They are easy from seed and bloom the first year.
I have planted them in a pot but as they form tubers which are supposed to be reasonably hardy I might try them in the ground.
Dahlias are a must for the August garden and I have quite a few, including some seed grown ones. But I will feature just one today and that is the lovely Dahlia ‘Twyning’s After Eight’ which has such lovely dark foliage and delicate flowers.
I never used to like hydrangeas as I always associated them with seaside bungalows. There is nothing wrong with that, except I don’t live at the seaside or in a bungalow. But I have come round to them in the last few years and now have several. I particularly like Hydrangea paniculata. This one which I bought last year has the ridiculous name of ‘Pinky Winky’. At the moment it should be called ‘Wishy Washy’ but last year it got darker as the season went on and gradually turned pink.
For number eight on my list I have chosen another shrub. As far as I know it is the only mahonia which blooms in summer. I love it for its glossy leaves and orange flowers. It is Mahonia nitens ‘Cabaret’.
I am very fond of Crinum powelli. It has large pink trumpet flowers and blooms for a long time in late summer. It likes to have its bulbs planted so that the nose protrudes from the soil and gets baked by the sun. The flowers are slightly fragrant.
For my last choice I have chosen the Pineapple plant Eucomis autumnalis. I keep it in a pot so that it can live in the greenhouse in the winter. You can increase eucomis by leaf cuttings or seeds. I have a year old seedling coming on which I am looking forward to. Who knows it might be something different.
So here we are, my top ten for August. If you would like to share your top ten or top five plants for this month I would love to see them. And now it is time to catch up a bit and see what everyone else has been doing in the garden whilst I have been busy with my new project.
Your garden is really full of beautiful colors. I have not seen a ginger like that one. I’ll have to look into it.
Thank you, I love all the ginger colours at this time of the year.
Wow, I always see many things I want but can’t have. I love the Dahlia and well. everything else. The Ginger looks like some that are around here. Very interesting. I had a similar Hydrangeaphobia but got over it with H. quercifolia. My Azaleaphobia has remained. Now I am coming down with tropical Viburnum issues, sigh.
Azaleas come in such gaudy colours I am not keen either. I don’t know what tropical viburnums look like but our winter flowering Viburnum tinus smells disgustingly of wet unwashed dog.
The Viburnums are mostly green meatball shrubs that people clip to death and no flowers.
You have a beautiful selection there in your garden, Chloris. I am limited to plants that can survive hot & dry in summer (100+ degree temperatures), and cold & wet in spring, summer and fall (lots of rain).
Thank you Lavinia. Can you grow any tropical plants or is it too cold in winter?
A fabulous post! I really enjoy it when people share their favorites. I’ve always love Mahonia! I don’t have any in my garden, but I love to see it when I visit public gardens or friends’ gardens. 🙂
Thank you Beth. This mahonia is rather an unusual colour and it is unusual too in blooming in the summer. It is quite a new one.
So many delights! I adore that Mahonia but a quick check on-line suggests that it hasn’t arrived on our side of the pond. I’m planning a favorites post for the end of the week, although I’m not sure I’ll come up with 10 plants – August is perhaps the lowest point of our year in the garden here.
Yes the mahonia is quite new. Oh yes, do show us your favourite August plants. What you call the lowest point is extremely floriferous by anyone else’s standards. Your garden is just packed with stunning plants.
Well, this month I just have 3 flowering plants among my favorites (5, if you count the 2 ornamental grasses). The rest are all foliage specimens. And I exceeded 10 plants – I really can’t stop myself sometimes…Here’s my post: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2017/08/late-summer-favorites.html
I am intrigued! What. An you have been doing? Our summer has been so hot I don’t think there are even 5 plants flowering at the moment. Perovskia is but I would hardly call it a favourite plant just very useful. I always like reading about yours though and who knows, if we have some rain on September perhaps I’ll be able to join you.
I’ll show you next week what I have been doing, it’s not quite finished. I absolutely love perovskia and all your dry garden plants. There, I’m giving you a clue about my latest project.
Ah! Interesting, then I’ll be jealous because yours will be better than mine!
Lovely choices! The Echibeckia is rather nice – what will they think of crossing next though! I wish my Crocosmia would flower as well as yours. It probably needs more moisture than I can offer it.
The echibeckia is a lovely dark rusty colour, I hope it will prove to be perennial. I think some crocosmias are freer blooming than others. Spitfire really makes an impact but I haven’t been able to find it for sale yet.
I had no idea they’d crossed an echinacea with a rudbeckia but in hindsight I am surprised no one did it sooner. I suppose people who are underwhelmed with the results will nickname these Ecchy Beckys, lol. But it does open some interesting color possibilities for sure.
Ecchy Beckies, I love it . What a pity the hybridiser didn’t think of that.I didn’t realise that it was a hybrid until I got it home. It looked like a rudbeckia to me. I fell for the gorgeous colour.
And a tip top ten they are! I love the tall rudbeckia, such a clear yellow. And of course the Crinum. Must get one of my clients to grow one, so I can appreciate it close up!
I used to have a white crinum but when I tried to dig some up to bring it with me I found it was really difficult to get the bulbs out of my rock hard soil. So I no longer have it. I was delighted to find the pink one already here. It is a beauty.
I like remembering plants I used to know, like old friends, maybe your paths will cross again!
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I can’t wait to see the garden project reveal! How intriguing! In the meantime, gorgeous choices for August. Thanks for sharing your marvelous garden with us all. Here are my top ten for August, https://wildlifegardenerblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/my-top-ten-august-plants/
And thank you for sharing your list of top 10 beauties too. You have gorgeous August beauties too. I have totally fallen for your echinacea.
Great list! I’m loving Dahlia ‘Twinings After Eight.’
Thank you Eliza. I agree Dahlia ‘Twinings After Eight’ is special.
Lovely flowers – most of them wouldn’t stand a chance in my garden, but perhaps I should give the rudbeckias a try! The dahlia is scrumptious!
P.S. I generally find your posts much too late to even leave comments. As I’m only slightly late this time, perhaps I can still join in the meme tomorrow?
Well I am late posting this month, please do join in, I would love to see your August favourites.
Here they are for August: https://www.smallsunnygarden.com/2017/08/23/ten-flowers/ Thank you! 🙂
How exciting to hear of another project. I’m looking forward to the big unveiling!
I heard a fuss over the echibechia last year and couldn’t see what the big deal is. I’m afraid I still don’t see how it’s better than either parent, but you never know where these things end up so maybe next year will bring a revelation. Of course I’ll need to try it though.
I love the crocosmia. What intense color! A few gardeners around here have impressive clumps of the hardier sorts but I’m still lagging behind. I do have a few seedlings though, so your suggestion to grow them that way has me much more hopeful it’s not a pointless exercise!
I fell for the velvety dark colour of the Echibeckia, I do hope it will prove to be hardy.
Crocosmia seedlings can be nondescript but you generally get some good ones too.
Oh I say…another project, really looking forward to hearing more! I just adore all those orange hues you have around the garden, perfect as autumn slowly creeps in, I especially love the one that got away! What a lovely rusty brown rudbeckia…..I’m utterly in love with that dahlia too. You are spoilt for choice, what gems you have.xxx
Thank you Dina. I love marmelade colours in late August too. Yes, I wish I had bought Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ now, but I have bought and lost quite a few yummy echinacea hybrids in the past.
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Ten beauties Chloris, it is difficult to choose a favourite. ‘After Eight ‘ is a Dahlia I always grow, I am very envious of your Ginger Lilly, I have had some for two years, still waiting for a flower. I have posted my ten today. https://brimfields.com
Thanks for joining in Brian with your August beauties. Have you tried tomato feed on your Ginger Lily?
Always good to read your posts, Chloris and you are a real tease about your project which I am eagery looking forward to being revealed. Now that I don’t link up with GBBD although still post, it would make sense to do a more structured Top 10 instead, so next month… How do you keep your crocosmia looking healthy? The leaves of mine look so scruffy and although I have had a few flowers this year they don’t look at all attractive for several months and I am in the process of lifting them and putting them in pots to drop into place if they flower in future. On your suggestion I saved seeds from some dahlias – bizarrely from T After 8 I had yellow blooms!
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I am a late convert to Rudbeckia, having avoided it for years because it was yellow, but now I love it. I especially like that Echibechia you’ve got though and D. ‘After Eight’ is always a delicious looking plant!
Here are the favourites from my garden: http://wp.me/pM8Y1-67h
So jealous of your Eucomis and Hedychium. And the Commelina is just gorgeous – that’s a new one for me. I agree with you about the Rudbeckias.
A delicious post me, for the last rainy day of August. I so admire the ease with which nature makes the blooms appropriate for the time of year and your choices of burnished autumnal fire are perfect. I’m still waiting for Hedychium flavescens in the conservatory. Your “Tara” is a showstopper.
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On your trace I saved seeds from some dahlias – bizarrely from T After 8 I had scandalmongering blooms! […] Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme, but also – for the maiden clock time – Chloris at The Blooming Garden for her series of posts where she encourages us to choose our favourite ten blooms each […]