Cathy over at Rambling in the garden has posted her top August blooms reminding me that it is high time I did the same. It is a difficult one this month as many of my favourites are blooming in the new part of the garden that you haven’t see yet; it is this year’s ‘project’ and is yet to be unveiled. So my top ten here are all lovely but not necessarily the ones I am crooning over and dragging all my friends to look at just now.
Having said that I am very much in love with the hollyhock which is not actually a hollyhock, xAlcaltlhaea suffrutescens ‘Parkallee’. I wrote about its history in 2014 so if you would like to know more about it click here
It blooms later than hollyhocks and as it is crossed with the wild Marsh Mallow it has healthy leaves and never gets rust. Each year it grows taller and bigger and better. It does need to be staked. The flowers are exquisite, semi double and the colour of coffee cream.
One of my ‘Parkallee’ plants has thrown up a pink sport which looks very similar to ‘Parkrondell’
Also pretty in pink, Crinum x powelli is enjoying this warm summer. This plant is a bulb with large strappy leaves and enormous trumpet- shaped flowers. I only noticed last year that it is fragrant. You can get it in white too although I enjoy the sugar pink one. It belongs to the Amaryllis family but it is hardy as long as it is planted in a sheltered spot.
Tobacco plants are lovely at this time of year and easy from seed. I don’t mean those awful dwarf strains but the taller ones like Nicotiana mutabilis.
The flowers of this one start off pink and then turn white. The ‘Whisper Series’ is another tall variety in different shades of pink. This is my current favourite.
I love green flowers so Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’ is always a winner with me. I grow it with ferns and hostas.
August is Pineapple plant or Eucomis time. I have several of these in pots but I find that most of them are hardy in the garden so they can be planted outside. The most dramatic is Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ with purple leaves and large pink flowers.
This little one lives in a pot.
I love umbellifers and I grow a shrub with lovely shiny leaves and yellow umbels which looks great in August with the early Michaelmas Daisy, Aster frikartii ‘Monch’. It is Bupleurum fruticosum. I can’t understand why it is not seen more often.
Beth Chatto considered Aster Frikartii ‘Monch’ the best Michaelmas daisy for long display and sheer beauty, it starts blooming before any of the others and goes on and on.
My favourite climbing plant at the moment is a potato plant. I don”t much like the earlier flowering Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ which flowers in June and July because it looks just like what it is, a potato.
I prefer the pretty white one which blooms a bit later, Solanum jasminoides.
But my favourite is the dainty Solanum laxum ‘Creche ar Pape’ which is in bloom now. The flowers are white tinged with lilac and it blooms for weeks on end.
Nurseries sometimes list it as ‘Creche du Pape’ which makes more sense grammatically but it is incorrect. It is named after a garden in Brittany. You see it a lot in France but it is rarer in the UK.
Right, it is time for a bit of bright orange after all these pastels. Most of my crocosmias got wrecked by the heatwave in June and July and were burnt brown or killed altogether. But I have a later flowering one looking great right now. It has large, golden, freesia-like flowers rather like ‘Star of the East’ but bigger. It is called ‘Golden Ballerina’.
I am enjoying a pretty little annual at the moment. I found the seeds in my pocket. I wrote about my Pocket Seeds a while ago. All my pockets are full of seeds which are begged or borrowed or worse. I have no idea where these seeds came from and I have been waiting with interest to see what they are. Pure white flowers always appeal to me and if they have chocolate centres, I can’t resist them. This is Hibiscus trionum.
I will finish with another white flower, a lovely little Amaryllid.
This lovely plant needs a moist soil. I grow it in my gravel garden which helps to prevent it from drying out. It is named after Zephyr, the God of the West Wind which I think is appropriate for my garden. According to Ovid, Chloris was married to the god, Zephyr. I haven’t told the Pianist this, I don’t want him giving himself airs.
If you are saying yet again, what no dahlias? Dahlias are indeed at the top of my August list but they will have to wait for another post instead of being squeezed in here. Please join in and share your favourite August blooms.