Top Ten August Blooms.

The August garden sags a bit. My plants look as if they have spent too long at a cocktail party and they are having trouble staying upright. They loll about, leaning on each other and they have all taken their corsets off and let their hair down. I am constantly running round with drinks of water and trying to tidy them up with string, stakes and secateurs. They are probably singing bawdy songs and behaving improperly when I’m not looking. But I shouldn’t complain as there are plenty of blooms to enjoy.

Just like last month and next month, my number one bloom is the dahlia but I shall leave it off the list today because I want to feature my exotic garden in a future post. So I shall start with glorious agapanthus. They are all huge headed and grown from seed, I grow them on my beach round the shed.

I have so many new plants coming on from seed that I shall have to think of new ways of displaying them. Maybe I will line them up either side of the garden path in the front garden. I have them in shades of blue and white.

They are beginning to go over now but they have been looking good for weeks. This next one is growing a new flower on top of the old.

Most people love umbellifers and I have a shrubby Bupleurum fruticosum which blooms for weeks with yellow flowers which are always covered in insects. The foliage is blue-green and leathery, a bit like an olive tree. This shrub comes from the Mediterranean so it needs a sunny spot. It looks good with blue agapanthus or feathery, blue Perovskia atriplicifolia. So far I haven’t managed to strike any cuttings but I keep trying.

Bupleurum fruticosum

Every year I write about  the gorgeous hollyhock which isn’t quite a hollyhock, xAlcalthea suffrutescens ‘Parkallee’ which I adore for its lovely , pale coffee cream coloured blooms with ruffled curly centres and lilac anthers. The flowers are sterile so they bloom for weeks.  They get bigger every year and need to be firmly staked. They have lovely healthy blue green leaves with not a trace of rust.  I have written about its history here so I won’t go into it again.

x Alcalthaea suffrutescens ‘Parkallee’

xAlcalthaea suffrutescens ‘Parkallee’

This year I thought I would try seeds of  an ordinary hollyhock, Alcea ‘Creme de Cassis’ and it has terrible rust so next year it will probably have to go, although it is pretty.

Alcea ‘Creme de Cassis’

My Solanum Creche ar Pape’ is fabulous and sprawling all over the fence with its white flowers delicately shaded with lilac. It is so much prettier than the earlier flowering Solanum crispum which looks like what it is- a potato plant. Some nurseries try to make the name more grammatical by calling it ‘Creche du Pape’ but it comes from a garden in Brittany called Creche ar Pape’. You see it a lot in France.

Solanum laxum ‘Creche ar Pape’

August is hydrangea time but Suffolk is a bit too dry for them to do really well. I never used to like them much because they reminded me of seaside bungalows.  So I don’t really grow them. But I fell in love with beautiful Hydrangea ‘Ayesha’ when I found it growing in my previous garden. It has beautiful flowerheads with incurved petals and it is slightly fragrant. Hydrangeas are easy from cuttings so it came with here  me. I also brought the oak leaved ‘Hydrangea quercifolia and Hydrangea villosa. Well, they didn’t cost me anything.

Hydrangea  macrophylla ‘Ayesha’

And then a few years ago my son bought me a nice  blue and white striped hydrangea in a pot which I planted out when it had finished flowering . It is pink now as I don’t have an acid soil but it looks lovely with Persicaria amplexicaulis.

And then I thought I would like the snow white Hydrangea ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’ so I have that too. Only it is not snow white, is is decidedly pink. Perhaps it was wrongly labelled.

Hydrangea ‘Madame Emile Mouliliere’

And then who can resist the enormous white heads of Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’? Not me.

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

And I have to admit there are some lovely new Hydrangea paniculata hybrids. ‘Pinky Winky’ is my guilty secret. A plant with a name like that has to be hidden away. It’s hiding behind a rather lush Forest Pansy. Maybe with a bit more water it wouldn’t look more  wishy -washy  than ‘Pinky Winky’.

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’

So it seems that without really meaning to I do have some hydrangeas but they don’t grow big and lush like they do in Cornwall.

I can never make up my mind about Hibiscus syriacus. It is so late coming into leaf that each spring I wonder if it is dead. But then in August it is covered in such beautiful flowers that you forgive it. Mine was a gift many years ago  from Ivan Dickens who used to be the chief propagator for Notcutts Nursery. I can’t remember if he named it. I love its lilac flowers with red centres.

Hibiscus syriacus

People warn about the terrible thuggish  suckering of Clerondendron bungeii but I think it needs damper soil than I can provide to roam as it doesn’t spread much in my garden. It has heart shaped leaves which smell a bit foxy but  they are quite attractive. I have a variegated one called ‘Pink Diamond’ which is very pretty. The clusters of flowers are very showy and sweet scented.

Clerodendron bungei ‘Pink Diamond’

Modern echinacea hybrids come in some edible colours and I have wasted money on quite a few irresistible ones in recent years but they never survive the winter,  so now I content myself with  pink Echinacea purpurea which is pretty enough. It looks wonderful growing with grasses. In fact it looks wonderful anywhere and it seeds about so I have it all the way down the border.

Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’

Ok, yet again I have been tempted by a couple of new ones. ‘Fatal Attraction’ was bred by Piet Oudolf so I am hoping it will be more reliable than some of the transient beauties which have tempted me in the past.

Echinacea ‘Fatal Attraction’

I also bought Echinacea ‘Sensation Pink’ which is rather pretty too.

Echinacea ‘Sensation Pink’

I can never resist daisy flowers and now we have the first Michaelmas Daisies in bloom. And of course we have to remember to call some of them Symphiotrichum  and some of them asters and others something entirely different. This is my first one in bloom and I can’t remember its name. I think it could be Aster frikartii ‘Wunder von Strafe’.

Aster xfrikartii ‘Wunder von Strafe’?

Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ is just coming out and it goes on blooming for weeks. Beth Chatto thought it was the very best aster and I tend to agree. And it doesn’t need staking like many asters do.

Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’

And now for something completely different. I just love the bell shaped flowers of codonopsis. I have the rare white Codonopsis grey-wilsonii ‘Himel Snow’ which blooms in July.

Codonopsis grey-wilsonii ‘Himel Snow’

This year I am enjoying the large flowers of Codonopsis lanceleolata growing up a tripod of sticks in my gravel garden. I can’t remember where I got it from, I have a feeling it may have been a gift from a blogging friend, if so, thank you to whoever it was and sorry for being so ungrateful as to forget who gave it to me. It has exotic looking bell shaped flowers which are lined with purple. They look like pixie caps.

Codonopsis lanceolata

These are my ten but I have left out so many other beauties so here is a gallery of a few of the omissions. Do join me and link up with your Top Ten August Blooms.

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42 Responses to Top Ten August Blooms.

  1. pbmgarden says:

    It’s thrilling to walk through your blooms this week (and always). I was enraptured by the first photo of agapanthus and laughed aloud at the “cocktail party” aftermath.

  2. You certainly have a beautiful garden. Do you take the agapanthus in for the winter? You inspired me to try to grow some from seeds.

  3. Pingback: The Blooms of August | My Gardener Says…

  4. Tina says:

    Those agapanthus are gorgeous–doesn’t look like the cocktail party hurt them at all. 🙂 In fact, everything in your garden looks dressed up and ready to party. Beautiful garden. Thanks for this fun meme, I have a few, too:

  5. Pingback: Top Ten Blooms – August 2019 | pbmGarden

  6. pbmgarden says:

    You inspired me to have a look around my garden this morning. Thank you!

  7. Kris P says:

    I LOVE the description of your plants as bedraggled beauties who’ve had a little too much to drink. I have to say, though, your blooms look better than they have any right too given such indulgence. My own Agapanthus are already long gone and, unlike your fresh-looking flowers, many of my asters are absolutely fried, despite our mild summer weather. That Codonopsis is wonderful and completely new to me – I suspect the fact that the genus isn’t even listed in my western garden guide means it doesn’t have a chance of growing here but I’ll be looking into that prospect anyway.

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Gorgeous blooms, as always, Chloris. I love the Gentian!

    • Chloris says:

      The gentian is in a pot because I haven’t got the acid soil it likes. I can never keep them for long but I have to have a pot ot two each year, they are such a glorious blue.

  9. Pauline says:

    Your agapanthus are amazing and you have inspired me to try growing some from seed of mine which have almost finished flowering.

    • Chloris says:

      I carefully sow agapanthus seeds every year but this year I noticed they have self seeded. They bloom in 3 years, 2 if you are lucky. They make lovely presents when in bloom. I am delighted that you are joining in, it’s always good to see what you have in bloom.

  10. snowbird says:

    Wow, so many delights! I really will have to visit your garden one fine day, it’s always so inspiring. xxx

  11. So many beautiful plants ! I have Echinacea Fatal Attraction and I am pleased to report that it has bulked up from last year. I did not know the Mr Oudolf had bred it.
    I love Hydrangea but like you I do dislike the bungalow seaside look. No idea why perhaps simply because they seem old fashioned.

    • Chloris says:

      That’s great to know that Fatal Attraction bulks up. Yes, seaside bungalows make me think of retired, boring, sensible and very respectable people. I am retired but I am dedicated to growing old disgracefully and I rarely do anything sensible. So swathes of pink and blue hydrangeas are out along with standard roses.

  12. Pingback: Top August Blooms? | Rambling in the Garden

  13. Cathy says:

    Lots of lovelies, Chloris, as always; mine are not nearly as interesting as you will find out at (written in a rush after tomorrow’s IAVOM’ post). xAlcalthea suffrutescens ‘Parkallee’is a pretty thing. Did you read in the RHS magazine about the echinacea trial, how they believe they might actually need a cold spell and may be killed off by winters that are too mild?

    • Chloris says:

      Oh, lovely that you have joined in Cathy. No I didn’t read about the RHS trials on echinacea. How interesting. But it is only the fancy new hybrids that succumb. I think I offered you a Parkallee in the past but you felt it was too big.

      • Cathy says:

        It took me ages to find the article again and it turns out it was in Gardening Which? and not the RHS magazine – it is a long term trial at Wisley and in holland and Poland to see which varieties last longest the further east they are grown. Yes, Parkallee would stand out like a sore thumb, I think, like those silly Allium Summer Drummer. Meant to say that your agapanthus look stunning

      • Chloris says:

        Ah, that explains why I didn’t see it. What an interesting study, I would be interested to see the results.

      • Cathy says:

        I will email the article to you. I think the trial is due to finish next year

      • Chloris says:

        Oh, that is kind of you, thanks.

  14. Heyjude says:

    Your garden is a real treasure to look around. I had to laugh at your ‘hydrangeas and seaside bungalows’ – here in Cornwall there are a lot of both! But the hydrangea hedges are huge and the flowers have been so lovely this year with the June rains. I bought a new one this summer and having seen some fabulous dark red and dark purple ones I am contemplating maybe another one or two! I might turn into one of those bungalow folk myself at this rate!

    • Chloris says:

      If there is one thing you can grow superbly in Cornwall it is a hydrangea. Well there are lots of things you can grow superbly, but I always admire the hydrangeas in Trebah, they don’t look at all bungalowish, they are magnificent. Actually if I had your climate I would certainly grow more hydrangeas.

  15. tonytomeo says:

    It seems so late for agapanthus. I suppose it isn’t really. It just seems like that because ours are all gone now. Do yours get frosted to the ground for winter?

  16. The Agapanthus are glorious, but you have so much more. Many plants unfamiliar to me but so intriguing, like the blue and white Gentian and the Hollyhock-like Sphaeralcea. A member of the Mallow family, apparently, but such great color!

  17. I am in awe once again at the variety and quantity of flowers you grow, Liz, and there’s so much to gush over here that I am at a loss as to what to focus on. What I do know is that your seaside garden has come into its own already and your agapanthus are stunning. Mine were over really quickly this year. I’ve made a note of sphaeralcea incana, which is a very attractive colour against those grey leaves. I’m guessing it needs very good drainage though?

  18. What a difficult decision you had to make! And you’re now a hydrangea convert, whether you like it or not! I did enjoy your opening comments with analogies of a cocktail party! Of course, the Clerodendron could be on my wish list!

  19. That first paragraph of your blog is a thing of beauty in itself. Very witty writing.
    Though, I love your plants here and I cannot see any that look even slightly tipsy!
    Are agapanthus not the most glorious things on one stem? Wow. Yours are gorgeous. And you fell in love with a hydrangea. You are not the first and won’t be the last. They brighten up the late summer garden, even when they turn green! I sent you an email and hope you got it, by the way.

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