African Garden + time

A "Feeling English" August Bloom Day

Having just been to England, I can declare with great certainty that we're having an English summer here in Chicagoland. Look at the grass in the photo above: it's green. I can't recall the last time my lawn was green in August. It's usually dormant by now. Similarly, the rose is looking better than it's ever looked in August. In addition to the reduced Japanese beetle population (last year's drought wasn't all bad), the frequent rain and much cooler than normal temperatures in July and August are responsible for this blowzy display.

The cooler weather has resulted in another unprecedented performance.

Talinum paniculatum (jewels of Opar) blooming with Laythrus odoratus

There is a sweet pea in bloom in my garden in August. Normally, they've disappeared by early July. The Calycanthus floridus 'Athens' has never been out of bloom this summer, although the few new blooms aren't visible in this photo.

The pink Phlox paniculata is a new addition to the border this year, alongside P. paniculata 'Nicky', Geranium 'Blogold' (Blue Sunrise™) and 'Bob's Blunder', with a Viola under there somewhere,

To the right beyond the edge of this photo are Hosta 'June', Geranium'Jolly Bee', and Astilbe.

Those two Astilbe in front are 'Visions' and 'Veronica Klose'. Whichever one blooms later, that's it on the right (I suspect that's 'Visions'). The Astilbe in the back is either A. pumila, or a stunted version of the larger plant.

This lovely weather has caused a banner year of blooming for Lycoris squamigera (naked ladies, etc.).

This is the first time this particular plant has bloomed. Last year, even the reliable ones in the Nanoprairie didn't bloom.

Also last year, this Lobelia 'Monet Moment' was just pitiful.

Geranium 'Gerwat' (Rozanne™), Lobelia 'Monet Moment', and Phlox paniculata 'Laura'

I thought it was dead at the end of last summer. This is a remarkable comeback. This border is at the edge of the woodland garden. Nearby, 'Black Beauty' lily towers over my head to about 6 feet tall.

Lilium 'Black Beauty'

Near the back of the woodland garden, the native black snakeroot (Actaea racemosa), has also benefitted from the wet summer.

I can't recall it blooming this late.

Eurybia macrophyllus

The big-leaf aster is finally putting on a good show. I like it better than the other shade-tolerant aster for its larger, blue blooms.

The native prairie plants are having their moment in the sun.

Allium cernuum

The Liatris spicata has decided to take over the little garden screening the utility boxes.

There are more Liatris in the Nanoprairie, but it is now dominated by the Joe Pye weed.

Eutrochium dubium (Eupatorium) 'Phantom' (Joe Pye weed), towers over Echinacea purpurea, Phlox paniculata 'David', Lobularia maritima, and Sporabolus heteroleptis (prairie dropseed).

The Nanoprairie is getting shadier, and so is changing. The Allium and a short coneflower have difficulty standing up straight, and the Phlox is getting crowded out. The Lycoris can barely be seen anymore. It's time to move some of these plants to a sunnier, and less crowded situation.

That's all for this month, but I would be remiss if I did not mention that today is my blogaversary. Life has pulled me away from the blog this summer, but I still have posts to write, and photos to post.

I would also be remiss if I did not thank Carol, of May Dreams Gardens, for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. So, thank you, Carol!

Also in bloom:
Callirhoe involucrata
Campanula 'Samantha', 'Sarastro'
Campanula persicifolia 'Blue-Eyed Blonde', 'Grandiflora Alba', 'Telham Blue'
Clematis 'Betty Corning', 'Evisix' (Petit Faucon™), 'Madame Julia Correvon'
Dianthus 'Cranberry Ice'
Dicentra 'King of Hearts'
Eurybia divaricata
Hemerocallis 'Grape Velvet'
Heuchera 'Citronelle', 'Frosted Violet', 'Raspberry Ice'
Hibiscus syriaca 'Red Heart'
Hosta 'Krossa Regal'
Knautia macedonia, 'Thunder and Lightning'
Lavandula 'Hidcote'
Lobelia syphilitica, 'Sparkle DeVine'
Lonicera 'Winchester'
self-sown Petunia
Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise', 'Super Red'
Ruellia humilis

Next time: the gardens of Salisbury

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A "Feeling English" August Bloom Day + time