August 5, 2012

High Summer Annuals ( and Mid-Season Perennials) Grow Forth

THE STEAMY HUMID AUGUST WEATHER BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN MANY LATE SEASON ANNUALS LIKE THIS 'JOSEPH'S COAT' AMARANTH, AMARANTHUS TRICOLOR. RARELY SEEN IN GARDENS TODAY ( SEEMS LIKE I SAY THAT A LOT LATELY!), IT'S INCREDIBLE TO THINK THAT THIS TALL ANNUAL GROWS FROM SEED THAT IS DUST-LIKE.

 The full moon of August marks a critical time in the summer garden, high summer has arrived. Just in case you haven't noticed that the song birds have now become silent not, and that the hot weather has relocated them deeper into the cool forests. They need time to rest and to build energy now that they have completed their first and often second broods for the season. Crickets and the buzzing of insects have replaced them, during the day, wasps, yellow jackets and dragonflies glide over tall tomatoes and grasses, and at night, it's all crickets, all the time.

SOMETIMES SOLD AS 'SUMMER POINTSETTIA', AMARANTHUS TRICOLOR WAS ONE AN ANNUAL GROWN AT MONTICELLO,  ONE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON'S FAVORITES.  HE LOVED IT SO MUCH, HE SHARED SEEDS IN A SHIPMENT TO HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW FRANCIS EPPES, FROM PARIS in 1786. THESE WILL LOOK THEIR FINEST IN A FEW WEEKS. 



SCABIOSA ARE NOT ONLY LONG LASTING IN THE LATE SUMMER ANNUAL GARDEN, THEY ARE EVEN LONGER LASTING ONCE PICKED. I'VE KEPT A VASE IN MY OFFICE FOR THREE WEEKS. SCABIOSA ARE NOT COMMONLY FOUND AT GARDEN CENTERS, SO START YOURS FROM SEED IN THE SPRING AS I DO - THEY ARE EASY, JUST BE SURE TO SURFACE SOW ON THE SOIL, AND BLOCK OUT ALL LIGHT WITH LAYERS OF NEWSPAPER UNTIL THEY GERMINATE.

IN FRONT OF THE GREENHOUSE, ANNUAL SCABIOSA, OR PINCUSHION FLOWER COVER THE SAME SPOT WHERE SHIRLEY POPPIES ONCE GREW ONLY A FEW WEEKS AGO. A LITTLE UNTIDY, I LIKE TO THINK OF THEM AS THE TRUE HEIRLOOM COTTAGE FLOWERS THAT THEY ARE, AND ALLOW-EVEN ENCOURAGE THEM - TO TUMBLE AND FLOUNCE WHERE EVER THEY WISH.

OFTEN SOLD AS A BLACK AND WHITE MIX, THE 'BLACK' IN SCABIOSA-SPEAK IS MORE OF A MERLOT, BUT TOGETHER, EVEN IN MIXES, THEY TINTS 'WORK', ESPECIALLY IN LATE SUMMER WHEN MOST COLORS ARE HARSH, ORANGE AND BROWN. SPEAKING OF ORANGE AND BROWN....
Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'

THE HELENIUM IN MY GARDEN ARE STILL BLOOMING, FOUR WEEKS AFTER THEY STARTED. SUCH A LONG BLOOM PERIOD IN SUMMER MAKES THIS PERENNIAL INVALUABLE. HELENIUM ' SAHIN'S BEAUTY' IN THE FRONT'


Nothing heats up a garden in August quite like Helenium. I grow three cultivars, here are two.



GARDEN OF JESSICA ROSENKRANZ - HER FAUX BOIS SUCCULENT GARDEN PROJECT - YEAR TWO. ONCE IT FILLS IN, IT SHOULD BE AMAZING.

COLORFUL THOUGHTFULLY ARRANGED AND CURATED CONTAINERS IN THE RHODE ISLAND GARDEN OF GRAPHIC DESIGNER JESSICA ROSENKRANZ. SHE SAY'S THAT SHE IS NEW TO GARDENING, BUT HER SENSE OF COLOR AND TEXTURE IS INNATE, AND YOU CAN SEE THE POTENTIAL.



6 comments :

  1. Love those heleniums! My scabiosa is past its prime, I think we must be ahead of you a couple of weeks. Rudbeckias, Eupatoriums, silphiums are at their peak in my garden, still waiting on the asters, goldenrods, and sunflowers.

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  2. Great photos of those wonderful flowers! I just hope I can grow those too and I wish they can live in my country.

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  3. hopflower10:13 AM

    Yes, my scabiosa is gone now, too. We had a couple of intense heat spells, and they got a bit baked. But, as you say there is next year and they are a great addition to any garden. Yours look wonderful.

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  4. Everytime I visit your blog, I find something else I want for my garden! Oooohhh. . . that Amaranth. Crazy about the colors!

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  5. Love the tri-color Amaranth! Every time I visit your blog, I find there is another "must have" for the garden. How I would love to see this come up in August. Getting so tired of the usual. This is really lovely. Where do you buy the seeds?

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  6. Matt, I am filled with eagerness to read your next posts, the thing is you actually give hope to the prospect of the novice gardener growing their own blooms which if you did not already know is a life long ambition of mine.

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