An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

August 15, 2012

Bloom Day - It's August

It's August, and I am at a loss for words, but not because I am surprised or overwhelmed in any way.  I just don't know of anything new to say about most of what I have blooming.  My only hope to maintain my readership (you), is that their memory (yours) is as bad as mine. Of course, gardeners rarely tire of talking about the weather, and what I would say on this point, is that we have been blessed here.  While we have had rigorous humidity and some heat, we only had a brief stint where it was extreme.  Most importantly, we have not been denied regular rains.  So the gardener and the garden are happy, and speaking of which, let's take a look.

We'll start with a few annuals.  A friend of mine started some Melampodium divaricatum from seed and ended up with more than she could use and gave me some. I grew this plant years ago at my last house and it was a non-stop bloomer and a "no brainer" as some say.

Melampodium divaricatum

Zinnia angustifolia x elegans 'Profusion Fire'

Zinnia angustifolia x elegans 'Profusion Fire'

Angelonia angustifolia

Angelonia angustifolia

This is the first year I have grown pentas (Pentas lanceolata 'Butterfly Red'). I don't know why I have waited so long.

Pentas lanceolata 'Butterfly Red'

Abelmoschus manihot

Abelmoschus manihot

Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)

Coleus Collection

I am growing several portulacas this year. I don't remember which one this is...


... but this one is Portulaca x 'Yubi Yellow'. Not only is it heat and drought tolerant, but it survived being flattened during the Mercedes incident as well.

Portulaca x 'Yubi Yellow'

This perennial, Sinningia x 'Butter and Cream', is also a survivor.

Sinningia 'Butter and Cream'

Kniphofia 'Papaya Popsicle' is my newest perennial. It is a rebloomer and a dwarf.

Kniphofia 'Papaya Popsicle'

This daylily is 'House of Orange' and it has bloomed its head off since early June. Orange makes me happy.

Hemerocallis 'House of Orange'

Cestrum aurantiaum 'Orange Zest'

Cestrum aurantiaum 'Orange Zest'

Cestrum aurantiaum 'Orange Zest' (2)

Purple makes me happy too, especially when it smells like grape soda. Evergreen wisteria (Millettia reticulata) is just about to pop open.

Millettia reticulata

Perhaps other bloggers might have more to say about their gardens this month. If you are interested in finding out, then visit Carol at May Dreams Garden where she hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month, and she does a fine job at it too.


  1. Loving those Angelonia angustifolia, they are instantly going on my list, the colour is superb. Beautiful photos as always Les.

  2. That Millettia reticulata is just bursting with grape goodness, what a gorgeous flower!

  3. Beautiful Les. It is great you can show so many flowers this time of year. I recently read an article in our local rag in the gardening section from a writer I will not embarrass by name, who dramatically describes her garden this month as being in the doldrums and that she does not want anyone to se it. I have read many articles over the years too numerous to count about why gardeners in this area should give up on great looking yards in the middle of summer here because nothing grows here. Your pictures are a testament to what we can do, and what i have preaching for years, that this time of year should be a vibrant, and lively and happy time for gardens, as there a hundreds of plants that love the heat and humidity of our climate. Barring any serious illness or calamity these ill-informed writers may have had that did not allow them to landscape at their potential (I don't believe I have to say this, but there is always one who brings up this issue) I wonder how so many in this area are being misinformed of what grows and prospers here?

  4. I love that people participate in this blogger event. I'll have to think about it. I think it's also the time of the blogger blues:) Warm, hot, muggy....people must force themselves out to get those pictures. But it's always a pleasure to see your work and relaxing captures in your part of the world.

  5. your Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) are a stunning display. You have inspired me.

  6. I love the evergreen color ever!!!

  7. I love the purples in your Angelonia angustifolia and Evergreen Wisteria. I am intrigued by your comment about the grape soda fragrance. I've never grown wisteria, but I do have a back porch. How long did it take to establish it?

  8. I also love orange flowers. And pentas. Have you tried daylily 'Eye-yi-yi'? It's orange with a maroon eye.

  9. Oh...I love your garden trellises over the walking path. Beautiful idea.The borage looks so healthy and full. You must have sent us some of your rain because we got some much needed rain today. Your back garden looks like a respite and a spot to enjoy all of the work you put into the garden. It is very beautiful.Hyderabad Flowers

  10. Your wisteria color is beautiful. I have never seen such a dark one.

  11. My memory is lousy, but since I had an enforced period away from the blogosphere, I am only too happy to catch up with what is blooming in your garden. So many lovely plants - I've really fallen for Kniphofia 'Papaya Popsicle', and the purple of that Angelonia angustifolia is wonderful.

  12. Les — I think we all show the same things as the year before each month but it's no less interesting to see what others are growing. Love the color of that wisteria. I have an old purple German iris that came with my house (probably been growing here 50 years) and it smells like grape soda. And I like the style of the pots on your steps; that raised ridge near the bottom of the pot is a nice detail.

  13. I haven't tried pentas yet either, or angelonia. A quick google on that mellitia says only grows 3-6 feet?! And evergreen? Wonderful plants, Les. And that Popsicle series of kniphofias by Terra Nova is one I mean to try too -- good choices!

  14. Good to see you got your rain! We did too. And your orange blooms make me happy as well.

  15. You and I can grow so many of the same things, and then I can't grow others. If I could have that evergreen wisteria, my life in purple would be complete. Alas, it won't overwinter. I love the pentas and frankly, don't know what I'd do without them. I enjoyed this so much. Thanks.~~Dee

  16. Wow - your plans look so healthy and happy! I now have a few new things for next year's wish list!

  17. You are very lucky Les to have me as a follower. You could put up the same post two weeks from now and I'd be posting chirpy comments as if I'd never seen it before.

    I'm famous for having introduced myself to the SAME person on four different occasions ! Sigh. I am the PERFECT blog follower.

  18. I like your orange daylily and evergreen wisteria.29

  19. Tina,
    Thank you!

    I plant Anelonia every year, they are so reliable.

    Lovin' the grapey goodness!

    Your comments are precisely why I plant annuals. I know they are a four letter word to some gardeners, but I plant those that thrive in our summer climate and give lots of color while all else is green.

    I don't need to be forced out of the house at this time of year, January and February, yes.

    I plant coleus every year. I love the dark colors with contrasting brights.

    After orange comes purple.

    This plant is not really a wisteria, nor is it evergreen in this climate. However, it grows like it, but blooms in August and smells much different. This one has been in the ground two summers now.

    I do have Eye Yi Yi and love it!

    You should read my response to Lazy. All of the Millettia that I know have this color flower.

    This is my very first Kniphofia and I planted it for it's dwarf stature. At my next garden I want to have room to grow the tall ones.

    My mother-in-law threw that pot.

    Millitia will be evergreen for you, but not me, though quite hardy.

    Rain makes me happier than orange.

    I think we have the same sort of heat you do in the summer, but you get colder in the winter. I do not know about your humidity, which we have in spades, but there is always a breeze coming off the water.

    Thanks for stopping by. I am glad I could help your order out.

    Your comment reminds me of our dog Loretta, who we suspect is her own cousin.

    I do as well. Thanks for stopping by.


  20. Les, annual color aside, there are many perennials that bloom in mid-summer here reliably with little care: Ginger (Hedy flavum,flavescens,coronarium,coccineum, and on and on), Society Garlic, Crinum sp., Indigofera, Lantana sp., Hibiscus. (to name just a handful) One barely has to add annuals to achieve color, though it is definitely a nice touch. So many good perennials out there just never properly make it to the retail shelves.

  21. I love all the orange and purple. I had Zinnia angustifolia and it self-seeded every year but I just realized it has disappeared. I will have to get more seed to sprinkle.

  22. I envy you the summer weather without extremes. Though we have finally had some days of rain and the plants are somewhat refreshed, I can still see signs of the stress the drought and heat have caused.
    You have lots of interesting bloomers in this post, many of which I am unfamiliar with. You saved the best for last. That wisteria is gorgeous Les!

  23. You are the first gardener I have come across who's been reasonably satisfied with the weather. I knew you all were out there and I'm glad I finally found one of you. I tried Abelmoschus manihot from seed once and it didn't bloom. I stupidly had it in part shade. I love that yellow with the maroon center. I will have to try again. Or I could just grow okra, huh?

  24. Great job!
    - Georgia

  25. Since Kathy's was one of the more recent comments, my eyes landed on what she said. That's true. There haven't been many of us satisfied with the weather. I'm glad we are finally getting some rain this weekend.

    I enjoyed your blooms.

  26. John,
    You will please to know I planted my first Hedychium in my garden on Friday.

    I do wish my zinnia would self-seed.

    Although this summer has been good to us, we have had our fair share that were not.

    I can put up with heat and humidity, in fact, I prefer it to any kind of cold. What deflates me most though is drought.

    Thank you!

    Yes we can not complain about our rain.


  27. First Hedychium! Just now! Good job, Les. You'll love it.