August 2018 - Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

August...oh hot, smokey....August. Go away. I'm done with you.

Before the smoke from all of the west coast fires descended upon the Portland metro area, I snapped a few pictures of the garden. Good thing too, or else all of the pictures would be quite hazy.

I've been watering daily, dividing my gardens into sections and attacking one or two sections each evening with the hose. I've been doing this since May. It's old and I'll need to develop a better plan if these hot summers persist. As it stands. The Portland metro area will break it's record for most 90+ degree days in a summer. Our record is 29 days set in 2015. We are likely to break the record in the next week. We are on day 28 today.

rudbeckia 'Goldstrum', helenium 'Mardi Gras' and crocosmia 'Fire King'

Above, rudbeckia, helenium and crocosmia are still blooming in the back yard. Staples of the hot, summer garden. My trusty bird bath has been quite the draw this summer. I've gotten a kick out of watching birds bathe and play in the water. I fill it every night to make sure it's ready for action the following day.

crocosmia 'Fire King'
Adding color to the backyard is salvia 'Amistad'. This is mainly an annual for me, but I did get three of four plants to winter over last year. I keep them in containers. The hummers love this plant, so I baby it. It's fun to watch them visit.

salvia 'Amistad'

In the front yard, I keep containers of agastache. Apricot Sprite is my favorite so far. They need well draining soil, so containers have been the best option to grow them as my clay soil isn't the friendliest.

agastache 'apricot sprite'
 My favorite summertime flower is echinacea. I can't grow enough of them.  Below is a picture of the 'Pow Wow'  variety in white and purple. They don't get as tall as other types of echinacea, but the amount of blooms it creates makes for quite a color show.

echinacea 'Pow Wow White and Purple'
 Here's a few more pics of my mini-echinacea grove.

echinacea 'Tomato Soup'

echinacea purpuea
My attempts to grow yarrow this year have been been very successful. With the addition of my pollinator garden, I now have a place where plants get 8+ hours of sunshine. I also planted sedums and salvia 'Black and Blue' in this garden; all of which are doing great!

yarrow 'paprika'

One of the most surprising plants that I grow is a summer blooming heather. Calluna vulgaris 'Firefly' changes color every season. In summer, the tiny purple blooms coat the branches and the other foliage is a contrasting, chartreuse. In the pic below, I caught a sweet, little bumble bee sleeping on a rare overcast day.
calluna vulgaris 'Firefly'
August is when the summer blooms begin to tire. My bee balm is looking ratty, but each flower head still has a smattering of blossoms that the hummingbirds visit, so I will not cut it back until they are truly finished. It's rather unsightly though.

Coreoposis is still blooming. I have a few plants under a baby Acer and they reliably pump out the summer color. Sometimes it's floppy, but the bee's love it so what's a gardener to do?

Helenium 'Mardi Gras' is still blooming and 'Salsa' buds are just beginning to open. I'll showcase them next month.

I had been feeling pretty glum about my August garden. But, the wonder of participating in bloom day is the reminder of all that is actively blooming and thriving in the garden, despite the heat and haze.

Perspective is everything.

Read more Bloom Day posts when you visit Carol's blog 'May Dreams Garden'. Many thanks to her for hosting this monthly meme.

Cheers, Jenni


  1. Beautiful!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

  2. I'm doing the same watering regime as you . I hate to wish my Birthday month away ! But I know what you mean , we still have a way to go before the rains come. Your photos and bloom look gorgeous for all that watering .

  3. Absolutely stunning photographs! That "tomato soup" coneflower is amazing. My local nursery carries it, now that I've seen your I want one too.
    I'm in Medford, we have nothing but smoke too. A valley full.

    1. Oh Lisa! You have been dealing with the smoke for over a month now!! I have no right to complain. Do try 'Tomato Soup', it's been such a fun plant and it has continued to pump out blooms. I like the height - it's 36 inches +

  4. Yes, I've been feeling rather depressed about the state of my garden right now too. I can't really go out and do much in the heat and the smoke, so I'm feeling a bit of cabin fever as well. The smoke is making the air quality in the Pacific Northwest the most unhealthy in the world. Lovely to see your flowers, for some reason I can't get Achillea to thrive.

    1. I have cabin fever too. When I come home from work (sitting in an office all day) all I want to do is hang outside with the birds. No dice. Desperately waiting for rains to come back.

  5. Your August garden is very cheery and florific! Although I hear you about the smoke changing everything. I hate that my favorite time of year now feels like an endurance test.


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