And now, the blooms.
August is when the front fauxprairie or miniprairie finally reaches its season of interest. Along with the Ruellia humilis that has been blooming for over a month, the show now includes the natives Echinacea purpurea, Allium cernuum, Prairie Dropseed (Sporabolis heterolepis) and Liatris spicata. I finally got my act together this year and staked the Liatris early. They are the kind of plants for which Blanche Dubois staking (relying on the kindness of strangers) just doesn't work. They're too thin and there's nothing to catch on other plants to hold them upright. In addition to these strictly natives are the quasi-native Phlox paniculata 'David' and 'David's Lavender.'
The Woodland Garden is starting to look a little tattered and worn down. Thank goodness for such stellar performers as Phlox paniculata 'Laura,' Geranium nodosum 'Svelte Lilac,' Geranium 'Rozanne,' and the Lobelias, 'Monet Moment' and the native species syphilitica. Still churning out the blooms are the Campanulas, persicifolia 'Alba' and 'Telham Blue,' 'Sarastro,' and this Campanula, 'Samantha.' For sheer wow, there's the combination of 'Black Beauty' Lilies and Lobelia 'Sparkle DeVine.' While Hostas aren't usually grown for their flowers, Hosta plantaginea is an exception with it's strongly fragrant trumpets. It's also hard to ignore the flower power of Hostas 'June' and 'Halcyon.' Nearby these Hostas, the Astilbe pumila is in full bloom. More subtle are the flowers of the Toad Lily, Tricyrtis 'Tojen,' which has been aptly described as a Toad Lily on steroids.
The Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (trying saying that five times fast), has just started blooming.I like it best when the foliage turns red while it's still blooming. The big native star of the August shade garden is Actaea/Cimicifuga racemosa a/k/a Bugbane.Another native August bloomer is Eurybia divaricata/Aster divaricata, seen here with the foliage of Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty.'Here's another Aster, but this one isn't a native.I got it from the late great Heronswood Nursery. I have lost the name and, naturally, the one Heronswood catalogue that I accidentally recycled is the one I ordered it from. If anyone can identify this plant, I'd be very grateful.
August also brings blooms to two shrubs, the Japanese Beetle magnet Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart,' and Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice.'The jury's still out on Clethra. It leafs out so late in the year and looks so spindly, I'm tempted to shovel prune it. But then it has scented blooms in August and yellow fall foliage, so it does have some redeeming qualities.
The best performing Clematis at Squirrelhaven is 'Betty Corning.'This amazing plant has been continuously in bloom since the beginning of June. Two other Clematises are also in bloom now, the continuing blooming of 'Madame Julia Correvon' and the reblooming of 'Crystal Fountain.'
Other plants in bloom: Calycanthus floridus 'Athens,' Dicentra 'Zestful,' Heucheras 'Hollywood'and 'Raspberry Ice' (both reblooming) and 'Palace Purple,' Hosta 'Krossa Regal,' Hosta 'Winfield Gold,' Hydrangea 'Endless Summer,' Malva 'Zebrina,' Phlox 'Nicky,' Phlox maculata, Verbena hastata and, as always, Lamium maculatum.
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is brought to you, as it is every month, by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.