The month of August always seems like a bit of a let-down in the garden: for all intents and purposes the colour and scent of the lilies are a quickly fading memory and while plants such as Echinecea certainly have their own charm and add long lasting colour, they are naught but a reminder that fall is not far off. Usually in the first week of August you find one morning there is a bit of a bite to the air again, you look around and notice the sparkle has gone off the green growth, the vine maples are turning and it won't be long before we get the wet reminders in the last week of August that we don't earn our provincial nickname for nothing: we're on the We(s)tcoast!
Having said all that, there's still plenty of colour, in the front, side and back yards, it's just not as much as we have with the mass lily clumps in June and July.
Talking about lilies, you may recall from elsewhere on these pages we talked about a bag of Asiatic lilies we planted way too late, they had been exposed to too high a temperature for an extended period (they basically sat around on display too long at Costco) and we had these warped and wimpy plants and blooms.
Imagine our surprise when we started noticing that one of the two varieties, 'Red Bull', started to throw fresh offshoots! And they are vigorous. At time of writing (August 23) the biggest ones have a cluster of buds and we should be seeing these open by late September my guess is! The other ones, 'Polyanna', all have a nice ring of stem bulbils and a couple of them have also started offshoots, but they're much smaller than the 'Red Bull' offshoots and I don't expect to see them grown big enough to bud up and produce flowers.
Even though we thinned the number of plants and roots of Rudbeckia fairly well in the spring, you wouldn't know it by the mass of flowers they present by the middle of August.
The month of August also brings the maturing of the basils and various other herbs we have planted. This year we tried a number of new varieties of basil, including the purple one you see here seeding up virtually in the center of the picture. BTW, that's one of the 'Red Bull' offshoots just to the right of it, must be 24" and has a nice cluster of buds on it.
With all these various plants coming near the end of their season, it's time to collect seeds for next spring's batch of seedlings. We have collected plenty of variety so far: Petunias, Basils, Marigolds in 3 varieties, and many different Snapdragons.
A great deal of the month of August '04 was spent renovating the laundry room. You can read all about it here