As is my custom at this time of year, I've let the garden go a bit. It's a bit of a disaster really. Flowers haven't been deadheaded. Anything taller than two feet has flopped over onto its neighbours. And the weeds and a few surprise grasses have been given the leeway to thrive. I can't help it. The August heat slows me right down.
Thankfully, all is not lost. There are a few gems hidden in the mess that is my garden right now. I've been flip-flopping on whether or not I like the Helenium I planted this year. This morning's blooms did a lot to sway me to to say "Yes! I like the Helenium." Just as I was hoping, the blooms are appearing as everything else is fading. And the colour heralds the arrival of fall and cooler weather.
I rarely give enough attention to shrubs, trees and other plants with less than showy blooms. That changes here. My cotton lavender has been an absolute delight all summer. I especially like the silvery colour. It adds fragrance to the garden too (although some might argue it doesn't smell all that great.) The cotton lavender makes a feeble attempt at producing some tiny yellow button-like blossoms in mid to late summer. They're hardly showstoppers but cute nevertheless.
I've been out of the garden so long I was very surprised to see the first pink blossoms on the Autum Joy Sedum. Now that's a showstopper! This plant proves the old saying "Good things come to those who wait." The Autum Joy spends spring and summer going quietly about its business. Come fall, the sedum becomes the centre of attention. It's sort of like the Rockettes or a Vegas show: a spectacle so big that it's tough to look away.
While August has been a scorcher, the month has also produced some of the best (and only) rains of the summer. Here are some raindrops on the winged euonymous. What a relief. There was so little rain this year that I was very surprised the City didn't impose any water restrictions.
And I'm happy to report that diligent and regular watering in July and August have produced a Purple Beech tree growth spurt. It's bursting with new buds. It looks as though the tree has grown by at least a foot this summer. It's still very young and probably a few years away from producing the significant amount of shade I'm desperate for. But I think it's well on its way to becoming a grand and majestic tree. Any help from real rain is greatly appreciated.