Changing of the Garden - What happens in August

Autumn Sedum beginning to change it's color.
Autumn Sedum beginning to change it's color.
Autumn sedum with more pink showing daily
Autumn sedum with more pink showing daily

Autumn Approaches

As the nights begin to cool flowers begin to change.Some flourish in the cool nights, others begin to die off as autumn approaches.It’s hard to tell which flowers will do what but watching them carefully will give you a clue.

For example, autumn sedum also called autumn joy begins to come into its own.The big green flower heads that have formed now begin to turn pink getting ready for their autumn glory.As the days go by the pink begins to deepen until they turn a dark maroon.You can almost see them changing daily, depending on the weather. This is the time to check your small garden ideas and designs to see what fall work needs to be done.

Trimming back portulaca
Trimming back portulaca

Tips for Portulaca

Some gardening tips are always in order. I never trim my portulaca in the summer but I found trimming them at this time of year helps give them a boost for one last flowering.Of course trimming them or pinching them back during the summer months gives you a more tidy plant.When you trim them for your last bloom, you have to be careful not to cut off any new growth or tiny buds that may be forming.Even though they tolerate heat and drought they can still re-bloom now.I was amazed at this last volley, they looked so pretty.Plenty of sun is still the rule.

Marigolds love the cool nights
Marigolds love the cool nights

Impatiens, Marigolds and Echinacea

Impatiens and marigolds continue to bloom but Echinacea is starting to show its age. If your impatiens are growing in pots you can bring them indoors for the winter. Before you do cut them back one third and keep them in a sunny window over the winter. Marigolds bask in the cooler weather and will be the last blooming flowers in your garden bringing their sunny color well into fall.

You have two choices with Echinacea.You can continue to cut off the dead flowers, without a re-bloom at this time of year, or you can leave the dead flowers and let them go to seed.Though this may not be attractive in your flower garden, the birds will thank you for it.I’ve seen several different kinds of birds heading for the seeds that used to be flowers! You can gather your garden seeds to replant next year as well. Marigolds are always leaving seeds. Just remember to collect them and let them dry to plant next year.

Hardy dinner plate sized hibiscus continues to bloom
Hardy dinner plate sized hibiscus continues to bloom
Also a hardy hibiscus my white and pink continues to bloom
Also a hardy hibiscus my white and pink continues to bloom

Hisbiscus

Hibiscus continue to bloom but at a slower rate.There aren’t as many flowers forming but there are still buds waiting to bloom and those beautiful flowers will continue to open.

Even though hibiscus shed their dead flowers now is a good time to remove dead blooms by hand. It gives more sun to the new buds. If your hibiscus is the “hardy” variety they should continue to bloom right up until the first frost, especially the red dinner plate variety.

If you want to divide your hibiscus fall is the best time. Many gardeners also trim them back in fall and/or cut off dead wood.

Black-eyed Susans continue to add color to the fall garden
Black-eyed Susans continue to add color to the fall garden

Black-eyed Susan and Catmint

Black-eyed Susans still have flowers but they are starting to look a little sad.Removing dead flowers does nothing beneficial to the plant itself but it does keep your garden looking a little tidier.They will continue to bloom into the fall.Strangely the blossoms on the butterfly bush are larger than they were.Not sure if it’s the cool nights.It continues to bloom as long as I continue to cut off the dead blooms and should continue into the fall.I gave my catmint a good pruning.There are still flowers blooming on it but it was just way too leggy.Left alone catmint can grow from 24” to 36” tall!The fake sunflowers that have been blooming prolifically through the end of July are starting to slowly die out as well.There are a few new blooms here and there but for the most part I think they’re doing their swan song.

The new blue hydrangea
The new blue hydrangea
Sweet William is re-blooming
Sweet William is re-blooming

Sweet William, and keeping Hydrangea blue

Surprisingly, Sweet William is re-blooming in the sunniest areas of my garden.Not surprisingly, Spiderwort is also making a comeback.Impatiens continue to bloom and flourish though they will begin to show their age pretty soon now.To my true wonder, one last hydrangea has shown up on the bush.A pretty little thing.I love blue hydrangea so I had to add aluminum sulfate to my soil.It took me years to learn this.I bought blue hydrangea plants but the following year they would come up pink!I then learned it was my good old sandy soil and its high ph.I add aluminum sulfate in early spring.Though mine are not planted near my foundation, I understand planting them near a foundation will cause the lime from the foundation to leech into the plant and prevent them hydrangeas from turning blue.If your soil is really stubborn, which for some reason mine is not, you may have to add the aluminum sulfate during the growing season as well. I am absolutely amazed I do not have to add it more than once.What really drives me crazy is New Jersey!My daughter lives in Jersey and when we go to visit the hydrangea there are so blue they’re almost purple, and it is everywhere.Evidently the soil in her part of Jersey has a very low ph.

My little ever-blooming roses
My little ever-blooming roses

Roses, Cosmos, and Russian Sage

The roses go on and on as they do every year, remember from my other hubs I have rose bushes with small little roses.Cosmos continues on for another few weeks though the plant is huge and top heavy at this time.Russian sage is still going strong.After doing some research I found that Russian Sage is very cold hardy. Oh, did I mention it is deer resistant as well?It’s a great plant to substitute for lavender if you can’t grow lavender.

Tomatoes - fall's bounty
Tomatoes - fall's bounty

Tomatoes

Tomatoes! If you have them in your garden, now is the time for tomatoes.They are usually turning red all at one time or many per day.Also, if you have holly, now is the time the berries begin to turn red for that wonderful winter look and morning glories are still flourishing.I am truly amused by my morning glories.In our climate morning glories are supposed to be annuals but I haven’t re-planted mine in over ten years.Not only do they continue to come back on their own, but they’re almost like weeds, showing up in the strangest places in my garden. I’ve had to pull them out in several places because they were killing other flowers!

As the weather gets colder

Here in the Northeast the days are still warm, sometimes reaching 85 degrees, but the nights can sometimes go down to 50!It really is nearing the end of the growing season and it signals time to clean up your garden and prepare for winter and if you want spring flowering bulbs now is the time to plant them, well actually I would wait till the end of September for that.It’s also a great time to fertilize your lawn because grass stores the fertilizer in the winter; it’s also a good time to plant new grass.

As the weather gets colder and more plants start dying out it’s a good idea to remove the dead plants and of course any wayward weeds.Where we are it is necessary to mulch woody plants like my hibiscus and rose bushes to prevent winter damage.It’s not a bad idea to turn your soil over to let your mulch do its job and prepare your soil for next spring’s mulch.Leave pruning till the spring so you don’t damage any buds that may be forming.Most lawn and garden sites will also tell you it’s a good time to clean your garden tools so they are ready for spring.Getting ready for winter is easier than getting ready for spring.

If you have plants, like holly, that will provide you with some winter interest, enjoy!

Copyright Tillsontitan

Fall Garden Clean Up

More Flower Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Autumn sedum (autumn joy) changing it's colorThe middle of September shows the Autumn sedum turning darker pink getting ready for its true fall color.Autumn sedum Oct. 2, near its full color of a dark maroon.Echinacea going to seed - good for the birdsMorning glories still blooming every dayMorning glories growing - not necessarily where you want themFake sunflower continues to bloomThe flowers of Russian SageRed holly berries starting to form
Autumn sedum (autumn joy) changing it's color
Autumn sedum (autumn joy) changing it's color | Source
The middle of September shows the Autumn sedum turning darker pink getting ready for its true fall color.
The middle of September shows the Autumn sedum turning darker pink getting ready for its true fall color. | Source
Autumn sedum Oct. 2, near its full color of a dark maroon.
Autumn sedum Oct. 2, near its full color of a dark maroon. | Source
Echinacea going to seed - good for the birds
Echinacea going to seed - good for the birds | Source
Morning glories still blooming every day
Morning glories still blooming every day | Source
Morning glories growing - not necessarily where you want them
Morning glories growing - not necessarily where you want them | Source
Fake sunflower continues to bloom
Fake sunflower continues to bloom | Source
The flowers of Russian Sage
The flowers of Russian Sage | Source
Red holly berries starting to form
Red holly berries starting to form | Source
Late Summer Flowers
Late Summer Flowers

"Christopher explores a great many plants besides the usual mums and asters. ... This book opens our eyes to the possibilities of a bounteous garden all the way to Thanksgiving."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times, October 1, 2006 (Seattle Times )

 
Wonders of Autumn
Wonders of Autumn

WAY OF NATURE is a beautiful program,, combining visual images with soothing background melodies and a series of quotations from well-known writes, poets, educators and scientists, as well as notes from Scripture) A MUST HAVE video collection. --Craig E. Burgess, Educator and Poet, Audubon, New Jersey

 
Fallscaping: Extending Your Garden Season into Autumn
Fallscaping: Extending Your Garden Season into Autumn

Pennsylvania gardeners Ondra and Cohen (Perennial Gardener's Design Primer) bring imaginative ideas, practical techniques and new inspiration to autumn, that often-neglected tail end of the gardening year. from Publishers Weekly

 

More by this Author


Comments 24 comments

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa

A great record of your garden in early autumn. Nicely done and beautiful pics.


Dawn Conklin profile image

Dawn Conklin 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Wow, I love your garden! Nice pictures you have here. I realized after reading your hub and looking at the pictures that the purple flowers that are growing by the rocks that are lined up along one end of our fence are morning glories. I was unsure what they were, all of a sudden there were purple flowers there. Beautiful flowers they are.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Deborah and Dawn. Glad you liked my hub and flowers!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, we have noticed the berrys starting to appear, your blue hydrangea is fantastic, its funny how we forget that different soil will affect the coloring, adding different things to the soil can make such a difference, what a shame that winter is coming, I love seeing the plants and flowers, I am such a summer person! lovely hub, cheers nell


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Nell. I'm with you, I've never been one for cold weather!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Your flowers are just beautiful! I love your Black-Eyed Susan! Great information here, very useful and informative. We are in August now and our temperatures in Oklahoma were 105 yesterday. It's hard to keep much of anything growing in this heat!

(By the way, there is a very large empty space between "Fall Garden Clean Up" and "More Flower Photos". I just thought you would like to know, I know I would. :)

Great hub, voting up, useful, sharing to FB and pinning! :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I'm so glad you enjoyed SGB and appreciate the votes and shares! Black-Eyed Susans are like weeds and spread like crazy every year!

Do you mean the video between "Fall Garden Clean Up" and "More Flower Photos"? I don't see a space on my computer. I certainly appreciate your looking out for me.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

It must be my computer, Mary. I am about to get a new one....but I have see no video. :(


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Sorry to hear that SGB, but still I do appreciate you letting me know in case it was an issue. Good luck in your computer search ;)


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Your garden looks so nice from last year. It has been so cold here this year. We have to have light jackets on when we go outside. I believe that's why we didn't get butterflies this year they stayed more south because of the cold weather here. Voted up and shared.


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 3 years ago from India

I enjoyed reading this hub. Your pictures of the garden are beautiful.

Voted up and shared


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Oh my gosh ! Such a delightful hub to cheer up the start of autumn. Your photos are beautiful and I congratulate you on such a lovely yard and blooming success. Very interesting hub. Thank you for sharing your gardens and tips.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Mary,

This time of the year, I'm in my farm and thinking about the vegetables that I can grow in my vegetable patch. I also love flowers. I have recently sowed marigold seeds and grafted hibiscus.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Here things have grown like crazy and flowers bloomed ahead of time Moonlake. I don't know if it was that intense heat or the rain but our season was speeded up! Thanks for the vote and share.

So glad you enjoyed Phyllis. I love my flowers and gardeners love to share tips.

Vinaya you never cease to amaze. With all your writing, photography, and travels you are a gardener too! I've never tried grafting hibiscus but I'm sure yours are a success.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

Beautiful hub with so many useful tips, Mary. Your descriptions of the coming fall remind me of living in central New York and how quickly the nights turned cool. We miss that in NC, though I do grow some of the same flowers. One thing I do love are the blue hydrangeas that are so easy to grow in our sandy soil. I very much enjoy your writing and photographs! Voted up, useful, beautiful and interesting!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I'm so glad you enjoyed my hub Stephanie. I love the flowers and each short season that brings new ones. I have to add aluminum to my soil to get blue hydrangeas but that's okay with me, I like the blue. Believe it or not I have sandy soil too! Where in central NY were you? I'm in Ulster County.

Thanks so much for the votes! Have a great day.


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 3 years ago from Lancashire north west England

Hi Mary,

Thank you for sharing your beautiful plants with us . Your enthusiasm and love for the plants in your care shows through with every word you write. Enhanced by your images this was a welcome read. Voted up.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you D.A.L., I really do love nature...flowers, animals...even people ;) I'm glad you enjoyed my hub and so appreciate your visiting and leaving such a lovely comment.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

I was just thinking about starting to do some thinning and clean up! Timely piece!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for stopping by Audrey...every year we face the same challenge.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A wonderful change to a garden in Autumn looks so good


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you DDE! Glad you enjoyed.


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Beautiful garden for August! Here the heat is beating the plants to death, so even with constant watering many plants are turning brown. Marigolds however are at the height of their beauty, and the cosmos are just now blooming. I love planting so that as one type dies away another is reaching it's bloom stage. I just hope my autumn mums bloom this year. Great hub! Sharing and voting!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Seems like you know how to plant a garden Sharkye....always have something blooming. Marigolds are great but seem to do best in cooler nights. I love the heights that cosmos reach with their dainty flowers. I appreciate the votes and shares. Have a good one.

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