What’s in bloom in August?

posted in: Gardening | 23

Deinanthe caerulea flowersWhat’s in bloom in August?  It’s the time of year that the fiery coloured blooms start to explode. They are like fireworks in the borders with the Crocosmia and Hemerocallis just at their peak. The garden is full of pollinators and there’s a constant buzz when the sun is shining. We have a land corridor of wildflowers stretching for miles on our doorstep. But due to our harsh spring few butterflies have been seen.

Hardiness Ratings

Additionally I’ve started to use Scottish hardy zones for a short time on some of the plants featured on the blog.

  1. Hardy 5:      -20    to -23.3c  = 6a USDA rating
  2.           4 -5:  -17.8 to -20.5c  = 6b    “
  3.           4:     -15    to -17.7c  = 7a     “
  4.           3:     -12.3 to -14.9c  = 7b     “
  5.           2:     -9.5 to -12.2c    = 8a     “

Just stating hardy on the back of a plant label here in the Scotland really just isn’t enough. Considering how pricey plants can be nowadays. Furthermore soil conditions, winter wet and how close you are to the coast need to be considered.

What’s in Bloom in August?

Deinanthe caerulea ‘Blue Wonder’ with its waxy blooms is quite rare to find growing in Scotland. Moreover it’s highly sought after. Once you can give it a dappled shade location it will thrive and give you late summer colour. However the leaves are prone to burning. As a result mine had to move to a shadier position back in late autumn 2010.Deinanthe caerulea 'Blue Wonder' flowers

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and other deep red/orange ones are the hardiest to grow up here in Scotland (hardy 5). However the yellow flowering ones (hardy 3) are much more tender. I’ve kept these in the dryer part of the garden. Moreover it’s the winter wet in heavy soil that can kill them. Especially in the first winter after they have been planted.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' individual flower
Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ – hoverfly coming down to land on an individual flower



Daisies are the stalwarts in the autumn borders. They form large clumps and give great drifts of colour.Anthemis tinctoria 'Kelwayi' blooms

Anthemis tinctoria ‘Kelwayi’ (hardy 4) is new to the garden this year with lovely yellow disc flowers and finely cut leaves. It died out a few years ago so I’m giving it another chance. It grows quite close to the Crocosmia flowers as it’s a great nectar source.

Leucanthemum | Shasta Daisy flowers
Leucanthemum | Shasta Daisy


Leucanthemum | Shasta Daisy  is one of my favourites in August. I just love how the bright white flowers light up the border at twilight. Mine is a lost label variety and it’s a clump of about 1 metre square.  It breaks all the rules as no garden book would recommend it for the position it grows in here. This plant thrives in a north facing border with horrible wet soil that floods quite regularly. In fact it has also survived winter temperatures down to -17c.  A true stalwart indeed though I don’t recommend anyone to start growing theirs in a position like this.  Every garden has its own little micro climate and whatever variety I am growing it seems to have adapted well.


Here are a few more of my favourite nectar sources in bloom in August…

Blue and white flowers in bloom in August
Top left: Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (hardy 3-4) Bottom left: Carlina acaulis thistle – a UK Garden Worthy NativeMiddle: Eryngium ‘Blue hobbit’ Far Right: Stachys officinalis ‘Wisley White‘ .  This was new to the garden last year and it’s flowering very well for it’s first year in bloom.


Various verbena flowers
Verbena flowers
I love to grow verbena as another nectar source for the wildlife. Last year I managed to get the Verbena bonariensis to survive the winter in situ.  Consequently it self seeded and now the seedlings are flowering as well.
Left: Verbena bonariensis (hardy 3) Middle: Verbena rigida – new this year to the garden and since it is only hardy 2 here in Scotland it won’t survive the winter. RightVerbena hastata in blue, white and pink.  These are  good and the hardiest verbenas to grow here in Scotland  (hardy 4).

Sweet Pea

Dwarf sweet pea flowers | Lathyrus odoratus
What’s in bloom in August – Lathyrus odoratus growing in containers


Lathyrus odoratus is a new annual for me to grow this year and I have the dwarf sweet peas growing in containers.

I was on a photo shoot  last week and the owners had a magnificent display of these growing from 3 feet high stone wall planters.  It was really impressive and just like a sea of  pink, lavender, purple and cerise trailing over the edges. It went on for about  20 metres  or more going along two sides of the house as well as being grown in hanging baskets near the entrance to the front door. 

Flame Creeper

Tropaeolum speciosum | Flame Creeper
What’s in bloom in August – Tropaeolum speciosum | Flame Creeper


Tropaeolum speciosum (hardy 5) is a great plant for a Scottish garden as long as you give it shady feet. However it’s one plant that has difficulty thriving further down south in England. I always find it difficult to photograph as it climbs up shrubs at the very back of the borders. This little patch is growing up one of my Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’ shrubs …which is also in flower. But it’s more renowned for it’s beauty berries later in the year.

Beauty Berries

Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion' flowers
What’s in bloom in August – Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’


Day Lilies

Hemerocallis flowers in bloom in August
What’s in bloom in August – Daylillies


Hemerocallis flowers (hardy 5) might last for a day but I couldn’t do without them in the garden. This year the flowering has been much later.

Top left: Hemerocallis ‘Bonanza’ is fragrant but because we have cool summer night temperatures the scent is very poor.
Bottom left: Hemerocallis ‘Strawberry Candy’ with its crinkled petals is flowering for the first time in the garden.

Top Right: Hemerocallis ‘Frans Hals’ has flowered for the first time this year as well.
Bottom left small photo: Hemerocallis ‘Pink Damask’ which flowers without fail every year. It’s probably the most vigorous day lily in the garden.
Bottom right small photo: Hemerocallis ‘Crimson Pirate’.
Finally I’ve tried to include flowers in this post that I didn’t feature in the 2011 August’s Garden Bloggers Bloom day post. However the only plant that is much later this year to flower is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ as it’s still in small tight buds.
leavesnbloom garden aerial shot
What’s in bloom in August – photo taken 15th August


Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. If you'd like to receive the latest leavesnbloom blog posts by email click here.

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23 Responses

  1. Gatsbys Gardens


    It is amazing all that we have in common being across the ocean. I am looking at my Rozanne and it need a little clipping. Your verbena and mine look just the same as do your daylilies.


  2. ann

    You still have a lot of color in your garden. Here most of the July blooms are gone, run their course. The zinnias are spectacular and the roses are busy. The mums bolted. They have been blooming nearly all summer, so they will be spent by autumn. It has been bloody hot, making most flowers struggle. Your flowers are gorgeously photographed. Enjoy the beauty while it lasts, then enjoy the photos mid-winter.

  3. James Missier

    I really never seen such outstanding blooms.
    Even some of them appear to be tiny but the beautiful is still outstanding.
    Truly there are the season of the blooms in your garden.

  4. Kalantikan

    Hello dear Rosie, I am one of those who before appreciated your wide angle shot, and now much happier. I think it shows a more personal side of the gardener and that way we have better bonding than the more macro shots. When you said it is difficult to grow the bright colors in Scotland, i returned to my question, i still havent resolved why the warm colors are in hot climates and the cool blue colors are in temperate climes. I wonder how I can explain it, maybe that goes with the light spectrum but am still in limbo! haha.

  5. Richard Havenga


    Your publications here are always stimulating, and gratifying. I like your site, because of what I learn from your garden.

    That is a stunning photograph of Crocosmia "Lucifer" with the Hoverfly nearby. Every few years, I find these in the wild here in Michigan, where it's called the "Cardinal Flower".

    Thanks for the knowledge you share.


  6. Curbstone Valley Farm

    Your garden looks gorgeous this time of year. The Carlina is lovely, I haven't seen that thistle before. Here our biggest show at the moment is actually a weed, but it's keeping the bees busy, so I'm opting to leave it alone for now. Sometimes I wish we had some rain in the summer so more things would bloom this time of year!

  7. Melanie

    I love the wide angle shot of your garden. It's great to have a glimpse into someones garden than always looking at closeups of plants. 🙂

  8. Alistair

    Great plants in your garden at the moment Rosie, and I love the wide angle shot. Even in a mild Winter you did well getting Verbena bonariensis to come through.

  9. Kia

    So much gorgeousness in your garden, a fab capture of the Crocosmia. 🙂

  10. Peter Garlon

    My mom spends hours in her garden, she knows every single flower there by name.. Incredible! We men, I guess, will never understand it like women do. I like to look at them.. Yes, women and flowers)) They have things in common – they are beautiful, they smell good (better than men) and they need care)

  11. scottweberpdx

    Beautiful post, as always! Love all the Verbena…wish I could have one of each…and the Carlina acaulis thistle…so cool!

  12. Jayne

    Beautiful photos of beautiful flowers. You have so many flowers that I just wish I could grow here but many wouldn't take our heat and humidity I'm sure.

  13. Bom

    There really is a big difference when photography is done by a professional. These images are really beautiful with their perfect DOFs. I really like the hoverfly and 'Lucifer' shot.

  14. Liz

    This was a great post. I have not been blogging much latley but want to more. It is fun to learn and see what is growing all around the globe.