Just two posts ago I was lamenting about the horribly hot dry weather in July and hoping for a cooler August. Here we are a week later and the temperatures have cooled to the 80s. We also had a few inches of rain this week. The grass is starting to look better and so are the plants in the garden. The green headed coneflower that has rooted itself all over is starting to bloom. As long as you don't mind digging plants up and moving them, this perennial is among the best to have here in southeast Virginia. This drought tolerant, tough plant will bloom through the fall until the first frost.
Four O'Clocks pictured below is a first for me in the garden this year. Not that I haven't tried to grow it before. It just never would sprout up when I sowed the seeds in years past. This was a favorite plant for my mother to grow and as every gardener knows, we like to grow plants that are rooted in memories. I was thrilled this year when the Four O'Clocks sprouted in the spring. They are planted in what was previously a raised bed for vegetables. I'm going to surmise that the seeds liked the super rich soil from the raised bed and that's what made the difference this year.
Below is one of my favorite spots in the garden this year and yet still a work in progress. Moving furniture around in your house can make all the difference in setting a room up to work well. The same goes for a garden. I had a pretty stone bench here for many years. This year I moved the bench to another area and added these two white Adirondack chairs. I already had the chairs sitting up on the patio. They were bought on clearance from Ace hardware for the bargain price of $35 each. I also added the huge green resin pots (an inexpensive purchase from Walmart years ago) to the area and filled them to the brim with shade loving plants. The pop of white from the chairs and the enormous size of the pots is a real eye pleaser, not to mention a nice place to stop and sit for a minute. This fall I plan on adding stone under and around the chairs to give the area more definition.
A number of pots have done well this year. These have been real show stoppers. Filled with a 'Kimberly' fern, red caladiums and dragon wing begonias, I have not had to do much with them except keep them watered in the heat of July. These plants will keep going until the first frosts hit in October.