Finding perennials or shrubs for August blooms was a goal of mine a few years ago when I realized my flower borders were looking mostly green after the flush of all the June blooms that last through July. This is one of the first years I’ve looked around and realized I’ve got a good amount of color! So I thought I’d share with you what perennials and shrubs I’ve found that bloom in August here in the PNW and other similar climates.
Our borders hold colors of yellow, pink, purple, and white – never orange or red, so no August Gaillardia and such. But I have been able to find plenty of August blooming plants in my color palette (pictured above clockwise from top):
- Hydrangea, Endless Summer. I have four of these that line the front of our porch – LOVE.
- Fleabane. This is a reseeding perennial that sometimes doesn’t make it through a rough winter, but I love how it fills in blank spots and that it’s sweet little daisy-like flowers always seem to compliment anything next to it.
- Malva (from the Mallow family) – I don’t know this variety since I got it from my sister’s yard. It can reseed a LOT (in her yard) or not, like in mine, but it is not fussy about soil or water and blooms when (and where) others don’t, so I really am enjoying it!
- Purple Aster. I cut this back a bit around July 4th to get it to bloom in August when I need the color. This is another plant I have in dry shade, full sun, and partial sun and it looks great everywhere. I’d never be without a perennial aster!
- Japanese Anemone. I have a light pink and a white version and the pink starts blooming mid-July and goes through September! Although I read they are shade plants, these grow in full sun just as well in my garden. I was given the pink variety from a friend who got it from her grandmother, so it’s pretty hardy for such a delicate-looking plant.
This is a rose-and-perennial border that was full of color in June from the clematis and roses, and while the roses are budding in preparation for another show in a few weeks they are serving as a backdrop to (left to right):
- Stella d’Oro daylily
- Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’
- Sweet William (the pink just peeking above the fleabane)
- Pastel Yarrow
A background of spring flowering shrubs and roses forms the basis of this bed that has the same purple aster as mentioned above as well as my favorite August bloomer:
- Black-eyed Susan (rudbekia). I pretty much plant this somewhere in all my beds for that great pop of yellow at the height of the summer. That it’s easy to grow and replant from rootings is just a bonus.
Yes, well…hydrangeas. I don’t even want to tell you how many I have – I love them. Not only is this bed blooming with more Stella d’Oro daylilies, but also with:
- Hardy geranium, ‘monster.’ I have to keep this baby in check here, but after I cut it back, it just puts out more blooms.
- Little Lime Hydrangea (bottom left). I wrote all about this plant last year – my newest favorite hydrangea.
- PeeGee Hydrangea standard. LOVE the peegees, but not sure why mine has never looked like others I’ve seen – the flowers should be much more cone-shaped and large (this plant is about 5 or 6 years old). Oh, well, I enjoy it anyway!
I’m including a photo of this shrub, Spirea (which is one of my all-time favorite shrubs, by the way), for two reasons:
- It’s actually a July bloomer in my yard – which you can see from all the brown blooms that I haven’t deadheaded.
- BUT if you shear all those blooms off, you will get a second August bloom – which you can see all around the bottom and a few here-and-there that I clipped. I was just shaping this shrub when I sheared it back and didn’t really think about it blooming again – note to self: half-trimmed plants look ridiculous when they rebloom!
I’d like to also point out the huge thistle growing up through the middle of the bush – ugh. You know that saying to “plant thickly to keep weeds away?” Yeah, I could show you many areas in my yard where that just doesn’t ring true – I’ve pulled about 20 of these thistles around and in this plant already this season! Is it just me, or do you have weeds grow in your “thickly planted” areas, too?