This is a weird time for gardens in zone 8, at least my garden in zone 8. I saw two baby squirrels this afternoon. They had climbed down the tree and pushed the mulch away to get to the moist ground and they were stretched out full length, eyes half closed just trying to stay cool. I tried to get a picture but they got nervous when I got near and I didn’t want to disturb them so you’ll just have to take my word for it – they looked so cute.
So what is blooming in August? It’s still too hot for autumn blooms and too hot for spring blossoms and the roses are dormant until it cools down and then we will get another flush of roses this fall. But there are still some die-hard plants that grace this time with some beautiful flowers that you might pass over if they were mixed in with the tulips and the irises of the spring.
My favorite summer flower is Turk’s Cap. This is truly a cottage flower for me as it was
passed on to me via a small cutting from a friend of a friend. Turk’s Cap is a shade perennial that goes dormant in the winter. It spreads freely but is not invasive and often picks a spot to grow where little else will grow so it is a welcome addition. The blooms are small but striking both in color and in shape. It blooms a rich orangey red and the petals form a swirled “cap” around a long stamen dotted with yellow and red. This is my original planting from the cutting. It surrounds my St. Francis statue each spring and into the fall. I am told that hummingbirds love these but I have never seen one myself. Of course, hummingbirds are spoiled around here, why drink from a flower when there are at least 10 feeders on this block alone?
As you can see this planting is directly under a live oak so it gets about 3 hours of sun in the morning and shade the remainder of the day. Turk’s Cap is drought tolerant and not a heavy feeder. Ask around, most gardeners are more than happy to share a cutting!
Happy Days and remember to “bee” positive!