August 28, 2019

August Lilies, Allium, Dahlias, Hardy Hibiscus


The Northwest corner of the garden has been colorful in August with perennial 'Berry Awesome' hardy hibiscus blooming for the first time along with 'Lavern Friemann' (aka Miss Freya) Orienpet lilies standing out against the 'Royal Purple' smoke bush at right.


The lilies are sturdy, tall and sweetly fragrant.  If the breeze is right, we can catch their scent on the patio.  I am a big fan of the Orienpet hybrids.  They are much more vigorous in my garden than the Oriental lilies I've planted over the years.


On the back side of the bed the lilies mingle with tall 'Jeana' phlox and Russian sage (yet to bloom in this shot).


'Berry Awesome' hibiscus deserves another picture.  Each flower lasts only two days before it wilts and needs to be deadheaded.  But the flowers are so large that each one makes a big impact.  The mauve-green foliage was pretty all season even before the flowers appeared.


Here is the view of the whole Northwest corner bed in August, with 'Millennium' allium in full bloom in front.


The mauve allium looks nice with maroon 'Rip City' dahlias planted nearby.  On warm afternoons, this allium was covered with pollinators.  Absolutely swarming.  So don't plant it next to a walkway where you might be stung if you brush against a honeybee.


Only one of my 'Karma Choc' dahlia tubers made it through the winter in storage, but its flowers echo 'Rip City' and work well with the color scheme in this area.


I can't resist sharing another view of this corner in the late afternoon light.  This is the best bloom year so far for the area.


One peek at the Northeast corner reveals that the honeysuckle still hasn't grown all the way across the swing set frame.  Maybe next year (I've been saying that for years). 
This summer we've been fighting against a huge outbreak of root weevils.  Unfortunately I didn't realize what was causing the notching on plant leaves until the root weevil population exploded.  Systemic neonicotinoid pesticides would do the best job of killing the pests, which chew on leaves in their adult form and chew on roots as larvae, but bees and other pollinators are also harmed by that type of pesticide.  So we've sprayed Neem oil several times.  It seems to have slowed the root weevils but not completely wiped them out.  I'm hoping to get spraying earlier next year, in the few weeks after the adults appear but before they start laying eggs.  And the neighbor's aspen roots keep sending big shoots into our garden, so we keep pulling them up.  Thrips continue to abound.  There is always a battle to be fought in the garden, but we enjoy the results so much that it's worth it.

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