August in bloom

Just a few weeks ago, overgrown vines and weeds and grass and trees were all blending into one big, green blur outside our front door; no color in sight!

I can’t say that I’ve made much progress toward trimming back the weeds and vines, but magically – overnight, it seems – flowers exploded into bloom and the garden is dotted with color all over!

Crape myrtle in August

I thought the crape myrtle would never bloom, but finally it did. What a spectacular show!

Somehow the flowers make even the unruliness of it all seem beautiful.

Goldenrod patch - NC Garden gals

Solidago (goldenrod) just on the verge of blooming. I’ve allowed these to take over parts of the garden this year.

Yet there is (or should be) at least some method to the madness. I’ve been trying to get a better understanding of shrubs in our yard and the best times of year and ways to prune them to help them thrive. I found a helpful calendar from the cooperative extension service for a county neighboring ours and have tried to go by that.

We also have a butterfly bush problem. Not that their blooms and the butterflies they attract aren’t beautiful…

Butterfly bush flower - NC Garden Gals

I’d want to visit this flower if I were a butterfly, for sure!

However, the shrubs require a lot of trimming and are quite weedy. We started with one or two and now have about eight. How to stop the spread? I read that trimming off the flower clusters after they bloom can prevent the shrubs seeding themselves (makes sense, since there would be fewer seeds finding their way into the soil). Easier said than done, though – there are hundreds of these spent flowers!

Butterfly bush seeds - NC Garden Gals

Hundreds of new butterfly bushes waiting to happen. They have to go!

Nevertheless, I’ve been working at trimming them. And while I’m trimming, it’s just too tempting not to cut flowers to bring a little bit of garden joy inside.

Flowers for bouquet - NC Garden Gals

Flowers for a bouquet. I love the snowball viburnum combined with purple butterfly bush and border grass flowers! And, of course, my favorite black-eyed susans.

What kinds of blooms are bringing you joy this August?