Urban Garden Denver Blog



August Flower Envy

Monday is August 1st, a date which usually inspires the feeling of “where did the summer go”? I have friends whose children are starting school next week. What ever happened to going to school after Labor Day? The great thing about Colorado is there is potentially plenty of nice weather left through October … or at least we hope so. Since I’ve lived in Colorado 29 years this August, I often hear myself sounding like an old-timer… “Remember the September when we had a big snow that broke all the branches!”  The problem with an early frost is that it kills off the plants and then the temperature warms up again. But today, when we are hitting our 15th day over 90 degrees, thoughts of Fall and frost seem far away.

I’ve made an intentional effort in the past few years to plant more flowers that peak late in the summer, to avoid the floral letdown that occurs after the June bloom. So I still have plenty of blanket flower, coneflowers, zinnias, nicotania and cosmos blooming. With our moisture this summer, the snapdragons are reblooming as well. I am also looking forward to mums in the fall. Even with these blossoms, my flowers feel spotty to me, not lush. We used to take our annual 2 week car-trip pilgrimage to the northwest around this time in the summer. I would leave Colorado feeling like my garden was looking pretty good and I would arrive in Seattle with serious flower envy. I came across a photo of one of those trips and I am in awe of the blossoms.

Family in front of a cafe in Port Angeles, WA 1999

It also reminds me of our outings with Grandma Bertha who died last year; she enjoyed flowers as well.

My other flower envy right now relates to sunflowers and black-eyed susans. They seem to be blooming everywhere now and I’m not sure why I don’t have any in my yard! I have tried varieties of Rudbeckia (black-eyed susan and her relatives) and they have never done very well in my garden. I must try again next year. I’m not a big fan of the huge sunflowers, but there are so many smaller varieties with multiple blooms that there is really no reason I don’t have any in my yard. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the profusion in other yards. I think I’ll also put some fertilizer on my annuals to make sure they keep blooming strong and keep enjoying today’s flowers even while I think about what I will plant this fall or next year.

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  1. * Karen says:

    I love black-eyed susans – they are the state flower of my hometown, Maryland. I keep thinking how I have always wanted some in my own garden. Carla, you’ve inspired me!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago


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