Create an ideabook for your next remodeling project!
Browse more than 1,000,000 photos from top designers and save your favorites
Plant Colchicums. Plant Colchicums now through the middle of August to give them plenty of time to settle in before blooming.
Gardener's tip: Take photos of the package with the name of the Colchicum where it is planted to help prevent accidental excavation and preserve its identity. Take two photos: One of a closeup of the package, the second showing where it's planted in the garden.
Edge planting beds with pavers. This shape of paver works best for beds without acute angles. Lay out the exact shape before digging and make sure the bed is as big as your future needs require. This is a fairly permanent installation, and you don't want to have to redo it. To prevent frost heaving:
August blooms. While so much of the garden is looking tired, Lycoris squamigera is popping up to freshen the scene.
This popular bulb has many common names, from the sacred (resurrection lilies) to the profane (naked ladies). My favorite common name for it is surprise lily, names because it is grown among plants with foliage that hides the empty space during dormancy, so it isn't visible when sprouting. Suddenly one day you turn around and there it is, blooming.
Lycoris squamigera is the only one of the beautiful Lycoris tribe that is reliably hardy in the Great Lakes area. While it prefers full sun, it will bloom in partial shade. For some gardeners, it is an easy bloomer and multiplier. I've tried it in half a dozen locations around my garden, and it grows in only one, but it grows very well there. So try it in several places to determine where it wants to be. The place Lycoris squamigera prefers in my garden is with the prairie plants.
A garden of prairie natives reaches its peak in August, with coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), gayfeather (Liatris spicata) and Joe-pye weed (Eupatorium 'Phantom').
It wouldn't be August without the 'August lily' (Hosta plantaginea). Its very fragrant blooms are beloved of humans, bees and hummingbirds.
Enjoy the vegetable garden. The peppers are ripening to their fullest flavor. Bell peppers can be hollowed out and stuffed with a meatloaf or meatball mix and baked in the oven, or they can be roasted in the oven or on the grill for sandwiches.
Zucchini bread is a tasty treat, or toss fresh zucchini sliced lengthwise and basted with olive oil onto the grill with the peppers.
Tomato and cucumber salad in vinegar and olive oil is refreshing in summer, but you can eat only so many tomatoes. Can the surplus or make spaghetti sauce to freeze. If you still have surplus from your vegetable garden, consider donating it to your local food pantry.
Enjoy the dog days of summer, and don't forget to keep an eye to the night sky around August 9 to 14, 2012, when the Perseid meteor shower sparkles the heavens.
Planting guides for your Great Lakes garden
Browse flowers, plants and garden design ideas