A different type of post today. We’re going to take a stroll through Gingham Gardens and as we go, I’m going to give you some tips on spiffing things up around your gardens. Let’s be honest, towards the end of Summer things start looking a little rough and ragged in the gardens. Some of my plants have been enjoyed a little to much by bugs. Some are just done. And, others are tired of the heat. Can you relate? Come along for some Tips For Gardening in Late Summer and a relaxing virtual stroll through my gardens.
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This sloped flower bed is a bit of a crazy mess, but every year it is getting better. I made some changes this spring and I’ve got some more to make this fall. My goal is to have consistent three season color in this perennial bed with perennials in mass plantings. Want to know more about designing your own 3-season perennial garden, be sure to check out: Designing with Perennials for 3 Seasons of Bloom.
This flower bed has come a long way in three years and I’m loving the progress so far. If you haven’t already seen the makeover of this garden, check it out when you’ve finished up here. Right now, it’s pretty much all about the coneflowers, black-eyed Susan, phlox, balloon flower, coreopsis and the last of the daylilies in this flower bed.
Here’s a cute little vignette with tall garden phlox and birdhouse stakes. Got to love the photo bombing lily.
Here’s a sweet little garden area beside our deck. There’s Viking Magic daylily, False Sunflower and a pot of mandevilla. I like to add in a few annuals around the border to keep consistent color going throughout the summer.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Away When You’re Working In The Garden
To deter the bugs, especially mosquitoes, from bothering you when you’re outdoors, I highly recommend these citronella bracelets. They really work and last a long time. I wear one around my hat and one on each wrist.
These thermacell units work amazing at keeping the bugs away too. We have a couple on the deck, so we’re able to enjoy evenings outdoors and they do the trick. If you’re working in one general area in your garden, they will also work to keep the bugs away from the area.
Another weird thing that works to repel bugs is Bounce dryer sheets. I’ve stuck these in my hair before with a headband and hair clips. Just remember to take them off before you run into neighbors or decide to make a run to the garden center. Yep, I did that!
Here in the same tiered flower bed are my favorite coneflowers – PowWow Wild Berry, along with Irish Wedding Daylilies and a few little Kobold Liatris that the bunnies didn’t eat.
This shade border garden that runs along our back fence has come a long way since last year. Here it is last summer.
Despite the fact that most of the shrubs were eaten to the ground by rabbits last winter, the plants are really starting to fill in and this year it’s one of my best gardens.
I recently did an updated post on this Shade Border Garden and included some of my junk garden vignettes in it. This is one of my favorite posts and I think you’ll enjoy it! Here’s a different angle, but it’s easy to see the progress in just one year.
Tips for Gardening in Late Summer – Tidy Up The Gardens
Grab a bucket (or a grocery bag), a pair of gardening shears and gloves. The links are to my favorites. Just take a quick pass through the garden and deadhead and cut back spent foliage. See those ugly daylily scapes, cut those all the way to the ground. Dried up hosta flowers, those too. Now, pull those weeds while you’re at it.
If you have a bunch of flower beds like me or a really big garden, just pick one flower bed or area a day. Really, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can tidy things up.
Don’t forget to Save Some Seeds when you’re deadheading those flowers!
Just in case you need some more tips for How to Deal With Weeds In Your Gardens, many have found this post very helpful. Also, Flower Garden Maintenance has some great practical tips for keeping your flower gardens looking their very best all summer.
Here’s a section of the made over shade garden. It’s filling in nicely for now, but at some point in the future, I’ll be rearranging and getting rid of some of the common hostas, like royal standard and lancifolia. I don’t have anything against them, there are just so many other more attractive varieties I’d rather have. It’s also on my never ending list to add some other shade plants to this garden. Yes, there is slug damage to some of these plants and I missed snipping some spent flower stalks. See what I mean by rough and ragged. Note to self, to get the Sluggo out earlier in the spring.
Aren’t impatiens amazing! They are such an underrated annual flower. They require so little care and they let you know when they need a little drink. Plus, they do not require deadheading to offer up continuous blooms the entire season. Impatiens are definitely a perfect annual flower for the shade.
I’ve shown this cute little tipped pot of impatiens in a few other posts. The latest was the Summer Flower Gardens post. Now look at it – a Pinterest project on steroids. Where’s the pot? These impatiens went wild. Ha ha, oh well, at least they are pretty. See what I mean about impatiens!
Let’s not forget about the vegetable beds. Here’s one of my tomato plants – Super Sweet 100.
Lots and lots of banana peppers. I give lots away and we like them chopped up in taco meat and other Mexican dishes. They are also wonderful in salsa.
What to Do in the Vegetable Garden in Late Summer
Give the veggie beds some attention too. I just have 4 raised beds, so not much to tend to. I go through and do a quick weeding. To keep down the weeds, I use dried, untreated grass clippings around the veggie plants. Now, cut all the yucky looking leaves off the bottom of the tomato and cucumber plants. The tomatoes aren’t ripening very fast, so I’m going to give them another dose of some organic fertilizer. If veggies are taken care of, some will just keep producing right up until the frost gets them.
In my zone 4 gardens, there are many veggies that can be planted for a fall harvest. Did you know that cooler weather make vegetables sweeter. Some vegetables that can be planted in August for a September or October harvest are: radishes, lettuces, spinach, broccoli and many others.
This year I’m experimenting with growing more veggies in containers. I’m learning that they require much more fertilizer and water, as well as larger containers.
More Late Blooming Flowers in the Gardens
I can’t get enough of tall garden phlox. It has such a subtle sweet smell. Pollinators love it too. The picture below includes Thai Pink Jade Phlox, Beautiful Edgings Daylily and Becky Shasta Daisies.
I just can’t stop until I show you more of my Daylilies. I have over 60 different varieties. South Seas is really putting on a show this year. I recently saw a picture of South Seas Daylilies with Shasta Daisies and balloon flowers. The color combination is stunning and I’m going to replicate it in my gardens.
Cedar Waxwing was a freebie in an order from Oakes Daylilies last year. It’s gorgeous!
Another later blooming daylily is Cherry Cheeks. This one is a real stand out in the garden.
I’ve shown Gaudy Gaudy off before, but she’s just so pretty and intense. Gaudy Gaudy Daylily is one of the last daylilies to bloom in my gardens, so when most of the others have pooped out, Gaudy Gaudy is still cranking out the blooms everyday.
Late Summer is the Perfect Time To Plan Next Year’s Gardens
Take the time while everything is still fresh in your mind to do some Garden Planning for next season. Garden Planning – How to Plan Next Year’s Gardens is an excellent article that takes you through the steps of planning out your gardens for next year while the garden is at it’s peak. Take some time to check it out. There’s a printable guide that available too.
Your best gardening tool is your Garden Journal and Planner! In case, you’ve never kept a Garden Journal, this article will tell you how and why to keep a Garden Journal. As an added bonus, all the forms, charts and lists to put together your own Garden Journal and Planner are available in our Gardening Resources Library.
It just wouldn’t be a Late Summer Garden Tour without sharing my lovely Dahlias with you. I don’t have a good, flat sunny area to grow dahlias, so I decided to grow them in containers this year.
These babies are about 7 – 8 feet tall, and even though I put a tomato cage around them and staked them, the wind has damaged them a couple of times. They are doing fine now though and are setting lots more buds.
Here’s a shorter variety that doesn’t require staking. I started these early in my pop-up greenhouse.
This is the second summer for these dahlias. They overwintered beautifully and are a bit bigger this year. We’ll definitely try for a third year.
If you don’t grow dahlias, just give them a try. You won’t be sorry. The tall varieties need staking and if you live in colder climates the tubers need to be lifted in the winter. Despite that they are gorgeous and worth their trouble.
More Tips for Gardening in Late Summer – Enjoy Your Gardens
Now that things are all tidied up, grab your camera or your phone, and take a stroll through your own gardens and snap a bunch of pictures. Once you stop and take a look, I think you’ll decide there’s still lots of beauty left in your late summer gardens. Post some pictures on Facebook, or send me some pictures of your gardens. I’d love to see them!
Be sure to pick a bouquet of flowers to bring indoors and enjoy some of those fresh veggies for supper tonight.
Thanks a bunch for stopping by Gingham Gardens today. I hope you enjoyed my garden tour today and are encouraged by my Tips for Gardening in Late Summer. How are your gardens growing? Are they tired? Leave a comment and let me know. I love hearing from my readers. Likewise, if you have a gardening question, I’d love to help you out.
Follow Gingham Gardens on Pinterest for lots of great gardening ideas and tons of gardener’s eye candy.
Late Summer is a GREAT time to buy tools and garden decor. Many gardening items are cheaper now! A few of my favorite gardening items:
More pins to share: