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Keep Your Cool in the Garden — Here’s What to Do in August

Don’t let summer’s heat go to your head. These U.S. gardening guides will help you make sensible choices for all of your plantings:

There is much to be done and enjoyed in the August garden. Butterflies abound, while the magenta, burgundy and orange hues of late-summer bloomers foreshadow fall colors. Give your containers and summer edibles some love by keeping them appropriately watered and fed. Deadhead spent summer flowers for repeat blooms — or let them set seed to provide food and habitat for wildlife through the coming months. As you go, take stock of what you see in the yard, preparing for fall planting. Here’s what to do in U.S. gardens in August.

Traditional Landscape by Timothy Lee landscape design Timothy Lee landscape design

Northwest. "Keep on deadheading rosesShasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum), dahlias and other summer-flowering plants," writes landscape designer Genevieve Schmidt. "By removing spent flowers, you encourage the plant to continue setting new buds and put energy into blooms for the rest of the summer."

California Gardener's August Check List 

California. Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, once an area of windswept sand dunes, is now a showcase of plants from all over the world,” writes garden editor Bill Marken. “Few are more eye catching than nodding pincushion, one of many proteas from South Africa. Proteas are notoriously difficult to grow, which explains their high cost as cut blooms. They are worth a try if you can provide what they need: perfectly drained soil and the perfect climate — coastal, not too hot.



Landscape by Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Southwest. “Are your container plants looking tired? To look their best, plants need to be fertilized when grown in containers,” writes Arizona horticulturalist Noelle Johnson. “Use a slow-release all-purpose fertilizer, which lasts about three months, or apply a liquid fertilizer every two weeks. You will be rewarded with bigger plants and more blooms.

Traditional Landscape Traditional Landscape


Mountains. "The high heat of August is not the time to divide or move plants, but it’s a great time for planning ahead for an active September and beyond," says Colorado landscape designer Jocelyn Chilvers. "Look at your garden with a critical eye as you plan your shopping and work lists for the cooler days to come."

Traditional Landscape by Land Design, Inc. Land Design, Inc.

Texas. “Light, frequent waterings will simply encourage shallow roots, which will not serve your plants well in times of heat and dry weather. It’s preferable to water more deeply but less often, encouraging your plants’ roots to dig down deep into the soil,” writes landscape designer Jenny Peterson“Avoid watering directly onto the foliage of your plants, and water earlier in the morning or later in the day to avoid rapid evaporation,” she advises. “Better yet, install drip irrigation or soaker hoses to direct water closer to the plants’ roots.


by Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Central Plains. “This is prime butterfly season. You can deadhead flowers and hope for a second, smaller flush, or leave them up for winter interest,” writes Nebraska garden consultant Benjamin Vogt. “Most birds will eat the seeds in fall, so you have to decide if deadheading is worth the gamble. Usually it’s best to leave up coneflowers and other mid- to later-summer bloomers, while early summer blooms might be a good bet to cut back. Here a tiger swallowtail is enjoying a pit stop.

Landscape by Barbara Pintozzi Barbara Pintozzi

Great Lakes. "August marks the transition from summer to autumnal blooms, starting with the tall sedums, including Hylotelephium 'Purple Emperor'," writes Illinois garden coach Barbara Pintozzi. "Growing it in front of chartreuse foliage makes it a garden standout."

by Paintbox Garden Paintbox Garden

Northeast. "Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium spp) is blooming along roadsides and in meadows," writes Vermont landscape consultant Charlotte Albers. "This native wildflower is widely adaptable and grows well in poor soils, so it's a good choice for a rain garden or swale, or to put in an area where water pools when rains are heavy.""The species is a bit intimidating — just too tall for most gardens, but there are shorter versions. This is 'Phantom' (Dupatorium x 'Phantom,' zones 4 to 8), a dwarf that grows about 40 inches tall and attracts honeybees and butterflies."


Eclectic Landscape by Amy Renea Amy Renea

Mid-Atlantic. “While the temperatures are scorching now, cool weather will be here in a couple months, so now is the time to start seeding cool-season plants,” says garden writer Amy ReneaI love planting a second run of greens like chard (pictured), spinach and a variety of lettuces. Wait for a summer rainstorm and get out there and seed!

 Landscape by Gardening with Confidence® Gardening with Confidence®

Southeast. “Select and preorder your spring-blooming bulbs now while supplies are plentiful,” writes North Carolina garden writer Helen Yoest. “Don’t put off today what will be gone tomorrow. The most unusual bulbs sell out fast. I can say this now because I’ve already put in my order. Try something fun such as the species tulip Tulipa clusiana.”

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Patio the Centerpiece of Your Home

You don't need acres and acres of land to create a blissful oasis in which to enjoy outdoor meals and drinks, relaxing evenings watching the sunset and entertaining friends and family on warm summer nights. Whether your personal decorating tastes are country, classic, modern, boho chic or something in between, adding a few decorative touches to your patio can help to make it the focal point and chief gathering space of your home.

Even if you already know what you like and have specific ideas for decorations, lighting and patio furniture, creating a mood board is a great way to get organized and bring your ideas together around a cohesive theme. With its year round warm temperatures, St. Augustine is the perfect place for patio living and entertaining!

1. Make a Statement with Plants

An outdoor patio garden with your favorite seasonal plants and flowers does double duty when it comes to decorating. Start with the actual plants and flowers, and then add decorative planters and vases to give the space an additional pop of color or texture.

2. Set the Mood with Lighting

Whether you prefer fairy lights, ambient candles or faux tiki torch lamps, lighting is an important element of any space, even outdoors.

3. Rug it Out

Nothing brings a space together quite like a good area rug. If your tastes range on the minimalist side, a rug is the perfect accent piece to create a sense of coziness and add a little more depth to your space, without going overboard on the rest of the decorations.

4. Pillows Talk

A great patio space is one that is comfortable and inviting, whether you're just enjoying a pre-dinner glass of wine or hosting a book club. Decorative pillows are the perfect way to infuse some style and personality while bringing a little bit of the indoors outside.

5. Dedicated Tableware

Maybe you were out shopping and couldn't help but notice a set of dishes or wine glasses that didn't necessarily match your kitchen or dining room decor, but you just couldn't take your eyes (or mind) off of them all the same! They might be right at home in your patio space! Keeping a special set of glasses and dishes just for dining and entertaining on your patio can make the experience feel more like a special occasion, whether on a Tuesday evening or a Saturday afternoon.

Contact us for more information on luxury condominium living at La Fontana at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL.