I usually feel really grumpy about the garden in August. It's such an in-between time: so not-quite-summer and not-quite-autumn. You're expecting billowing borders of beauty and bounty: what you get is a rag-tag slump of tired flowers and tireder foliage.
The rudbeckia you forgot to stake are lurching over the path, and the paeonies are a bilious shade of blotchy purple as the leaves die back in that ugly way they have (and half of them have been bludgeoned into the ground by over-enthusiastic dogs anyway). The bindweed is making its presence felt; none of the trees are flowering or doing interesting things with their leaves and you can't see the bark yet so you can't even enjoy that. And it's raining.
It's not the best time. Yet - as so often - when you're forced to go out there and look, not for the faults but for the nice bits, you are surprised and not a little delighted to find there's more than you thought there was to gladden the eye and lighten the heart. For once I managed to plant some dahlias this year; the rudbeckia are fabulously rugged in smouldering bronze, when you overlook their drunken posture; and the cosmos are flowering on, and on, and on.
Here's my little selection of previously unremarked treasures for this month: and I shall try to be less late-summer gloomy in future.
Thanks as always to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!