August Blooms in Our Back Yard and Our Favorite Local Nurseries

This has been an almost perfect summer in this part of the country (Mid Atlantic, USDA zone 6b). Cool, wet, only one week of 90 + temperatures) and we’re surprised to report that the garden blooms in our back yard aren’t as beautiful as they usually are! Oh, there are blooms in our August garden, but DH likes them to billow out at us when we walk by. I think it is quieter this year because I pruned some of the garden thugs (Joe Pye Weed, obedient plant, and goose neck loose strife) that usually bloom about now and they have been slow to show their beauty at the usual time. And then I deadheaded some of my pride and joys (shasta daisy, lavender, several salvias, monarda, and knock-out roses) a little too hard and they didn’t spring back and re bloom, so here is how the bloom is in the back yard now in mid August. Still pretty, especially some individual flowers, but not exuberant like I and DH would like!

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Back Yard Rose

This has been the Year of the Hydrangea in these here parts!

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August Hydrangea

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Hydrangea almost gone

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The deer are tamely bedding in our yard and munching everything!

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Beautiful annoying pests!

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I wonder if the sedum will color before the deer eat them?

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The surprise lilies (or naked ladies) have shown off too!

What is blooming in your back yard? What do you like best about it? What would you do differently?

I think I will not prune back our garden thugs so much next year, just thin them out, but let them bloom at their normal times. We like something to always be blooming and in abundance, and I have changed the order and bloom time significantly with the pruning.  We should divide and spread more butterfly bush and black eyed susan around since they are the only large plants blooming right now.

Our Favorite Local Nurseries

I am a real penny-pincher and so will be trekking off to my favorite local nurseries soon to scavenge among their left-overs to see what might fit just fine in our garden at the end of the season. Neighbors and readers ask us where we shop locally for good buys and great service. (We have no ties nor receive any consideration from any of these businesses; we just like ‘um). Our favorites are:

American Plant

Click on the highlighted nursery name above and be taken to their web site. They have two locations. One in Bethesda/Chevy Chase, and one near the River Road entrance to the beltway. We shop at the River Road location at 7405 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 (301) 469-7690. What we like about them: They have a remarkably wide selection of anything we want – common or rare. We have bought our arbors, tuteurs, tomatoes, perennials, and evergreens here. They give large discounts several times a year, and have a very well informed, friendly, large staff able and willing to help on crazy things and common. They have a nice indoor shop with good tools and more advice. We have never lost anything we have purchased from American Plant.

Potomac Garden Center

Again, click on their name above and visit their web site. This place also has two locations. One in Urbana and another in North Potomac. We frequent the North Potomac location at 12024 Darnestown Road, N. Potomac, MD 20878 (301) 948-8890. This place also has a very wide selection of plant materials. We usually stock up on our annual plant needs early in the season when they bring them out of their own greenhouses up on the hill. They also have some wonderfully large collections of evergreens for when we need loads of the same plants for a large planting bed. Do you have 20 rhodys of such-and-such a type? Of course we have! Back your truck up there, set those you pick out here (or do you want us to help you?) and we’ll load them for you! Potomac Garden Center also has a great gift shop with lots of ideas for those with or without gardens. They also have bulk stuff, mulch, soil, etc.

Neither business lets plants go “bad.” So both shops will just require some rummaging about at this late point in the season. There will not be much left to choose from, but what will be there, if past years are any indication, will be good materials that they don’t want to overwinter. We will be shopping for evergreens so we will report what we find. Best to our fellow penny-pinchers as you look for left-overs in your part of the world!

Maryland Gardens Tree and Shrub Farm

We want to mention one other place that isn’t exactly a small plant nursery for end of season sales, but is a marvelous place to visit any time of year to see what is thriving and how it will look in your garden. Tom Moseley has been the proprietor of this “to the trade” tree and shrub nursery since before we moved here in 1976. Although his children are quite computer savvy, he is not, so he doesn’t have a web site or blog or anything resembling them. He lives in the center of the nursery/farm, in a house he built himself. And we think the reason he posts his business as “to the trade” is because he goes out on most of his installations and simply isn’t at home, so you have to call and make an appointment to see what he has. But what he has is wondrous, and it is worth a visit to see what grows well in this region and in this soil (although he plants whatever he sells you and uses what he calls “Moseley’s Gold” in the hole), so….He is located at 12329 McCrossin Ln, Potomac, MD 20854, (301) 977-3982. Leave a message with your telephone number and he’ll get back to you. This year we planted three hollies to replace the five pines that last year’s derecho sliced down. He usually brings something else to plant when he comes. We owe our liriope to him when he planted a large amur maple off the patio, several viburnum when he planted some other trees a few years ago, and siberian and louisiana iris when he came to put in a dwarf Colorado spruce and japanese maple in the front planting bed. Last time we visited it was raspberry season, so we stood in his garden picking and chomping away at his raspberries, discussing the advantages of a mixed berry jam of both raspberries and blackberries, that requires one to freeze the raspberries until the blackberries are ripe before combining to make the jam!

Do you have a favorite local nursery in your area that you would like to plug here? Please feel free; it is free!

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