Mid-August Flowers

Liriope or monkeygrass can surprise your landscape with lots of mid August flowers

Liriope or monkey grass can surprise your landscape with lots of mid-August flowers.

this is an excellent use of liriope in bloom placed between rocks.

this is an excellent use of liriope in bloom placed between rocks.

Ginger lilies are coming into bloom now and will continue into September

Ginger lilies are coming into bloom now and will continue into September.

Close up of the fragrant ginger lily flower cluster

Close-up of the fragrant ginger lily flower cluster

Just when my garden is looking its worst, two very different plants surprise me. Liriope, also called monkey grass, is beginning to bloom either in a beautiful light blue or a clear white, depending on the selection. While I must admit it is not a favorite of mine as a ground cover, I really like it when it blooms. We all know it is one of our most carefree plants to grow.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is tall spikes of strap-leafed ginger lilies. My white ones started blooming this week, and I discovered the first bloom from the scent I smelled earlier in the week. In the last couple of days they have gone from one small cluster of flowers to several different clusters. And their fragrance is a wonderful gift in the early morning and late afternoon in the garden, when the heat is not so overpowering. They are very easy to grow but do not like all day sun. I expect my shell ginger type to start showing off its orange flowers in early September. Now here is a cool tip. Don’t buy either of these plants, but even during these hot days of summer, you can get a start from a gardening friend. And with a little pampering, they will reward you with flowers next August.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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