Northwest: 5 Shrubs for August (Zone: 4 – 9)

After a long summer of energetically producing show after show of spectacular flowers, fruits, and foliage, by August things are beginning to slow down a bit in the garden. However, Mother Nature thought ahead to just this moment and gave us some shrubs that hit their zenith this month. (And, with fall planting just around the corner, now’s the time to take stock of the garden and with an eye toward spots that need a bit of late summer interest.)

To get you started we asked Monrovia craftsman Kerry Fogerty (who’s based in our Dayton, OR nursery) to give us her picks for 5  shrubs are look great in August in the northwest. Here’s what she told us!

(Your’s is a large region with both cold and temperate areas. You might want to check out the 5 shrub posts for other regions to get even more ideas:

Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest)

Dark Knight Bluebeard

Compact, mounding shrub with dense, fragrant, silver-gray foliage and deep purplish blue flowers that attract butterflies to the garden over a long blooming season. Valued for late summer to fall flowers, when little else is in bloom.Up to 2 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 5 – 9

Bloom-A-Thon® Red Reblooming Azalea

Reblooming azaleas are magical in the garden. Flowers appear in April, rebloom in July and continue through fall until hard frost. Even high summer temps don’t inhibit late season flowers. Up to 4 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 6 – 9

Snow Queen Oakleaf Hydrangea

Late summer into fall is their starring moment. Large clusters of white flowers are held upright above oak leaf-shaped foliage. Flowers become rose-pink in fall, and leaves turn deep red-bronze. Up to 5 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 5 – 9

Hummingbird Summersweet

North American native with profuse and very fragrant white flower spikes that keep pollinators happy in the heat of summer and into fall. Grows well in wet areas, too. Up to 4 ft. tall and wide. Zone: 4 – 9

Dwarf Japanese Cedar

We had to have a conifer! This one’s valuable in the landscape year round due to its natural, dense, dome shape that’s so helpful in smaller spaces. Finely-textured foliage turns rusty red in winter. Fuss-free, too! Up to 3 ft. tall and wide (wider with age). Zone: 5 – 7

Tips to Keep the Garden Looking Happy

  • Keep watering. Especially all those shrubs and perennials which need a deep soaking of about 1-inch of water each and every week.
  • Keep weeding. Yes, you’re over it at this point, but yank them before they go to seed. Not doing so will only buy you problems next spring!
  • Keep dead heading. Snip spent flowers on annuals, roses, and perennials now and many will reward you with more blooms well into fall.
  • Keep mulching. Because it helps with both numbers one and and two on this list, and keeps the garden looking clean and fresh even as the show begins to wind down.

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