In summer’s final act, we have to appreciate the stalwart and sturdy plants that faithfully bring August to full bloom, especially after the deadly drought we had this summer. Two of the best are the aptly named Butterfly Bush, Buddleia, and the Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus. Right now they are covered in bees and butterflies, and splashing colour and lush blossoms to gardens all over the city.
Blousy and over the top, they positively drip with flowers, making the local insect population thrum with activity. Some think these late summer showoffs are a bit too much, are gaudy or even vulgar, but I simply love their exuberance and colour, plus their contribution to the city wildlife. Now that Monarch butterflies are losing their habitat, you can help them survive by planting one of their favourite sources of nectar, the Butterfly Bush.
If you have a sunny spot in your garden, the Butterfly bush will thrive, and Rose of Sharon will still bloom with a moderate bit of shade. Cut off the blooms of the Butterfly Bush to keep it blooming longer, and to keep the butterflies happy. These two plants come in large and smaller varieties, so watch the tags for the ultimate size. Some of the Butterfly bushes can get enormous, while some are dwarf varieties.