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Practical Gardening Monthly

Hello Gardening Friends!  Can you believe it's already August? Where does the time go?  

Besides tending to our gardens ... make time to sit back, relax, and appreciate all of your landscape efforts.  This is a good month to enjoy the fruits of your harvest and revel in bright summer flowers and foliage.

Keep reading for a handy August Garden "To Do" list, more flower fun facts (this month's flower always makes me smile : )  Zone 5 & 6 garden inspiration, plus discover what's new and blooming at ...

"Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas."

~  Elizabeth Murray

Latest Flower Chick Posts
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Flower Chick's Favorite Perennials for Zone 5
How To Water Outdoor Plants

To prevent your plants from drooping their heads in summer, they need plenty of water. But how much or how often should they be watered? Is it better to water from above or below? When’s the best time of day to water?

Continue reading for how best to water outdoor plants … my 10 tips will help you have happy, healthy perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees!

Discover 10 Tips For Watering Plants
64 Best Gifts For Gardeners

Read my Top Picks for the Best Gifts For Gardeners! These gardening gifts all meet my criteria: good quality, interesting, useful, and something you wouldn’t necessarily buy for yourself (but would love to receive!) …

Perfect for holidays, birthdays, housewarming gifts, weddings, retirement parties … just about any occasion you need something special for a gardening enthusiast … beginner to expert!

Explore The Best Gifts For Gardeners

August Garden "To Do" List:

  • Continue To Deadhead - the secret to a long summer flower show is deadheading.  Remove dead blooms on annuals, perennials, and roses. Snipping dead blossoms encourages the plant to form more flower buds, plus looks tidy.
  • Keep Harvesting - your fruit and vegetables every couple days to encourage production into the fall.
  • Water - check your container gardens / hanging baskets daily; water when soil is dry. If Mother Nature doesn't provide 1 inch of water, water your roses and other flowers in beds.
  • For The Birds - change birdbath water and eliminate standing water to combat mosquitos. Clean your hummingbird feeders every few days to prevent mold and refill with sugar water.
  • Disease Prevention - clean up as you harvest. Toss overgrown or rotting produce on the compost heap or in the garbage. Remove dying plant matter, which can attract diseases and pests
  • Order Flower Bulbs - for fall planting.  A little work now will reward you with a colorful spring flower show!
  • Peony Care - Peonies are best divided and transplanted in late August through September, if they need it. Their “eyes” must not be buried more than an inch or two beneath the soil surface.
  • Plant Conifers - this is a great time to plant evergreen trees and shrubs, such as pines, spruces, and firs, because the plants will have time to develop their roots before the winter conditions.
  • Cut Back Spent Perennials - Daylilies, daisies, catmint, and salvia respond well to a cut-back with a fresh flush of growth.
  • Spread The Love - share the bounty of your vegetable garden with friends and those in need!
Travel To Midwestern Gardens

Need a little gardening inspiration? Looking for some good cheer and vicarious travel?  Get inspired by the Midwest’s beautiful botanical gardens, arboretums, and other stunning natural attractions! Join us as we visit these wonderful Zone 5 & Zone 6 sites.  

Follow along and plan your own trips … you’ll even find a guide of fun, local attractions to enjoy in the various towns and cities. Come back often as we keep adding new posts to our Illinois Gardens , Indiana Gardens, Iowa GardensMichigan Gardens & Wisconsin Gardens categories.

Visit Crapo Park in Burlington, Iowa

Crapo Park features more than 200 varieties of trees and shrubs along with gardens of annuals and perennials complementing the scenery. The 85 acre site is easy to navigate. 

Walking and driving paths wind through the surroundings, taking you past a 1.5 acre lake, band shell, the historic Curly-Q slide, and the picturesque Foehlinger Fountain ...

Indiana Dunes & Friendship Botanic Gardens

Friendship Botanic Gardens is a local treasure … an oasis of formal gardens mixed with nature trails tucked in an old-growth forest surrounding Trail Creek in Michigan City, Indiana. 

Plan to spend several hours here, pick up a map and then hit the trails … you can even bring your dog friends for some fresh air and exercise.

Explore the Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden opened more than 40 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world’s great living museums and conservation science centers. 

Every year, more than one million people visit the Garden’s 27 gardens and four natural areas … all uniquely situated on 385 acres ...

Visiting Wisconsin's Boerner Botanical Gardens

With a dozen themed gardens, all blooming at different times of the year, Boerner Botanical Gardens always offers something new to see each time you visit.  

The spectacular gardens include the Rose Garden, Shrub Mall, Annual Garden, Herb Garden, Daylilly Walk, Rock Garden and Peony Garden.

Did you know ... 5 Fun Facts About Zinnias -

Zinnias are brightly colored flowers belonging to the Asteraceae family, where other members include asters, daisies, and sunflowers.

Zinnias are a favorite for gardeners because they are one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed! They are perfect for a cutting garden. These cheery flowers will bloom from early summer to early fall and look best planted in masses.


  1.  Gottfrieds? Nope! -  The zinnia was named after the German botanist, Johann Gottfried Zinn, who wrote the first description of the flower.
  2. Muy Bonita - Believe it or not, there was a time when zinnias were considered small and ugly! When the Spanish first saw the flower in Mexico, they named it “mal de ojos” or sickness of the eye.
  3. Let's Show Those Whippersnappers - Zinnias were once called “youth and old age” because old blooms stay fresh as new blooms open.
  4. Be My Friend - In the language of flowers, zinnias represent friendship, specifically thoughts of an absent friend.
  5. Rich With Color - When zinnias were first introduced to Europeans, they were known as “poorhouse flower” and “everybody’s flower” because zinnias were so common and easy to grow.

Zinnias daisy-like flowers are available in a wide range of bright colors, including yellow, orange, pink, red, purple and lilac.

The taller varieties make great borders and edging, while smaller zinnias do well in window boxes, hanging pots, and other container arrangements.

Containers of Vinca, Begonias, New Guinea Impatiens, and Geraniums by

Dear Gardening Friends, Thanks so much for reading!!  I hope you enjoyed the August newsletter and picked up a few tips and inspiration that you can use in your own gardens. 

Take care of yourselves, get outside, savor nature and the joys of summer. I'll be back in early September with more gardening fun and advice. Looking forward to visiting more botanical gardens soon and sharing with you.  Next up ... the Quad Cities!

~ Laura a.k.a. Flower Chick

P.S. Click on the social icons below to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest!

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Is there a botanical garden, arboretum, or nature area you love and would like to see us feature in a future issue?  Please share below ...

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