There’s nothing subtle about August in the North Carolina.    Likewise, there’s nothing subtle about my  two favorite garden plants this time of year.  Both are big, bold, and splashy enough to enjoy from the window on those days when it’s just too humid and buggy and venture out.sunflower_wide2

Mexican Sunflower is first on the list.    It  is one of those (rare) plants that are tough enough to punch through the shade of  taller neighbors in spring and take over the late summer garden.sunflower_tight

Also called Tithonia, it’s about 8 feet tall in my garden this year.   We can thank the ample rain for some of that height.sunflower_yellow

I’m also growing a smaller yellow version from a mix called Arcadian Blend.  The seeds came from Thompson and Morgan, a great British based company that’s collected a lot of my $ over the years.  (They did give me awesome seeds in return)

There’s not enough sun to grow the real Sunflower at our house, so Mexican Sunflower is the perfect substitute for those happy flowers.blackelephantear

Black Elephant Ear has no flower to speak of, but it still makes the top two in my August garden.

The leaves are huge, cool looking, and it will grow in sun or shade.  This giant is actually growing in a pot.

A somewhat tender perennial, you can mulch it heavily and hope for the best, or do what my sister and I do–carry it through the winter in the greenhouse or garage.

We’ve been very successful with this in recent years.  Now many of our pals have Black Elephant  Ear.    Let us know if you want to be on the list–